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Of all the things I might regret losing…

I think this might be about the last thing I’d memorialize.

But looking on the bright side, this must be one happy guy if that’s the one thing that he’s most sorrowful about.

The Steelers must be doing well, then.

Comments

  1. Fred Salvador - The Public Sucks; Fuck Hope says

    But looking on the bright side, this must be one happy guy if that’s the one thing that he’s most sorrowful about.

    Not sure if srs…

    Also this man is exactly 12 years older than me. That is not relevant, but kinda cool. Or, not, all things considered.

  2. StevoR says

    Reminds me of a few, old, bad jokes :

    Did you hear about the circumsizer who missed and got the sack?

    Or the circumsizer who collected up all the foreskins through his career and when he retried had them made into something. Itended up being just the size of a purse and he was very disappointed but the seamstress made him happier by pointing out thatif he rubbed it it became a suitcase!

    Or the one where Moses is about to comes down off the mountain but then pauses and asks god “So tell me again, the Arabs get allteh oil and we’re suppose do cut the ends off our WHAT?!”

    (I know, I know, I’ll see myself out.)

    PS. AhhWhatthehell! One last one :

    How do we know the planets are all female?

    Answer : Gurl nyy unir beovgny crevbqf!

    Coded in rot13 – cut’n’paste and decode via this :

    http://www.rot13.com/index.php

    link.

  3. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    It might as well say “I AM MAKING YOU THINK ABOUT MY PENIS RIGHT NOW”

    LOL yeah but its making me think of a sad penis. Which, frankly, is not one I want to be around.

  4. Randomfactor says

    Or the plastic surgeon who used foreskins in blepharoplasty (eyelid reshaping). Except that the patient came out cockeyed…

  5. says

    I wouldn’t be so quick to trivialize this man’s activism. His sexual organ was surgically altered without his consent and without medical cause, while he was a minor. Some men regard that as a violation of their bodies and an abuse of power. I don’t think it’s for anyone but this gentleman to say how important the loss of his foreskin should be to him.

  6. interrobang says

    I don’t think it’s for anyone but this gentleman to say how important the loss of his foreskin should be to him.

    Important is one thing, sticking it on the back of your car is quite another thing, which is a mockworthy thing to do. Putting a sticker on your car isn’t “activism” anyway; it’s jingoism. (What exactly is “activist” about putting a sticker on your car? And you’re making this out to be some kind of thing? Holy crap, liberals are wishy-washy these days.*)

    Personally, if I were going to have a tribute to anything I’m missing, it would say OF ALL THE THINGS I’VE EVER LOST, I MISS MY MIND THE MOST.

    ________
    * I am not a liberal, I am a good old-fashioned leftist.

  7. ImaginesABeach says

    willempretorius – I think you will find that most people around here agree that circumcision is an unwarranted and unnecessary assault on a boy’s bodily integrity. It’s just a bit weird to make in memoriam announcements about your foreskin on your vehicle.

  8. Alukonis, metal ninja says

    I like how the sad smiley isn’t even a smiley, it’s a sad EMOTICON.

    Also how everyone knows how old this guy is. I just find that amusing, I dunno.

    I am sorry for his loss, though. And for his Steelers fandom.

  9. says

    interrobang – That you see his sticker as “mockworthy” probably has something to do with the fact that you don’t see it as a form of activism. Perhaps he sees it as a conversation starter, to get spectators talking about circumcision and the rights of newly born children – grassroots activism. The fact that it’s a weird thing to do is probably part of the intent since it draws attention.

    I don’t know what you mean though by this not being a “thing”; it’s an ethical issue and that’s a “thing”.

  10. says

    Honestly, I don’t think the world would suffer one iota if male circumcision went away tomorrow, but people like this seem like they must have some much deeper-seated manhood issues if a foreskin gets them so wrapped around the axle. (Note: I do not consider male and female circumcision equivalent, so if any MRA wankers are reading this and planning to play that card, kindly fuck the fuck off.)

    In fact, considering how many homophobes are closet cases, I wouldn’t be half surprised if this guy has a drawerful of lingerie at home. As someone who’s spent the last couple of years coming to terms with being genderqueer myself, I would love to see this guy get pantsed for a panty check.

  11. Fred Salvador - The Public Sucks; Fuck Hope says

    Important is one thing, sticking it on the back of your car is quite another thing, which is a mockworthy thing to do.

    Not if it’s about mutilating the genitals of male infants. It’s “not as bad” as mutilating the genitals of female infants, but it’s still bad and still needs to stop.

    Putting a sticker on your car isn’t “activism” anyway; it’s jingoism.

    I am quite happy with this nonsensical assertion. If you put a Darwin fish on your car, you are a Falagist scumbag.

  12. jimthefrog says

    Somewhat sympathetic to the whole “mutilating young boys” angle, as it is an odd and not terribly justifiable thing to do, but… I’m a circumcised man myself and I don’t give a shit. I really can’t relate to this guy, but each to their own – I’m certainly not going to say he shouldn’t be upset about it. Up to a point.

    Personally, I’m quite glad about the lack of foreskin. No extra cleaning duties, plus it goes down well with women. Not sure I’d do it to my own son, but no one should compare it with female circumcision for one second. It’s not in the same league.

  13. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Ah. So telling people how to respond to things that happened to them is okay. You just have to make sure you pick the right things and the right people.

