- Hippocrates of Cos (c.430 B.C.E.)
a cup is not mutilated if it is bored through; but
only if the handle or a projecting part is removed.
And a man is mutilated not
if the flesh or the spleen is removed, but if
an extremity is, and that not every extremity
but one which
when completely removed cannot grow again.
Therefore baldness is not a mutilation. [Aristotle
Aristotle (384-322 BCE) Metaphysics
5 (Delta) 27 1024a11-28
(trans. Barnes, Complete Works)
And therefore, according to
Aristotle's definition, circumcision is mutilation.
MAGNA EST VERITAS ET PRAEVALET : Great is the truth and it
Ezdras 4:4 (Apocrypha)
Human subtlety ... will never devise an
more beautiful, more simple, or more direct than does nature,
because in her inventions, nothing is lacking,
and nothing is superfluous.
- Leonardo Da Vinci (1452 – 1519)
all have strength enough
to endure the misfortune
- Francois De La Rochefoucauld
Men never do evil so completely
as when they do it from religious conviction.
- Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)
|To cut off
the uppermost skin of the secret parts is directly
against the honesty of nature, and an injurious
insufferable trick put upon her.
Moreover, that part which
hangeth over the end of the foreskin, is moved up
and down in coition, that in this attrition it might
gather more heat, and increase the pleasure of the
other sexe; a contentation of which they are
defrauded by this injurious invention. For, the
shortnesse of the prepuce is reckoned among the
organical defects of the yard, whether it be
original or [induced ?] by an artificial procision
of it. And although neither of these kinds of
brevity doth incommode the action of the yard, which
is extension and ejaculation of the seed; yet
circumcision detracts somewhat from the delight of
women, by lessening their titillation. Hence she in
the epigram found herself aggrieved at this
invention, thinking it had been more reasonable to
have added than to have detracted from that organ.
- Dr John Bulwer Anthropometamorphosis,
or the artificial changeling
(London 1650), p. 213
Every man has a property in his own
person. This nobody has a right to, but himself
- John Locke (1632-1704)
The skin of the Yard is long and loose that it may
swell or slack as the Yard doth, and the foreskin of
that skin sometimes covers the head of the Yard, and
sometimes goes so far back that it will not come
forward again. This skin in time of the Venerious
action keeps the mouth of the womb close that no
[c]old air can get in, yet some think the action might
be better performed without it; the Jews were
commanded to be Circumcised, but now Circumcision
avails not and is forbidden by the Apostle [Paul]. I
hope no man will be so void of reason and Religion, as
to be Circumcised to make trial which of these two
opinions is the best; but the world was never without
some mad men, who will do anything to be singular: were
the foreskin any hindrance to procreation or
pleasure, nature had never made it, who made all
things for these very ends and purposes.
- Jane Sharp, The midwives book. Or the whole art
of midwifery discovered
(London 1671; facsimile reprint, New York: Garland, 1985), pp.
Falsehood flies and the truth comes
so that when men come to be undeceived,
it is too late: the jest is over,
and the tale has had its effect.
- Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)
| - ILUS, continued my father,
circumcised his whole army one morning. - Not without
a court-martial? cried my uncle Toby.
... I know not by what article of war he could justify
The controversialists, answered my
father, assign two-and-twenty
different reasons for it: - others, indeed, who
have drawn their pens on the
opposite side of the question, have shewn the
world the futility of the greatest part of them.
- Laurence Stern
The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman,
book V ch. 28 (1781)
If we believe absurdities,
we shall commit atrocities.
There is nothing so venerable
as an ancient abuse.
- Voltaire (1694-1778)
|Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following
pages, are not yet sufficiently fashionable to procure
them general favor; a long habit of not thinking a thing
wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right,
and raises at first a formidable outcry in defence of
custom. But the tumult soon subsides. Time makes more
converts than reason.
- Thomas Paine, 1776
Thanks to Project
Doctor Bell fell down the well
and broke his collar bone;
Doctors should attend the sick
and leave the well alone.
Custom reconciles us to everything.
- Edmund Burke (1729-1797)
cut what you can untie.
- Joseph Joubert (1754-1824)
The apotheosis of familiar abuses is the vilest of
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772 - 1834)
Laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the
progress of the human mind[;] as that becomes more
developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are
made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions
change, with the change of circumstances, institutions
must advance also to keep pace with the times. We
might as well require a man to wear still the coat
that fitted him when a boy as civilized society to
remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous
- Thomas Jefferson
|[D]uring the 1830s...the common practice of
bloodletting [was] used to treat almost every known
ailment. Bleeding...did patients no good at best: at
worst, it weakened and killed them.
- "Science Astray" by the editors of Time-Life
Men, it has
been well said, think in herds. It will be seen that
they go mad in herds, while they only recover their
senses slowly, and one by one.
- Charles Mackay
Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds
Be it enacted by General Assembly that no man shall
be compelled to frequent or support any religious
worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor
shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or
burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer
on account of his religious opinions or belief,
but that all men shall be free to profess, and by
argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of
Religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish,
enlarge or affect their civil capacities.
Thomas Jefferson, the Virginia Statute for
Religious Tolerance (1776)
progress if a cannibal uses knife and fork?
- Alexander von Humboldt
anything is sacred, the human body is sacred.
- Walt Whitman, "I Sing the Body Electric" l
Leaves of Grass, 1855
Natural selection will never produce in a being
anything injurious to itself, for natural selection
acts solely by and for the good of each. No organ will
be formed, as Paley has remarked, for the purpose of
causing pain or for doing an injury to its possessor.
If a fair balance be struck between the good and evil
caused by each part, each will be found on the whole
advantageous. After the lapse of time, under changing
conditions of life, if any part comes to be injurious,
it will be modified; or if it be not so, the being
will become extinct, as myriads have become extinct.
- Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species,
|It is in the case of children, that
misapplied notions of liberty are a real obstacle to
the fulfilment by the State of its duties. One would
almost think that a man's children were supposed to be
literally, and not metaphorically, a part of himself,
so jealous is opinion of the smallest interference of
law with his absolute and exclusive control over them;
more jealous than of almost any interference with his
own freedom of action: so much less do the generality
of mankind value liberty than power.
- John Stuart Mill, On Liberty (1859)
|"Many folks would have ridden by
and said 'twas not their business to interfere. Now I
say that with cruelty and oppression it is everybody's
business to interfere when they see it".
- Anna Sewell, Black Beauty (1877)
Hardly any part of the body which can be unnaturally
modified has escaped. ... The motives are various; ...
certain mutilations are connected with religious
rites, or they mark the age of puberty, or the rank of
the man, or they serve to distinguish the tribes.
Amongst savages the same fashions prevail for long
periods, and thus mutilations, from whatever cause
first made, soon come to be valued as distinctive
- Charles Darwin, The
of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex (1879)
ed. James Moore and Adrian Desmond
(Penguin Classics edn, 2004)
If 50 million people say a foolish
it is still a foolish thing.
- Anatole France (1844-1924)
|In civilized society most
are not even aware of the extent to which
savage ignorance survives at their doors.
- Sir James Frazer The Golden Bough
It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a
profoundly sick society.
- Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895-1986)
A lie will
be halfway around the world before the truth has got its
- Mark Twain?
So long as little children are
allowed to suffer,
there is no true love in this world.
- Isadora Duncan
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they
not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.
