Friday, January 25, 2013

Harry Styles Says "No" To Taylor Swift

And now they're never, ever, ever getting back together.

Ladies, what would you do if your guy was constantly poking fun at a part of your body he isn't satisfied with, and he kept nagging you to get cosmetic surgery to satisfy his aesthetic tastes?

What would you do if your boyfriend kept telling you that you're flat as a board, and that he would like at least a C-cup?

Maybe he thinks your nose is too big, and you need a rhinoplasty.

What if he called your labia unsightly, comparable to an Arby's pastrami sandwich, or a chewed-up piece of bubblegum?

What if he kept nagging you to get a labiaplasty because he thinks your labia are unsightly?

Would you cave?

Or would you tell him to fuck off and find a new boyfriend who appreciates you for who you are?

Well, according to recent news, Harry Styles has apparently dumped Taylor Swift because she kept nagging him to get circumcised. (In the UK, where Styles is from, circumcision is rare.)

It pisses me off the sexist double-standards we have in this country, where girls are taught to demand respect for their bodies and that men not view them as just another piece of meat, but boys are taught that they have to sacrifice themselves to appease a girl.

Women are not to be objectified. Women's rights activists decry the notion that beauty can only be found on the cover of a fashion magazine. They fight to send girls the message that they don't have to fit themselves into the mold of a Barbie doll to appease others.

At the same time, more than half of all US born males are taught from birth that their bodies are not their own, and that they must sacrifice it for social conformity.

"I don't want him to be made fun of in the locker room," goes one quip.

"I think it's more attractive, and I don't want any hypothetical girlfriends to be grossed out," goes another.

Self-respect and empowerment for one sex, conformity and subjection for the other.

Why the sexist double-standards?

Good on Harry Styles for standing up for himself.

Guys, if you have normal genitals and a girl keeps nagging you to mutilate yourself for her own enjoyment, tell her you will, just as soon as she goes and gets a labiaplasty.

And while she's at it, tell her to upgrade to a D-cup.

Then maybe you'll think about it.

Or better yet, show her the door.

She ain't worth it.

Find someone who doesn't have a fetish for mutilated penises and who will love you as you are.

Related Articles:

Circumcision Propaganda Parodies

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Circumcision Propaganda Parodies

Last year, I wrote about how circumcision promoters in Uganda were turning to outright stigma and misandry to push circumcision on males there.

For this post, I have created parodies based on the posters being propagated in Uganda as part of the so-called "mass circumcision campaign," in order to illustrate just how hateful and sexist their messages are, and how people would be disgusted at the same posters would that the genders were reversed.

Let's begin with the first poster:

We've all seen this one.

This quite possibly the one that pissed me off the most.

In this country, feminists are always talking about how they resent viewed as just another piece of meat for a man. They balk at boob jobs, buttocks enlargement, dental floss bikinis, high heels, all manor of body alterations, accessories and apparel in order to fit the mold of attractive beauty desired by a patriarchal society.

But yet this kind of propaganda is acceptable for males.

In response to the above poster, I created this:

I wonder what the response of Western women be if they knew something like this was circulating in Africa, or any part of the world.

Another poster that really pissed me off was this one:

It's wrong on so many levels.

I go into more detail in a past blog post.

In response to this poster, I created the following:

And this would not be inaccurate; studies do show a reduction in HIV transmission among circumcised women. (See here and here.)

Of course some may say "the studies are flawed," which is precisely the case regarding male circumcision.

But this isn't the problem. Even assuming the studies presented here were 100% accurate, they would still not be enough to cause the WHO to promote the wholesale circumcision of African women.

There could never be enough "research" to promote the genital cutting of women in any way shape or form.

At times, the propaganda doesn't even seem to try to feign an interest in HIV prevention.

And forget the fact that you're HIV negative. More important is the fact that a man isn't circumcised.

I talk more about it here.

In response to this poster, I created this:

Is the deliberate sexism obvious now?

Women, how would you feel if you read something like this regarding your own bodies?

Having created the posters above, I went on to create posters of my own.

(What can I say? I was on a roll!)

Basically, what it boils down to.

