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Jewish Journal

The Great Penis Debate: Is Circumcision Genital Mutilation?

by Ilana Angel

June 1, 2011 | 9:11 am

There is a group of people who are trying to have circumcisions banned on boys under the age of 18, unless it is medically necessary.  You can read in depth articles written by Sue Fishkoff and Jonah Lowenfeld.  I believe everyone is entitled to his or her opinion and I applaud those who fight for a cause they believe in.  However, this is beyond ridiculous.

My son was circumcised in a religious ceremony, by a mohel who was also a doctor.  However, even if I had opted out of the religious aspects of the circumcision, I still would have had it done.  I think it is cleaner and simply looks better.  At the risk of pissing off a lot of people, I think it’s just prettier.  Can a penis be pretty?  Yes, I believe it can.

I asked my son if he remembered being circumcised and if he was traumatized by the experience.  His responded: “If I tell you it hurt like hell and I still have nightmares about it, will you feel so bad that you buy me car?”  I told him no and he added, “Mom, seriously. I think you should buy me a car though.  It’s all coming back to me now.  Ouch!”

I take offense to those who are saying that a circumcision is male genital mutilation.  Come on people.  It is not mandatory for parents to circumcise their children.  You can do it or not, but do not tell me what I can and cannot do.  To rule that a man can choose do to do it on his own at 18 is insane.  You want to talk about leaving a lasting impression?  That’s going to hurt.

The things people will fight for, especially when there are so many things that need our attention, fascinate me.  I wonder if there has ever been a poll asking women which type of penis they prefer.  If snipped won would parents opt for the procedure if it meant their sons might grow up to get more action?  I will take an unofficial Facebook poll and report back.

I don’t mean to make light of a subject that clearly people are passionate about, but the bottom line is that this is a waste of taxpayer’s money.  I chose to do it for religious and personal reasons.  My son is not scarred by it and even if doing it meant I would need to buy my kid a car 16 years later, I still would have done it.  It is my choice and I stand by it.

I’m not qualified to speak about the religious aspects of the debate, but I can say that it is a part of my faith and that someone telling me I cannot practice my faith is offensive, illegal, and un-American.  The people who are pushing for the ban should be fighting to stop true genital mutilation around the world, not attacking a covenant of the Jewish faith.

I invite those who are convinced that circumcision causes long-term damage to a child, to please take pity upon my son and his penis and buy him a car to ease their pain.  He would like a truck and we are available to go shopping most weekends.  Circumcision is a personal choice and a religious right. Will this ban be thrown out with the foreskin?  I’m keeping the faith.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Ilana Angel writes two blogs for JewishJournal.com. KEEPING THE FAITH is about her worldview as a single Jewish mother, and KEEPING IT REAL is all about reality television....

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