It is difficult to get a man to
understand something when his salary depends upon his not
- Upton Sinclair
"I, Candidate for Governor: And How I Got Licked"
(1935), ISBN 0-520-08198-6
It is extraordinary that in our
day this rather barbaric rite should be practised
almost as a routine with infants. From the
psychological point of view it is dangerous with or
without an anaesthetic. In the rare case where a
child cannot urinate it may be done, but is
otherwise unjustifiable. Apparently the practice is
based on a morbid fear of masturbation, and it is
unconsciously propitiatory. When performed at the
age of two or three, it is frequently the basis of
severe castration fears.
- Maurice Bevan-Brown
"The Sources of Love and Fear"
(Christchurch, NZ, 1948)
Pardon him Theodotus: he is a barbarian,
"Where, after all, do universal human rights begin?
In small places, close to home - so close and so small
that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Yet
they are the world of the individual person; the
neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he
attends; the factory, farm, or office where he works.
Such are the places where every man, woman, and child
seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity
without discrimination. Unless these rights have
meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere.
Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close
to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the
and thinks that the customs of his tribe and island
are the laws of nature.
- George Bernard Shaw
Caesar and Cleopatra, Act II
It is a curious and painful fact
almost all the completely futile treatments
that have been believed in
during the long history of medical folly
have been such as caused acute suffering to the patient.
- Bertrand Russell, "Unpopular Essays", 1950
The smallest minority on earth is the individual.
Those who deny individual rights
cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.
- Ayn Rand
there is anything that we wish to change in the child,
we should first examine it and see
whether it is not something that could better be changed in
- C.G. Jung
aspect of human life seethes
with so many unexorcised demons as does sex.
No human activity is so hexed by superstition,
so haunted by residual tribal lore,
and so harassed by socially induced fear.
- Harvey Cox, "Sex and Secularization", 1965
Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.
- Richard Feynman, "What is Science", 1966
is done to children,
they will do to society.
It is fortunate
that each generation
does not comprehend
its own ignorance.
We are thus enabled
to call our ancestors
- Charles Dudley Warner
When you think of the long and gloomy history of
you will find more hideous crimes
have been committed in the name of obedience
than have ever been committed in the name of rebellion.
- C. P. Snow, 1905 - 1980
still say that
some of the biggest criminals
are those that turn their heads away
when they see wrong
and know it's wrong.
- Bob Dylan, 1963, cover of "The Freewheelin' Bob
a possessive mistress, and whatever mistakes she makes about
the structure of the less essential organs such as the brain
and stomach, in which she is not much interested, you can be
sure that she knows best of the genital organs.
- Sir James Spence, 1964
hardly accurate. The genital organs, like the rest of the
body, evolved on an ad hoc basis and embody numerous
flaws. There is, however, no reason to suppose that the
foreskin is in any way a mistake
(except, perhaps, in being so easily removed).
|My faith in doctors
Just one thing spoils it:
- Piet Hein
Why is the operation of
One might as well attempt to explain the rites of voodoo!
- William Keith C. Morgan, MD
The Rape of the Phallus,
I continue to be shocked at the arbitrariness of the
thoughtless mutilation of so many boys. The sensory pleasure
induced by tactile stimulation of the foreskin is almost totally
lost after its surgical removal. Consequently, the
fundamental biological sexual act becomes, for the circumcised
male, simply a satisfaction of an urge and not the refined
sensory experience that it was meant to be.
- C.J. Falliers, 1970 (quoted in Marked
in your Flesh)
But there is one feature I notice that is generally
missing in cargo cult science. ...
It's a kind of scientific integrity, a principle of
scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of utter
honesty--a kind of leaning over backwards. For
example, if you're doing an experiment, you should
report everything that you think might make it invalid
- not only what you think is right about it: other
causes that could possibly explain your results; and
things you thought of that you've eliminated by some
other experiment, and how they worked - to make sure
the other fellow can tell they have been eliminated.
Details that could throw doubt on your interpretation
must be given, if you know them. You must do the best
you can - if you know anything at all wrong, or
possibly wrong - to explain it. If you make a theory,
for example, and advertise it, or put it out, then you
must also put down all the facts that disagree with
it, as well as those that agree with it.
- Richard Feynman,
Caltech commencement address, 1974
"Greed plays a role in causing unnecessary surgery,
although I don't think the economic motive alone is
enough to explain it. There's no doubt that if you
eliminated all unnecessary surgery, most surgeons
would go out of business. They'd have to look for
honest work, because the surgeon gets paid when he
performs surgery on you, not when you're treated some
other way. In pre-paid group practices where surgeons
are paid a steady salary not tied to how many
operations they perform, hysterectomies and
tonsillectomies occur only about one-third as often as
in fee-for-service situations."
- Robert S. Mendelsohn, MD.
"Confessions of a Medical Heretic" (1979)
Chapter 3 ("Ritual Mutilations"), pp. 58-59.
Circumcision is a solution
looking for a problem.
profession bears responsibility
for the introduction of prophylactic circumcision
without scientific basis in the past
and for its continued use and rationalization
without scientific basis in the present.
- Dr Edward Wallerstein
Circumcision: An American
Health Fallacy, 1980
Take that poor penis. Take a knife - right? And start
cutting. And everybody says, "It doesn't hurt."
Everybody says, "No, it doesn't hurt." Get it? That's
an excuse, of course, a subterfuge. They say that the
sheaths of the nerve are not yet developed. Therefore,
the sensation in the nerves is not yet developed.
Therefore, the child doesn't feel a thing. Now, that's
murder! Circumcision is one of the worst treatments of
children. And what happens to them? You just look at
them. They can't talk to you. They just cry.
- Wilhelm Reich (1987-1957)
Children Of The Future (pub. 1983) p. 3
was a custom,every right minded person supported it.
Nothing is as powerful a legitimizer as social
custom,even more powerful than law.
believe the time has come to acknowledge that the
practice of routine neonatal circumcision rests on
the absurd premise that the only mammal in creation
born in a condition that requires immediate surgical
correction is the human male. If the penile foreskin
is not merely non functional but a biological
disadvantage so severe as to justify its immediate
surgical ablation, then surely, it must have
atrophied by now.
- Thomas Szasz
Whatever is done to stop the terrible
practice of circumcision will be of tremendous importance.
There is no rational medical reason to support it.
- Dr. Frederick Leboyer, author of Birth
think circumcision is a good idea.... However, it is
not absolutely necessary.
I think circumcision is a good idea.... However, it
is not necessary.
I strongly recommend leaving the foreskin alone.
Dr Benjamin Spock
Baby and Child Care
if I had the good fortune to have another son,
would be to leave his little penis alone.
Redbook, April 1989
"I have some good
friends who are obstetricians outside the
military, and they look at a foreskin and almost
see a $125 price tag on it. Each one is that much
money. Heck, if you do 10 a week, that's over
$1,000 a week, and they don't take that much
- Dr.Thomas Wiswell,
quoted in "The Age-Old Question of Circumcision"
by Betsy A. Lehman, Boston Globe, June 22, 1987, p. 43
It may well be that a society´s greatest madness seems
normal to itself.
- Allan Bloom, 1987
The glans is wasted on the circumcised penis.
- "Foreskin" by Bud Berkeley
All of the Western world raises its
children uncircumcised and it seems logical that, with the
extent of health knowledge in those countries, such a
practice must be safe.
- Former US Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, M.D.
Saturday Evening Post July-August 1982
The body is not
like a suit of clothes,
to be hemmed and stitched
to the style of the times.