Circumcision for HIV prevention simply isn't causing the mass flood towards circumcision clinics the so-called "researchers" and promoters were expecting, so now they're basically trying to use women's opinions and stigmatization of intact men to try and create the demand they want.

And a last one.

This is an old one, but one that seems to persist as rationale for male circumcision.

The same rationale could never be used to promote genital cutting in women.

It is an insult to point out normal and natural aspects of female genitals, i.e. smells, secretions etc., but calling out the same normal smells and secretions in men is fair game.

When will men have the same respect as women?

Related Post:
UGANDA: Circumcision Promoters Turn to Stigma and Misandry

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Celebrity Endorsement: Shakira Pimps Her Baby Bump

 Shakira and Gerard Piqué pose for UNICEF

In what is at least an ostensive act of charity, Shakira is using the fact she's pregnant to help raise funds for UNICEF.

It all sounds like a noble good cause, but there's a big reason I will not donate to UNICEF, and others should become aware and refuse to fund them as well.

UNICEF promotes the circumcision of children as HIV prevention policy.

The following is an excerpt from "Children and AIDS: Second Stocktaking Report" pamphlet:
"Young people everywhere need accurate and relevant information about sexual and reproductive health and HIV transmission, as well as opportunities to build risk-reduction skills. They also need access to appropriate HIV prevention services, including voluntary counseling and testing, harm reduction, sexual and reproductive health services, PMTCT and male circumcision, and to commodities including condoms."
"Accurate and relevant information" indeed.

Yes, I'm sure "access to male circumcision" is precisely what these children "need."

Currently, UNAIDS is working with the Swaziland Ministry of Health to introduce and scale up neonatal circumcision, this, even though in recent studies, HIV transmission was found to be more prevalent in circumcised males in Swaziland, not to mention other African countries, and countries around the world, and there is absolutely zero evidence that infant circumcision has any effect on HIV transmission.

Another celebrity that is tacitly endorsing male circumcision as HIV transmission is Annie Lennox, not to mention others who sang with her at the Hope Rising! "benefit concert" in Toronto.

I wonder what goes through celebrities' minds when they hop onto charity bandwagons like this.

Is it that they're honestly interested in charity and helping those in need? Or is it merely empty PR projects with the intention of gaining a positive image? (Or an image at all?)

Maybe they actually really mean well, but don't scratch deeper than the surface, and are content with just being associated with "a good cause."

I grew up listening to Shakira, so part of me wants to believe she is actually interested in doing good for children, and not just taking advantage of charity to both boost her image AND announce her pregnancy.

I wonder if any of these celebrities actually look into the causes they decide to champion, or if they merely just hop on for the publicity...

Intactivists Beware
UNICEF promotes the circumcision of children as HIV prevention policy. Do not donate to UNICEF, and discourage others from donating to them, until they make a clear statement that they will not promote male genital mutilation as HIV prevention policy.

Become aware of organizations that promote, finance, or facilitate male genital mutilation cloaked as "HIV prevention strategy" and BOYCOTT them.

Relevant Facebook Page:
Foreign Aid Charities and Orgs: HANDS OFF Children's Penises

Related Articles:
Annie Lennox Tacitly Endorses Male Circumcision as HIV Prevention - TWICE

The 'Circumcision Song' Hits Airwaves Across Africa Thanks to Bill Gates' Funding

When All Else Fails, Hire a Sports Team

Friday, January 4, 2013

Edgar Schoen Showing His Age

In a reality where circumcision is increasingly falling out of favor, Edgar Schoen appears to be absorbed in an idealistic dreamworld, where citizenship to a country is marked by being male, and whether or not his penis has been mutilated at birth.

In an article he wrote for JWeekly recently, he raves on about circumcision being "the norm" in this country, touts the so-called "medical benefits" of it, and plugs infant circumcision using rather out-dated propaganda. In the end, though, Schoen reveals his true interests in infant circumcision, as he brow-beats Jewish parents who are beginning to abandon the practice.

In this blog post I take apart his most recent circumcision plug piece.

Schoen describes the world of his fantasies on JWeekly
"In this country, circumcision is the norm. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 89 percent of non-Hispanic white males in the United States are circumcised. If an American boy is uncircumcised, it generally means his parents are immigrants, usually Hispanic, or low-income."

