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1 Lobengula  Wed, May 18, 2011 4:23:43pm

child abuse banned? oh the humanity! I hope they go for religious animal sacrifice next.

2 Vicious Michigan Union Thug  Wed, May 18, 2011 4:30:54pm

You are a real Jew hating fuck.

3 Lobengula  Wed, May 18, 2011 4:55:44pm

No, No, some of my best friends are jews.... but seriously, you're kidding me right? Do you label as antisemitic anyone who disagrees with you? What exactly have i said that categorizes me as such?
Am I a Jew hater hater because I dislike the idea of little kids getting their foreskin cut off as part of a religious ritual? Or animals getting their throats slit, unanesthetised, because god commanded it so?
No sir/ma'am, I think you'll find my views are quite consistent with most europeans. I look forward to the not-too-distant future when shechita and dhabiha are banned as barbaric practices.

4 funky chicken  Wed, May 18, 2011 5:08:33pm

Sigh. Hopefully this proposition goes down in flames at the ballot box. Surely the government of San Francisco has better things to do than attempting to enforce a circ ban. I guess it could be good news for hospitals in surrounding suburbs though.

And "child abuse?" Really? Have you ever seen a 2 year old boy catheterized? Circumcision does lower the incidence of bladder infections in boys, and makes it easier to collect "clean" urine from kids who are suspected of having UTIs, because you can clean and bag the kid's privates if he's been circumcised, so it's less likely a catheterization will be required if an infection is suspected.

I think the HIV risk reduction is still supported, and I'd guess circumcised males are at lower risk of developing serious genital wart problems as well.

My nice Jewish OB/Gyn did my son's circumcision after I did lots of searching and discussing...he promised me he didn't miss his foreskin, and neither does my husband.

5 kreyagg  Wed, May 18, 2011 5:08:47pm

The question that comes to my mind is "Why can't religious people keep their hands off of children's genitals?"

And what on Earth is wrong with allowing the person to wait until they are an adult before they requiring that sort of body mod?

6 Michael McBacon  Wed, May 18, 2011 5:11:39pm
What exactly have i said that categorizes me as such?

Well, ranting about a sekrit (sic) lobby and religion associated with a particular minority and boasting about being European has us wondering...

7 Vicious Michigan Union Thug  Wed, May 18, 2011 5:13:04pm

The question that come to my mind is: What is wrong with people who obsess over a little scrap of skin? And what on earth do they think they are missing out on?

8 funky chicken  Wed, May 18, 2011 5:13:09pm

American Academy of Pediatrics:
[Link: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...]

9 funky chicken  Wed, May 18, 2011 5:15:51pm

re: #5 kreyagg

I'm not even going to click your links. I'm going to assume you're playing the old "circumcising male infants = female genital mutilation" game, and it's sickening.

I'm an agnostic on my most "religious" days, BTW. I also have an advanced degree in microbiology/biochemistry and am studying to return to physician's assistant school, if you want to try to argue science or physiology with me...

10 Vicious Michigan Union Thug  Wed, May 18, 2011 5:15:55pm

re: #3 Lobengula

No, No, some of my best friends are jews... but seriously, you're kidding me right? Do you label as antisemitic anyone who disagrees with you? What exactly have i said that categorizes me as such?
Am I a Jew hater hater because I dislike the idea of little kids getting their foreskin cut off as part of a religious ritual? Or animals getting their throats slit, unanesthetised, because god commanded it so?
No sir/ma'am, I think you'll find my views are quite consistent with most europeans. I look forward to the not-too-distant future when shechita and dhabiha are banned as barbaric practices.

There is a search function on this site that allows us to view all the comments you have made here, all of which have to do with the particular problems that you have with people of the Mosaic persuasion. And of course "some of my best friends..." is the classical cliche bigot's excuse.

11 kreyagg  Wed, May 18, 2011 5:16:33pm

re: #7 Alouette

The question that come to my mind is: What is wrong with people who obsess over a little scrap of skin? And what on earth do they think they are missing out on?

Exactly the point. Leave the person's body intact until they can make the choice for them self.

12 Vicious Michigan Union Thug  Wed, May 18, 2011 5:17:24pm

re: #5 kreyagg

The question that comes to my mind is "Why can't religious people keep their hands off of children's genitals?"

And what on Earth is wrong with allowing the person to wait until they are an adult before they requiring that sort of body mod?

I got my daughter's ears pierced when she was 3 years old. You want to ban that too?

13 funky chicken  Wed, May 18, 2011 5:21:28pm
The AAP has updated a pamphlet (2/99) on “Circumcision for Parents.” It is very simply written and provides much of this information in a succinct fashion. Also, the AAP has written a pamphlet on “Care of the Uncircumcised Penis.” The most important message in the pamphlet is that, until the time the foreskin becomes retractable, “care of the uncircumcised boy is quite easy—leave it alone.” These 2 pamphlets are excellent sources for parents and should be provided during the third trimester to parents who do not know the sex of their infant and those who know they are having a boy. Parents should begin to formulate an opinion about circumcision during pregnancy, since the immediate postnatal period can be stressful. In this way, we can help parents so that circumcision later during the first year that will require a general anesthetic can be avoided.
At this time, there is insufficient data to recommend routine neonatal circumcision. Although there are potential benefits and risks, the procedure is usually not essential to the child’s well being. Parents should determine what is in the best interest of their child. All of this information needs to be presented so parents can make an informed choice.