- Dr. Paul McHugh
Johns Hopkins University
If God had wanted us to be uncircumcised,
we'd all be born with foreskins.
- J. D. Ahmanson
|Any invasion of the
body is an invasion of the particular person.
Indeed, it is the ultimate invasion of personal
dignity and privacy.
- Justice Cory of the Canadian Supreme Court
Stillman,  1 S.C.R. 607
We believe that children have
- Professor Spencer Beasley
President of the New Zealand Society of Paediatric Surgeons
child circumcision were a new drug,
the FDA* would never approve it.
If it were a proposed new surgical procedure,
it would never be approved.
*US Food and Drug Administration
- David Gollaher
National Public Radio 1999
The minute that a surgeon cuts the skin...harm is
done. The benefit of a treatment will have to exceed
that harm before the doctor is doing good.
Unfortunately, many treatments have no benefit or only
- Anon. Knowing when not to operate (Editor's
Br Med J. 1999; 318(7180):0
an unfortunate tendency to underestimate and devalue
parts of the body for which we have not yet
discovered a useful purpose. The appendix,
the tonsils and the adenoids have all suffered from
this rush to get rid of everything surplus to
requirements, and each has been the focus of
fashionable and often unnecessary surgery.
Organ and the remarkable nature of smell"
by Lyall Watson, 1999, p 200)
still those who deny the existence of human
pheromones. But many of the same people go to
extraordinary lengths to suppress their production
and distribution. Many religions forbid dancing
altogether, or limit it to same-sex couples. Some
require women to cover their hair with a chador
or hajib, effectively isolating odours
produced by the scalp. ... The lifting of the bridal
veil in Christian marriage ceremonies repeats the
same concernts, celebrating the union, giving
permission for the oral exchange of phermones in a
else, olfactory intimacy is frowned upon and
severely curtailed by shaving off underarm hair and
the thorough deodorizing of all fragent sources. Why
else would puritans insist on high collars,
buttoned-up formality, long sleeves and tight
wrist-cuffs? And why, even in our most liberated
societies, do we still fuss about keeping nipples
covered? It wouldn't have anything to do with the
fact that female aureolas are rich in apocrine
glands and sex attractants, would it?
it just coincidental that male and female
circumcision targets two of the most productive
pheromonal areas of the body? There is nothing
in the Bible or the Koran which calls for such
surgery. [Correct except
for the Bible and male circumcision]
And there is a nice irony in the fact that
circumcision ceremonies, almost everywhere they
occur, are accompanied by the pheromonal odours of
carefully selected plants. Once again, our actions
reveal the existence and potency of the very things
we seek to deny.
With or without religion, good people can behave well
and bad people can do evil;
but for good people to do evil—that takes religion.
- Steven Weinberg, speech in Washington, DC, 1999
the history of female circumcision suggests, if male
circumcision were confined to developing nations, it would by
now have emerged as an international cause célèbre,
stirring passionate opposition from feminists, physicians,
politicians, and the global human rights community. If
routine medical circumcision didn't exist today, no one
would dare to invent it."
- David Gollaher
Circumcision: a history of the world's most controversial
The majority of babies are now circumcised
only in the US and Israel,
of boys only in the Islamic world, South Korea and the
but only in the armed forces has anyone routinely circumcised
sexually active men: nowhere else would they stand for
- H. Y.
Future generations will find it inconceivable
that millions of Americans mutilated their babies
owing to the influence of a man
who ... was obviously a sadistic lunatic.
- Arthur C. Clarke
January 15, 2000
When people are mutilated,
it is criminal, not cultural.
- Madeleine Albright, then US Secretary of State
of my New Guinea friends when I described
circumcision, U.S. treatment of the elderly, and
U.S. funeral customs matched Westerners' horror at
- UCLA Anthropologist Jared Diamond
quoted by Maggie Fox, Reuters
Sept 6 2000
After the drama of birth and baptism,
a child's ordeals are far from over. In many cultures
the children must face the ritual genital mutilation
we call circumcision. This extraordinary procedure
which, were it not hallowed by ancient tradition,
would be prosecuted as child abuse, occurs in several
forms in different parts of the world, sometimes
applied to young males and sometimes to young females.
In all cases, parts of the external genitals are
removed - the foreskin in males and the clitoris
and/or labia in females. Male children are usually
mutilated by older males and female children by older
Literally millions of cases of these
genital assaults occur annually and a whole range of
preposterous excuses and explanations have been given
as to why this savaging of young humans is necessary.
In earlier days most of the explanations had to do
with religious dictates, sacred demands that could not
be queried rationally. With the fading of religious
beliefs in some countries in later years, new excuses
had to be found and a set of spurious medical reasons
...No other species behaves in this
bizarre way towards its young, but where religious
customs take a hold on a culture it is usually
difficult to shift them. No matter how cruel or
pointless they may be, they become stubbornly
resistant to common sense or objective medical
- Desmond Morris,
"The Human Sexes:
a Natural History
of Man and Woman"
|I want first-time offenders
to think of their first appearance in my coutroom as
the second-worst experience of their lives,
circumcision being the first.
- Judge Judy Sheindlin
I asked Halperin whether his being Jewish factors
into his work on circumcision.
“No”, he says, “at least it didn’t during the first
couple of years I was doing this research. I didn’t
think about the Jewish part at all. … But in recent
years the Judaism aspect has crept in now and then.
Some doctors – for example, an oncologist in
north-eastern Brazil who has to amputate cancerous
penises every week – would tell me, not knowing that I
was Jewish, ‘Those Jews were so smart; thousands of
years ago they figured out this way to precent health
problems.’ That was one of the things that began to
spin my head around from of thinking of this as a
savage ritual from the dark past to thinking of it as
maybe a kind of health/cultural innovation ahead of
its time. … So I guess it has made me appreciate my
own heritage more. And who knows, maybe finding out to
my surprise that my own granddad was an occasional
mohel was a weird kind of confirmation that I’m maybe
in some small way destined to help pass along this
health benefit to people in parts of the world where
it could really make a difference and perhaps save
- Gordy Slack, “The case for
circumcision” East Bay Express (San Francisco), Vol.
22 No. 32, 19 May 2000, p. 15
surgeon, my instinct is to treat the patient by
doing something. It's a remarkably hard instinct to
- Prof. Robert Winston
"Superhuman" Nov 2000
I get a lot of personal satisfaction out of
circumcising so many boys...
- Queensland doctor Terry Russell
on "60 Minutes" Oct 9, 2000
In the American context I think it's
part of the insane fear of looking ugly, of smelling bad, of
having a bald head, of not having perfectly regular and
perfectly white teeth, of growing old, of dying.
- John Willcocks
Nov 3, 2000
"You see, the religious people - most
of them - really think this planet is an
experiment. That's what their beliefs come down
to. Some god or other is always fixing and
poking, messing around with tradesmen's wives,
giving tablets on mountains, commanding
to mutilate your children, telling
people what words they can say and what words
they can't say, making people feel guilty about
enjoying themselves, and like that. Why can't
the gods leave well enough alone? All this
intervention speaks of incompetence."
- Carl Sagan, Contact
(New York: Pocket Books, 1985), p. 285.
One of the saddest lessons of history
is this: If we've been bamboozled long enough,
we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle.
We're no longer interested in finding out the
truth…It is simply too painful to acknowledge —
even to ourselves — that we've been so
credulous. So the old bamboozles tend to persist
as the new bamboozles rise.