  14. says

    …if a foreskin gets them so wrapped around the axle.

    Generally I’m opposed to circumcision, but if there’s a case like the above I can see a use for it simply from a vehicular safety standpoint.

  15. gregoryhilliard says

    “The Steelers must be doing well, then.”
    I dunno. I heard that Ben Roethlisberger said he had “a little tear” in his rotator cuff. Not good for your quarterback.

    And to Carpenterman, I’ve found Pittsburgh to be a very nice city, although I still prefer Phoenix.

  16. Fred Salvador - The Public Sucks; Fuck Hope says

    Note: I do not consider male and female circumcision equivalent, so if any MRA wankers are reading this and planning to play that card, kindly fuck the fuck off

    What if there are folk who don’t subscribe to the MRA hugbox mentality, yet still find the idea of mutilating a child’s genitalia fundamentally unethical? Are we to “fuck off” also?

    Deriving schadenfreude from forcibly outing a homosexual – or indeed implying that this man being a closet homosexual would somehow demean or degrade him – doesn’t seem very enlightened. How’s about this; how’s about you fuck off, re-evaluate your attitudes towards humans and human problems, and come back after you have developed the capacity to reason.

  17. Doug Hudson says

    @20, that’s always been the case. For example, telling MRAs that they shouldn’t compare male circumcision to female genital mutilation is generally approved, since the two are quite different in degree if not in kind.

    In the case of this sticker, I think the big issue isn’t the sentiment (although I do find that a little odd) but the approach. While there might be someone out there who takes that sticker seriously, I highly suspect that most people who see it will find it incredibly silly (or possibly offensive).

    I mean, really, “in loving memory”? I suppose some people might be able to remember when they were newborns with foreskins vs. newborns without foreskins, but I find it difficult to believe. And the life and death dates for the foreskin? And the emoticon?

    No matter your cause, making it look silly is counterproductive.

  18. John Horstman says

    But looking on the bright side, this must be one happy guy if that’s the one thing that he’s most sorrowful about.

    Wait, really? You think that someone for whom the non-consensual and non-medical surgical intervention on hir body is what ze considers the most sorrowful thing to have happened to hir must be pretty happy, the implication being that cutting bits of someone’s body off without hir consent can’t possibly be that big a deal to anyone? Really?

  19. Dave, ex-Kwisatz Haderach says

    I like it. Its good to see more people taking a stand against genital mutilation. If I didn’t drive a company vehicle, that I’m not allowed to personalize, I’d get one too. Doesn’t seem silly to me in the least.

    My parents decided that my bodily autonomy was irrelevant and severed and sacrificed a piece of me in deference to a sky monster that I don’t believe in. That absolutely should not be legal.

    And this sticker in no way makes any implications about this man’s sexual preferences or choice of underwear, its bullshit to pretend otherwise.

  20. John Horstman says

    @19: The reason genital cutting is wrong is that it’s a violation of the bodily integrity of someone who is unable to express consent. The extent of the ‘damage’ (I’m using quotes because some will not consider some forms of genital cutting to be damaging) is entirely irrelevant; genital cutting of males is exactly as wrong as genital cutting of females for the exact same reason (for the record, some forms of female genital cutting are exactly equivalent to male genital cutting, removing only the clitoral prepuce aka hood – those still aren’t okay; also, sometimes male genital cutting inadvertently removes far more of the penile tissue, though this is less frequent than it is for female genital cutting, since the removal of more tissue is frequently intentional in the latter) – it ignores the consent and bodily agency of the only person it impacts. I’ve never understood the ‘cleaning’ point – rolling the foreskin back in the shower/bath/when sponge- or washcloth-cleaning oneself/whatever is not exactly difficult or burdensome.

  21. Fred Salvador - The Public Sucks; Fuck Hope says

    My parents decided that my bodily autonomy was irrelevant and severed and sacrificed a piece of me in deference to a sky monster that I don’t believe in. That absolutely should not be legal.

    Exactly this.

    Female genital mutilation and male circumcision are not, and should not ever be considered, medically/ physically or ethically equivalent.

    Morally, they’re as wrong as each other. I would judge a surgeon who performs male circumcision less harshly than I’d judge one who amputates the clitorises of female infants, but I’d still find them both reprehensible.

  22. says

    In fact, considering how many homophobes are closet cases, I wouldn’t be half surprised if this guy has a drawerful of lingerie at home. As someone who’s spent the last couple of years coming to terms with being genderqueer myself, I would love to see this guy get pantsed for a panty check.

    For clarification, so I can be sure I understand what your point is here:

    1) What is homophobic about being upset that part of his body was cut off against his will?

    2) What does lingerie have to do with being a homosexual?

    3) How does this man putting a sticker in his window justify the criminal assault of ripping off his clothing?

    4) What does your gender have to do with your desire to see a person assaulted?

  23. What a Maroon, el papa ateo says

    I am sorry for his loss, though. And for his Steelers fandom.

    I recently saw this on a bumper sticker: “If you ain’t a Steelers fan, you ain’t shit.”

    So I take that to mean that if you are a Steelers fan….