Leave it up to the parents. Circumcising or not circumcising is far less of a concern for the community at large, and frankly, a whole lot of the folks running around calling circumcision "child abuse" are anti-vaxxers. You wanna talk child abuse? I think leaving your kid susceptible to rubeola or meningitis qualifies.

14 Dancing along the light of day  Wed, May 18, 2011 5:24:18pm

A parent is the best person to make the decision for a child. Until the child is old enough to make it's own decisions. Legislating things like this, is a San Francisco specialty. So very, very, left coast. Lovely city, ugly politically, IMHO.

15 kreyagg  Wed, May 18, 2011 5:26:03pm

re: #12 Alouette

I got my daughter's ears pierced when she was 3 years old. You want to ban that too?

That seems to be a perfectly reasonable conclusion.

16 Jimmah  Wed, May 18, 2011 5:30:15pm

re: #11 kreyagg

Exactly the point. Leave the person's body intact until they can make the choice for them self.

Agreed. And there are indeed many people who are not happy about having been circumcised without their consent, yet we are supposed to pretend that there isn't a real issue here, (they're just crybabies who should be ignored?) and that circumcision is akin to having one's ears pierced.

17 Lobengula  Wed, May 18, 2011 5:31:24pm
ranting about a sekrit (sic) lobby


AIPAC isn't secret.

And what on earth do they think they are missing out on?


Overall, it has no benefits over an intact foreskin. The bottom line is that you're exposing an infant to a painful, not entirely risk-free procedure because it was mandated by some god many thousands of years ago.

There is a search function on this site that allows us to view all the comments you have made here, all of which have to do with the particular problems that you have with people of the Mosaic persuasion. And of course "some of my best friends..." is the classical cliche bigot's excuse.


I am passionate about the ME conflict. So what? The rest of the topics on this site pertain to american politics, a topic in which i have very little interest. The "some of my best friends" thing was clearly a joke. "Mosaic persuasion"? Would you rephrase that if i told you that im ethnically jewish? And don't deliberately conflate criticisms of israel with antisemitism. That's how you stifle debate and i'm sure that's not your aim.

18 Bob Levin  Wed, May 18, 2011 5:36:02pm

re: #3 Lobengula

It might be the callous and patronizing tone. I've run many group therapy sessions for survivors of child abuse. Circumcision is not child abuse. Attend some groups where most participants are survivors, usually groups for addicts, and have some real conversations with those people. Then you'll learn about child abuse.

19 Bob Levin  Wed, May 18, 2011 5:36:59pm

re: #16 Jimmah

I've never met one, and you know, many of my best friends have been circumcised.

20 Bob Levin  Wed, May 18, 2011 5:40:35pm

re: #17 Lobengula

Another way of stifling debate is by not answering legitimate questions. I believe I've asked you a question on another thread, which you haven't answered.

21 Jimmah  Wed, May 18, 2011 5:41:34pm

re: #19 Bob Levin

I've never met one, and you know, many of my best friends have been circumcised.

Well, I know one. Apart from anything else, you must be aware that circumcisions don't always work out as planned. I'm sure you wouldn't expect all of those guys to be happy about it.

22 Bob Levin  Wed, May 18, 2011 5:44:31pm

re: #17 Lobengula

Would you rephrase that if i told you that im ethnically jewish?

Cool. Tell me about your circumcision. Do you remember it? Did it leave you feeling violated? What adverse effects has this had on your future ability to form relationships? Has it lead you to terrible self-destructive behavior? Do you find yourself abusing others as a result?

23 Bob Levin  Wed, May 18, 2011 5:48:12pm

re: #21 Jimmah

Okay, I'm in my mid-fifties. Friends with Jewish kids my whole life. Not a complaint, never even came up in conversation. And the mohels are experts at what they do. Compare that to the probability of contracting a superbug on a visit to the hospital, and I think you'd have to agree that a bris is safer than a hospital visit.

If you don't agree, then I'd like you to explain why not.

24 Jimmah  Wed, May 18, 2011 5:52:17pm

re: #22 Bob Levin

Cool. Tell me about your circumcision. Do you remember it? Did it leave you feeling violated? What adverse effects has this had on your future ability to form relationships? Has it lead you to terrible self-destructive behavior? Do you find yourself abusing others as a result?

Are you suggesting that there are no reasonable grounds for objecting to the unnecessary removal of a part of your anatomy at an age when your consent was not possible?

Think about it.

25 Bob Levin  Wed, May 18, 2011 5:58:36pm

re: #24 Jimmah

I'm saying that it is not child abuse. Child abuse has consequences, the main one is the perpetuation of child abuse. The other effects are that the abused person becomes very self-destructive or a danger to others.

There is one reasonable ground. It's not part of your culture. However, it became widespread for a number of medical reasons--but I'm not the medical expert on this thread. Talk to Funky Chicken about that.

Jimmah, I've thought about it.

26 kreyagg  Wed, May 18, 2011 5:59:14pm

re: #23 Bob Levin

re: #12 Alouette

You do realize that you are arguing in defense of a rule made up by people that didn't/couldn't know that things like bacteria or viruses caused disease?