- Carl Sagan, Demon-Haunted
- Carl Sagan, Demon-Haunted World
We should show greater respect for
the genius of Nature's designs, rigorously tested and refined
over millions of years.
- Charles, Prince of Wales
road to modern medicine is littered with the bones of
medical treatments that millions of people once swore
by - and are now known to be worthless or even
- Robert Park, Voodoo Science,
Oxford University Press, 2000
If mobile skin at the end of the penis is not
what was God/evolution thinking of?
- H. Y.
I was to cut off any other part of a baby for no good cause
and without an anaesthetic, I'd be struck off the medical
register and the parents would most likely lose custody of the
April 3, 2001
- Christopher Green, paediatrician,
Camperdown Children's Hospital, Sydney
No one has the right to demand
that others participate in religious rituals.
- Ann Landers
September 7, 2001
child is old enough to participate in the decision,
we should not do any cosmetic surgery.
- Dr Bruce E. Wilson, October 19, 2001
Pediatric endocrinologist, DeVos Children's
speaking of sex-reassignment surgery in "Is it a girl or a
by Kathleen Longcore, Grand Rapids & Detroit News
circumcision should not be done
until the person is able to give informed consent.
- Dr Rodger Charlton, June 2001
School of Postgraduate Medical Education
University of Warwick, UK
"Men's health - a neglected area?"
NZ Family Physician, v28 no3
boy is born with a $100 bill under his foreskin.
All you have to do to get it is take it off.
- a US doctor
If I was a newborn baby tonight
and I could speak
and I was asked about circumcision,
I would say,
"Can you hold off a bit
until I can make up my own mind."
- Roger McClay, New Zealand Commissioner for
The first cut, NZ Listener, Nov 17, 2001
The foreskin is not the candy
wrapper, it's the candy.
- Martin Novoa, Novermber 25, 2001
You take care of a woman through her
pregnancy, for nearly a year...
and you're lucky if you see $1500...
But a circumcision is 15 minutes, and it's $300 a pop. It's
- A woman obstetrician
writing in Parentsplace
on the turf war between
obgyns and paediatricians
to perform circumcisions.
should be leaders, not offenders,
in the area of human rights.
between circumcised and intact
is the difference between a bugle and a trombone
- Warren Smith
NOCIRC of NJ
trombone can play more notes than a vuvuzela.
- adapted from the above during the 2010 FIFA
World Cup in South Africa
Modern medicine assuredly has all the trappings of a
science, and it undeniably makes abundant use of
discoveries in the biological sciences, but it remains
perilously poised between science and 'healing art',
based as much on superstition as logic. The training
of medical students still does not predispose to
scepticism or an open mind in the face of text-book
authority. The stance that doctors take on
controversial issues commonly owes more to what they
imbibed from their mentors than to a critical
evaluation of the evidence.
The problems may be intrinsic to a profession forced
to grapple eternally with the anfractuosities
[windings and turnings] of human nature and the
limited options for experimentation.
Nobody seems to have questioned the reality of ptosis
["dropped organs"] for some fifty years, but the
medical profession took a grip on itself in the late
1920s, when doubts were at last voiced. Over the next
two decades ptosis quietly slipped out of the
text-books, but in some centres floating kidneys were
still being surgically corrected in the years
following the Second World War. Ann Dally reports
sightings of dropped organ diagnoses in 1992, however,
so one cannot be sure that patients are not even now
being subjected to this highly unpleasant ordeal.
Tonsillectomy, to which untold numbers of children
were subjected during the first half of the twentieth
century, was fortunately in general without overt
ill-effects, and so its efficacy was barely
questioned until the mid-1950s, when the practice
gradually fell out of favour. The same was true of
uterine 'dilatation and curetage'.
Surgeons were always easily
persuaded of the benefits of removing dispensable
body parts. George Bernard Shaw satirised the
practice in The Doctor's Dilemma, in which the
surgeon, Cutler Walpole - commonly thought to be based
on Sir William Arbuthnot Lane... - finds an
inessential organ, the nuciform sac; this he gives out
to be the
seat of every kind of disease and earns
social and pecuniary success by relieving his grateful
patients of it. In the years before Shaw wrote the
play surgeons had for instance been taking out healthy
ovaries from untold thousands of women as a cure-all
for undiagnosed conditions. This operation at the time
had a mortality rate of some 20 per cent.
- Walter Gratzer, "The Undergrowth of Science"
(does not actually mention
a baby boy to protect against STDs
is like selling your car to make sure he's never injured in
- "Dr Schwanz"
Men's Health, July/August 2002
you laugh at, you can continue to do."
significant drawback to owning a foreskin
is the one just before it's drawn forward again.
- "Brew" on alt.circumcision
July 21, 2002
|The nature of
professional trade associations is a bit fuzzy in the
minds of most American parents and they tend to not
immediately see why a prestigious American medical
organization may not have the child's best interests
solely at heart. And it's not an easy task to
convince parents-to-be otherwise without being seen as
some sort of zealot with an ax to grind against
Circumcised males do not benefit from their
circumcision but instead only suffer pain and
permanent disfigurement of their genitalia.
- Thomas Bartman, MD, PHD
Division of Neonatology University of California, San
Pediatrics, Evanston, Jan 2001, Vol. 107:1, p 210
America's habituation to routine circumcision is not
less aberrant viewed from a cost/benefit standpoint
than it is looked at from a sociologic perspective.
Considering all the time, pain, and paper-work
involved in routine circumcision in this country, it's
no wonder the rest of the civilized world of medical
care looks at us and just shakes it head. And, unlike
the money our obstetrician colleagues waste on routine
fetal monitoring, we can't even blame it on the
- James A. Canfield, MD, FAAP
...universal male circumcision makes no more sense
than the other favorite operation of the 1950s - the
ubiquitous tonsillectomy. ...[it is] counterintuitive
and highly unlikely to meet reasonable cost-
- John M. Goldenring, MD, MPH,FAAP
|One of the worst things that can happen
to a people
is when they embrace oppression as a right.
- Samoan author
Wherever we can make the tools of medicine
work, the condition that we are working on tends to be
reconceptualized as a medical problem.
- Carl Elliott, "American Bioscience Meets the
The American Prospect vol 14 no. 6, June 1, 2003
A cultural malignancy - such as a tradition of
slavery or abuse of women - can sometimes be made to
evaporate in [a short] time, thanks to a few practical
adjustments. Not all cultural features are so
delicate. A culturally enforced habit may long
outlive its usefulness, persisting thanks to sanctions
imposed by the members of the culture, who may be
oblivious to, or only dimly appreciate the original
rationale of their habit-turned-tradition.
- Daniel Dennett
1944, the Supreme Court, in Prince vs
Massachussetts, a case about Jehovah's Witnesses
and child labor laws, concluded that "parents may be
free to become martyrs themselves. But it does not
follow that they are free, in identical circumstances,
to make martyrs of their children."
- Naomi Schaefer
Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center
"Yes, Polygamy Is Everybody's Business"
Los Angeles Times
February 9, 2004
Quite convincingly, circumcision gives the lie to the
womb-dream of life in the beautiful state of innocent
prehistory, the appealing idyll of living 'naturally,'
unencumbered by man-made ritual. To be born is to lose
all that. The heavy hand of human values falls upon
you right at the start, marking your genitals as its
- Philip Roth, The Counterlife,
[Assuming that circumcision
is universal and inevitable]
Circumcision: doctors make money from it,
thoughtless, ignorant, parents request it,
and babies can't prevent it.
