Tuesday, September 25, 2007

God Doesn't Have a Foreskin

This one's not for kiddies and contains sexually explicit materials.
So, children, ask your parents first before reading on.
Come on! Be good! Ask first! All right?

Last night, on the NZ edition of 60 Minutes, there was an item on the movement to reintroduce male circumcision, and to inflict it on babies right across the board; and never mind the issue of 'choice'. The proponents of said practice—those shown ranged from an amazingly ignorant GP, who does it routinely because right now hospitals won't, to an Australian doctor whose public-health fervor was rivaled only by his ineffably inane arrogance—are gaining strength, and I have a sense that the thing might just become common again; and possibly compulsory in the nanny states of the enlightened western nations. Sorry, that should have been 'benighted'; it just sounds so similar...

The person who took the cake, however, was one high-ranking NZ Rabbi, who finally elucidated the real reason why it should be so—provided that...

See, it's like this:

Adam and Abraham were born without foreskin. Adam and Abraham were made as close to the perfect image of God as is possible. Hence not having a foreskin is more 'perfect' than having one. Hence circumcision is a good thing—provided that...

...well, provided that—get this one and savor it!—you do it for religious reasons. If you do it for public health reasons then it's 'mutilation'.

When pressed, the rabbi conceded—albeit under duress and trying to wheedle himself out of the spot he was in, because he knew how that would look—that the same applies to female genital mutilation. And, yes, one had to concede, he said, that in those places where 'the women accepted it'—for religious reasons of course!—it was kinda OK and should be tolerated; despite what he called the 'attitudes of our society', who by and large frown on this practice, at least when inflicted on women.

Men? Well...it's different. Kinda. Sorta. Less invasive. You just snip off that wrinkly bit of skin and that's that.

What's different? Search me, but some weirdo!s—that's a new word, by the way, introduced in the previous blog: 'weirdo!'—obviously see a difference.

Not that there is. The prepuce in males and females have similar origins. They're both saturated with nerves that help to just make sex more fun. Of course, the foreskin also makes masturbation much more fun. Tut tut! But in this day and age, should it matter?

I've often wondered what the effect is on a man—and on his psyche and his relationship to women, especially in the romantic/sexual context—of being deprived of a part of the anatomy that stimulates and enhances orgasms and the whole intercourse thingie. I know this is a family-blog—sort of; except for the occasional aberrations—but the fact is that a man with a foreskin has less work to do to get himself going full blast (excuse the pun) than one who doesn't. He can, for purely physiological reasons, be gentler and still get there. It also means that intercourse for him is overall a more pleasurable and rich experience on the whole.

So, imagine whole nations—whole damn nations!—and scattered-across-the-world cultures, like the Jewish one, living in a condition where the males of the species can never be like that. Where the males will never know what it means to have a particular kind of sexual experience. They can't. They don't have the equipment anymore; it was snipped off shortly after they entered this world wonderland, and they were mutilated by rabbis who think that doing it for religious reasons makes it not be just 'mutilation'.

Scary, huh?

Of course, this nutcase behavior isn't confined to the Jewish religion—or to 'religion' as such. Apparently 30% of males worldwide have been thus disfigured. In some cultures, not just in the 'God doesn't have a foreskin' example, a circumcised penis is considered esthetically more pleasing and its bearer considered more 'virile'; quite without a reference to the perfection of the God image. Now, I wonder if that's partially because of something I said above, because these same societies often associate—even more than we do—'virility' with 'vigor' and possibly violent predilections of the gratuitous kind. These are also societies with a strong male-dominant element; more so than usual (though I admit I'm not sure what I mean by 'usual'). Pretty much what one might expect of societies where males have a stunted physiological apparatus for experiencing pleasure through sexual intercourse.

And it's been like that basically forever. And it seems that, in some guise or other, with whatever screwy justification, it's not going to go away either anytime soon.

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