  24. jimthefrog says

    @27: I repeat what I said before: I am a circumcised man. I really don’t know why my parents decided to do so, but not for one single miniscule second of my life have I felt scarred, mutilated, abused or missing something from my life or my body. I consider utterly bizarre that anyone would do so, unless they’ve got other issues going on or they’re the victim of a circumcision gone wrong (if your point is that it’s an unnecessary operation which sometimes goes wrong, fair enough, but I doubt this has a high incidence). Considering male circumcision “exactly as wrong” as female circumcision is absurd and offensive, not just to the victims of the latter, but to people like me who do certainly not consider themselves abused in any way.

    So my parents took away my autonomy? Of cours they did, I was a baby! I had no autonomy. They made a lot of other decisions without my consent too, but as long those decisions haven’t scarred me (and my lack of a foreskin, whatever you may think, is not a scar), I really don’t care.

    About half my closest friends are also circumcised (unusually for British males) and they all feel the same as me. Everyone has a right to their own opinion, but I can’t help wondering how many people who get so angry about this have actually been circumcised. Anyway, the level of outrage this seems to inspire in some just strikes me as a bit ridiculous.

  25. jimthefrog says

    Out of interest, I don’t suppose anyone knows of any opinion polls on the matter amongst non-religious circumcised men?

  26. says

    Fred:

    First off, I didn’t say he was a closet homosexual, I said there’s a good chance he’s a closet genderqueer. Transpeople compensating for their gender dysphoria with excessive machismo/bimbosity are fairly well-documented.

    Second, although there are a few cases for staying (nominally) in the closet — Anderson Cooper doing it to avoid flak from potential homophobic interviewees comes to mind — and I think as long as you don’t make it your business to make other people’s business your business, you can stay in as deep a closet as you want, yes, I fully support outing hypocritical homophobe/transphobe closet cases. The way Marv Albert was treated back in the 90s, I now realize, was shameful, because that was between his wife and whoever he was cheating and/or stepping out with; however, I don’t remember Marv ever being known for being particularly hateful towards anyone, at least not in public. On the other hand, consider Marvin Gaye’s father — I recently read up a little on his murder, and it’s pretty clear that his dad, who was a major crossdresser as well as a minister, was in deep, deep denial about his genderqueerness and it probably screwed up Marvin and his family’s upbringing very, very badly, as well as being a factor in being shot by his father.

    Like Ted Haggard, like Larry Craig, like any number of right-wing gay/bi closet cases, genderqueer people trying to sublimate their desire to be the opposite gender to any degree into the toxic swamp of men’s right’s activism, are actively hurting people and need to be named and shamed. Their privacy is forfeit if they won’t respect others like them. Now is this guy one of those people? I don’t know. But it seems to me that a lot of men in the MRA and anti-circumcision movements have some deep-seated gender issues and should be forced to confront them.

  27. says

    #29:

    Both involve metaphorical closets and shaming of people who dare step out of them. They are not the same, but there are a lot of parallels. Second, I’m pretty sure a literal panty check is not exactly helpful; it’s called hyperbole.

  28. says

    @31: I think the foundation of anti-circumcision arguments comes down to the logic that, although many men do not mind being circumcised at all, there are some men who do, and since circumcision is very arduous to reverse (by stretching the penile skin to form a new foreskin), circumcision should be avoided until the individual can give informed consent to the procedure. (Unless of course, circumcision is somehow medically necessary for an individual.)

    Some men who were circumcised without their consent as children may wish as adults that they still had their foreskin for a variety of reasons – some of which may include a desire for different experiences during masturbation or intercourse, or for aesthetic reasons. I see no logic in denying them that experience on the basis of your personal indifference (or more aptly, the indifference of their parents or guardians).

  29. jthompson says

    @jimthefrog: Agreed.

    I do know what my parents were thinking: My mom’s nephew got an infection under his foreskin that ended in him having to be circumcised and made him miserable until it happened. I’m pretty ok with that reasoning.

    But yeah, acting as though your foreskin is a dead kid? That’s not silly, it’s fucking creepy.

  30. says

    It is causing awareness, discussion and opposition. The sticker is as much awareness as it can get.


    Anyway, that whole circumcision thing. Maybe it is not a big deal, but it is still a nonsensical deal. Isn’t it? It is a gravitated if the logic behind it was religious or an attempt to deter you from masturbation.

    Should it get illegal? I think it is not as big of an issue for boys as female circumcision. I am uncircumcised. I think it is nonsense to do it. But it is clear that circumcised people do not feel “mutilated” or anything like that. And there are parents that might have legitimate beliefs to do it, like the unproven claim that it is better to combat STDs (Which is not really as relevant as it was before condoms were invented, really)

  31. Paul says

    But it is clear that circumcised people do not feel “mutilated” or anything like that.

    This is only true if you discount the people that do feel that way. This is common. That doesn’t make it correct. Even if it does seem to be mainly MRAs that make the claim.

    And there are parents that might have legitimate beliefs to do it, like the unproven claim that it is better to combat STDs (Which is not really as relevant as it was before condoms were invented, really)

    This claim only arose when trying to justify circumcision to have a valid medical purpose in the first place. Accepting this rationale would mean that any religious rite on a kid would be ok, as long as the parents legitimately believe it’s good (and guess what, that’s the case for FGM — the family believes it to be legitimately helpful to the subject in many cases).

  32. Paul says

    This claim only arose when trying to justify circumcision to have a valid medical purpose in the first place.