I'd like to take this opportunity to point out how the very idea of opposing male infant circumcision makes me a "racist anti-Semite." But it seems Edgar Schoen can get away with the bold-faced racism that he is demonstrating here.

In Edgar Schoen's world, only circumcised, non-Hispanic white males count as being "American." This can be pardoned, and one can only pass as being truly "American," if a male comes from an affluent household, and has been circumcised. If an American boy is not circumcised, it is because he is a son to Hispanic immigrants, or low-income white folks. (And therefore don't count as being "American"?) It sounds as though Edgar Schoen would like to supplant American culture with his own culture of origin, where being circumcised is a mark of being Jewish, and not being circumcised makes you an outcast. (Although, according to tradition, a male is Jewish whether he be circumcised or not, if his mother is Jewish.)

It is interesting, the numbers Schoen wishes to quote from the CDC. 89% sounds very impressive, although this number denotes the number of adult males who are circumcised from birth. The fact is, however, that, according to the CDC, the rate of infant circumcision in this country has fallen to approximately 56%, from 80-90% in the 1980's.

The following is a graph of male infant circumcision rates by state:

Data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (H-CUP) 2009 Statistical Brief

Perhaps, at one time, circumcision was "the norm," in this country, but not so much anymore.

Schoen fails to mention the downward trend of male infant circumcision in this country because it doesn't paint his desired reality.

He also fails to hide his true interest in infant circumcision:

"The exception is a small number of middle-class boys whose parents have been convinced by activist anti-circumcision groups to leave their baby boys “intact,” as they call it. Parents targeted by lay anti-circumcision groups are usually well educated, secular and liberal, live in coastal “blue” states and are attracted to alternative/holistic medical practice.

Many Jews fall into this profile, so that now, thousands of years after the covenant between Abraham and God mandating circumcision on the eighth day (Genesis 17), we see Jewish boys with foreskins."

Schoen also happens to be Jewish, where male infant circumcision is considered to be a divine commandment, and a cherished tradition that has been defended since the time of the Maccabees. Schoen's religious conviction to male infant circumcision is in direct conflict with his feigned interest in disease prevention and public health. Here we note the disdain he has as he witnesses circumcision vanish as a Jewish tradition before his very eyes.

Schoen continues:

"The Bay Area is ground zero for activist organizations gunning against circumcision, such as NOCIRC, NOHARMM and Intact."

Well, at least he has one thing right...

"The arguments of these cultlike groups are based on anecdotes, testimonials, false theories and bogus claims with no scientific support."

Something that has always struck me as disconcerting, entertaining at times, is circumcision advocates' incorrigible projection. For example, intactivists are always being accused of being "cultlike," who always use "false theories" and have "no scientific support." We're also accused of being circumcision "fetishists," but we'll get into that later.

We must ask, what are Schoen's arguments based on?

I challenge readers to look through the current literature. Who wrote it? On what is it based? What do circumcision advocates like Schoen pass off as "scientific support?" They will find that much of the so-called "research" is nothing more than glorified opinion, written by the self-same usual suspects who are looking to vindicate circumcision, based on theories which have either not ever been proved, or even been dis-proven.

"Recently, as compelling medical evidence demonstrates the significant health advantages of circumcision on newborns, there has been a flurry of desperate activity by anti-circumcision groups, as they see their cause being  decimated," says Schoen.

But rather than furnishing said "compelling medical evidence," he goes on a tirade against human rights advocates who oppose male infant circumcision. The decimation of the intactivist cause is something Schoen would like to see materialize, though this does not easily come about by the mere shroud-waving he engages in. Actually, far from being decimated, our cause is going strong and it has circumcision advocates running scared, as readers will see.

"They picketed the local office of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the executive director had to call the police. At an AAP meeting in San Francisco in July, I was harassed by anti-circumcision protesters, leading the hotel to assign me a security guard. This all followed last year’s unsuccessful attempt to criminalize infant male circumcision in San Francisco."

