16 June 2012

Circumcision Series - World's Most Controversial Surgery

Circumcision Series - World's Most Controversial Surgery

On NPR [Feb 2007], Author Ayaan Hirsi Ali talked about her new book, Infidel, and discussed her life as a fugitive, how to fight radical Islam, and the need for intolerance against female circumcision. Without a doubt, female circumcision is barbaric and horrific, but what about male circumcision, perhaps not in magnitude, but in concept? This series explores the question of male circumcision given that female circumcision is a slam-dunk-no-tolerance issue. The history of male circumcision is bizarre, entangled in religion, and like female circumcision, is just a bad idea that should be nipped. Ouch.

Circumcision by David Gollaher, 2000, Excerpts
A History of the World’s Most Controversial Surgery
Stripped of medical or scientific support, female circumcision is now viewed as the province of the unenlightened, an outrageous throwback to primitive ideas about women, disregarding women’s suffering and their right to control their bodies. Our revulsion toward cutting the genitals of girls should give us pause, however, for the themes the Western world abhors – removing part of the genitals to reduce sexual pleasure, carving children’s bodies to conform to certain social ideals, visiting pain on helpless children – are all fully present in the history of male circumcision.

This excellent personal documentary both in English and Dutch with English subtitles follows Dutch journalist/filmmaker Michael Schaap as he learns from interviewing his own mother, circumcisers, politicians, Jews, Muslims, a restored British man, and some American activists.

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