"...the conclusion is always there ready-made before the thinking process; the thinking does not serve, as in the rational realm, to arrive at a correct conclusion; rather, it serves to confirm an already existing irrational conclusion and to rationalize it. This is generally called "prejudice"; what is overlooked is that this prejudice has social consequences of considerable magnitude, that it is very wide-spread and practically synonymous with what is called 'inertia and tradition'; it is intolerant, that is, it does not tolerate the rational thinking which might do away with it; consequently, the thinking of the emotional plague is inaccessible to arguments; it has its own technique within its own realm, its own 'logicality', as it were; for this reason, it gives the impression of rationality without being actually rational."
- Wilhelm Reich, "Character Analysis"
One way circumcision is perpetuated is by prejudice against intact men. Some men get themselves circumcised in order to escape this prejudice. Others have their sons cut to protect them from it. Both ways are evasions, not solutions. Like hair-straightening and skin bleaching by Black people, they are defeatist and demoralising.
Anti-foreskin prejudice is rife on US mass media, TV sitcoms and soaps, talk shows and movies, notably
Comedy Central - Chelsea Handler
Sex and the City
The Joan and Melissa Rivers Show
The South Park Movie - bigger, longer and uncut
"Jock Sturges' catalog of pretty children in the nude has netted him a few legal actions; here we get his lovely remake of Boticelli's Venus (this would apparently be when Venus was a kid) and his less-lovely shot of an uncircumcised lad. I'm not appalled by the naked boy, mind you, just the uncut male member. But however much I disagree with a surplus of foreskin, I will defend to the death your right to see it...
- Rebecca Schoenkopf reviewing "Banned and Barred"
at BC Space Gallery, Laguna Beach, Calif.
in OC weekly Vol. 6 No. 52, Aug 31 2001,
defending our right to see something she wishes didn't exist,
and who presumably wishes Caravaggio's boys and Michaelangelo's men were circumcised.
At one school in Australia, circumcised boys would not allow intact boys on their football teams. Two acquaintances of the speaker had themselves circumcised for this reason.
Told at the Sixth International Symposium on Genital Integrity, Sydney, 2000.
"Opening the draw string of his pants, he allowed the filth of his uncircumcised penis to unsheathe into the air."
"The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon" by Richrd Zimler (written 1999, set in 1507), p 54.
My mother asked what kind of bathroom facilities the dormitories had. She knew that one of the reasons I didn't want to go to a conventional college was the shared toilets. "Where will you go pishen [to piss]?" she asked. "What about the gayen cocken [gentile penises]?"
"When I Was Cool: My Life at the Jack Kerouac School, a Memoir" by Sam Kashner (Century, London, 2004)
Mrs Kashner evidently believed even the sight of a foreskin could contaminate.
"Keep moving, cheese dick."
- Bruce Willis as Dr Malcolm Crowe to a man who is "seeing" his wife in The Sixth Sense
Men's Health for Dummies A Reference for the Rest of Us!
by Charles B. Inlander and the People's Medical Society. IDG Books, Foster City, CA, 1999, ISBN: 0-7645-5120-5
The illustrations for hydrocele, vasectomy and digital rectal examination show circumcised penises. Others are ambiguous. (There is no illustration for penis as such.) The only references to the foreskin are to the supposed hazards of owning one. The entry for "circumcision" is a confused and confusing grabbag:
Circumcision - removing the foreskin of the penis - may be controversial, but some studies show it reduces the likelihood of urinary tract infections (UTIs). [From what to what?] It's thought that the foreskin tends to trap bacteria, setting the stage for infection of the urethra. Men who are uncircumcised experience a higher rate of UTIs than man who are circumcised. [UTIs are almost unknown in men.] Also, several studies have shown that uncircumcised men are twice as likely as circumcised men to catch sexually transmitted diseases such as human immunodeficiency (HIV), herpes, human papillomavirus, and syphilis. A 1997 study that looked at the data from the National Health and Social Life Survey found no preventive benefit to circumcision.
But circumcision may prove beneficial in the case of penile cancer. Almost all cases of this [very] rare type of cancer occur in men who are not circumcised at birth, and areas of the world where circumcision is uncommon have higher rates than countries where boys are routinely circumcised. [FALSE] It is believed that if the penis isn't kept clean, smegma, a buildup of mucus and other secretions, can collect under the foreskin and cause irritation and inflammation of the glans (the cone-shaped tip of the penis) and can contribute to the development of cancer.
The following illustration shows how a circumcision is performed.
The following illustration shows how a circumcision is performed.
Sex and Human Loving by William H Masters, Virdinia E. Johnson and Robert C. Kolodny (598 pp, Little, Brown, 1982-6)
Following through from their "test" of penile sensitivity that ignored the foreskin in Human Sexual Response, Masters and Johnson say this about the foreskin:
The skin that covers the penis is freely movable and forms the foreskin, or prepuce, at the glans. [At this point one might expect some reference to the structure and function, even pleasures, of the foreskin, but instead...] Inflammation or infection of the foreskin or glans may cause pain during sexual activity. Sometimes the foreskin sticks to the underlying glans when smegma, a naturally occurring substance of cheesy consistency made up of oily secretions, dead skin cells, dirt particles, sweat, and bacteria, is not regularly washed away from underneath the foreskin. [Smegma does not actually cause the foreskin to stick. This is much more likely to result from premature retraction.] This type of problem occurs only in uncircumcised men and is one argument in favor of routine circumcision [...just as toe-jam occurs only in people with all their toes and is one argument in favour of amputating them. One waits in vain for any arguments against routine circumcision].
