As a teenager in the 1960′s I read the term “female circumcision” and I was very puzzled because male circumcision is cutting off the foreskin, but there is no corollary to the foreskin in female genitalia to remove.
Later I found out that “female circumcision” is a mostly Muslim and mostly African custom of cutting off all of the external female genitalia — the clitoris, and the labia minora and labia majora — and leaving scars that just barely allow for urination, menstruation, sex and childbearing. Opponents of the practice have been successful in re-naming the practice “female genital mutilation” to alert the unwitting that a LOT more is taken from women than men by this type of “circumcision.”
Therefore it is an outrage to compare male circumcision to female genital mutilation by claiming that male circumcision is “male genital mutilation.” To be truly comparable and deserving of the phrase “male genital mutilation,” the entire penis would have to be chopped off. Without anesthesia. Or a really sharp knife — since this is often done with a shard of glass to the young pre-teen girls in cultures where this is practiced.
One of the guys in the bassoon section of the D.C. Different Drummers is a surgical nurse and told us at a party after one of our marches that he had assisted in a surgery on a woman who was an immigrant who had been genitally mutilated. He said her private parts looked like a Barbie doll’s crotch — all smooth, no labia, no clitoris.
So if there are male bloggers who wish to push the fiction that female genital mutilation and male circumcision are comparable, I am willing to discuss the matter over the sharpest shard of glass I can find.
Oh, and while parity requires only the removal of the penis, I recall now that lesbians are smeared generally as castrating bitches and that it is my nature to be thorough and always go the extra mile ….
This subject came up when I was checking citations for a comment I was writing and I found Stacy McCain’s post, “Hanna Rosin has guest-blogged her last.” Stacy writes:
“Male genital mutilation!” scream the connoisseurs of uncut, preservationists of the precious prepuce.
Get over it, people. Only porn freaks and gay men — having ample opportunity to comparison shop, as it were — obsess so fanatically over the difference….
The advantages in terms of hygiene are well-known, and tend to be especially appreciated by mothers who have a difficult enough time getting boys to bath, much less to wash their winkies with health-conscious care. And it is certainly my impression — based on comments whenever the subject is raised — that women generally prefer what we might call the kosher pickle.
While the silicon and acrylic dildos fabricated and favored by my homegrrls come in both realistic and non-realistic shapes, the last time I checked, although that hasn’t been for awhile, the realistic ones all were circumcised. Hmmmm …. I wonder what Becky would say. Or Little Miss Attila, who has looked at life from both sides now.