27 Jimmah  Wed, May 18, 2011 5:59:48pm

re: #23 Bob Levin

Okay, I'm in my mid-fifties. Friends with Jewish kids my whole life. Not a complaint, never even came up in conversation. And the mohels are experts at what they do. Compare that to the probability of contracting a superbug on a visit to the hospital, and I think you'd have to agree that a bris is safer than a hospital visit.

If you don't agree, then I'd like you to explain why not.

This is not an argument that is going to be resolved by a game of anecdote tennis, Bob. The fact is that there are people who are unhappy about their circumcisions, for a variety of reasons, and your not knowing them personally doesn't make them not exist.

And I do tend to think that qualified doctors and medical staff are the experts when it comes to surgery - even of the unnecessary variety. However, this is not a specifically religious issue; what I'm arguing is that circumcision before consent can be given is morally problematic, whether it's performed by a doctor or a mohel.

28 funky chicken  Wed, May 18, 2011 6:07:17pm

re: #26 kreyagg

re: #12 Alouette

You do realize that you are arguing in defense of a rule made up by people that didn't/couldn't know that things like bacteria or viruses caused disease?

Who cares? When you're right, you're right.

Don't eat undercooked shellfish or pork either. It might kill you, and it's not a pleasant death.

And don't drink animal blood.

29 Lobengula  Wed, May 18, 2011 6:08:38pm
Attend some groups where most participants are survivors, usually groups for addicts, and have some real conversations with those people. Then you'll learn about child abuse.


I'm sorry but i disagree. There are various levels of child abuse. Just because the children you've counselled suffered a relatively greater degree of abuse doesn't remove male circumcision from the umbrella of physical child abuse.


Another way of stifling debate is by not answering legitimate questions. I believe I've asked you a question on another thread, which you haven't answered.


I answered your question hours ago.

Tell me about your circumcision. Do you remember it? Did it leave you feeling violated? What adverse effects has this had on your future ability to form relationships? Has it lead you to terrible self-destructive behavior? Do you find yourself abusing others as a result?


No i don't remember it but then again, I wouldn't have remember if someone deliberately broke my femur when i was 8 days old - and i also would have no lasting complications! By your definition then, deliberately breaking a child's leg would not constitute "child abuse."
As for my own experience, I am retrospectively angry that I underwent a meaningless procedure that I would never consent to, today.

30 Bob Levin  Wed, May 18, 2011 6:09:56pm

re: #27 Jimmah

The fact is that there are people who are unhappy about their circumcisions, for a variety of reasons, and your not knowing them personally doesn't make them not exist.

I didn't say that they don't exist. I said that in all of my years, being with people not only my age but also with generations older, the topic didn't come up--which leads me to think that this is not a widespread problem. This isn't a moral problem, it's a problem for legal ethics. When is a law necessary? I'm perfectly capable of making this decision, in fact, I've made it. If you have children and don't want your boy circumcised, that's fine. That's your decision.

I won't make the decision for your family, you don't want to make the decision for my family, right? Do we agree on this point?

31 funky chicken  Wed, May 18, 2011 6:11:16pm

re: #12 Alouette

I got my daughter's ears pierced when she was 3 years old. You want to ban that too?

Erm, well, ... that may not have been a great idea :-). But I would guess you took care of the infection risk, and I wouldn't vote to ban your ability to make the choice.

32 Bob Levin  Wed, May 18, 2011 6:15:13pm

re: #29 Lobengula

Do they have schools in Europe? You're making this up.

I'm sorry but i disagree. There are various levels of child abuse. Just because the children you've counselled suffered a relatively greater degree of abuse doesn't remove male circumcision from the umbrella of physical child abuse.

That's just wrong. It shows you have no knowledge of child abuse. It's like saying there are 12 fielders in the game of baseball. I can't even argue that.

I wouldn't have remember if someone deliberately broke my femur when i was 8 days old - and i also would have no lasting complications!

Of course you'd have lasting complications. You must be joking.

33 kreyagg  Wed, May 18, 2011 6:15:17pm

re: #28 funky chicken

Who cares? When you're right, you're right.

Don't eat undercooked shellfish or pork either. It might kill you, and it's not a pleasant death.

And don't drink animal blood.

Never forget that the same book that provides these dietary restrictions also calls homosexuals abominations. Leviticus is chock full of embarrassingly stupid things.

And slavery too!:
Leviticus 25:44-46: "Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. You can will them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly." (NIV)

34 Jimmah  Wed, May 18, 2011 6:19:05pm

re: #25 Bob Levin

There is one reasonable ground. It's not part of your culture.

Which is actually another way of stating the argument on the other side, since a baby doesn't yet have any culture except that which is imposed upon it. We should let grown people who have actually had the opportunity to acquire one and understand it make the decision for themselves.

35 Bob Levin  Wed, May 18, 2011 6:21:09pm

re: #33 kreyagg

You're quoting from translations, which are most always bad. I know that there are people who treat religious books like a newspaper or a comic book, but that's not how you read them. Because, amazingly, the Torah also comes with instructions on how to read it and understand it.

You're simply not understanding the text. But you're not the only one. On this issue, I'm in the distinct minority. So, for this phase of the conversation, I'll bow out. Just letting you know that there's another point of view.