- "Hairy Harry" on Eunuch.org,
August 25, 2005
Mutilating the baby instead of teaching each child
the arts of good hygiene is bad practice, bad ethics,
bad theology and a bad idea. I do not understand how
any religious system could ever endorse that. Female
circumcision - I prefer to call it "female genital
mutilation" is still practiced in parts of Christian
Africa. It too is said to have health benefits. I
think not. Both of these practices represent control
tactics and guilt laden castration rites born out of
the superstition and ignorance of the past. I regard
circumcision in both sexes as a barbaric act with no
redeeming features. I find it almost laughable that
the same religious voices that oppose the use of
condoms would now support circumcision as a health
Spong in Bishop
Q&A, January 8, 2006
Common law protects people from involuntary
excision of body tissue, which would be considered battery
R. Alta Charo, J.D.
Body of Research — Ownership and Use of Human Tissue
New England Journal of Medicine, Volume 355:1517-1519, October
was magical, not medical (and it still is).
One day, we will look back on
the time when we cut children's genitals
People in the future will not believe that
something so monstrous
Gloria Lemay, Vancouver
January 5, 2007
PENISES I HAVE KNOWN AND LOVED
comes as no surprise to anyone who knows how much I
love birth that I am a fan of the yoni (vagina). It
is sacred to me - all of those beautiful folds, and
powerful defenses - soft and strong. But some are
surprised to learn that I love the penis, too.
the current debate. I found myself thinking about
all of the penises I have come into contact over the
years. I remember learning about intact men in my
health classes in school. The teacher did not have a
high opinion of them and talked at length about the
smelly smegma. What a creepy image that was for me
as a young woman!
remember seeing my first intact man - when I was a
student nurse. I expected some gross and smelly
penis covered in cheesy goo (as described by my
health teacher), but that was not the case. It was a
little harder to do a sterile catheter on a flaccid
penis with the foreskin trying to cover over the
glans, but I managed, as unskilled as I was. And, it
is probably here that I first began to appreciate
the beauty of an intact penis. How protected - how,
well, "right" it looked! I admit that I did not give
it much thought over the years, but in my study of
normal birth, I grew to realize that circumcision
was yet another assault on normal functioning parts,
and I think back on that first intact penis and
smile at my pre-conceived notions. How silly it
seems to think that the intact penis would be any
more problematic, smelly or troublesome than my own
think back over my few male lovers and their
wonderful penises. Having seen photos of all of the
scarring and skin changes due to surgery identified
in a systematic fashion, I can see now how altered
they all were. Those penises were also meant to have
loving folds and powerful defenses, just like my
beloved yoni, but the foreskin had been removed in a
painful manner and left defenseless. Now that I am
more penis-savvy, I can rapidly identify the
structures that should have been there, and
mysterious bits are not so mysterious (Like those
puzzling little holes in the skin are actually
suture marks - I have no doubt there were larger
blood vessels meant to run in those spots). I don't
know if intact men are better lovers. My lovers have
been, good, and kind, and given me wonderful
pleasure. I cannot fault the men, or their
equipment. But I do feel sadness for their penises
that no longer have their full and rich body
I have my own little boy, who we decided to leave
intact after a few small debates. And I appreciate
the foreskin even more - that loving cocoon for his
penis. So essential, so misunderstood. It protects
him from beasties, it is a barrier for wet underwear
chafe, and it gives him pleasure. The more I know my
son's penis, the more I see how abnormal a
circumcised penis really is. To compare them with
the scar tissue, the suture marks, etc. of a
circumcised boy - It really shocks me. Those dark,
exposed glanses peeping out. They look unnatural,
penis is a beautiful part of any man, just as the
yoni is a beautiful part of any woman. Let us leave
them smooth, beautiful and intact, with all the
protective, self-cleaning and pleasure-producing
parts. It is not so much to do - it takes no effort
to leave a penis or yoni alone, in all of its
beauty, mystery and power.
Pitcher-Cooper BSN, RN
... it is not
circumcision that saves ...
Pope Benedict XVI
June 17, 2007
|Pet owner: "What would you say if I wanted to
get my dog circumcised?"
Vet (after a silence): I'd have to report you
to the ASPCA for cruelty.
"SOME KIND OF ANTIQUE
The supporters of many forms of
alternative medicine today claim it as a virtue that
they are based on practices that have been in use
for centuries, as if it was some sort of
recommendation that they date back to medieval times
or even earlier. A more accurate description might
be that they are steeped in ancient superstition. It
also seems somewhat perverse to treat medical
practice as some kind of antique furniture whose
value increases with age. Medicine in medieval times
and the ancient world relied heavily on witchcraft,
and even in modern times it has never managed to rid
itself entirely of an element of magic and ritual.
Dick Taverne, "The March of Unreason"
doesn’t protect against denial
- Stephen J. Fallon, Ph.D.
San Francisco Bay Times, April 19, 2007
Ah, yes, tradition. The finest
way of making decisions in the world, even the dead get their
"irate_atheist" writing at RichardDawkins.net,
October 23, 2007
[In US Gentile
circumcision] the cultural tail would appear to be wagging the
Steven Svoboda and Robert Darby "A
Rose by any other name"
The male prepuce has gone straight from being an
inconsequential "flap of skin" to being a complex
immunological organ, just in time to be infected by a
virus that targets immune cells. Is this an indication
of accelerated evolution, perhaps driven by medicine's
century-long obsession with the purported pathologies
of male genitals, or perhaps just a demonstration of
medicine's capacity to deceive the public?
- Rich Winkel
pediatrician of a friend of mine told her] the only
thing she needs to take care of her son's foreskin
is a ruler ... to smack anyone's hand who tries to
touch it! Not bad for Peoria, Illinois.
December 26, 2007
"Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance
and conscientious stupidity."
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
European women ask me, “How can American women have foreplay
without a foreskin to play with?”
Milos, January 4, 2008
can have my foreskin when they pry it out of my cold, dead
- posted by oregoncat on Fark.com,
March 29, 2008
Originally Posted by Saturos
To all who voted No [to a poll asking "Are you
circumcised?"] how hard is it to keep your penis
Pull back, soap soap soap, water, done. As easy as
cleaning you toes, just without the bending over.
- posted by KineticAesthetic on Halflife2,
May 9, 2008
[Actually, one should go easy on the
"The world can only be better if we make a
difference now in the lives of children."
- Justice Barbara J. Pariente, Florida Supreme
you want to saw off the end of your penis, you're
welcome. (laughter) You're not to do it to a
child who hasn't asked for it. Same with the
genitals of a little girl. If she thinks later on
she'd be better off without them, let her take, or
have taken to her, a sharp instrument. If it proves
that it's good for AIDS - it
might well be, I've heard that it's said to be good
for cervical cancer
- let it be decided by the grown-up. It is not
right, it is not moral, it is in fact wicked, to
submit children to the mutilation of their
genitalia, or to anyone without consent. (applause.
bangs podium) Do you understand that
this elementary point only needs to be made because
of wickedness enjoined by religion. The rabbi here's
a fairly humane guy. He wouldn't - if he didn't
think God was involved - ever consider
mutilating the genitals of a child, but because it's
a covenant with God, anything can be done. (laughter),
don't you see - you laugh, but you should be crying.
(laughter) I said crying! (laughter)
Okay, suit yourself. (laughter)
- Christopher Hitchens debating with Rabbi
January 30, 2008 [Youtube,
Trying to leave the hospital with our newborn
son was like trying to escape from circumcision mountain.
