Readers in Council,
The Japan Times,
5-4, Shibaura 4-chome,
Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0023
The June 29 article “Circumcision is assault, court rules” reported that the regional court in Cologne, Germany recently condemned juvenile male circumcision as an assault, resulting in “grievous bodily harm,”and that the “fundamental right of the child to bodily integrity outweighed the fundamental rights of the parents” - meaning the parents’ right freely to practice their religion’s genital-mutilating rituals without the consent of the victim. I am in complete agreement and I feel almost deliriously happy for the announcement by an authoritative body.
The story reminded me of the May 8, 2011 story “‘Circumcision party’ held in Philippines” describing a culture and a community gone temporarily criminally insane with demented phallic blood lust unleashed on young boys.
Not surprisingly a Jewish group - an Israeli parliamentary committee - denounced the ruling (“German circumcision ban slammed,”July 11), and I fully expect the German court’s ban to be reversed. Even so, it is nauseatingly hypocritical to condemn and even criminalize female circumcision while simultaneously ignoring male circumcision - rationalizing it by the caveat that male circumcision does not incapacitate sexual pleasure, or by the less than convincing and still highly moot medical benefits, or with the argument of cultural tradition.
Male circumcision is a genital mutilation because it renders boys less than whole by robbing them of their full complement of natural equipment. Equality of the sexes demands that males’right to genital integrity be congruent with that extended to females and that it be strictly enforced by law. Hence any artificial or elective excisions in that area deserve equal condemnation.
I have little regard for (incomplete) circumcised adult men ridiculously defending and even boasting about their diminished condition.
But I could be wrong.
On Saturday, July 21, 2012 The Daily Yomiuri newspaper printed the small story“German Parliament defends circumcision.” So the backward reaction that I predicted already started.