[When this is presented as "the Penis", is it any wonder many circumcised young men imagine they are intact? The penis is actually anchored quite a bit better than this, with about as much shaft tissue inside the body as outside. In both books, Masters and Johnson show remarkable ignorance of male anatomy.]
Circumcision is the surgical removal of the foreskin. As a result of this minor operation, usually done shortly after birth, the glans of the penis is fully exposed. Circumcision is sometimes a religious practice, as in Islam or in Judaism, where it symbolizes the covenant with God made by Abraham [Only in Judaism. In Islam it is done for ritual cleanliness.]. In the United States, it is often done routinely for nonreligious reasons, whereas it is [much] less common in Canada and Europe [and Scandinavia and Russia and Central and South America and Asia].
The advantages of circumcision are primarily related to hygiene and health: smegma does not collect, the glans of the penis is easier to clean, conditions of inflammation or infection are less likely to occur, and cancer of the penis is less frequent. Although the rate of cancer of the cervix is considerably lower in the spouses of circumcised men [false - and it could hardly be lower when the rate in all men is so very low -], it is not certain that this is a cause-effect relationship. Opponents of routine circumcision see no dear reason for this operation [and many clear reasons against it] and suggest that removing the skin protecting the glans weakens the region's sexual sensitivity since it constantly rubs directly against clothing [or rather, state the obvious, that removing the foreskin removes sensitive tissue. Masters and Johnson's blindness to the foreskin and its role is almost pathological at this point.]. Others believe that circumcision increases the risk of premature ejaculation (this is probably not true, since the foreskin of the erect uncircumcised penis retracts, exposing the glans [this statement makes no sense at all - unless you assume that the foreskin itself has no function], and researchers have not found a difference in the rates of premature ejaculation in circumcised versus uncircumcised men). We are not aware of any believable evidence demonstrating that circumcision affects male sexual function one way or the other [Their threshhold of "believability" was Everest-high.]. In any event, uncircumcised men who practice routine hygenic care are unlikely to be at any major health disadvantage [But "any event" includes the possibilty that it is circumcised men who are at a disadvantage.].
In 1982, plastic surgeon Donald Greer and his co-workers reported on a small number of men who were so dissatisfied with having been circumcised as infants that they underwent a complicated series of operations to reconstruct the foreskin. [This small number of men has unsurpisingly proved to be the tip of an iceberg, now that non-surgical restoration has been developed.] While the results were reported as uniformly pleasing to these men, it was also noted that the reconstructed foreskin (which was taken from the scrotum) had a noticeable difference in skin texture, color, and contour from the skin on the shaft of the penis. [Yes, there's nothing like the original.] The series of operations takes up to a year to complete.
The appearance of the penis varies considerably from one male to another. These variations are due to differences in color, size, shape, and the status of the foreskin (circumcised or uncircumcised). [No reference to the considerable differences in foreskins. One image is made to suffice for all.] Some examples of different male genitals are shown in Figure 8.
[All other images of the penis show only circumcised ones]
By contrast, here is what they say about the female analogue of the foreskin, the clitoral hood:
"SexualityandU.ca, published by the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada / la Société des obstétriciens et gynécologues du Canada
What is Sex?
Take a Look at Your Body
Male Sexual Organs
Your penis is multipurpose, responsible for sexual pleasure, reproduction, and secretion of both urine and semen. The end of the penis, called the glans, contains the urethral opening that allows urine and semen to pass from the body. In uncircumcised men, an additional layer of skin covers the glans, and is referred to as the foreskin. [The foreskin is not "additional", it is standard equipment. Circumcision is "subtractional"]
The main part of your penis is called the shaft, and the raised ridge that separates the shaft from the glans is called the corona. [This describes the penis only when circumcision has obliterated the sulcus. The corona is usually considered a part of the glans.] The entire penis is sensitive, but the glans and the corona are really sensitive [to pain. The foreskin is sensitive as the lips are.]. An erection occurs when your penis becomes stimulated, filling with blood and expanding. Though true of many other species, the human penis does not contain a bone.
MALE REPRODUCTIVE ORGANS (SIDE-VIEW)
MALE REPRODUCTIVE ORGANS (CLOSE-UP)
[The foreskin is missing.]
Source: Purves et al. Life: The Science of Biology, 4th Edition. Reproduced with[out] permission by Sinauer Associates.
Shock! Horror! Prepuce!
Burlesque Performers Accuse Box Owners of Harassment
Scandal has once again ensnared The Box, that decadent burlesque nightclub where the elite gather to enjoy diversions like ''toss a ring on rods stuck up the lady’s orifices." Yesterday self-described "fetish-burlesque" performers Amber and Heather Langley, a.k.a. the Porcelain Twinz (pictured), posted a long, 5,085 word jeremiad on their MySpace blog condemning club owner Simon Hammerstein for sexual harassment, ...
...The description of the sex scene is quite graphic, and makes clear they weren't physically "forced" but felt coerced by their powerful, uncircumcised employer.
[If he didn't actually whip them with his foreskin, why mention it?]
After this first half hour, his set began to touch on a much wider range of topics including black people and magic (they love it), his hate for all dudes who go to bars wearing backwards hats and button-down shirts—he announced to any of those dudes in attendance, “There’s a pretty good chance I fucking hate you,”—and men’s infatuation with sending women dick pics since they all pretty much look the same unless you’re uncircumcised, in which case, “It’s terrifying, keep it to yourself!”
- "Aziz Ansari at the Barrymore Theatre " A.V.Club (Madison, Wis), May 4, 2012
(Remarkable Silences around circumcision are now on their own page.)
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