    Erm, duh, I suppose. I meant to say that a posited medical benefit only arose in an attempt to justify circumcision with something other than Biblical principles or trying to Stop Masturbation. It is not as if people started circumcising babies because they thought it would combat STDs; they tried to search for health benefits to justify an already extant practice.

  33. nathanielaaron says

    I find BrianX’s bizarre gender policing pretty offensive. It’s funny that apologists for circumcision like to say that it’s okay, because the men who have been circumcised don’t seem to mind. But then, when a circumcised man does speak up about how he regrets it, he is instantly dismissed for overreacting, being silly, or (apparently) even not being a Real Man.

  34. Stacy says

    A sticker to raise awareness about the fact that circumcision is medically unnecessary, potentially harmful, and violates the bodily integrity of babies, would be fine.

    A sticker that mourns the cut-off foreskin smacks of self-pity.

    You think that someone for whom the non-consensual and non-medical surgical intervention on hir body

    When he was one day old–

    is what ze considers the most sorrowful thing to have happened to hir must be pretty happy

    –And pretty self-important, and pretty self-pitying. Abso-fuckin-lutely.

  35. says

    I find BrianX’s bizarre gender policing pretty offensive.

    I’m glad I’m not alone on that.

    As xe has mentioned only recently coming to grips with xir gender identity, I’ll assume that there’s some excessive enthusiasm blinding xir to the fact that gender policing other people’s feelings about their bodies is really, really not okay. It’s not cool when cis people do it and it’s still not cool when someone on the trans spectrum does it. In fact, hang out in a trans community and you’re far more likely to be smacked down for that one than you would elsewhere. Even the term “pre-op” is often discouraged, because it implies judgment about what someone else is going to do.

    Or maybe I missed the “we wear ladies’ undies and oppose circumcision” part in the genderqueer handbook.

  36. nathanielaaron says

    @41 It seems to me that the best way to raise awareness that routine infant circumcision can be harmful, is to draw attention to the fact that some men who were circumcised as infants wish they hadn’t been. You know, seeing as one of the defenses of circumcision we always hear, again and again, is: “Well I was circumcised, and I don’t mind.”

  37. David Marjanović says

    It might as well say “I AM MAKING YOU THINK ABOUT MY PENIS RIGHT NOW”

    Seconded.

    No extra cleaning duties,

    Those seem to be a myth anyway. The worst I ever get is dust sticking to the outside

    plus it goes down well with women.

    That differs geographically and individually.

  38. says

    #43: “he/him” will be fine. I’m genderqueer but male-born and identified so far.

    And honestly, do me a favor and cut the half-informed crap. Until fairly recently the bulk of anti-male circumcision activism has been coming from horrible people (i.e. MRAs), and it kind of disappoints me that there are sane people validating those shitheads. There’s context here and you don’t get to make it go away by trying to pretend there isn’t.

    As for gender policing — that is not what I’m doing. What I’m doing is saying that people who insist on getting in other peoples’ business for no good reason should have no right to keep their own business private. Gender per se hasn’t much to do with it.

  39. says

    I am also doing one other thing: I am calling people out who obsess over their foreskins (like the yutz in the picture) for being obsessively insecure about something that is not actually a problem. Not a lesser problem (no “Dear Muslima” kind of thing) — not a problem at all. There’s a world of difference between trying to end a practice you don’t like (which is what the sane people who oppose male circumcision are doing) and obsessing over it to the point of stenciling your anger on the back of your car. I don’t know if it qualifies as a symptom of some kind of mental illness, but it certainly indicates that the person in question has more deep-seated issues than the tip of their own penis.

  40. stevenbrown says

    Hmmm. Why is everyone assuming that this guy was born in 1970? I could be wrong but it seems to me there might be times when a grown man might have to have his foreskin removed due to infection, accident or a night of drunken stupidity involving a back ally tattoo and piercing shop….

  41. says

    BrianX, what makes you qualified to judge how other people should feel about their bodies?

    MRAs latch onto lots of issues in which they can claim those they view as male as being oppressed. That doesn’t mean every issue MRAs have touched is automatically tainted and unworthy of caring about. They have also supported the inclusion of trans women in women’s spaces before. Does that mean supporting trans women should automatically be suspect?

    As for gender policing — that is not what I’m doing. What I’m doing is saying that people who insist on getting in other peoples’ business for no good reason should have no right to keep their own business private. Gender per se hasn’t much to do with it.

    The person who used that sticker–as silly as the sticker might be–may be an MRA or may not be. That person may be male identified or may not be. All you can judge is what the sticker says. “I wish I had my foreskin” is not equal to “Fuck all y’all, everybody has to feel like I do.” The sticker isn’t getting into other people’s business. By making claims about how the owner of that vehicle should be denied a right to privacy you are getting into someone else’s business.

    If you dislike intactivists, fine. That doesn’t mean everyone must be silent while you ascribe actions or opinions or identities to people for no reason. As mentioned upthread, for all anyone knows the sticker was a joke to mock bumpersticker memorials.

  42. Happiestsadist says

    I knew something would make me de-flounce.

    BrianX: As another genderqueer person, you need to shut the fuck up with the homophobia and transphobia right the fuck now. “Jokes” about assaulting and outing people? For the “failure” at being sufficient cis in your eyes? Fuck you, douchebag.

