By Mark David Blum, Esq.
I wanted to raise one of my more favorite subjects: Mutilating children. For the record, some mutilation of children is a good thing. At least some folks would argue it is. As a general rule I don’t like children so I am biased. On occasion I will tolerate a child; but only as a snack food. Few things in life irk me more than the presence of a child in my world.
Back to mutilating children: There is nothing wrong with mutilating children. As parents, we should be able to puncture or snip off parts of our children at will. Nobody should ever have the right to tell us otherwise.
The State of Massachusetts is the lone State to be taking a stand against mutilating children. I question from where do they get the gall to pass laws barring parents from mutilating their children. Snipping off random parts is a tradition that dates back thousands of years and crosses all cultures and continents. But there is a law being proposed in Massachusetts that will bar a parent from having a child’s foreskin removed.
Let me be clear. I too was a mutilated child. My parents had me mutilated eight days after my birth. Some old Jew in a dark jacket and funny hat snipped off a part of my guy thing. Everybody gathered around celebrated and I sure plenty of food and alcohol were shared. Nobody asked me how I felt about it. As a result of having my genitals snipped (with pinking shears – if you can believe it), I became a member of the tribe of people known as Jews. Somehow being an eight day old child and having my sex organs mutilated made me “one” with the Creator and kept some kind of promise made long before anybody asked me how I felt about this entire experience.
It is not just Jews who celebrate genital mutilation. More often than not, parents elect to have their male children (in the Western world) circumcised. Jews do it to fulfill and obligation to God. Most other folks do it for appearance and hygiene. No, I am not going to drop my pants to debate the aesthetics of a circumcised penis. My shortcomings are my own business and besides, there are more important issues at stake here.
One of those issues is whether a religious practice, for example Jews who circumcise their eight day old sons, is actually a cruel act of genital mutilation and worthy of State interference is banning the practice. Who decides whether to mutilate a child’s genitals? Does a parent’s wishes preempt any interference by government? Can government tell some people they can cut up their children but that others cannot? Do you have to have a religious reason to slice and dice a child’s sex organs or is “looks good” good enough?
I wince at the thought of what it must have felt like at the time. Laying there all trusting and overwhelmed by the attention of so many. Having my diaper removed and then suddenly WTF WAS THAT. I have no doubt I screamed in pain for a long time thereafter. Even peeing (even in a diaper) could not have been pleasant. It hardly seems fair that nobody said, “Hey Mark, guess what we want to do …”. It should have been a crime.
Over the years and course of people whom I have encountered, I have heard many opinions on the aesthetics of circumcision. Some women like it, some don’t. I have no first hand knowledge but I have been told that an uncircumcised penis is far more sensitive at the head and the sexual experience is more pleasurable. I cannot comment as I have nothing to compare it to. Getting laid before you are eight days old is not as easy as it might seem. Honestly, I have no idea if my life has been made better or worse as a result of circumcision.
At its core, however, circumcision is nothing more than genital mutilation forced upon children. In cultures where the same cut and run is performed on female children, our society is all aghast. Female circumcision is considered evil, cruel, and culturally backward. Why then is genital mutilation tolerated on male children?
As the father of daughters I have not had the privilege of having them mutilated. Even that is not quite true as I remember having the ears pierced of my eldest when she was just an infant but not liking the look and removing the earrings thereafter. What was I thinking? I punctured a hole in my child’s head. Did I as a parent have that right to mutilate my child? Thankfully police never caught up with me and the statute of limitations has passed.
Every day in our society, hundreds if not thousands of male children are being mutilated at the wishes of their parents. I would like to think we have progressed as a species to recognize that these ancient rituals that cause us to do unspeakable things to our children is one of those behaviors best left in the past. Over our history, human thinking has evolved and what was once the accepted norm was left behind in shame. I don’t think that we should continue to mutilate our children. At the same time, I do not think the State has any right to involvement in the relationship. We have to defer to the parents. Still, we can re-think the things we do to children.