- Jenny O'L, The
Economist, June 23, 2008
If it's a looks thing, then I reckon an
uncircumcised cock is just as pretty: Corinthian rather than
Doric, one might say.
- Bulbosaur, The
Economist, June 26, 2008
hygiene argument... when I get out of the shower I can assure
you that if there is one spot on my body that is cleaner than
the rest, it's that spot.
- gruntt, writing on QBN,
August 28, 2008
cut, for it's not like pulling teeth for there is no foreskin
- capiche in the (Springfield, Missouri) News
Leader, September 1, 2008
there is a foreskin fairy, but she brings the nickels
to the doctors.)
- Actor John
... [What] are the things we do not see today that
people in thirty years' or forty years' time will look
at you and say, 'How could you not have seen the
importance of that? How could you be so ignorant? How
could you be so unfair? How could you have been so
cruel? And that is the challenge for thinking,
conscientious people. And I think that's what you've
got to focus on - what are the things your generation
is not seeing that will be seen? And you have to
contribute to the seeing of it."
- Michael Kirby to the ANU Law Students'
Society, October 13, 2008
of the ongoing pain also - how would you like to
have someone soak ammonia into a raw wound on your
genitals on a daily basis during the 10-30 days it
will take to fully heal?
consider the issue of erection pain during healing
which you've raised. You obviously don't realise
that baby boys get erections too. Often the very
first one will be the one that results when the
doctor rubs antiseptic on the penis he's about to
slice open. So the first erotic feelings will
co-incide with the most pain he will likely ever
feel in his life.
you the proud daddy want to do this? I'd hate to see
what you'd put him through if you weren't proud of
- Vikinggirl at brandnewdad.com,
replying to Prouddad09 on November 9, 2008
A foreskin is not a cleft palette or a hole in
the heart. There is nothing inherently dangerous about a
- Dr. Dim on TampaBay.com
November 13, 2008
When you separate a man from his foreskin, it's
like separating the Serengeti from the summer rains.
- Christopher Johnson, The
Monologues, February 18, 2009
In the Midwest, "we
whack 'em all,"
says Dr. Renee Stein, whose clinic at St. John's Mercy
Medical Center in St. Louis
offers payment plans for families on Medicaid.
- Nick Summers, "The
Fate of a Million Foreskins" Newsweek, April 4, 2009
To this day, I still wonder if I made the right
choice. But I can live with the wrong reversible
decision much more so than wrong irreversible
- Dianabay at allnurses.com,
April 1, 2009
"Tearing a newborn baby
that a woman has carried beneath her heart
for nine months
from her loving and nurturing breast
and inflicting a wound
on its tiny, protesting and immobilized body
is an unequivocal act of violence
against the mother."
- Hanny Lightfoot-Klein
I didn't read one single thing to know that
circumcision was wrong. When I found out about it at the age of
18, I threw up.
- ScottJanssen on YouTube,
If circumcision took place in hallways, instead
of behind closed doors, it would stop tomorrow.
- Marilyn Milos on YoutTube
June 6, 2009
If you don't own your own body, what do
you own in this world?
- Dan Strandjord on "SCHMUCK",
Smegma is secreted by the human prepuce? Am I to
get this straight? I'm sure lint is "secreted" by the belly
button as well!
- Joe in CA on LoHud.com,
27 July, 2009
Circumcision reminds of Shirley Jackson’s short
story The Lottery.
[...as a long-standing, implacable,
- ZPP writing in Zinc Plate Press Blog, October 24, 2009
...the popularity of modern American circumcision to
a large extent the result of late 19th/early 20th
century anti-masturbation quackery “spearheaded” by
the co-inventor of the cornflake, Dr. John Harvey
That is the best way to mock circumcision-pushers, in
my opinion. It comes from the age of snake oil and
miracle cures with cocaine in them. It’s hocus pocus
carnival quackery that medical professionals should be
mocked for continuing.
- Jack Donovan in The
Spearhead, November 5, 2009
Smart people believe weird things
because they are skilled at defending
beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons.
- Michael Shermer
Parents should recognize
that having their babies cry unnecessarily
harms the baby permanently.
It changes the nervous system
so they're sensitive to future trauma.
- Dr. Michael Commons, Dept of Psychiatry,
You’re going to subject your beautiful brand new baby
to fake preventative surgery?
Why don’t you just yank out his baby teeth
as soon as they come in,
just so they don’t get cavities?
- Rapper Paul Barman in Thought Balloon
[Circumcision to protect against HIV] makes as much sense
as a chocolate fire guard.
- Gumdrop on Time Live (South Africa), December 1, 2009
Only 25 percent of the world circumcises, and it's not
necessarily the good 25 percent.
a mohel ... is the Jewish version of Santa Claus,
who, instead of leaving presents and eating your snacks,
cuts off your son's foreskin and eats your snacks.
- Stacey Grenrock Woods in Esquire, January 8, 2010
How can a woman tell me that an uncircumcised penis is
anymore attractive looking than the shriveled testicle pouch
- fullyoperational on Mark's Daily Apple, January 12, 2010
... when the surgeon performs the circumcision, the infant
literally screams in shock and pain. ...
Why don't they just waterboard the poor little guy and really
make his day[?]
- Fazool-555369 on MSNBC Newsvine, January 13, 2010
Didn't need it for several million years, why now?
- Yrral on MSNBC Newsvine, January 14, 2010
every male in the US that's circumcised has what I
call "beta genitalia". Basically, you're the first
surgical experiment of some 27-year-old. Millions of
American men look every day at ugly scars left by
somebody who was basically faking it, or trying to
do their first surgery. It's amazing.
- John Geisheker of Doctors Opposing
Circumcision at Bonobo3D's
July 25, 2009
the circumcisions that I was part of in my OB/GYN
round, one of the huge disclaimers is that the
person performing it isn't responsible for how it
looks cosmetically, years later, like they can't
predict that, they don't know how it's going to turn
out, they don't know how it's specifically going to
- Bryan McColgan, "Becoming a Doctor": The
January 29, 2010
[And if s/he isn't, who is?]
biblical injunction to circumcise speaks to a man
about men. But circumcision is also a woman's issue,
for on a subtle, but very potent level it is, like
the akedah [Abraham's near-sacrifice of
Isaac], about the primary disempowerment of the
mother. At no other time is a woman so in touch with
her most elemental and powerful mammalian instincts
as after a birth, When, her culture tells her that
in order for this male baby to be a man, to be part
of the masculine community and bond with the male
God, the men must cut her male baby on his most
sensitive male organ, this mother is inevitably in
conflict with her entire life-giving feminine
biology. And if a woman is made to distrust her most
basic instinct to protect her newborn child, what
feelings can she ever trust?
- Miriam Pollack, from Jewish Women
(ed. Kayla Weiner and Arinna Moon)
left him to his singing, hurried home without a
Never tell a man the truth about the one that he
- "Armadillo" (about an armadillo singing a
love-song to an army tank)
Michael Flanders and Donald Swann
our core constitutional values
promote is the notion that
individuals are protected
in their privacy and their
and women are not exempt from that"
"[T]he ritual nick suggested by
some pediatricians is ... much less
extensive than routine newborn male genital
Health educators must also be
prepared to explain to parents from outside North
America why male genital
alteration is routinely practiced here but female
genital alteration is routinely condemned.
- AAP FGC Policy, April 26,
2010, p 1092 (6 of 8) - May 27, 2010
That explaining just got a lot
when a community opts to end genital cutting, it is
generally because of a recognition that cutting not
only endangers girls' physical well-being but runs counter to the universal
right to stewardship of one's body.
