—This is article #41 in our series of #100Voices4Men and boys
Photo courtesy Men Do Complain
I and my sister were born in the late 50’s in the UK. Soon after I was born my parents taught me what it is to be discriminated against.
They saw to it that my foreskin was cut off and tossed away, but nothing was cut off my sister’s body when she was subsequently born. If I had been born a female I would still have all the genitals I was born with, just as my sister still has.
We hear a lot about FGM and rightly so, as it is an abomination. Sadly, many think that male circumcision is performed for religious and medical reasons: so it can’t be harmful. The truth is that all those men and boys who were circumcised without their personal consent are the victims of the theft of a functional and erogenous body part.
You do not enrich the life of a man by cutting a part of his body off, you make that man a poorer man, even though he may not realise it because he has never known any different.
‘It royally fucks up a man’s sexuality’
I recently spotted the following comment in response to an online petition against infant male circumcision: “I was circumcised as an adult… I can confirm that it royally fucks up a man’s sexuality.”
This came as no surprise to me since it was as obvious as my lack of a foreskin that my wife was enjoying a more ‘earth-moving’ sexual experience than me. We are now separated after spending almost 30 years together and I reflect that sexual issues were very much the undoing of our marriage. My sex life was not what it should have been. I now live alone and am a chastened man.
It is my personal belief that all infants, whether they be male or female, should enjoy the basic right to be born unto parents that do not feel it is their right to modify the genitalia of their offspring.
‘It should have been my own decision’
My late parents felt that it was their right to condone my circumcision as an infant without medical necessity. This is something that has caused me considerable pain and anguish and I shall eternally regret. It should have been my own decision as to whether or not I chose to give up an intimate and personal part of my body, because once it is done, it is done.
Children are in the custody of their parents until they reach maturity and are not their property. I am not Jewish or Muslim, but there are men I know of that were born unto Jewish/Muslim parents that also resent the fact that they suffered the same indignity of forced circumcision.
The majority of men in this world are genitally intact and perfectly content with their status. I believe that it is a profound injustice that there is not statutory legal protection for all infant boys against non-therapeutic circumcision (such as there is for girls in the UK, US and elsewhere), regardless of the religious affiliation of their parents.
If men want to be circumcised for religious reasons let them volunteer for it once they are adults, and can give meaningful consent.
By Patrick Smyth, trustee and secretary of NORM UK
You can find all of the #100Voices4Men articles that will be published in the run up to International Men’s Day 2014 by clicking on this link—#100Voices4Men—and follow the discussion on twitter by searching for #100Voices4Men.
The views expressed in these articles are not the views of insideMAN editorial team. Whether you agree with the views expressed in this article or not we invite you to take take part in this important discussion, our only request is that you express yourself in a way that ensures everyone’s voice can be heard.