NOCIRC of Japan Newsletter 1993, vol. 2:5

NOCIRC OF JAPAN NEWSLETTER  (Vol.2:5, February 1, 1993)

National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource
Centers
Rich Angell, Editor
311 Meiji Machi,
Yonago City, Tottori Pref.
683 Japan

Tel. 0859-34-3795/Fax (at work) 0859-34-9098


On Friday of last week, I received eight letters from all over
the world.  I love receiving mail (and faxes).  I'm getting
enough material to put out one newsletter a week.  If you have
any hot news in your area, please send it my way--it'll get the
international attention it deserves.  In the meanwhile, read on
and brace yourself for both good news and bad...

- This fresh target comes with a very nice letter from Dan
Skomp,RN, of Keaau, Hawaii.  Dan tells me "I distribute NOCIRC
pamphlets at the hospital and give prenatal study groups."  The
target concerns a column entitled "On my mind" by A.M. Rosenthal
which appeared in the Hawaii Tribune-Herald, 8 Jan., P10.  This
essay was entitled "Female mutilation."  Here we go again. 
Another article which rightfully describes the crimes of female
mutilation while wrongfully ignoring male mutilation.  Following
are some quotes which call for our attention:

"...For almost a year I had been planning to write a column about
it buy kept putting it aside in favor of something that struck my
fancy as more "newsworthy" or "important" than the genital
mutilation of tens of millions of people in dozens of countries. 
That is exactly what most of the world has been doing about the
most widespread abuse of human rights and the human body in the
world...It is the responsibility of the people and governments of
the African, Mideastern and Asian countries to end the torture,
to revolt against the sexual and social insanities that allow the
mutilation of half their populations.  But the world can help. 
Western countries can use economic aid--expand or contract it
depending on whether governments truly fight female mutilation. 
And they can make it a permanent priority matter in the main
bodies of the UN..."
Write to:  The Editor of A.M. Rosenthal himself at Hawaii
Tribune-Herald, Kinoole St., Hilo, Hawaii, 96720 USA


-This fresh target comes from our friend John Shanahan of
Australia--who by the way scored another great letter, in
"Western Magazine" of New South Wales where he's presently
working.  Anyway, the target comes from an old "leftover" from
the Victorian era, Dr. Wright, whose advice column "Doctor James
Wright answers your health questions" appears regularly in The
Sunday Telegraph, and who has radio and TV exposure every week.

Q.  "I'm expecting and the ultrasound says it will be a boy.  We
can't make up our minds about circumcision."--L.M., Long Jetty

A.  "In the western world, the anti-circumcision attitude has
changed yet again, and a move to routine circumcision is slowly
taking place.  Circumcision is claimed to markedly reduce the
risk of serious urinary tract infections, hospitalisation and the
possibility of kidney damage in later life.  It also removes the
risk of cancer of the penis by nearly 100 per cent according to
the mainstream medical journals.  the official "no circumcision"
decision in Australia, set up nearly 30 years ago, is still in
place but softening, and now many believe benefits and risks are
about even, with or without the procedure.  So it is largely what
the parents want."

PEOPLE, LET'S WRITE IN TO THE EDITOR (AND/OR DR. WRIGHT) AND SHOW
THEM THAT WRIGHT IS WRONG!  The Sunday Telegraph, Box 4245, GPO,
Sydney, Australia 2001.


-As of this writing, we still haven't scored in The Daily
Yomiuri, but here is another opportunity to get in a word on
circumcision.  It concerns an editorial (28 Jan., P5) by Victor
Cohn of The Washington Post entitled "What It Will Take To Cure
U.S. Health Care:  Hilary Clinton Has Her Work Cut Out For Her." 
Following are some excerpts which call for a word on
circumcision:

"No plan now getting attention can alone do the job.  A
successful one must attack many villains:  the huge profits now
being extracted by many businesses and entrepreneurs, over-use of
costly technologies, medical ignorance of what truly
works...There are in fact only so many ways to cut any nation's
medical expenses, mainly:...doing only procedures proved
medically beneficial..."

Write to:  "Letters to the Editor" The Daily Yomiuri, 1-7-1
Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 100-55 Japan.  (Recommended limit is
300 words or less.)


-Larry Murphy of South Africa sent me a 20 Jan. letter with an
article on PP 80-83 of the 27 Jan. FAIR LADY, a women's magazine,
entitled "Cut and thrust:  Is sex better when he's been
circumcised?  PETER BAKER asks men and women about the pros and
cons of the foreskin."

All in all the article definitely works in our favor.  There's
plenty about those of us who resent having been circumcised,
about foreskin restoration (including a word in the opening
paragraph about Foreskin Restoration Cones "now available from
Second Skin Products Inc. in New Orleans USA"), as well as the
debunked disease theories, pain, etc.  In fact, the more I read
the article, the more I like it.