    David M: I don’t get the “OMG HYGIENE!” thing about it either, though all my cocks are non-flesh and live in a drawer. From the penis-havers I know who are intact, it’s pretty much 30 seconds of washing.

    And uh, agreed with your last sentence there, though not a woman.

  43. says

    #50:

    Neither homophobic nor transphobic, but overcompensating-in-the-closet-phobic. I have no problem with people who are honest with themselves, nor with people who have a reason to stay in the closet that doesn’t involve self-shaming. Make an ass out of yourself because you can’t be honest with yourself? Then I have a problem. (It can be fixed of course. But like I said, without that, you get people like Ted Haggard.)

  44. chigau (違う) says

    stevenbrown
    The dates on the window are “July 17, 1970 – July 18, 1970″.
    That format usually indicates birth and death.

  45. Happiestsadist says

    BrianX: Nah, just garden-variety bigotry. You have no reason to believe the dude ain’t cis. However, you think assaulting him to show off his apparently humiliating queerness or trans-ness is totally okay. No, asshole. Go directly to FAIL.

  46. DLC says

    Stevenbrown@48 : how about because he mentions his foreskin being in existence between two dates in 1970 ? I guess it is possible that he could have been born without a foreskin, had one grow in on July 17 1970, and had it snipped off on July 18, 1970. . .

  47. says

    In other words, I only support outing assholes who are assholes because of the reason they’re in the closet. Is my meaning that unclear?

  48. stevenbrown says

    Ah, I missed the end date.

    I’ll just say that I found the sticker to be quite amusing. And if the guy in question was hoping to inspire some discussions about circumcision then I guess he achieved that at least once. Probably more because PZ is hardly the only person to pick up on this.

  49. Happiestsadist says

    And that’s totally why any man who doesn’t adhere to your standards of manliness is a fag or trans. Right. And only gay men or trans people would be so pathetically compensating for having surgery performed on them without their consent. You are a fucking idiot.

  50. says

    Blah, blah, blah. That’s not what I believe at all, but you don’t really care what I actually believe, do you? You’ve already got a picture in your head, and it’s not going to change. GFY.

  51. Fred Salvador - The Public Sucks; Fuck Hope says

    @31 – Good for you, to be so self-possessed; thing is, your experience and opinion are irrelevant to the base immorality of surgically interfering with a child’s genitals unnecessarily. No doubt there are women who believe the amputation of their clitoris is no big deal; doesn’t make the unnecessary amputation or the prevailing culture that allows (and in some cases demands) the procedure be performed any less reprehensible.

    I am also doing one other thing: I am calling people out who obsess over their foreskins (like the yutz in the picture) for being obsessively insecure about something that is not actually a problem.

    And so the Strawman Factory trundles on. It’s not about an obsession with foreskins at all; it’s about an abhorrence for unnecessary surgical interventions being performed on the genitals of healthy infants by adults who claim sovereignty over their child’s body. To you male circumcision is not a problem. To males who have been circumcised in deference to the dictats of a God they don’t believe in, or simply as part of a culture which accepts these unnecessary surgical procedures as “beneficial” or “traditional” (in the same way Somalis believe FGM is “beneficial” and “traditional”), it is a huge problem.

  52. stevenbrown says

    It’s not about an obsession with foreskins at all; it’s about an abhorrence for unnecessary surgical interventions being performed on the genitals of healthy infants by adults who claim sovereignty over their child’s body.

    This. A person is a person regardless of age and allowing things like circumcision simply reinforces the idea that infants and children are less than adults.

    I am also doing one other thing: I am calling people out who obsess over their foreskins (like the yutz in the picture) for being obsessively insecure about something that is not actually a problem.

    Who said he is obsessing about it? Maybe he and his partner are having their first son, discussed circumcision and decided they thought it was wrong.

    Then, because it was on his mind, he stopped off to get his sports team stuck on the back of his truck and thought it would be funny to get a sticker about his foreskin.

    He’s since been driving around for the past year and a half and no longer even remembers he has the sticker except when someone asks him about it.

  53. says

    In other words, I only support outing assholes who are assholes because of the reason they’re in the closet. Is my meaning that unclear?

    And you were able to determine this person is in the closet and is in the closet for asshole reasons? All that from a window sticker?

    Damn. Why do all the mind readers waste their time in blog comments? There’s a million dollar prize waiting for you out there.

  54. Dave, ex-Kwisatz Haderach says

    BrianX, who the hell made you the arbiter of what is and is not a problem? I get to decide if I have a problem with someone performing unnecessary surgery on me without my consent. Admittedly, in the grand scheme of my life, it is a fairly minor grief, but I have a best friend who’s sex life was seriously screwed up because of his parents slavish devotion to a barbaric tribal practice. You want to tell him its not a problem? That he didn’t need those years of therapy and one very wonderful understanding young woman to undo his trauma?

    You bet, FGM is horrific, but we don’t need an oppression olympics, and we don’t need to argue which is worse. Both need to stop and its is possible (and heartily encouraged) to oppose both at the same time.

    I’m still tearing down my religious inspired ignorance about gender identity (mostly through Natalie Reed’s wonderful blog) so I won’t say much, but fuck you for claiming that you get to decide who should be outed and when.

    And David M @45, I gotta ask, how exactly do you end up getting dusty? I mean, I’d understand sandy or muddy, but you really leave it alone so long it gathers dust?

