I was going to simply say, Genital Mutilation, not specifying Male or Female, since in my opinion AND anatomically; both are completely unethical, destructive, and forced upon the mutilated. But since someone already pointed out FGM; then, as a member (no pun intended) of the mutilated majority of American Men, and in an effort to maintain gender equality, and dispel Misandry, I feel it necessary to point out the disgusting state-sponsored and Industry-sponsored practice of Male Genital Mutilation AKA Male Circumcision, or specifically Routine Male Infant Circumcision (RMIC).
Additionally, the condemnation, dismissal and outright gaslighting of the Intactivist movement and the feelings of those who do feel that they were violated. I was violated by the doctors and nurses who delivered me into this world. Those same doctors obtained informed consent from my parents. Under federal US law, this is actually null, since parents may only give consent to life sustaining or medically necessary procedures upon their children. Legally this is known as proxy consent. As a result only the individual can consent to any procedure upon their own body. This would ensure that the individual’s bodily integrity remains intact. Furthermore, to qualify as informed consent, the information should be unbiased and portray the pros and cons equally. Even though I question the legality of parents’ rights to consent to this procedure, assuming that parents do have the right to consent, when any health care provider, regardless of their position (Obstetrician, General Practitioner, Emergency Physician, Anesthesiologist, NICU nurses, Labor and Delivery Nurses, Social Workers, etc.), intends to obtain informed consent, ethically they must present the pros and cons of each side, showing no preference toward either. To show even the slightest preference could be considered a violation of ethics and potentially malpractice.
Providers should not expect the parents to do their own research, even in this age of the internet where the likelihood of parents having done the research already. It is universally understood that providers are experts in their respective fields and as such we have a valid expectation that we can trust any advice given to us by providers.
Parents (who regret their decision on their own or from feedback from their sons) and medical providers (who also regret their actions) have revealed in print, that consent; especially during the decade that I was born (1980s); was anything but informed. Typically this involved an extremely biased support of performing the medically unnecessary procedure with little or no discussion to the opposition for the traumatic and needless procedure. And that’s if any consent was obtained at all. It’s been recorded by some parents that they were never asked or told that their son was cut until hospital staff handed the parents their son afterthe irreversible surgery was already performed. Another blatant violation of ethics. Your son’s body is his own, as a parent he is NOT YOUR PROPERTY and you can not do whatever you please to him. And the same goes for your daughter’s.
But girls are already protected by law in the United States. Under United States federal law, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is illegal nationwide. This is regardless of any consideration of cultural or religious belief. To create some sense of balance, and since the idea of male circumcision being considered Male Genital Mutilation (MGM) in the US is blasphemy, I’ll call both circumcision, to make a point that whether it’s the same or not is irrelevant.
Where the surgery is covered by Medical Assistance (depending on the state/commonwealth) and is promoted by the National government’s disease research and prevention agency (CDC) both within the US and abroad (HIV Prevention policies in Africa) which equates to state sponsorship. And private insurance covers the surgery without question, even though they place extreme scrutiny upon medically necessary procedures that would actually save someone’s life, and of course, a baby boy can’t really protest can he? If you want supporting documentation, please let me know and I will be more than happy to provide some recommended reading.
I wanted to add a few things. First, MGM is the most common medically unnecessary surgical procedure in the US.
Second, because of independent research done by the parents, the number of MGM done is dropping and, I might add, without any recommendations or input from providers.
Third, there is a deficit in the education that doctors have received, at least in the past, where the anatomy and physiology of the intact penis is completely unknown to these doctors. This is evident in a few ways: an enervation map that I saw in an anatomy and physiology textbook did show an intact penis, but also showed that the nerves stopped abruptly where the foreskin begins. Another example is the misunderstanding of pediatric phimosis. During the surgery the provider will take a thin metal probe (like a really thin bar), insert between the infant’s head and foreskin and uses it to break the natural adhesive that keeps the foreskin attached to protect the infant’s penis. This normal attachment is called Pediatric Phimosis. Unlike the phimosis that might occur in older children or adults, pediatric phimosis is intentional, natural, and required. If the child managed to escape the knife there is still the risk of still being harmed by the provider if the provider forceably retracts the foreskin all because of a lack of education. There are even clothes or patches made instructing any provider to not retract the foreskin. The adhesive attaching the foreskin is the same adhesive that keep our finger and toe nails attached to our fingers and toes. This adhesive will also naturally dissolve once the child goes through puberty.
Fourth, I can’t speak to anything in Islam, but a number of Jewish parents are opting out of putting their sons through the Brit Milah (the ritual circumcision of Jewish boys to welcome them into the world. Instead these parents are opting for the Brit Shalom which has all the same ritual but without the cutting.
Fifth, being an Intactivist or just being against MGM does not make you an Anti-Semite. I myself have Jewish heritage and a good number of Intactivists are Jewish mothers.
Last, to have FGM be illegal, which I support, and to not also ban MGM is not only sexist, but is also a blatant violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment.
If any part of this was written incorrectly or if there are changes to the system that I missed please let me know.