And that's not all. After publishing their latest statement, many letters of criticism were written by intactivists from within and outside notable organizations, but cowards at the AAP have refused to publish them. (We know that there are letters that do not appear on the AAP website because a number of human rights activists published them openly. They are viewable here and here.)

Strangely enough, while they won't publish dissenting letters from intactivists, despite being fully referenced, they will publish Brian Morris praising the new AAP policy statement and tooting his own horn. (Brian Morris is quite possibly Australia's most vocal advocate of male infant circumcision. View his "Welcome" of the new policy here. I rebuke him here, although this too has yet to be published.)

And, as if silencing dissent regarding their latest statement weren't enough, the AAP successfully kicked the intactivist organization Intact America out from inside their trade show last year, even after four straight years of allowing them to exhibit. And, as if this weren't enough even further still, the AAP tried to have the New Orleans Police Department dismantle the intactivist protest outside of their trade show, happening on public property. (NOPD told the AAP intactivist protesters were breaking no laws.)

It is clear that the AAP and circumcision advocates like Schoen are intimidated by intactivists, because they are able to take apart their arguments and call them out on their ulterior motives. The AAP knows their latest policy statement is horrendously flawed, and they are terrified to let groups like Intact America speak on the matter, because they don't want to be confronted with the truth. The extent to which the AAP has gone to silence intactivism, that Schoen would rather hide behind a hotel security guard, shows just how terrified they are of our message, how weak their position actually is, and how inept they are at defending it.

To me, these are the actions of guilty criminals squirming under the light of scrutiny.

The AAP has released a horrendously flawed statement they cannot actually substantiate. Circumcision advocates like Schoen are too scared to confront intactivists. They know it, and they don't want to be confronted with anybody who can give them a run for their money.

 Westin employee defending Schoen from all of ONE protester.

"The documented evidence of the lifetime preventive health advantages of circumcision is overwhelming."

Underwhelming, he means. So underwhelming are the so-called "advantages" of circumcision that no medical organization, yes, not even the AAP, has found it compelling enough to recommend it.

Let us analyze Schoen's usage of the word "lifetime." What does he mean? Does that mean that in a child's lifetime, he is immune to the diseases he mentions? Let it be known; a circumcised male is as susceptible to any disease as an intact male. Circumcision does not, cannot prevent disease transmission, ever. Circumcised males must continue to use condoms for actual protection, and there is no doctor or "researcher" that can deny this fact.

"This year, the AAP stated that the significant benefits of newborn circumcision outweigh the minor risks."

They also said that these self-same "benefits" were not enough to recommend the practice, as they did in their last statement. Circumcision enthusiasts like Schoen just love to leave this part out.

"Severe infant kidney infections, which can lead to kidney damage, are 10 times more common in uncircumcised males in the first year of life."

I believe it's UTIs, not "severe kidney infection"? Really, Dr. Schoen.

"10 times" certainly sounds compelling, but what is the risk for UTIs in intact males to begin with? It's already quite low. The fact is that UTIs are already quite rare in males; they are far more common in baby girls. When a girl develops a UTI, it is easily treatable with anti-biotics. The same is true with UTIs in boys. It makes no sense to circumcise a child to prevent an already rare, easily treatable ailment. Somehow, I doubt we'll hear this from Dr. Schoen.

"The presence of a foreskin leaves a young boy susceptible to painful local infections (balanoposthitis) and inability of retraction (phimosis)."

The question is, how common are these diseases? And are they treatable without circumcision?

"In sexually active years, circumcision provides 60 percent greater protection against HIV/AIDS, which has killed over 20 million people in Africa and tens of thousands in this country. The United Nations, the World Health Organization and the National Institutes of Health have all endorsed circumcision to help prevent HIV/AIDS."

The "research" this claim is based on has been continuously under fire. One of the biggest flaws in this "research" is that the much fabled "60%" is not observable in real-world data. The research is not based on a scientifically proven causal link, but on some un-proven, and even dis-proven hypotheses.

According to USAID, HIV transmission was more prevalent among *circumcised* men in 10 out of 18 African countries. The HIV transmission rate is far higher in the US, where according to Schoen himself, over 80% of the male population is circumcised, than it is in Europe, where circumcision is rare.