  55. Nepenthe says

    Who said he is obsessing about it? Maybe he and his partner are having their first son, discussed circumcision and decided they thought it was wrong.

    Then, because it was on his mind, he stopped off to get his sports team stuck on the back of his truck and thought it would be funny to get a sticker about his foreskin.

    He had a custom window decal made for the purpose of announcing to the world the state of his penis and his sadness about it. Granted, he’s not (I assume) out protesting several times a week like Foreskin Guy at the University of Chicago Hospitals, but it certainly speaks to a slight obsession.

  56. Ogvorbis: The only post-Permian seymouriamorph says

    The dates on the window are “July 17, 1970 – July 18, 1970″.
    That format usually indicates birth and death.

    Or the worlds slowest mohel?

    That’s not what I believe at all, but you don’t really care what I actually believe, do you?

    All anyone here has to go on is what you have written. And based on what you have written, your desire to out anyone who is an ‘asshole’ sounds pretty bad.

    . . . it certainly speaks to a slight obsession.

    Or a twisted sense of humour (and that would be twisted by even my standards)?

  57. jthompson says

    @Fred Salvador: People aren’t just assuming he’s obsessed with his departed foreskin. They’re figuring he is because he’s got a fucking sticker on the back of his car that mimics the ones people memorialize dead children with.

    It’s not much of a stretch (Har har) to assume he’s obsessed. That or it’s a joke, in which case he probably doesn’t care.

  58. nathanielaaron says

    @62 re @45: Because of the moisture and wrinkliness, lint and dust can stick to the tip of the foreskin. Then it dries, and when you retract the foreskin, you have a black, gritty ring around the middle of your penis.

    (The more you know)

  59. cm's changeable moniker says

    stevebrown:

    Then, because it was on his mind, he stopped off to get his sports team stuck on the back of his truck and thought it would be funny to get a sticker about his foreskin.

    He’s since been driving around for the past year and a half and no longer even remembers he has the sticker except when someone asks him about it.

    Well, maybe. But maybe not. I’ll leave it for you to decide whether it was heartfelt, or done in a spirit of playfulness.

  60. chigau (違う) says

    They’re figuring he is because he’s got a fucking sticker on the back of his car that mimics the ones people memorialize dead children with.

    People have a sticker on the back of their car to memorialize dead children??
    Why?
    Fucking why?

  61. says

    I get the sentiment behind it, and I can understand the argument, though I’m a bit conflicted on the whole issue of circumcision (being Jewish by birth and upbringing), but this particular expression of the argument?

    I dunno…it seems a little cocky…

  62. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    MRAs latch onto lots of issues in which they can claim those they view as male as being oppressed. That doesn’t mean every issue MRAs have touched is automatically tainted and unworthy of caring about. They have also supported the inclusion of trans women in women’s spaces before. Does that mean supporting trans women should automatically be suspect?

    Citation of MRA’s supporting transwomen?

    This immediately made me think that MRA’s pushing transwomen away because they aren’t real men or real women into places they consider less than (like places for women) doesn’t mean they are actually supporting them. That’s not helping.

    I’d love to see what instance you are talking about. I’d love my automatic assumption based off dealing with known MRAs here to be wrong.

  63. says

    #69:

    Because they had a child that died, would be the usual reason. I know someone who has one for a daughter that died thirty years ago.

  64. says

    Re: The Mellow Monkey: Caerie

    Like your using of othering pronouns. That would be seriously frowned upon and probably get you excluded from any trans-related group I’ve been a part of. And yet, there are those who choose other pronouns for themselves, and self-righteous people who foist them upon others.

    Don’t do it. It’s not cool. Should we go around referring to you as ‘it’? Because grammatically, it’s the same thing.

  65. says

    Re: David Marjanović

    No extra cleaning duties,

    Those seem to be a myth anyway. The worst I ever get is dust sticking to the outside

    Eww. That’s all I can say about every guy I’ve dated who said that. Hopefully you’re not the same, as hygiene seems highly variable between individuals.

  66. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Like your using of othering pronouns. That would be seriously frowned upon and probably get you excluded from any trans-related group I’ve been a part of. And yet, there are those who choose other pronouns for themselves, and self-righteous people who foist them upon others.

    Don’t do it. It’s not cool. Should we go around referring to you as ‘it’? Because grammatically, it’s the same thing.

    It’s not being self-righteous. It’s an alternative to use online when talking to/about people where you don’t know their preference on gendered nouns. English only has they/them which is awkward and plural. Caerie only used his/him once BrianX stated his preference. It’s used as not to offend people by assuming gendered pronouns, it’s a shorten his/her or him/she. It is not the same as referring to someone as it.

  67. MelissaF ~ Feminazi in Training says

    Hah, I find that sticker (memorial stickers are a thing? How fascinating.) absurdly over the top, but can’t fault the guy for being a bit miffed. Rather odd way to express his feelings, though.

    Re: Penis lint
    Does a circumcised penis not collect penis lint??
    IMO a bit of lint etc isn’t unclean as such anyway, just a bit of a nuisance to brush off before you do anything sexually interactive with your willy.

  68. David Marjanović says

    BrianX, I still don’t understand why you think the owner of that car is anything but happily cis.

    Eww. That’s all I can say about every guy I’ve dated who said that. Hopefully you’re not the same, as hygiene seems highly variable between individuals.

