Among the American customs that confuse the rest of the world — the imperial system of measurement, the Fahrenheit scale, tipping, sales tax, smiling a lot, tailgating, foundational optimism, giving very obvious names to things (Grand Canyon, Long Island, Rocky Mountains) — snipping off bits of babies’ willies at birth remains the most peculiar and, increasingly, contentious.
If you unwittingly stroll into this debate, you’ll find that, in stark contrast to the circumcised penis itself, people are quite sensitive! Those most annoyed by foreskin fans tend to fall into three categories: defensive, confused moms; the Chosen People; and querulous cut guys who feel their own gigglestick is under attack. On the other side, intactivism is one of those elusive topics that forges an offbeat coalition between the so-called fringe political left and right, like Epstein’s murder or hatred of Mayor Pete. On the left, there’s boomer hippy sex gurus running foreskin stimulation seminars in San Francisco; on the right, men’s advocacy groups and, much further right, those convinced mass circumcision is all part of the Global Jewish Conspiracy.
The Jews may not be behind it, but feminists living on the crucifix of the body integrity movement remain markedly silent on the issue. Male circumcision was popularized in America for non-religious purposes in the 19th century by John Harvey Kellogg, the inventor of corn flakes and a physician obsessed with children masturbating. When shame, bondage, and restrictive garments didn’t work, he introduced a new trend of circumcising boys to prevent them from diddling themselves.
Today, circumcision is the most common surgical procedure in the US. On average a kiddie dick snip will cost you about $2,000 and, as some believe, lifelong trauma. Many insurance companies won’t cover the practice and Medicaid in 18 states refuses to pay for it. But for hospitals it’s standard upselling in the maternity ward, the would-you-like-fries-with-that of giving birth to an otherwise perfect human boy. And whenever public opinion shifts against circumcision, the Slice-n-Ice industry invents new excuses and dubious science to justify this entirely unnecessary, and lucrative, practice.
Is circumcision an industry-wide sanctioned violation of the Hippocratic Oath? Yeah, of course it is. Pediatric associations’ prehensile defense of circumcision continues to use quack science to justify what is only cultural and aesthetic, not medically necessary. It is yet another example of how our medical industry bends to patients’ wishes, in this case parents, rather than practicing actual medicine. And what are they doing with all those foreskins, anyway? Feeding them to some primordial beast? In that case, carry on. America keeps the world safe once again.
But as Americans turn against virtually all the institutions and so-called experts who’ve been telling us for decades what’s best, pediatric associations are only the latest in the crosshairs. Pediatricians didn’t speak of penis health and hygiene until the 1960s, when the sexual revolution threatened the foreskin industry and pediatric groups came in defense. If you want to know just how much integrity organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics has — after the US banned female genital mutilation in 1996, the AAP threw support behind FGM, claiming it was less invasive than male circumcision.
Aesthetics and social conformity remain the only reason Gentile and atheist parents continued to get swindled by hospitals into performing circumcision on their newborn boys. Moms want their sons to look like the other boys and worry about teasing. Americans have been brainwashed to believe a cut dick, despite the scaring, is more attractive.
Like clockwork, liberal media portrays intactivists as anti-science, nutty incels, namely because of the close alliance with men’s rights activism. Yet those smug, gullible information agents paid to bring us the news will be the first to change their tune after socialized medicine arrives in America, and instruction comes from on high to shift public opinion against costly, unnecessary medical expenditures — circumcision being the most obvious and prevalent.
Men aren’t allowed to complain about being mutilated against their will at birth and, if they do, are widely mocked, further reinforcing the fact our society views male bodies as expendable and male sexuality something to be feared and reigned in. The foreskin has between 20,000 and 100,000 nerve endings and intactivists say circumcision reduces sensitivity by 75 percent. Slice-n-icers may scoff but, anecdotally speaking, as a victim of male genital mutilation myself, and having bedded thousands of men both intact and mutilated, it is not just obvious but undeniable that uncut penises are vastly more sensitive. You’ve got to alter your whole game plan when faced with one.
As a big fan of the natural look, this year all I want for Christmas is an end to secular male genital mutilation in America and studies show that I’m not alone. The second decade of the 21st century has seen about a 10 percent decrease in the number of male circumcisions performed at birth in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control, and a recent YouGov poll showed only 33 percent of 18-to-29-year-olds supported the practice.
The snip industry thinks Americans are so stupid to believe two thirds of earth’s men are dropping like flies from penile cancer, Aids, or can’t find a mate because their little bishop wears a turtleneck. But if you really need a good reason to be frightened away from circumcision forever, need I say more than Hillary Clinton is a big fan. Are you surprised? She called for mass circumcision of African males to help end Aids.
HIV prevention is one of the more enduring myths of Big Snip. It’s based on a severely flawed study by Western researchers in Africa who claim circumcision cut infection rates by 60 percent, while the researchers controlled for almost nothing, including condom use. Penile cancer is something you’ve probably never heard of. It represents less than one percent of male cancer cases and has an 85 percent survival rate. One in eight American women, however, will get breast cancer and no one is suggesting mass scale tit-lopping, save for the transgender lobby.
Now, to the moms who are going to be upset by this article, don’t be. If you have one of those hardcore intactivist sons demanding an apology for his circumcision, he’s an asshole. That’s crueler than the procedure itself. Blame the hospitals, not the parents, they didn’t know any better. And for my Jewish friends, sorry, but this isn’t about you. That’s not my religion and err on the side of religious freedom, tending to support any rite done in sincere faith as a covenant with God. This column, instead, is for Christians and non-believers.
Circumcision appears numerous times in the New Testament, none in support. Acts Chapter 15 describes the leaders of the Christian Church at the Council of Jerusalem rejecting circumcision for Christian converts. That was the first instance of early Christianity differentiating itself from its Jewish roots. The Apostle Paul explicitly condemned the practice, even calling advocates of circumcision ‘false brothers’. Simon Peter, the first Catholic Pope, too, repudiated circumcision. Circumcision, it goes, is an attempt to perfect the flesh and thereby is a glorification of it. Jesus Christ was the ultimate, and last, blood sacrifice. He made all others, including circumcision, irrelevant, unnecessary or even blasphemous. For Christians, that sort of attention to the flesh detracts from the perfection of the spirit, which is all that matters.
Roman and Hellenistic societies also found the practice repulsive. But as Paul, who was circumcised, reminded us, if you’re already cut stop obsessing over it. That’s equally bad. Paul possibly was referring to epispasm, a trend at the time of men trying to recreate their own foreskin. It’s come back into vogue today in intactivist circles. One restorer, as they’re now called, detailed the process in the 2017 documentary American Circumcision, now on Netflix, as manually tugging the penis with the aid of a cone for 10 to 12 hours a day over the course of five or six years.
That certainly doesn’t sound very Christian. Even caged chimpanzees find better use for their time. But as Paul wrote, ‘Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised […] Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God’s commands is what counts’.