But even assuming the so-called "research" to be 100% infallible, the fact of the matter is that circumcision fails as HIV prevention. It fails so drastically to prevent anything that even the authors of the "studies" cannot overstate the use of condoms.

But whats' more, the UN and WHO (which are basically the same organization) have endorsed circumcision in promiscuous ADULT MALES in high-risk areas in Africa. Dr. Schoen would like to sell the fantasy that there is this world-wide campaign to circumcise the children of the world as a HIV prevention measure. Such a campaign does not exist.

"Other sexually transmitted infections that circumcision helps protect against are genital herpes, human papilloma virus (the cause of penile and cervical cancer), trichomonas and bacterial vaginosis."

*Might* help protect, Schoen means to say. The evidence is inconclusive, which is why no physician in the right mind will recommend circumcision as a way to prevent any of these diseases; they stress the use of condoms. The fact is that circumcised males are still susceptible to these diseases, and partners of circumcised males are still susceptible to HPV transmission and bacterial vaginosis. Some research actually suggests that the HPV is more easily transmitted by circumcised males.

Continues Schoen:
"The advantages in old men include avoidance of penile cancer and urinary infections, which are prevalent in the elderly, as well as easier genital hygiene in the incapacitated."

Regarding penile cancer, this is what the American Cancer Society has to say on the matter:
In the past, circumcision has been suggested as a way to prevent penile cancer. This was based on studies that reported much lower penile cancer rates among circumcised men than among uncircumcised men. But in many of those studies, the protective effect of circumcision was no longer seen after factors like smegma and phimosis were taken into account.

Most public health researchers believe that the risk of penile cancer is low among uncircumcised men without known risk factors living in the United States. Men who wish to lower their risk of penile cancer can do so by avoiding HPV infection and not smoking. Those who aren't circumcised can also lower their risk of penile cancer by practicing good hygiene. Most experts agree that circumcision should not be recommended solely as a way to prevent penile cancer.
Geriatric care facilitation seems to be a common theme amongst circumcision advocates. Schoen is not the first to use it, as Daniel Halperin has before. (Daniel Halperin is one of the "researchers" working hard to flood the medical literature with pro-circumcision "research." His office is only a stone's throw away from Edgar Schoen's office.") Hygiene in the elderly is an interesting theme to tackle. The majority of the elderly in Europe are not circumcised, and difficulty in cleaning intact males doesn't seem to be a problem there. It is interesting that Schoen and Halperin suggest circumcision as a way to facilitate hygiene in elderly males, instead of better instruction of geriatric caretakers. Then again, Halperin and Schoen share the same culture of origin. (Both Jewish and vehement advocates of male infant circumcision.)

Continues Schoen: "The newborn period is the ideal time for circumcision."

And here begins Schoen's shameless circumcision plug.

"Not only does early circumcision lead to a lifetime of health advantages..."

Fact: There is no disease that a circumcised man, circumcised at any age, will be immune against in his lifetime. Dr. Schoen cannot deny this.

"...but it is the easiest and safest time to perform the procedure."

False; it is harder to circumcise a newborn because of the small size of the penis. The small size of the penis makes it more susceptible to glans amputation, or full ablation of the penis. Many a lawsuit has been won against over-zealous mohels and physicians. It is easier and safer to circumcise an adult male, because there is more penis to work with, and because analgesia can be properly administered, not to mention that advances in technology have spawned new devices that simplify circumcision for adult mails, as we will read about later on.

"After the trauma of birth, a newborn is programmed to deal with distress."

Babies were just born to be tortured! How about that. The same distress a baby girl would have to deal with, right? Oh no! Perish the thought.

"Stress hormones, such as hydrocortisone and adrenaline, are extremely high, as is the pain-relieving compound endorphin. The male hormone, testosterone, is often in the adult range. All these hormone levels fall within the first few weeks of life."

These hormones shoot up high as a result of circumcision. Schoen does not mention this.

"The newborn foreskin is thin..."

Not thin enough. One of the most common complications of circumcision is hemorrhage. This happens when the foreskin is not fully crushed. If an open circumcision wound is not sutured in time, the child can easily bleed to death, as it has already happened in many cases.

