Any removal or alteration of a baby’s genitals is mutilation and child abuse. If you ask most people from civilized societies, they will immediately say that FGM (female genital mutilation) is barbaric and worthy of being against the law, and it is. If you mention MGM (male genital mutiliation AKA circumcision) to the same group of people, you get mixed results. For many ridiculous reasons MGM is totally acceptable, especially when it’s done to non consenting infants. The people who are against FGM but support MGM are aghast when the two are compared, saying that FGM is far worse than MGM. Please note that this blog is not saying that all stages of FGM are the same as male circumcision. Of course the higher stages are beyond awful and can be fatal. Though, a botched circumcision can also lead to death and/or loss of penis. The most common FGM is the removal of the external clitoris, and that is what is being compared to male circumcision.Following is a chart that shows the severity of FGM and MGM and where they each fall. As you can see, many stages of FGM are less severe than male circumcision:
I wanted to ask a simple question. Are you aware that most of the female clitoris is internal? The little nub that is exposed (size varies of course) is the equivalent of the glans of the intact penis, and the rest of the clitoris surrounds the vagina. No woman in her right mind would want that nub removed though, since it is the only way we can receive oral orgasms. But the inner clitoris is what gives a woman vaginal (and G-spot) orgasms. So to say that the removal of the glans of the clitoris is removing a woman’s ability to enjoy sex is just plain ignorant. That is not to say it isn’t still barbaric, which it is. That just means that it can be just as bad as removing the more erogenous half of the penile skin. Both FGM and MGM without consent should be illegal.
With the African studies claiming the grossly inflated reduction of HIV, more people might start thinking that infant circumcision is a good idea. That is what the pro-circumcision groups behind these studies want, but that doesn’t make it right. Most of the reasons people push for circumcision could easily apply to women, but that doesn’t make it anymore acceptable to surgically alter female genitals.
1. “Circumcision gets rid of the extra skin, which is a breeding ground of bacteria and infection.” So is the vagina, but most women (including myself) manage to survive our whole lives with ours intact. If we do have a problem, antibiotics will clear it right up. We don’t get stitched up to prevent STD’s and HIV. So why slice off half of a baby’s penis on the slight chance he will someday catch an STD or HIV? That is just plain ignorant.
2. “If the foreskin is left intact, smegma builds up and causes penis to stink.” Um, vaginas produce smegma too. It may sound like a disgusting word, but smegma keeps the intact penis and the vagina lubricated and moist. They are also both self cleaning organs. All it takes to keep either from smelling bad is daily bathing.
3. “That extra skin is not needed.” Actually, that “extra” skin keeps the penis an internal organ, which is what it is designed to be. Same for the vagina. Could you imagine what would happen if a woman’s vagina was subjected to air all the time? It would dry out and make sex painful if not impossible. Artificial lubricants are not needed when two intact people have sex, though sex would be impossible if both partners had external sex organs (ignoring anal sex, of course). Not only that but the majority of pleasure nerves are in the foreskin, so they are removed. There are in fact more nerves in the foreskin than the female’s external clitoris. Here is an interesting video which demonstrates how much skin is removed for both sexes during circumcision: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1FcN3lT40w&feature=related
4. “It’s more attractive.” Countries that practice FGM also feel that the circumcised female is more attractive. If people have a problem with genitals the way nature made them, they should probably seek psychological help instead of supporting the abuse of children/infants.
So the next time you are repulsed by the idea that some countries circumcise their baby girls, just remember they might feel the same way about it as some people in the US feel about male circumcision. Just because it is acceptable in certain cultures does not make it right or ethical. All infant circumcision should be illegal because an infant cannot give consent.