36 Dancing along the light of day  Wed, May 18, 2011 6:22:41pm

re: #24 Jimmah

Are you suggesting that there are no reasonable grounds for objecting to the unnecessary removal of a part of your anatomy at an age when your consent was not possible?

Think about it.

I think if you add, female circumcision in to the argument, it involves more people. Particularly since "female circumcision" generally involves removing the clitoris. Others will correct me, if I'm wrong, but it's NOT just a male conversation.

And I have no religion vested in this discussion.

37 Decatur Deb  Wed, May 18, 2011 6:23:17pm

Must we make a mountain out of a mohel?

38 Bob Levin  Wed, May 18, 2011 6:24:48pm

re: #34 Jimmah

Or let the parents make the decision. My kids are older now. I'll always have more experience than they will. I would hope they have more wisdom than I do. But I've go to help them with that. I still make decisions for them. It's okay for parents to make decisions about their families. Do we agree on that?

I'm not asking rhetorical questions. I'd really like to know how you think about these questions.

39 funky chicken  Wed, May 18, 2011 6:25:07pm

re: #33 kreyagg

but when they're right, they're right

40 kreyagg  Wed, May 18, 2011 6:28:03pm

re: #35 Bob Levin

Argue about translations and accuracy all you want. The people that wrote the Torah were primitive slave owners and added justification in their book.

[Link: www.mechon-mamre.org...]

41 Bob Levin  Wed, May 18, 2011 6:30:17pm

re: #40 kreyagg

I guess we would argue about that. Well, we wouldn't unless you've got a spare 7 to 10 years. You may just want to watch Pulp Fiction. That's as deep as we could go, and it's not bad. That was a good discussion.

42 funky chicken  Wed, May 18, 2011 6:31:06pm

re: #36 Floral Giraffe

one procedure makes it impossible for the person to ever experience orgasm or proper sexual functioning and makes childbirth much more dangerous

the other procedure...um...

I'm not gonna say I'm an expert, but I've never experienced a circumcised male who couldn't function or orgasm. Yeah, procedures can go wrong (rarely), but female genital mutilation's entire purpose is to destroy the sexual functioning and sensation of the female.

43 Jimmah  Wed, May 18, 2011 6:31:31pm

re: #36 Floral Giraffe

I think if you add, female circumcision in to the argument, it involves more people. Particularly since "female circumcision" generally involves removing the clitoris. Others will correct me, if I'm wrong, but it's NOT just a male conversation.

And I have no religion vested in this discussion.

I agree, Floral. I feel that there is a general principle here about unnecessary surgery on children who cannot give consent. I know that female circumcision is a lot worse, but I think male circumcision without consent is morally problematic too.

Nice to see you btw - ice (who says hi) and I hope you're well. Unfortunately it's already way past my bedtime so I'd better get going - catch you later :)

44 Lobengula  Wed, May 18, 2011 6:36:27pm

@boblevin

Of course you'd have lasting complications. You must be joking.


A week old child will repair a broken femur in a matter of days. By and large, there will be no lasting complications.
And you're missing the point! If legislature makes exceptions for cultural practices, why not allow certain FGM practices? If your opinion is similar to Funky chicken's:

one procedure makes it impossible for the person to ever experience orgasm or proper sexual functioning and makes childbirth much more dangerous

then this argument betrays gross ignorance. Here in the UK, we have to report girls with even class 1a FGM, even though there are no lasting physical or psychosexual ramifications. Why make allowances for MGM?

45 Jimmah  Wed, May 18, 2011 6:37:28pm

re: #38 Bob Levin

Or let the parents make the decision. My kids are older now. I'll always have more experience than they will. I would hope they have more wisdom than I do. But I've go to help them with that. I still make decisions for them. It's okay for parents to make decisions about their families. Do we agree on that?

I don't think being a parent should give one the right to remove parts of the child's anatomy without an urgent medical reason, no.

Later.

46 Dancing along the light of day  Wed, May 18, 2011 6:39:07pm

re: #42 funky chicken

Amazed, that you would post that.

47 funky chicken  Wed, May 18, 2011 6:40:13pm

re: #44 Lobengula

fracture of femur, no lasting complications

as smart as Rick Santorum

48 Bob Levin  Wed, May 18, 2011 6:40:42pm

re: #44 Lobengula

I'm not even qualified to get into the topic of FGM. Not only don't I have a medical background, but I don't even know what cultures this comes from.

My point, which I think you missed, is that you aren't qualified to talk about child abuse. And I still cannot believe you don't think there would be complications from a broken femur, even at a young age. In other words, I think you're making up the knowledge parts of your arguments.

49 funky chicken  Wed, May 18, 2011 6:41:14pm

re: #46 Floral Giraffe

why? you are the one who brought up the FGM/male circumcision comparison, which is revolting

50 Bob Levin  Wed, May 18, 2011 6:42:40pm

re: #45 Jimmah

Yep, later.

I think there is an urgent spiritual reason to have the bris.

51 Dancing along the light of day  Wed, May 18, 2011 6:42:50pm

re: #49 funky chicken

Why is the comparison revolting?

52 kreyagg  Wed, May 18, 2011 6:45:29pm

re: #51 Floral Giraffe

Because they don't understand that in using religious arguments to justify one practice they validate the religious basis for the other.

