Male Genital Mutilation

My story

I was circumcised at ~8 years old. This was not a religious decision as neither my Mum nor me were theistic. I had previously had fumbling semi-sexual* encounters thanks to a girl the same age from my 1st primary school who knew a lot more than I did :s (*read “oral”). But I learned ~8 that I was supposed to retract my foreskin. Okay, gave it a quick tug to see what happened and got a sharp hot pain as you’d expect. Ran crying to my mum and she booked us in with the GP. The trip was a nervous blur, I just got on the table with my trousers etc down as instructed, terrified that I’d get a “semi” if the doc touched me, and terrified of that pain from my foreskin again if that happened (not that I ever had a proper erection before but I was frightened anyway). I didn’t understand the conversation, I can’t remember the alternative, but I “chose” circumcision. My mum signed off on it, and we got booked in for the op. My dad showed up for the op and comforted me beforehand with his sarcastic humour I miss so much.. They put the local anaesthetic on my hand for a bit which felt funny. But when they put the needle in for the general anaesthetic I changed my mind. This pain was worse,  and I didn’t know what was going to happen, how much would they take? I screamed and begged them to stop, then I fell asleep.

I woke up in a hospital bed with a heavy, wet, sore, swollen sensation where my little dick was. Terrified I had a look. Bandaged up a hell of a lot, a little blood, no idea what was down there. I lovely nurse I instantly crushed on came to check on me. I don’t think she had to remove the bandage to check but I felt glad when her bedside manner didn’t match the shame I felt that my penis was probably a mess. I didn’t know how to piss but it stung when I figured out. I stood up too long and the bleeding increased. I couldn’t sleep properly so I tried to play on the MasterSystem they had, but was told off and went back to bed.

After a while I was discharged, I went to my Dad’s by prior arrangement and the jokes didn’t seem as funny. I was told I had stitches under the last layer of bandage. I started getting an erection when the feeling came back but the tearing pain caused me more distress than I could take. After a while I had a hot bath (not sure that was a good idea in hindsight) and with extreme pain slowly pulled off the last of the bandaging, leaving the dissolvable stitches in place. I was relieved at how it looked, weird seeing the head of my penis but nothing “gruesome”.

When I went back to school I was greeted by intrigued kids asking me if it was true I’d been circumcised. Turns out Mrs Pringle had told everyone I was off for a “religious operation”, so that was suitably embarrassing.

As I developed and got used to erections I noticed a few things. It was tight along the underside, and is now permanently bowed downwards (proved tricky in my early missionary sexual exploits), I have a collar of scar tissue around the base of the head which means the once sensitive underside where the frenulum used to be is quite numb, a long scar running the length of the underside from head to base which also lacks the sensation it used to, I need lubricant to masturbate (quite a painful and bloody lesson learned from my excruciatingly horny teen years), and I have a complex about arousal.

I don’t know whether I had actual Phimosis, I haven’t had the guts to ask my doctor the details, but I don’t remember any adversity beyond having a sharp pain at the opening that one time. As far as I know the skin was healthy and not attached along the glans.

I don’t consider it to look any better than it would have been as I don’t know how straight, big, or else it would have been. I have not had my son circumcised, just as I wouldn’t consider asking a doctor to cut my daughters’ genitals.

Arguments

I hear many arguments for circumcision, so I’ll comment on a few here.

Aesthetic: I have a scarred penis, the glans is always exposed without self lubrication, and it bends along the tightest part of skin (underside), so I can’t say this argument works for me. Opinion: Not worth the risk. Choice of the owner of the penis.

Religious: I’m an atheist, always have been. You’d have to prove your God to convice me, but more importantly; you have no right to inflict your religion on your children. Beliefs should not (and must not in a civilised society) trump an individual’s human rights. Opinion: Not worth the risk. Choice of the owner of the penis.

Parental Freedom: Children are not property. We are their wards. As such the removal of healthy tissue does not constitute “care”. Opinion: Not worth the risk. Choice of the owner of the penis.

Hygiene: I clean my penis regularly. I wash it before and after using the toilet or engaging in intercourse, and twice a day during my routine. If you think getting circumcised means you don’t have to keep your penis clean then that’s an issue you (and maybe your partner)  should resolve. Opinion: Not worth the risk. Choice of the owner of the penis.

Medical: 

Various reasons are cited as medical considerations, although non of them strike me as necessities..

Reduced risk of sexually transmitted diseases (despite removal of langerhans cells?) would require a greater study than pointing at Africa to persuade me, and if the use of condoms is still advised then the procedure is pointless. Opinion: Not worth the risk. Choice of the owner of the penis.

Reduced risk of penile cancer is minimal at best, and is only true because the skin at risk is removed (not something we prescribe for any other body part, especially such a low risk part). Opinion: Not worth the risk. Choice of the owner of the penis.

