Our thanks to Patrick for this piece in yesterday’s Guardian. The idea that education will ever end MGM is a fantasy held by those afraid of confronting those who mutilate boys’ genitals on religious and/or cultural grounds, and benefit financially. It ignores the psychology behind why the practise continues – males have to be taught to attach value to their mutilations, in order that they circumcise their own sons. It ignores the empathy gender gap. And the article doesn’t even point out that MGM is already illegal in the UK. An extract:
Personally, I would like to see an end to all non-medical infant circumcision, but I recognise that any attempt at a legal ban is entirely the wrong approach. Rightly or wrongly, it would be perceived as an attempt to force assimilation on Jewish and Muslim communities, and would require them to leave the country in order to observe their religion. It would also encourage the very same backstreet, blackmarket practices that pose by far the greatest medical risks.
A similar argument could, of course, be used for FGM.
The piece has attracted 658 comments so far, the one with the most upvotes (227) is from ‘bettycallmeal’:
It’s absolute barbarism. I say this as a man brought up Jewish and ritually mutilated at the age of 8 days, obviously without my consent.
I don’t give a toss about what the Bible or Quran says when it comes to inflicting savage pain and permanent bodily alterations to babies, and neither should the law. Religions were very clever at securing the next generation of adherents hundreds of years ago by forcing parents to brand their children on pain of eternal damnation. It’s ridiculous now though and should be banned.
And if people have to leave the country to observe their religion as a result, so be it.