I don’t often do the cross-posting thing, but I have a piece up on the Guardian today that I feel rather strongly about and thought should share with you here
The more I read about the rituals and the extent of suffering involved, the more appalled I am that it continues with so much official blessing and so many wilfully averted gazes.
A point I didn’t really have space to address in the article is that the pain involved, the suffering involved, the risks involved – of injury, permanent scarring and even death – are, I think, intimately tied up with the business of proving oneself a man. Those pushing these ceremonies are very reluctant to adopt safer, more humane alternatives as this undermines the entire purpose, which is more about the suffering and health risks than anything else. It’s a very extreme and rigid test of masculinity. I find it very revealing that in the participating cultures, men who opt for medical circumcision under clinical conditions are shamed as cowards.
Anyway, not around much to discuss it, but would be interested in the thoughts of the HetPat crew, as ever.