- Female genital cutting: not even a 'nick'
A Times, May 29, 2010
I pulled back my foreskin she said, "cool like a
transformer". I really like her now.
- (401) on (MDT):
is a tendency for students, and indeed many
clinicians, to treat the medical literature with
undue respect. Major journals such as the 'Lancet'
and the 'New England Journal of Medicine' are
presumed to present new medical facts which are not
to be disputed. Such a naive faith in the 'clinical
gospels' is perhaps encouraged by the dogmatic style
that many authors adopt, so that the uncertainties
inherent in any research project often receive
- "Clinical Trials: A Practical Approach"
by Stuart J Pocock, Wiley, 1984
"I´ve always been a mad scientist type"
- David Tomlinson, inventor of the Improved
Gomco Clamp, the Improved
Plastibell and the Accu-circ.
I find that this issue of parental rights versus
children's rights has no clear rivals for triggering
emotional responses in place of reasoned responses,
and I suspect that this is one place where a genetic
factor is playing a quite direct role. In mammals and
birds who must take care for their offspring the
instinct to protect one's young from all outside
interference is universal and extremely potent; we
will risk our lives unhesitatingly - unthinkingly - to
fend off threats, real or imagined. It's like a
reflex. And in this case, we can "feel in our bones"
that parents do have the right to raise their
child the way they see fit. Never make the mistake of
wandering in between a mother bear and her cub, and nothing
should come between parents and their children. That's
the core of "family values". At the same time, we do
have to admit that parents don't literally own
their children (the way slaveowners once owned
slaves), but are, rather, their stewards or guardians
and ought to be held accountable by outsiders for
their guardianship, which does imply that outsiders
have a right to interfere - which sets off that
adrenaline alarm again. When we find that what we feel
in our bones is hard to defend in the court of reason,
we get defensive and testy, and start looking around
for something to hide behind. How about a sacred and
(hence) unquestionable bond? Ah, that's the ticket!
There is an obvious (but seldom discussed) tension
between the supposedly sacred principles involved at
this point. On the one hand,
many declare, there is the sacred and inviolable
right to life. Every unborn child has a right to
life and no prospective parent has the right to
terminate a pregnancy (excpet maybe if the mother's
life is itself in jeopardy). On the other hand, many
of the same people declare that, once born, the
child loses its right not to be indoctrinated or
brainwashed or othersiwe psychologically abused by
those prents, who have the right to raise the child
with any upbringing they choose, short of physical
torture. Let us spread the value of freedom
throughout the world - but not to chlldren,
apparently. No child has a right to freedom from
permanent bodily modification.]
Shouldn't we change that? What, and let outsiders
have a say in how I raise my kids? (Now do you
feel the adrenaline rush?)
- Daniel Dennett, "Breaking the Spell"
[Meaning that one of the core
tasks of Intactisim is to show parents that their
mother-bear instincts should rightly be directed at
the doctors who want to cut part off their baby's
genitalia, not the people who want to protect their
babies from that.]
Nothing inflates dishonest work like
- Jonathan M. Marks, "Why I Am Not a Scientist:
Anthropology and Modern Knowledge", 2009
I don't believe just because ideas are
tenacious it means that they're worthy
- Tim Minchin, "White
Wine in the Sun", 2009
Religion forces nice people to do unkind things, and
also makes intelligent people say stupid things.
Handed a small baby for the first time, is it your
first reaction to think, beautiful, almost perfect,
now please hand me the sharp stone for its genitalia
that I may do the work of the Lord?
Christopher Hitchens debating Tony
Blair November 26, 2010
One's religion should be between his ears, not his legs.
Pebble at Jweekly.com, December 3, 2010
Show me a kid with fond memories of what their father's
penis looked like
and I'll show you a kid who needs some therapy....
springdalekittymama at YouTube, Janaury 14, 2011
You're not 'just' circumcising a baby.
You're circumcising the man he's destined to become.
You're circumcising someone else's lover, husband, and
Bryan Intactivist on Facebook
Just like, what was the person thinking when he cut
down the last tree on Easter Island ?
What was going on in the brain of the first person who
thought skinnin' the penis on a baby boy was a good
Protodan on Mother Jones April 13, 2011
The internet has made it possible for North American
women who have bit into both flavours of apples, to
blog about it anonymously. And nowadays, women under
40 are typically less prudish than their male peers.
The result is damning: a lot of women have concluded
that the long sleeve on the
short arm makes for a more comfortable ride.
I have noticed that circ advocates pass over this fact
RD on Should I circumcise? April 29,
As to the benefits of circumcision just ask a grownup
male who did it in his adulthood (usually for
religious reasons) and how that affected their sex
life. One man described it as "... like switching from
a Cadillac to [a] Yugo".
Peter Gray in the Wall Street Journal May 25,
- Russell Crowe on Twitter, June 9, 2011 quoted
in the Daily Mail, June 19, 2011
(Examples of variant
spellings now have their own page.)
Hygienic? Why don't you sew up your ass then?
- Russell Crowe on Twitter, June 9, 2011
Very few men who grew up with a foreskin think, "Hey! My
sex feels too good, I gotta cut off part..."
- Glen Callender, founder of the Canadian
Foreskin Awareness Project, at Vancouver Pride, 2011 (6:20)
"But why would we [make circumcision illegal]? That would be
like making a law saying you cannot cut off your child's arm."
- a Dutch woman to Karen Kelly Glennon at a
Genital Integrity demonstration in Washington DC
It’s more nicer and delicious with the open and close skin
- paradise on NewsDze-Zimbabwe, December 3, 2011
...the purposes of ritual are seldom if ever the object of
- Karen Ericksen Paige and Jeffrey M. Paige, The
Politics of Reproductive Ritual University of California
We don't have female murder and male murder. We just have
- J. Steven Svoboda, Attorneys for the Rights of
Infant circumcision is voodoo medicine. It ascribes
all specious manner of divine favor, spiritual
cleanliness and disease prevention to a 10-minute,
irreversible genital wounding of a healthy child. Only
perversion of meaning could equate this with
civilization, progress, holiness or treatment.
It is unconscionable that any country's medical
profession would be complicit in promoting or even
tolerating this imaginary prophylaxis. Penile
circumcision of healthy boys should be roundly
condemned by all caring and thinking people, and
outlawed to the extent of female genital cutting.
Medicine's guiding principles include better
understanding the human body; looking for advantages
before disadvantages of normal body parts; and
minimizing cutting into, and especially off of, the
body, particularly the bodies of non-consenting,
helpless minors. Ultimately, respecting the patient.
Nontherapeutic circumcision defiantly violates all of
- M N, December 26, 2011
The foreskin is a normal, healthy part of human
anatomy. It has developmental, protective and sexual
Except in rare cases of medical exigency, every male
- like every female - has a fundamental right to know,
understand and value his complete sexual organs.
More than any part of our bodies, our sexual organs
have evolved to confer enjoyment, health, function and
The assault on the penis needs to be called out for
what it is: an unhealthy fixation on body
Throughout history, more men have been satisfied with
their natural state than with their non-intact state.
This has never been more true than today, in the age
The proper objective is not to seek and enumerate
problems; any unhappy person can do this. It's to more
fully appreciate the beauty of what we have.
- M N, March 2, 2012
The last word in ignorance is the man who says of an
animal or plant: 'What good is it?'