    Well, I’m not going to provide photos… let it suffice to say that I don’t even seem to produce smegma. Dust… I should probably have said lint (fibers from underpants and the like), it’s rare, and it comes off easily.

    By “outside”, I mean that nothing ever gets under my foreskin. That is the point.

    Also, I just checked. It’s clean right now. :-) I haven’t taken a shower since… Tuesday, I think. When I say “the worst I ever get”, I mean it.

    Then it dries, and when you retract the foreskin, you have a black, gritty ring around the middle of your penis.

    …what?

    Because they had a child that died, would be the usual reason. I know someone who has one for a daughter that died thirty years ago.

    The surprise, which I share, is over the amount of extroversion necessary to tell the whole world about having had a child that died.

  69. Gen, Uppity Ingrate. says

    Ugh, the ‘it’s not clean ew’ argument? Really?

    I can tell you from personal intimate experience that an uncircumcised penis is not more dirty vs a circumcised one in any sense of the word than an unshaven vagina is vs a shaven one. The argument is that absurd.

    Circumcision is a serious issue and needs to be taken more seriously. The violation of a childs bodily autonomy is not okay, and that includes male circumcision.

    This particular sticker? It came of more mocking towards those who do feel violated by their circumcisions than supportive and I don’t like that. I read it as flippant and sarcastic, but YMMV.

  70. What a Maroon, el papa ateo says

    English only has they/them which is awkward and plural.

    Awkward? Well, that’s a judgment call. Plural? Not always.

  71. Rumtopf says

    @Crissa
    Note the “extra” part of that sentence, lol. I certainly hope circumcised dudes aren’t using it as an excuse NOT to clean, now that would be “eww”(considering circumcised willies can produce smegma too, not to mention the sweat). I agree with Gen, totally absurd argument.

  72. says

    JAL:

    Citation of MRA’s supporting transwomen?

    Natalie wrote about a specific instance back in February and the “uneasy alliance” in general since. Most talk about it ends up on anti-trans or MRA sites, which I’d rather not go digging through, but you can find it easily enough if you google. Basically, it’s just a way for MRAs to attack a particular branch of transphobic feminism. Not because the MRAs care about trans rights, but because of their own transphobia, view of trans women as males, and their hatred of feminism.

    Point being, they appropriate other people’s issues and twist them to their agenda. So if someone advocates for an issue the MRAs have appropriated, that does not mean that person is necessarily associated with the MRAs.

    Crissa:

    Like your using of othering pronouns. That would be seriously frowned upon and probably get you excluded from any trans-related group I’ve been a part of. And yet, there are those who choose other pronouns for themselves, and self-righteous people who foist them upon others.

    Xe/ze is used here when someone’s preferred pronoun is not known, instead of s/he. I used the non-specific form until BrianX said he preferred male ones. That is all.

    Should we go around referring to you as ‘it’? Because grammatically, it’s the same thing.

    Go right ahead. I accept when people call me she and I don’t care if someone used “it” instead. My own preference is xe, but I don’t care about pronouns much. I’ve known several people with non-binary identities who identified with “it”, BTW. You shouldn’t assume it’s always an insult.

  73. Richard Austin says

    BrianX:

    I am also doing one other thing: I am calling people out who obsess over their foreskins (like the yutz in the picture) for being obsessively insecure about something that is not actually a problem. Not a lesser problem (no “Dear Muslima” kind of thing) — not a problem at all.

    The abridgment of the rights of children is certainly a problem. Male circumcision is one facet of that problem. You may not see it as an issue, but it does exist.

    In most of this world, children are often looked at as little more than property of their parents, to be done with and used (or abused, or even killed) as their parents please. The notion of children as humans with inalienable human rights is only now being fought for in some countries. Child marriage, child prostitution, child labor, child abuse – all of these stem from the same basic principle: that a child doesn’t deserve to be treated as a human being. That principle needs to be abolished.

    No person has any moral authority to make medically-unnecessary permanent alterations to the body of another without expressed informed and willing consent, full stop; even the “medically-unnecessary” qualification only works in certain cases: most modern nations have very strict rules about who can make what kind of decision in the event that an individual requires treatment and cannot consent directly due to incapacitation. It matters not one whit what the relationship between the people is: such intrusions violate our most basic principles of individual freedom and autonomy.

    I’m glad to stay that the fight for the rights of children as basic human beings is starting to succeed in the United States (I’ve less knowledge in other places). One such battleground is limiting the ability of parents to withhold even medically-necessary treatment from children on religious grounds, which is more and more being disallowed by courts.

    In the interest of full disclosure, I’m circumcised. I don’t consider it to be a mutilation; I don’t feel scarred or ugly. I have a successful sex life.

    None of that is relevant to the issue. Children are not property and should not be treated as such. Parents have responsibilities as guardians and protectors, not rights as owners.

  74. says

    @70, Flewellyn: While I understand that circumcision has been practised within the Jewish culture for a long time, it is my hope that the argument for personal autonomy can convince you to not circumcise your own child without his fully informed consent, should you have a son one day. If circumcision is performed for religious reasons then as others have already said already, it seems inappropriate to force your child into being aligned with a deity that he may not believe in. If circumcision is performed for cultural reasons, it again stands to reason that the child should get to decide how and to what extent he wishes to uphold cultural traditions, rather than the choice being forced onto him. In either case, inducting the child into a religion or a culture by permanently modifying his most private body part without his fully informed consent is a clear violation of his rights and freedoms to lead the life that he chooses for himself.