"...making the procedure quick and safe..."

Female infant circumcision can be performed "quickly" and "safely" too.

 "...and virtually painless when using local anesthesia."

Now I see where Neil Pollock (also friends with Schoen, also Jewish) gets his propaganda.

Schoen's claims depend on a few dubious premises; a) that analgesia methods are actually used, and b) that if and when used, they are actually effective. Circumcising physicians may use Tylenol, sugar pacifiers, a topical cream, and/or a local anesthetic injection called a dorsal penile ring block. Research shows, however, that most physicians, as much as 96%, do not use analgesia. The topical anesthetic only serves to numb the area to lessen the pain of the injection, but studies have shown that a dorsal penile ring block is not always effective in stopping the pain of circumcision. (See here and here.) In at least one study, data shows that giving sugar to a child doesn't help to reduce the perception of pain in the child. And, of course, none of these do anything for post-operative pain, and for the pain the child must endure during recovery.

Once again, Schoen is living in a dreamworld.

"Healing is rapid, and complications, usually minor, are less than 0.5 percent."

That depends on what Schoen considers a "minor complication." Botched circumcisions occur so often that there are physicians that actually make a living from circumcision botch corrections. Other complications of circumcision include infection, partial or full ablation of the glans, hemorrhaging and even death.

"At older ages the procedure is more difficult..."

Why necessarily so?

"...with a longer recovery time and a tenfold higher complication rate."

It'd be nice to see the research Schoen uses for this claim.

"The need for general anesthesia makes the procedure riskier."

"Riskier?" Dr. Schoen must correct me if I'm wrong. But isn't the use of general anesthesia become LESS risky as a child grows into an adult?

Almost all circumcision deaths have been due to complications from general anesthesia."

Again, I would like to see what medical literature Schoen backs this claim with.

If general anesthesia is Schoen's concern, then he hasn't been paying attention to the latest developments in adult circumcision in Africa. Is he aware of the new PrePex device being marketed to circumcise adult males in Africa as a so-called HIV prevention measure?

If we're to believe PrePex CEO Tzemeret Fuerst (Can you guess her culture of origin?), the new device requires no surgery, no anesthetic, and the complication rate is rather low. As more devices like these are invented, the myth that "circumcision is much more riskier in adult males" becomes less and less true.

"As noted, uncircumcised males, compared with those who are circumcised, are prone to many health dangers from birth through old age..."

Which are not observed in countries where circumcision is rare...

"...and also may have social problems in the United States, where circumcision is the standard."

 At 56% and falling, not anymore...

"In addition, the easier genital hygiene leads to improved and more varied sexual relations."

This one is increasingly laughable to hear. In other words, European and Asian men have much trouble finding a partner. Is this observable behavior in the real world?

The fact is, genital hygiene can be improved without circumcision. And losing part of your penis means LESS varied sexual relations, not MORE. Once again, it is quite self-evident that Edgar Schoen is growing more and more senile.

"Above all, Jewish men with foreskins are abandoning an ancient family tradition and culture."

Note "above all." Here, Schoen's true concerns come to light, which is the gradual, but sure, abandonment of what is probably the most cherished of Jewish customs; NOT disease prevention and public health. It is disingenuous to be feigning an interest in public health and disease prevention, when true intentions and convictions lie elsewhere.

"My advice for anti-circumcision Jewish parents is, 'enough already.'"

 Funny, this is the same advice I have for Schoen.

"Dr. Edgar J. Schoen is the former chief of pediatrics at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland and clinical professor of pediatrics, emeritus, at UCSF. He lives in Richmond."

He is also the most vociferous advocate of male infant circumcision in the United States. He is also Jewish and has a religious conviction to defend and protect this custom, which is falling out of favor, even among Jews themselves. His feigned interest in disease prevention and public health conflict with a conviction to preserve a cherished tradition.