53 Bob Levin  Wed, May 18, 2011 6:48:10pm

re: #51 Floral Giraffe

I think you two are getting stuck on the language, the use of the term 'circumcision'.

Bris actually means 'covenant' (that's closer, in English). The Torah also refers to--these are translated words, so here goes--circumcision of the lips and circumcision of the heart. I don't have the Hebrew at my fingertips at the moment. Suffice it to say, long discussion.

54 kreyagg  Wed, May 18, 2011 6:50:19pm

re: #53 Bob Levin

Regardless, using mythology to justify a medical procedure is as backwards as it gets.

55 Bob Levin  Wed, May 18, 2011 6:50:20pm

re: #52 kreyagg

You've never studied Talmud. That's not how it goes. But, 7 to 10 years. Seriously, religion is a difficult subject to study.

56 Bob Levin  Wed, May 18, 2011 6:51:45pm

re: #54 kreyagg

Could you just see Pulp Fiction? Really, we're stuck. It's like you're speaking French and I'm speaking Chinese.

57 Lobengula  Wed, May 18, 2011 6:51:51pm

@bob levin

My point, which I think you missed, is that you aren't qualified to talk about child abuse. And I still cannot believe you don't think there would be complications from a broken femur, even at a young age. In other words, I think you're making up the knowledge parts of your arguments.


You're saying that I'm not allowed to opine on MGM in the context of child abuse - because i dont have the relevant qualifications?!? No, I think objectively, most people who are free from religious dogma would come to pretty much the same conclusion.
And yes, a week old baby with a fractured femur would make an uneventful recovery with no lasting complications. I have no reason to make that up.

58 kreyagg  Wed, May 18, 2011 6:54:13pm

re: #56 Bob Levin

You are arguing that Bronze Age mythology has any merit other than in a literary sense. It does not.

59 Dancing along the light of day  Wed, May 18, 2011 6:54:42pm

re: #53 Bob Levin

Thank you. I am uneducated on this, and passionate about it, from a womans perspective, and now, bowing out of the discussion.

60 Bob Levin  Wed, May 18, 2011 6:55:09pm

re: #57 Lobengula

You're saying that I'm not allowed to opine on MGM in the context of child abuse - because i dont have the relevant qualifications?!?

No, I'm saying that you don't know anything about it. People who attend 12 Step programs don't have the academic qualifications, but they sure do know about child abuse.

And yes, a week old baby with a fractured femur would make an uneventful recovery with no lasting complications. I have no reason to make that up.

Let's refer this one to a orthopedist.

61 Bob Levin  Wed, May 18, 2011 6:56:09pm

re: #58 kreyagg

French, Chinese. Really, we're at an impasse. There's nothing wrong with that. It happens.

62 SanFranciscoZionist  Wed, May 18, 2011 8:43:31pm

re: #26 kreyagg

re: #12 Alouette

You do realize that you are arguing in defense of a rule made up by people that didn't/couldn't know that things like bacteria or viruses caused disease?

I'm arguing in defense of being allowed to follow a enormously significant religious practice that people have died to fulfill.

If you are able to look at that and say, "Aw, but shucks, my culture don't demand it and neither should yours!" this is unlikely to be a fruitful discussion.

63 SanFranciscoZionist  Wed, May 18, 2011 8:45:00pm

re: #34 Jimmah

Which is actually another way of stating the argument on the other side, since a baby doesn't yet have any culture except that which is imposed upon it. We should let grown people who have actually had the opportunity to acquire one and understand it make the decision for themselves.

You don't understand this.

64 SanFranciscoZionist  Wed, May 18, 2011 8:47:38pm

re: #58 kreyagg

You are arguing that Bronze Age mythology has any merit other than in a literary sense. It does not.

Yeah, screw you too. You really don't understand shit about this, and are making that more and more clear as you trot out your talking points one after the other.

65 kreyagg  Wed, May 18, 2011 9:14:00pm

re: #5 kreyagg


And what on Earth is wrong with allowing the person to wait until they are an adult before they requiring that sort of body mod?

Repeating the question.

66 kreyagg  Wed, May 18, 2011 9:26:31pm

And say that I could be convinced that this is a necessary practice, is there anything wrong with requiring that the procedure is at least performed by a licensed surgeon in a sterile environment?

67 funky chicken  Wed, May 18, 2011 9:54:04pm

re: #66 kreyagg

my son's was, and with pain control. I'm not sure if San Fran could mandate licensed surgeon as lots of women not choose to use midwives for home births (bad idea IMHO, but an actual ban...probably a bridge too far). But perhaps they could make arrangements for outpatient surgical facilities with proper sterilization techniques and pain mitigation available. That would certainly make more sense than banning the practice altogether.

68 SanFranciscoZionist  Thu, May 19, 2011 12:31:22am

Just to let everyone know--the smart money is on this being overwhelmingly defeated. San Francisco has plenty of loonies, it just does not have a majority of loonies. If it passes by some random chance, the California courts will eat it alive.

And if this were not the case, everyone who wants to have a bris or a hospital circumcision for their son would go to Oakland, Dublin, Berkeley, San Lorenzo, Cupertino, San Jose...