... If the biota, in the course of aeons, has built something we
like but do not understand,
then who but a fool would discard seemingly useless parts?
To keep every cog and wheel is the first precaution of
A thing is right when it tends to preserve integrity,
stability, and beauty [of the biotic community].
It is wrong when it tends otherwise.
- scientist, environmentalist and co-founder of
The Wilderness Society,
Aldo Leopold in A Sand County Almanac
Religious liberty simply does not extend to injuring others
or putting children at risk
- New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, March 7, 2012
It's a dick, it's not a Jack-O-Lantern; you don't have to
chop parts off it to make it look better.
Guest on Joe Rogan's talk show (2:30) March 18,
[Paul] Krassner went to Hebrew school, he said, “but
only to please my parents.” Even there, he played the
trickster, questioning the rabbi who instructed his
class that circumcision was a covenant with God. “I
challenged him, saying if
circumcision wasn’t voluntary, it wasn’t a covenant,”
recalled. “He agreed, and said: ‘Okay, it’s not a
covenant anymore. It’s an obligation.’”
The Jewish Daily Forward March
a fool would leave the enjoyment of rainbows to the
opticians. Or give the science of optics the last
word on the matter.
- Edward Abbey , 2012
"We know, for instance, that the choice to undergo a
risky medical procedure will be heavily influenced by
whether its possible outcomes are framed in terms of
survival rates or mortality rates. We know, in fact,
that this framing effect is no less pronounced among
doctors than among patients. Given this knowledge, physicians
have a moral obligation to handle medical statistics
in ways that minimize unconscious bias. Otherwise,
they cannot help but inavertently manipulate both
their patients and one another, guaranteeing
that some of the most important decisions in life will
Sam Harris, "The Moral Landscape"
Random House 2010
... there will come a time when medical students will ask
their professor of ethics in astonishment:
'Did doctors really do that to healthy babies in Britain in
the 21st century?'
Dr John Warren to the Sunday Times, July 2, 2012
Now I have no worries if I have an opportunity and I have
forgotten to bring along a condom.
- Angelo Kaggwa from Uganda at the AIDS 2012
Conference, Washington DC,
about the confidence his circumcision had given him,
to an audience including Daniel
Halperin, Bertran Auvert
and Robert Bailey,
none of whom corrected him, July 23, 2012
...relying strictly on numbers to predict health
outcomes is tricky. "The more we move away from actual
disease, he harder it is to predict what will happen
to a particular patient," [Markus] Seibel, [University
of Sydney,] says.
"Cracks in the Bone Test" by Deborah
Franklin, Scientific American, August 2012
What philosophical argument would reassure me that I have the
right to my own foreskin?
Anonymous, NewAPPS, September 3, 2012
The AAP's policy is not strong enough.
The benefits exceed risks by over 100 to 1 just from
Brian Morris in San Rafael Patch,
September 1, 2012
We congratulate the AAP Task Force on Circumcision
for concluding that "the health benefits of newborn male
circumcision outweigh the risks"...
Brian J. Morris et al. in
Pediatrics, September 7, 2012
If something is claiming to cure everything, that should set
your bullshit detector off.
Rebecca Watson ("Skepchick") at a meeting in
Wellington, New Zealand, December 6, 2012
You saw an intact male, the one you gave birth to, then you
wanted him to look like the ones you've slept with.... Weird
Megan Renee Sampson on Facebook, January 13, 2013
The moment you declare a set of ideas to be immune from
criticism, satire, derision, or contempt, freedom of thought
- Salman Rushdie
Whole is the baseline, not the enemy.
Jason Fairfield on Facebook, August 31, 2013
If circumcision has any justification AT ALL, it should be
medical only. Parents' religion is the worst of all reasons ––
pure child abuse.
Richard Dawkins on Twitter, November 19, 2013
I'm shocked at the people who think it's a human right to cut
your child, ignoring the rights of the child.
Richard Dawkins on Twitter, November 20, 2013
babies are capable of objection. It was the objection
of the baby as he pulled at his restraints in 1979
that first alerted me to something being wrong with
circumcision. The baby made the same sounds I would as
he tugged and tried to pull his arms out of the Velcro
straps. Many babies have bruised arms and legs after
circumcision from their frantic tugging against the
restraints. As he went from being distressed to being
panicked, I asked my nursing instructor if I could
comfort him. She said, "Wait til the doctor gets
here." That was my second clue to something being
wrong--after all, I was in school to become a nurse, a
caregiver, and was being told not to help the
frightened two-day-old baby. When the doctor came in
and I asked, he said, "Yes, go stick your finger in
the baby's mouth." As I did, the baby sucked hard and
quieted down as I stroked his little head and spoke
softly to him. However, the scream he let out when the
first hemostat was ratcheted to his foreskin could not
be quieted and only intensified when the second
hemostat crushed another part of his foreskin. Those
screams continued to intensify throughout the
procedure until, when the entire foreskin was finally
crushed against the Plastibell, the baby could no
longer scream. He choked on his own voice and then
screamed without sound...
Years later, when someone asked, "Why you?", I said,
because I heard the screams. He said, "Do you know how
many millions of people have heard those screams? Why
you?" I said, "The question is, 'Why not them?'!" It
was because, when I saw how the baby reacted, when I
heard the sounds he made, I knew what I would have to
be enduring to make those same sounds. Babies do
object but people don't hear them or recognize the
pain and agony he is enduring. So, the next question
is, what happens to us that we are incapable of having
the compassion and empathy that would bring an end to
- Marilyn Fayre Milos to a group of Intactivists,
March 28, 2014
If you are ever presented with a multifaceted social problem
and the first solution that springs to your mind is
“We’d better cut off part of everyone’s penis,”
you might want to consider another line of work.
Fatherhood for Geeks, quoted in Evolutionary Parenting, May 20, 2014
Behind both circumcision and FGM is fear on the part of the
powerful, who appease that fear on the bodies of the helpless.
Tobe Levin, Cologne, May 7, 2014
Facebook, October 14, 2015
|Let’s get one thing straight. We Intactivists are not
shoving our opinions down people’s throats. Circumcision
is not a child rearing decision, it’s an
“I control your motherfucking dick until you’re in the
ground” power trip. It’s not like you give your
child his foreskin back at the age of 18 with some super
glue and say, “Ok. Now you have control over your adult
body.” Circumcising a child, male or female, is violent,
harmful and disgusting. It always will be. The whole
purpose of parenting is to get your child to adulthood in
one piece, and that includes his penis. If you cut him in
the cradle, you didn’t make it very far.
-Brian Herrity, October 15,2015
- Dr Christian Jessen, personable host of the UK
medical reality TV show
"Embarassing Bodies" on Twitter, January 6-7, 2016
It's an old adage in English surgery that
it takes three months to learn how to do an operation,
three years to learn when to do it,
and 30 years to learn when not to do it.
...and it's a particular problem in countries like America
which spend an absolute fortune on health care
compared to New Zealand or Britain.
- Henry Marsh, neurosurgeon, on Radio NZ
, March 14, 2016 (4'33" in)
I'm from England ... Watching American-made porn is like
watching a soap opera where all the characters have no
- Danyel J. Roberts, quoted by Nicholas K
Intactivist, July 18, 2016
It's not our job to toughen our children
to face a cruel and heartless world.
It's our job to raise children
who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless.
- L.R. Knos
Tradition is peer pressure
from dead people"
- Nick Kirkpatrick - IG @cvramen on Twitter, October 6, 2022