  75. says

    @85:

    Yeah, I get the argument. And it makes sense. I mean, it IS a violation of bodily autonomy, no two ways about it. And it is, indeed, a form of mutilation. I mean, I personally don’t care that I was circumcised, but that’s me. The ethical argument against it makes sense.

    On the other hand, I worry about the “intactivists” for two reasons. For one, there’s an undercurrent of antiSemitism in some parts of the movement. And, second, the MRAs who seize on this issue tend to use it mostly as a way to derail conversations about female genital mutilation.

    So, I guess it’s one of those things where I get the objection in theory, but in practice roll my eyes at many of the people who make it their primary issue of activism.

  76. David Marjanović says

    I’m glad to stay that the fight for the rights of children as basic human beings is starting to succeed in the United States (I’ve less knowledge in other places).

    In the US, parents are allowed to name their children as they please. In much of Europe that’s limited. The stated reason is that children have a right not to have a ridiculous or otherwise burdensome name.

  77. darwinharmless says

    PZ, I get that you don’t miss your foreskin, and that you think anybody who does is mock worthy, but I do wish you would not lead the mocking. You set the tone for your comments, and you are contributing to the “it isn’t important enough to even think about” argument we hear all the time. It may not be important for you, but it is for some people. Me for instance.

    What I am about to say in no way trivializes the extreme forms of FGM, which are truly horrific, but one doesn’t have to be an MRA asshole to see the connection between infant male circumcision and FGM. For those on this comment thread who have displayed their ignorance, FGM very often is far LESS of an operation than male circumcision, often amounting to a symbolic pin prick on the clitoral hood. In another form it is virtually identical to male circumcision, involving the removal of the clitoral hood, which is essentially the same organ as the foreskin, and serves the same purpose. The result is identical to the result for men – thickening and drying of the skin and loss of sensitivity. In any event, ALL forms of FGM are illegal in America, including the pin prick variety. Infant boys have no such protection, and I can’t see why.

    Finally, I’m so impressed by the way so many commenters think it is okay to tell other people which personal issues they should care about. I found out that I was circumcised when I was seven years old. It pissed me off even then, but I kept my mouth shut because nobody talked about it in the primitive world I was born into. Now that the issue is getting some attention, I’m adding my voice, and my sense of outrage. Anybody who thinks it isn’t “mutilation” has a very limp definition of that word. I have no hesitation calling my dick “mutilated”, and all you smug assholes who are happy with your mutilated members can just go fuck yourselves.

  78. joanneschmitz says

    ‘For those on this comment thread who have displayed their ignorance, FGM very often is far LESS of an operation than male circumcision, often amounting to a symbolic pin prick on the clitoral hood. In another form it is virtually identical to male circumcision, involving the removal of the clitoral hood, which is essentially the same organ as the foreskin, and serves the same purpose. The result is identical to the result for men – thickening and drying of the skin and loss of sensitivity.”

    You left out the third form. Removing the entire clitoris. Which analogous operation doesn’t happen to boys.

  79. darwinharmless says

    You left out the third form. Removing the entire clitoris. Which analogous operation doesn’t happen to boys.

    @joanneschmitz And you think that indicates that am not aware of that form, or that I somehow fail to compare that form to male circumcision? That is the form that most people think is the ONLY form.

    Did you fail to read my previous sentence, which refers to that form? “What I am about to say in no way trivializes the extreme forms of FGM, which are truly horrific” Are your reading comprehension skills really that bad?

    So, what are you doing? Are you denying the validity of comparison because the male form is never as extreme as the female form, therefore it’s not really an issue? That is very ignorant, because there is a comparison between most forms of FGM and infant male circumcision.

  80. goon says

    Personally, I’m quite glad about the lack of foreskin. No extra cleaning duties, plus it goes down well with women. Not sure I’d do it to my own son, but no one should compare it with female circumcision for one second. It’s not in the same league.
    Goes down well with women? According to studies an intact penis makes sex more pleasurable for both men and their female partners. All this “ant-eaters are icky” -nonsense from Americans is laughable.

    Extra cleaning duties… that has to be a joke.

    And sometimes it is in the same league. There are more mild forms of FGM which are definitely comparable to if not less severe than male circumcision.

    This issue should be so easy for everyone (everyone makes the decision themselves), but unlike this man, most circumcised men just can’t be objective about it. It’s like a weird version Stockholm Syndrome where they can’t handle the truth.

  81. chigau (違う) says

    I had prepared a comment, complete with links to WHO, when I realised I was discussing FGM on a thread about MGM.
    oops

  82. sillypollock says

    Thank you The Mellow Monkey: Caerie for your comments. I was joking with my friends about the people who put those on their cars. Who wants to be reminded every day of ones they lost that they loved and thought it would be funny to do this and they dared me to do it. IT IS JUST a joke. People need to lighten up and have a sense of humor. Each day at a red light I see people laughing, so if they were having a bad day and I could make them laugh for a moment so be it. I have been married for 18 years, and my wife won’t let be do her hymen next. BTW it took 3 tries to order it, the church sites rejected me. AGAIN it is a joke!!~
    And trust me I have had my share of girls, beyond looks it helps to have a personality as well as looks.