So basically, this is a handful of fanatics who've decided that San Francisco can, once again, serve as a platform for them and their cause.

69 Bob Levin  Thu, May 19, 2011 1:53:02am

re: #65 kreyagg

Then you would have to be convinced that it has to be done on the 8th day of life. What are the chances? ;-)

70 Bob Levin  Thu, May 19, 2011 1:55:28am

re: #66 kreyagg

Do you mean sterile like a hospital or doctor's office, or a place that is actually sterile?

71 Vicious Michigan Union Thug  Thu, May 19, 2011 5:05:21am

re: #68 SanFranciscoZionist

Just to let everyone know--the smart money is on this being overwhelmingly defeated. San Francisco has plenty of loonies, it just does not have a majority of loonies. If it passes by some random chance, the California courts will eat it alive.

And if this were not the case, everyone who wants to have a bris or a hospital circumcision for their son would go to Oakland, Dublin, Berkeley, San Lorenzo, Cupertino, San Jose...

So basically, this is a handful of fanatics who've decided that San Francisco can, once again, serve as a platform for them and their cause.

There is a provision in the law that will also make transporting a child out of the city with intent to circumcise illegal. The one year jail sentence will still apply if the family takes the child out of SF, so those posting about "no big deal" should reconsider. The proponents of this law to make San Francisco a Judaism-free zone are also preparing their legal briefs to override all the constitutional objections that are sure to arise.

72 Vicious Michigan Union Thug  Thu, May 19, 2011 5:06:28am

I was going to link to a wording of the actual proposed law but my computer is running really slow this morning.

73 Vicious Michigan Union Thug  Thu, May 19, 2011 5:48:04am

Correction to my previous post:

Here is the text of the proposed legislation.

Penalty for taking the child outside the city to perform the circumcision is not included.

74 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Thu, May 19, 2011 6:06:15am

Isn't san francisco like two square miles? Why wouldn't anyone just have a kid in oakland or SJ instead? :D

75 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Thu, May 19, 2011 6:07:27am

re: #71 Alouette

There is a provision in the law that will also make transporting a child out of the city with intent to circumcise illegal. The one year jail sentence will still apply if the family takes the child out of SF, so those posting about "no big deal" should reconsider. The proponents of this law to make San Francisco a Judaism-free zone are also preparing their legal briefs to override all the constitutional objections that are sure to arise.

I'd like to know how they would intend to prove that, considering most everyone I know in San Francisco actually lives technically outside city limits

This thing will be challenged so fast and suspended it'll break the sound barrier

76 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Thu, May 19, 2011 6:08:01am

re: #68 SanFranciscoZionist

Just to let everyone know--the smart money is on this being overwhelmingly defeated. San Francisco has plenty of loonies, it just does not have a majority of loonies. If it passes by some random chance, the California courts will eat it alive.

And if this were not the case, everyone who wants to have a bris or a hospital circumcision for their son would go to Oakland, Dublin, Berkeley, San Lorenzo, Cupertino, San Jose...

So basically, this is a handful of fanatics who've decided that San Francisco can, once again, serve as a platform for them and their cause.


Yep

77 Obdicut  Thu, May 19, 2011 7:27:26am

For anyone defending this ban:

In Jewish culture, having a foreskin is, to put it mildly, a blemish. To force a child in that culture to forgo this trivial operation is much closer to child abuse than to have them undergo it. They are going to be socially ostracized and made to feel as the other.

Now, of course you can just say, "Well, that's Jewish society's fault", but that is not, in the least, looking out for the best interests of the child.

We are not intelligently designed. The presence of a foreskin is not a mandate by nature that we should have it, that it is useful. I am really tired of arguments that because it exists naturally biologically, that it is therefore ideal. The actual medical evidence is that there is a slight amount of health benefit for sexually active males in having a circumcision, with that benefit turning into a slight negative for non-sexually active males.

Of all of the problems facing children in the US today, that some of them are being circumcised-- a trivial operation with negligible health risks-- is hardly among them. And those claiming to view this as child abuse are ignoring entirely the social impact of not getting circumcised, and the obvious outcome this law would have that observant Jews would continue to get their children circumcised, in secret.

78 Interesting Times  Thu, May 19, 2011 7:49:42am

re: #77 Obdicut

This is a debate I've most determinedly avoided, but your post reminds me in no uncertain terms of arguments I've heard from anti-circ types on FGM articles. So, if you'll permit me to play devil's advocate: what's to stop them from re-writing your post like this?

In Jewish African culture, having a foreskin clitoris is, to put it mildly, a blemish. To force a child in that culture to forgo this trivial operation is much closer to child abuse than to have them undergo it. They are going to be socially ostracized and made to feel as the other.

Now, of course you can just say, "Well, that's Jewish African society's fault", but that is not, in the least, looking out for the best interests of the child...And those claiming to view this as child abuse are ignoring entirely the social impact of not getting circumcised, and the obvious outcome this law would have that observant Jews people in those cultures would continue to get their children circumcised, in secret.

In other words, if you permit the practice for one culture, you have to permit it for all - that's what they say. You'll note I snipped (er, no pun intended) the parts where you talk about medical/health issues. That's because, in my view, the only logical way you can rebut the cultural/religious relativist argument is by saying one practice is not harmful, while the other is.