Edgar Schoen: Rejected Circumcision Evangelist
America is not the only place where Schoen has tried to establish his dreamworld. Apparently he is a circumcision evangelist who has tried to (unsuccessfully) spread his vision to other parts of the world. The following is an excerpt of a letter written against him in the publication Disease in Childhood:

Schoen’s claims have been rejected wherever he goes. When he published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1990, his views were opposed by Poland. When he published in Acta Paediatrica Scandinavia in 1991, his views were rebutted by Bollgren and Winberg. When Schoen published in this journal in 1997, his views were countered by Hitchcock and also by Nicoll. In the present instance, his views are offset by Malone.

When the Canadian Paediatric Society published their position statement on neonatal circumcision in 1996, they followed the views of Poland, not those of Schoen. Although Schoen was chairman of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) taskforce on circumcision that published in 1989, he did not serve on the AAP taskforce on circumcision that published in 1999. That second taskforce distanced the AAP from the views published by Schoen’s taskforce a decade earlier.

(In their latest statement, the AAP continues to abstain from endorsing male infant circumcision, concluding that the benefits, even though they purportedly "outweigh the risks," are still “not enough” to recommend the practice.)

Schoen’s present views on circumcision are strikingly similar to those of Wolbarst, which were published nearly a century ago. This suggests that Schoen’s views are founded in a desire to preserve his culture of origin, not in medical science.

Read more here

Edgar Schoen, the Circumfetishist?
Edgar Schoen has a few peculiar quirks readers may or may not know about. First, he is a collector of large bow ties. In most pictures of him, you will always see him wearing one.

My, he sure prefers black and white pictures of himself, doesn't he.

In addition to his love for bow ties, Edgar Schoen is a poet, and he has written verses exalting the beauty of the circumcised penis. He appeared on the Penn and Teller show "Bullshit" for their episode on circumcision, where he can be quoted saying circumcised penises look and smell better. He can also be seen reciting some of his poetry:  
"It's a great work of art like the statue of Venus
If you're wearing a hat on the head of your penis" 

~Edgar J. Schoen

The "hat" presumably referring to the visible glans?

But what I find to be most disconcerting concerning Schoen is his involvement with known circumfetish groups Circlist and Gilgal Society. Groups such as these openly admit to a morbid fascination with circumcision to the point of sado-masochistic fetish. They advertise that doctors are among their members. There are those on the Internet who discuss the erotic stimulation they experience by watching other males being circumcised, swap fiction about it, and trade in videotapes of actual circumcisions. Some call them "circumfetishists."
Schoen has been seen sending emails to and from the Circlist email list. Circlist is a website and discussion group for men who sexually fantasize about performing and receiving circumcisions, often on small children. Schoen, appears as an author on a pamphlet put out by Gilgal Society (along with the names of many other prominent circumcision "researchers" and people who claim to be "experts" on circumcision, such as Bertran Auvert, Robert BaileyDaniel Halperin, Thomas Wiswell, and Brian Morris.).
Could it be that his obsession with penis cutting extends even further than culture preservation? 
One thing is for sure. Edgar Schoen is a veteran circumcision evangelist whose time has come. It seems after all this time he is stuck in a time warp, still living in a time when being circumcised was the mark of being an affluent American. That time has been slowly fading, and it seems he, and a number of dedicated circumcision advocates, are working hard to try and roll back the clock. He's an old fart whose logic and reasoning are beginning to fail. (Some may argue this may have happened a long time ago.) 
The times have changed, and he is but a living fossil in a world that no longer needs nor wants him. When is he going to finally kick the bucket and sail off to his idealistic dreamworld of the land of the mutilated penis?
The views I express in this blog are my own individual opinion, and they do not necessarily reflect the views of all intactivists. I am but an individual with one opinion, and I do not pretend to speak for the intactivist movement as a whole.
Some may argue that I am engaging in ad hominem. However, pointing out conflicts of interest is not ad hominem. The following is an excerpt from Wikipedia's entry on ad hominem (4/22/2012):

Conflict of Interest: Where a source seeks to convince by a claim of authority or by personal observation, identification of conflicts of interest are not
ad hominem – it is generally well accepted that an "authority" needs to be objective and impartial, and that an audience can only evaluate information from a source if they know about conflicts of interest that may affect the objectivity of the source. Identification of a conflict of interest is appropriate, and concealment of a conflict of interest is a problem.
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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

CIRCUMCISION: The Silent Killer

It's not that uncommon; very often I read on Internet mediums, be it an online parenting forum, some Facebook group or page for parents, or sometimes it just appears on my news feed, someone posts something along the lines of:

"I ask for prayers. Donovan is fighting for his life after some breathing problems he had after his circumcision."

