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Sunday, 22 April 2012


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John Kimble

Great to see the blog giving MGM more coverage.

Worth adding that one of the UK's leading pro MGM activists was found guilty of child pornography offences yesterday:

John Kimble

One small request - can people try to use the term "male genital mutilation" where relevant. In order to obtain equality a first step is to change language and thinking, a good step is to use the same terminology as is common place for describing female victims.


MGM is an abhorrence for the simple reason that child does not have a choice on what is being done to it. On that basis alone it should be banned regardless of any religious factors. They can always choose to have an operation when they are older if they really decide they want it based on an informed decision.


Are you really arguing that male circumcision, which the majority of Jewish and Muslim boys undergo, is as dangerous and harmful as female genital mutilation?

Please look at this article for more info. It begins:

"While some people may consider any kind of circumcision to be a form of mutilation, it is important to identify the distinction between male and female circumcision. One of the most compelling reasons for the distinction is that some of the more extreme forms of female circumcision (also known as female genital mutilation or FGM) have very serious short-term and long-term health consequences; consequences that don't arise for males who are circumcised."


Whether or not MGM is harmful isn't the issue. Boys should should be protected from those who would mutilate their genitalia just as girls are. A child (under 18) cannot have a tattoo in the UK, even if he or she wants one, yet a boy can have his genitalia mutilated without any say in the matter.

When he's 18, he can decide for himself whether he want to be circumcised and/or have a tattoo.


The harmfulness of the operation is the key issue. Inevitably, parents make very many decisions on behalf of their child that will have a permanent impact on the child's life. Diet, education, culture, emotional support and physical exercise (or lack of it) all have a lasting effect on a person. Male circumcision is supposedly hygienic and it symbolises acceptance into a cultural group. In the vast majority of cases, circumcision won't affect the boy's health, fertility or sex drive when he becomes a man. Female genital mutilation is in a different league. FGM is intended to preserve 'purity' by reducing sexual pleasure; it can make childbirth even more dangerous and agonising, and it frequently leaves the victim in permanent pain. It's a negative choice made on behalf of a child while male circumcision is a positive or neutral one.


@croi "Female genital mutilation is in a different league"

No, it really isn't. And getting very tired of hearing it, to be honest.

MGM can stop a man having normal sexual function and fathering a child - fact.
MGM strips the penis of a massive amount of nerve endings - fact.
MGM is encouraged by male adults - just as FGM is encouraged by female adults where it is practised. It is also performed by female adults on their children. Female adults who are also mutilated.
I'm getting really tired of this 'FGM is worse' stance. People need to wake up and understand that they could well be pretty much equivalent. Or have folks measured the number of nerve endings removed with the clitoris and foreskin and compared the two? And where can I see those results?

I'd love to see the surveys relating to the sexual pleasure of 3rd world village women, that all of these stats have come from, also.

This to me is all about male disposability - it happens to women, it is always considered 10x worse than if it had happened to a man. Well, it isn't, and people need to wake up to that fact. Also, feminists lie, and lie with statistics - and people need to stop parroting those lies.


@croi "It's a negative choice made on behalf of a child while male circumcision is a positive or neutral one."

That's interesting, although I would suspect that the thousands of men who are circumcised and have erectile dysfunction probably as a result, would disagree with you. Still, only males, hey?

Glen Poole

On the MGM v FGM

Firstly they are different which is one of the challenges of ending MGM - in a minority of cases MC has a medical purpose - FC doesn't - and while not at FGM is circumcision - pretty much all MGM that I know of is circumcision -so FGM covers a much wider range of practices

FGM was adopted for campaigning reasons and was appropriate for that campaign

MGM is not necessarily the appropriate phrase as a lot of the MC we want to prevent is not really MGM - it's surgery that could have been avoided - possibly as much as 90% of all surgically clean, safe and well-performed circumcisions in the UK could be avoided and an a non-surgical path taken to remedy the problem the surgeon was seeking to remedy

I am not aware of any FC being performed in the UK in clean, surgical, safe settings with the intention of improving the girls' physical health

However, there is a huge amount of preventable and unnecessary male circumcision taking place in the UK and abroad (including practices where it is appropriate to call it MGM) - and that's what we need to campaign against

The new language that we need to move the campaign forward in my opinion is "Unnecessary Male Circumcision" - and that's the phrase I am now campaigning around - and once we've built a broad understanding and consensus of what "Unnecessary Male Circumcision" - then we will be in a position to say - if you are not doing everything in your power to prevent "Unnecessary Male Circumcision" - then you are guilty of condoning (or performing) MGM

To pick up another point about is MGM the same/worse than FGM well the fact is this:

Some FGM is worse than some MGM
Some MGM is worse than some FGM
Some FGM is worse than some FGM
Some MGM is worse than some MGM

Any attempt to say FGM is bad and MGM is okay is a (sometimes unwitting) continuation of the notion that women have problems and men are problems - which we see in other areas like DV when the assumption is that women suffer it men cause it and men are never victims (and even when they are its worse for female victims)

This is nonsense and the attached 5 minute video explains this in terms of the different levels of MGM and FGM and how they might compare if you are interested:


I think the health thing with MGM is mainly a smokescreen because some people don't want the practice to end. Hence they go looking for a disease for their 'cure'.

I disagree with you on the terminology Unecessary Male Circumcision, to be honest. It implies that the majority of MC *is* necessary. Plus there's no point.. if circumcision is surgically required, is it really circumcision from a cultural point of view? I would argue not. It's just surgery.

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