Do you agree with this? Because every time there's a news article somewhere about FGM, it will be swarmed by anti-male circumcision people making the arguments above, and I'm genuinely interested in how you would rebut them.

79 Obdicut  Thu, May 19, 2011 7:54:00am

re: #78 publicityStunted

This is a debate I've most determinedly avoided, but your post reminds me in no uncertain terms of arguments I've heard from anti-circ types on FGM articles.

I'm not going to seriously ever engage in any post that compares male circumcision and female genital mutilation.

They are not related in the least. Female genital mutilation not only demonstrably causes lasting damage to the sexual organs in a way that male circumcision does not, but the role that it plays in that society is one of control of female sexuality. The Jewish tradition is acknowledged, as so many things in Judaism are, to be absolutely trivial; the purpose of it is a Shibolleth, and nothing more.

In other worse, you can only do the above cut and paste if you ignore all the factual differences, and pretend that the rituals have the same meaning inside the societies themselves.

80 Obdicut  Thu, May 19, 2011 7:55:44am

re: #79 Obdicut

By the way, I didn't mean 'trivial' as in it doesn't matter to Jews, but that the meaning is solely internal. It's not supposed to have any transformational effect on the person it's being done to.

81 elizajane  Thu, May 19, 2011 7:59:20am

re: #79 Obdicut

I'm not going to seriously ever engage in any post that compares male circumcision and female genital mutilation.

They are not related in the least. Female genital mutilation not only demonstrably causes lasting damage to the sexual organs in a way that male circumcision does not, but the role that it plays in that society is one of control of female sexuality. The Jewish tradition is acknowledged, as so many things in Judaism are, to be absolutely trivial; the purpose of it is a Shibolleth, and nothing more.

In other worse, you can only do the above cut and paste if you ignore all the factual differences, and pretend that the rituals have the same meaning inside the societies themselves.

Although I completely agree with you, it's also not that easy to dismiss PublicityStunted's question. It is a hard one to answer no matter how unequivalent the two practices indeed are. I highly recommend the marvelous African novel by Ngugi wa Thiong’o, The River Between (1960s), which is about this very problem and demonstrates how intractable it can be.

82 Obdicut  Thu, May 19, 2011 8:01:51am

re: #81 elizajane

It is, though.

This:

In African culture, having a clitoris is, to put it mildly, a blemish. To force a child in that culture to forgo this trivial operation is much closer to child abuse than to have them undergo it.

Is not true. It's not a trivial operation at all. And it's done because it has a certain large, important effect, not because it has a negligible effect.

83 Vicious Michigan Union Thug  Thu, May 19, 2011 8:07:32am

re: #78 publicityStunted

This is a debate I've most determinedly avoided, but your post reminds me in no uncertain terms of arguments I've heard from anti-circ types on FGM articles. So, if you'll permit me to play devil's advocate: what's to stop them from re-writing your post like this?

In other words, if you permit the practice for one culture, you have to permit it for all - that's what they say. You'll note I snipped (er, no pun intended) the parts where you talk about medical/health issues. That's because, in my view, the only logical way you can rebut the cultural/religious relativist argument is by saying one practice is not harmful, while the other is.

Do you agree with this? Because every time there's a news article somewhere about FGM, it will be swarmed by anti-male circumcision people making the arguments above, and I'm genuinely interested in how you would rebut them.

The answer is that FGM is in no way similar to male circumcision. A female who has been subjected to FGM is unable to experience orgasm. A circumcised male is perfectly capable of experiencing an erection, completing the sex act, fathering children, and enjoying a full sex life.

84 Vicious Michigan Union Thug  Thu, May 19, 2011 8:10:43am

re: #77 Obdicut

For anyone defending this ban:

In Jewish culture, having a foreskin is, to put it mildly, a blemish. To force a child in that culture to forgo this trivial operation is much closer to child abuse than to have them undergo it. They are going to be socially ostracized and made to feel as the other.

Now, of course you can just say, "Well, that's Jewish society's fault", but that is not, in the least, looking out for the best interests of the child.

We are not intelligently designed. The presence of a foreskin is not a mandate by nature that we should have it, that it is useful. I am really tired of arguments that because it exists naturally biologically, that it is therefore ideal. The actual medical evidence is that there is a slight amount of health benefit for sexually active males in having a circumcision, with that benefit turning into a slight negative for non-sexually active males.

Of all of the problems facing children in the US today, that some of them are being circumcised-- a trivial operation with negligible health risks-- is hardly among them. And those claiming to view this as child abuse are ignoring entirely the social impact of not getting circumcised, and the obvious outcome this law would have that observant Jews would continue to get their children circumcised, in secret.

The purpose of this law is to create a "Judaism Free Zone" wherever it is enforced. This practice is the most ancient of all Jewish traditions, and attempts to ban it have been enforced, and failed, throughout history. It is an intrinsic part of a Jewish man's identity. To take it away is to effectively say "You can't practice Judaism here."

85 Interesting Times  Thu, May 19, 2011 8:11:28am

re: #82 Obdicut

It's not a trivial operation at all. And it's done because it has a certain large, important effect, not because it has a negligible effect.

What do you do when confronted by something like this, though?