Or, "Please pray for our family. Justin's circumcision wound had trouble healing, and now he's in critical condition."

Of course everyone offers their sympathy.

"We'll be prayin' for ya hon..."

"God is watching over him."

And, of course, when some one dares to call a spade a spade...

"What a tragedy. But was this necessary? Did the doctor tell you this would be a risk?"

...all hell breaks loose:

"Shut the *** up, you heartless ***!!!"

"Circumcision had nothing to do with it! Go the *** away!"

Maybe the person calling out the elephant in the room is even banned from the group, and his/her posts are deleted.

In a few cases I've seen, the tragedy ends in death, pissing MORE of us off, and by this time many can't stand it.

Many readers will recall the Joshua Haskins case, where the mother posted every detail on her blog (her son would not stop bleeding), and then deleted them. While it was perfectly clear that her son was having complications directly caused by his circumcision (at the last minute, doctors determined he needed one more suture on his penis), she started denying this, touting the line her doctors told her to repeat; "He died of heart problems he had before, not his circumcision."

Certainly, Josh was born with heart problems and he spent the first days of his life in a NICU. But the "heart problems" were not what we were reading about on her blog. Josh bled uncontrollably for seven hours until the doctors finally decided to give him an extra suture, but by then it was too late.

Intactivists following Joshua's mother's blog were not going to let this one go. They were following her blog right up to the point where the doctors approved Josh's circumcision, and many tried to warn her about the risk of death. And when Joshua died, the criticism intensified, as did readers who came to Joshua's mother's defense.

"How dare you attack this mother in her moment of grief!"

"You've got some nerve taking advantage of this mother for your cause!"

No one seemed to grieve that Joshua's tiny, fragile state was taken advantage of, or that if he hadn't undergone this needless surgery, he would still be alive.

You know, perhaps some intactivists did go too far with their comments. Some did get pretty nasty, and understandably so.

Perhaps things would be different had we waited for the grieving process to end. Or would they?

Would the Haskins' be more open or closed to listen to others regarding their son's cause of death? Would they be open, or closed to listening to the idea that their son may have died needlessly?

And these catastrophes keep coming. I keep reading pleas for prayers for boys who are left dying after their circumcisions. I keep reading of folks who lost babies just after their circumcisions (but insist it was something else).

It's different when you hear about this from people in your immediate vicinity instead of Facebook.

Not too long ago, a cousin of mine was circulating a plea for prayers among my family for a couple who had just lost their first baby boy in her congregation. I didn't need to inquire too deeply.

"Such a shame too; he only needed to be circumcised before they were released from the hospital."

My cousin said.

I didn't say anything; this was a couple in a church I don't even attend.

But my cousin couldn't seem to put two and two together. More important to her is the comfort she would derive from the thought that others would be praying.

Perhaps when a child is fighting for his life isn't the time to talk about circumcision.

Perhaps when parents are grieving isn't the time to talk about it either.

Death is a risk of circumcision.

An estimated 117 deaths occur every year in the United States due to circumcision. This is a rough estimate, and more conservative than its predecessors (in the past, estimates have been as high as 200 or more deaths per year). The fact is, hospitals are not required to release this data. Adding to this is the fact that doctors lie about a child's cause of death to cover their own bases, and parents, wanting to divorce themselves of any fault in their son's death, are complicit in repeating whatever their doctors tell them.

The child "bled to death." The child "suffered hemorrhage." The child "went into cardiac arrest." The child died of "septic shock."

Nevermind the circumcision performed on him beforehand.

What have the parents to say about the possibility that circumcision most likely killed their baby?

They're grieving. Don't you dare bother them.

And a year later, "Don't remind them. It breaks their heart every time."

Nobody wants to talk about it.

Meanwhile, the tragedies continue.

So when is it a good time to talk about it?

When is a good time to break the silence?