Regular followers of this blog will be well aware of the Thornhill Clinic, Luton, and the boast by the people running it, that it’s the largest private male circumcision clinic in the UK. Our protest outside the clinic during the afternoon of 22 March (details below) will relate specifically to the non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors (Male Genital Mutilation, MGM). Male minors cannot – legally – give informed consent to the procedure.
We strongly urge parents who are thinking of having their sons circumcised – whether at the Thornhill Clinic, or elsewhere – to explore the content of the website Neonatal Cutting.
Darrel Gregory is the Executive Director of the Thornhill clinic, and my recent email exchange with him is here. Details on Mr Gregory and the four doctors working at the clinic are here. The doctors have been placed by A Voice for Men on their Known Genital Mutilators directory, and our previous two posts on the clinic are here and here.
We shall be joining Men Do Complain at the protest – as we did in two protests in the autumn – and it will be held outside the clinic between 15:00 – 18:00 on Tuesday, 22 March. The clinic’s opening hours on Tuesdays are 15:30 – 17:30, and the address is 1-3 Thornhill Road, Luton, Beds. LU4 8EY.
We wouldn’t be surprised if the people running the clinic decided not to open it that afternoon, but no matter. Both national and local media will be attending and filming the protest, as will supporters of MDC and J4MB. It hopefully doesn’t need to be said that we’re planning an entirely peaceful protest, which won’t be directed at any religious group(s).
We’re confidently expecting an even larger attendance than we saw at the very successful protest last International Men’s Day, in Parliament Square. A video (6:30) of that protest is here. We’ll be ordering more placards etc.
We urge you to attend the protest, whether or not you’ve been personally affected by MGM. We have men at these protests who were themselves circumcised, and have no problem with that – but they believe firmly that in future, male minors should not suffer the procedure, and be allowed to make up their own minds after they’ve passed 18 years of age. MGM is, of course, only one of many areas where the human rights of men and boys are assaulted by the actions and inactions of the state. 20 such areas were outlined in our 2015 general election manifesto.
The reasons MGM remains our #1 campaigning issue don’t change over time:
1. MGM is an exercise in harming a minor’s body, and is duly illegal. This is not our opinion, but that of a prominent barrister speaking at a conference in 2013.
For MGM not to be illegal, there would have to be a parliamentary override, and no such override exists. There are no exemptions in the law of England and Wales for religious or cultural considerations. I recently had a 20-minute-long discussion with Dr Simon Hochhauser, one of the Co-Chairmen of Milah UK, a Jewish organization promoting the continued mutilation of the genitals of eight-day-old baby boys. The discussion was on BBC 3 Counties Radio, and it’s here.
2. MGM is unethical, for precisely the same reasons Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is unethical. (FGM has been specifically illegal since 1985.)
3. MGM is a human rights violation, and breaches Articles of UN and EU conventions. For details, click on the first link in (1) above.
4. The historical objective of MGM was to reduce the pleasure males would later derive from sex, to encourage their fidelity to their wives, as explained in an excellent article by William Collins.
5. MGM can lead to further physical and psychological harm and therefore suffering, and sometimes death – as a direct consequence of the procedure, or later suicide. Should anyone be in any doubt about the issue of physical and psychological harm, they are invited to watch a video (49:32) on Tim Hammond’s Global Survey of Circumcision Harm. Tim, an American, will be talking on the topic of circumcision harm at the second International Conference on Men’s Issues, London, July 8-10.
Gregory Boyle, an eminent Australian psychology professor, has spoken in a video about the psychological suffering he experienced as a result of the procedure.
Among our list of key posts are many about MGM, scroll down to ‘Male Genital Mutilation’.
I urge you to join us at the Thornhill Clinic protest, for which we’ve already been assured strong support by leading anti-MGM campaigners. We have every reason to believe it will be the largest such protest ever held in the UK. Please email me firstname.lastname@example.org if you’ll be able to join us. Let’s have a protest on a scale that people won’t be able to ignore. It’s time for MGM to be consigned to where it has long belonged – the dustbin of history. Thank you.