In a controversial change to a longstanding policy concerning the practice of female circumcision in some African and Asian cultures, the American Academy of Pediatrics is suggesting that American doctors be given permission to perform a ceremonial pinprick or “nick” on girls from these cultures if it would keep their families from sending them overseas for the full circumcision.

86 Obdicut  Thu, May 19, 2011 8:20:35am

Basically:

1Q. What does female genital mutilation do?
1A. It removes a large part of the sexually sensitive clitoris, or all of it. This almost always vastly reduces the amount of sexual pleasure a woman can achieve and often results in lasting pain occurring during intercourse. It often interferes with menstruation, thus affecting fertility, often causes frequent urinary tract infections, etc.

2Q. What does male circumcision do?
2A. It removes a very low-sensation fold of skin around the penis. This almost always has a negligible effect on health and psychology. Tests of random populations of circumcised and uncircumcised men have, in aggregate, no significant differences. In rare cases, male circumcision can-- mainly through human error in the process-- cause pain, scarring, and impaired sexual function. Most medical literature concludes that male circumcision has some health benefits and some health negatives.

3Q. What is the role of male circumcision in Jewish society:
3A. The role of male circumcision in Jewish society is to symbolize a covenant between God and the Jews, and belonging in the Jewish community. It is not believed to have any effect on the individual themselves.

4Q. What is the role of female genital circumcision in African (and other) society?
4A. It has varied roles, but in almost all of them that it is trans-formative is acknowledged. Men in those cultures will not marry those unmutilated women, citing that they are unclean or unmodest. In many cultures the acknowledged role of this procedure is to limit and control female sexuality, 'helping' them to be chaste, to resist 'illicit' urges, etc. In Europe and the US, the practice was explicitly used to control sexuality.

Comparing the two is like comparing allowing children to have communion wine to allowing children to be given psychotropic drugs or heroin.

87 Obdicut  Thu, May 19, 2011 8:23:23am

re: #85 publicityStunted

I'm a big favor of harm reduction vs. absolutism, so I think that's a fantastic idea, because they're doing it when

would keep their families from sending them overseas for the full circumcision.

I don't really have a huge problem with a pinprick, either, as long as it demonstrably has negligible health effects. I think that'd mean it couldn't be on the clitoris, but I'm hardly an expert.

88 Obdicut  Thu, May 19, 2011 8:27:10am

re: #86 Obdicut

Oh, and I forgot that in female circumcision they usually scarify the labia and then stitch them over the vagina to form a sort of super-hymen, a very obvious display of virginity. That's probably the creepiest part to me. So that's another transformative aspect where it's controlling female sexuality.

89 ThomasLite  Thu, May 19, 2011 8:40:34am

re: #87 Obdicut

I'm a big favor of harm reduction vs. absolutism, so I think that's a fantastic idea, because they're doing it when

I don't really have a huge problem with a pinprick, either, as long as it demonstrably has negligible health effects. I think that'd mean it couldn't be on the clitoris, but I'm hardly an expert.

the article seems to imply that the pinprick in question would be on the clitoris. with the AAP backing it I'd say that means that wouldn't leave lasting damage.
not entirely illogical anyway: it's basically a hump of flesh with a lot of nerve endings in it, right? a small amount of scar tissue wouldn't do too much damage there (it'll hurt like a bitch though. still, better than unanesthesized for sure).

90 Interesting Times  Thu, May 19, 2011 8:49:09am

re: #87 Obdicut

I'm a big favor of harm reduction vs. absolutism, so I think that's a fantastic idea

I absolutely don't, and there was a huge, huge outcry at the time:

Do they think that by compromising on this issue, that they will keep the monsters who want to do this to their children from running away to more extreme practitioners of this kind of torture? Do they think that by compromising and keeping the patriarchal, misogynistic assholes who want to do this to their baby girls "in the fold" they'll be able to "exert influence" on them to move these so-called parents in a more humane direction?

I've got news for them. It won't work. It only serves to legitimize the entire concept of genital mutilation. There can be no compromise with these motherfuckers.

Then the author goes on to say:

Please don't hijack this discussion with remarks equating male circumcision with FGM. It's irrelevant to this discussion, and in comparison to what victims of FGM have lost, male circumcision is fucking trivial. I say this as a male who has been circumsized.

So he agrees with you on that point.

91 PhillyPretzel  Thu, May 19, 2011 8:58:05am

This story is making national news. I just looked at the front page of The Wall Street Journal and this story is the most popular. Anyone can look at the front page and see the list. It is on the right side of the page.

92 Interesting Times  Thu, May 19, 2011 9:01:20am

As to the APA, they reversed course after public outcry.

re: #79 Obdicut

In other worse, you can only do the above cut and paste if you ignore all the factual differences, and pretend that the rituals have the same meaning inside the societies themselves.

And yes, that's another very important point. It's why groups looking to end FGM try to replace the ritual with another that involves NO cutting or "pricking" at all, and is far more respectful of women's health and well-being.

Because, as you clearly imply, FGM's purpose is solely a misogynistic form of sexual control.

93 Obdicut  Thu, May 19, 2011 11:18:29am

re: #90 publicityStunted

Yeah. I'm really into harm and risk reduction, and I understand that sometimes they're not applicable. This may be one of those cases. If I actually had to influence policy about that or make a decision, I'd need far more thought.


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