My suggestion is this:  Why not write a nice, calm letter
thanking the editor for printing the letter and tell about your
own personal feeling about having been circumcised or, if you are
a woman, your own feeling about sex with a circ'ed/intact man. 
Consider the following passage:

"Victoria, a 29-year-old personnel officer, knows more about this
subject than most.  Her partner was circumcised last year for
medical reasons and she believes that their sex life has
'improved markedly' since.  not only does she find his penis more
aesthetically pleasing, but also much more exciting.  'It feels
like there's nothing between me and his penis.  There's not
another layer of skin that moves up and down in my hand or my
vagina.  We feel much closer physically.'"

The address is:  Letters, FAIR LADY, Box 1802, Cape Town 8000,
South Africa.


-The December/January 1993 (Vol.12:1) of America's "The Edell
Health Letter," published by HEALTH MAGAZINE ran an article
entitled "To Your Health:  The Circumcision Decision" by our
friend Dr. Dean Edell of America.  For those who don't know him
yet, he's one of the good guys.  Here are some excerpts:

"Each time I write about circumcision, I hope it will be the
last.  ...the debate rages on, as scientists try to convince the
public that they can improve on Mother Nature's basic design. 
...Can we really presume to know more about this issue than
everyone else in the world?  ...Removing a healthy body part to
forestall a statistically unlikely disease is like cutting down
all the trees in the wilderness to prevent forest fires.  Why do
we insist on resorting to such drastic prevention measures when
simple cleanliness could go such a long way?"


-Bettie Malofie of Winnipeg, Canada, writes:  "Yesterday (14
Jan.) on our local CBC TV news they had a 10-minute item on ear
cropping and tail docking of newborn pups.  Opposing views of the
dog breeders and a veterinarian were presented.  An
unanesthetized tail shortening was shown.  The suffering is as
obvious as in infant circumcision, I kid you not.  Bloody awful. 
They asked various breeders at a dog show what they thought of
the practice and one woman said, "Is it any worse than
circumcising a one-day-old baby boy?"  So--ETHIC is going to try
and get on this programme to flog male non-circumcision.  We have
been on TV before (and no, I don't mean the community channel) so
there is a chance!"


-I just got a FAX from Marilyn, a copy of PP 529-530 of the 27
Jan. JAMA (which I assume stands for Journal of American Medical
Association).  it concerns a book review of The Joy of
Uncircumcising:  Restore your Birthright and Maximize Sexual
Pleasure, by Jim Bigelow, $16.95, ISBN 0-9630482-1-X, Aptos,
Calif., Hourglass Book Publishing, 1992 and Say No to
Circumcision:  40 Compelling Reasons Why You Should Respect His
Birthright and Keep Your Son Whole, by Thomas Ritter, $10.95,
ISBN 0-9630482-0-1, Aptos, Calif., Hourglass Book Publishing,
1992.  I believe that this book review in such a widely respected
journal will give the books and our cause a big boost.  Marilyn
tells me that some doctors have already ordered the book.  The
authors are William J. Cromie, MD, MBA and Ruth E. Kelleher, RN,
BSN Albany (NY) Medical College.


-On Friday, 29 Jan. I received (among eight other items) an
envelope from Aucklandpark, South Africa.  Inside was the kind of
letter (21 Jan.) that you don't like to read but had to be
written:

"Dear Rich, My name is Gus and I received your letter to Mike
Mills, who is also a personal friend of mine, and had to reply to
you with some very disturbing news.  Our mutual friend Mike
passed away on Christmas Day from complications in surgery after
a motor vehicle accident.  The box number for Mike remains the
same, as I will transfer it into his mother's name in about 2
months time.  I am truly sorry about this but I hope to hear from
you just as a reply.  (signed)  P.S. I included some photos of
Mike the rock n' roller."

The photos show a young man in his twenties with friends.  (Mike
said in his letter to me last year that he was also 27.)  I only
really knew him as a pro-intact activist, the top activists in
South Africa, and that's a good enough reason for me to miss him. 
The box number in question is G. Hauptfleisch, Box 323
Aucklandpark, South Africa 2006.  Let's let Mike's family and
friends know how many friends he had!


-A copy of this newsletter is being sent simultaneously to the
following activists:  Adam Sooth, Bettie Malofie (ETHIC), Dan
Skomp, David McKnight, Elizabeth Noble, Fred Hayward, Harry
Meislahn, James Whipple, Jim Bigelow, John Erickson, John Mark,
John Sawkey, John Shanahan, Larry Murphy, Marilyn Milos, Ronald
F. Goldman, Russell Zangger, Tim Sally, Tony Lesce, Warren Smith. 
PLEASE NOTE SOMEONE I MISSED--MAKE COPIES AND PASS IT ON!

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