Reduced risk of urinary tract infections within the first year of a baby’s life is something no-one has shown me a study for, which is odd, I’d expect an open wound in that area to increase risk of infection, and doesn’t warrent removal of skin for potentially preventative treatment. Opinion: Not worth the risk. Choice of the owner of the penis.

Conclusion: We are born with a foreskin. Yes that carries the same risks as the rest of our skin, but if you justify cutting it off then please explain why you don’t use that justification for the rest of your body, and why only males should be exempt from legal protections against this happening.

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How to spot a misandrist

They write articles like this

When your average everyday gender egalitarian who calls themselves a Feminist because they’ve never read more Feminist Theory than the dictionary definition, tells you that feminism is just equality of men and women.. ask them if that’s true, then why is raising men’s side of issues considered “misogyny”?

Ask them why a person who can see this hypocrisy and decides not to be a Feminist doesn’t have their reason listened to, yet is expected to forget male suicide rates, infant male genital mutilation, male victims of childhood sexual assault and abuse, the lack of parental freedom for males, gender sentencing gaps, special protections exclusively for females on nongendered issues (like VAWG act), legal exemptions for women in law from the capability of committing crimes like rape and sperm theft, and the insideously successful use of false rape allegations against men, because we don’t consider “manspreading” a serious issue.. 

Posted in Feminism, MRA, politics, society | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

ICMI

Thanks to StudioBrule for the shoutout* at the International Conference on Men’s Issues last year in London. Most of my more recent pieces have been hubbed for free on my Patreon page:

https://www.patreon.com/MnemoniXs

but having only this week changed jobs expect to see more content over the mext month.

Thanks for everyone’s support and encouragement. I’ll see you all soon 😉 

*https://youtu.be/3WuQSjAiurk

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I accidentally a video

Quick link as I’m starting to do these things now. This one is based of an earlier piece as I don’t have the confidence to use new material until I know it’s worth the extra time.

Enjoy

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Why I Fell Out With The Dictionary – a guest piece by @TekThatEnglish

by https://www.twitter.com/TekThatEnglish

“He insisted upon the precision of words, and I have kept faith with him.”

I used to love the dictionary. Whenever there was a disagreement about meaning, it could be whipped out and used authoritatively, even in the midst of conversations where I would proudly dismiss arguments from authority.

It seemed to be infallible. Who could argue with what words mean when we have a book, revised and updated, to inform precisely and without error.

I had a small inkling something was wrong when the word “atheist” came up. Normally this would come around because my understanding was that the ‘a’ prefix negated the ‘theism’ suffix, simply denoting that I or whomever was decidedly not  a  theist.

Examples from dictionaries would be presented, some with the inappropriate “belief there is no god” definition which I so vehemently reject. Where the dictionary properly denoted “a lack of or disbelief in a God or gods” we’d go down a sinkhole of discussing that “to lack” something implies there is something to lack, etc etc..

Now these issues stem not so much from atheism in particular, but more from trying to define ideological standpoints using the common corpus. Dictionaries,  if you don’t know, take their definitions from common usage. Which seems logical, but when people define their ideologies they tend to oversimplify. 

Take Feminism as an example as it’s the one which tipped me off that the corpus isn’t sufficient. Feminism in practice is the active pursuit of rights and privileges for women, based on the belief that women have fewer or lesser rights compared to that of men. A common refrain being “but men already have all the rights”.

Now this is often written in softer language when people say what they mean by “I’m a feminist”, consequently the dictionary definition (and I will rarely use anything other than the British Oxford as a standard) is given as “The advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.”. In less rigid dictionaries, ones with a wider corpus, this becomes the oversimplified “Equal rights for men and women” which I’m sure you can agree has lost many of the implicit nuance of the original.

Under this lax definition one could argue that wanting equal rights for men is “feminism” but that is quite counter to the spirit of feminism in its proper usage.

One needs to look further than the dictionary for these types of words, yet the dictionary itself will not tell you this. Whilst dictionary makers are quick to note that they produce the books for descriptive rather than prescriptive reasons, they stop short of implying that the common usage may differ from the meaning in any particular circumstances.

You may have seen simpler examples of words not being made definite and distinct (i.e. being defined) but quite the contrary. “Literally” is the most obvious one. Language often changes over time, which is natural, yet some changes are a hard u-turn. When common usage is uniformed or uneducated as to the proper meaning,  we can end up in a world where the second definition for “Literally” can be “Not literally” and this way.. madness lies.

Other examples have probably slipped you by. “Ironically” used to require the ironic saying or situation to be performed on purpose. That the irony stemmed from the willful inversion of expectations. Now it is more commonly used to describe situations of chance where items of context are coincidentally related. A rather unironic state to be describing. Which itself would be ironic if “irony” here were being used ironically, which sadly isn’t the case.

Anothet pitfall of dictionary worship is to take what someone says and to argue a strawman because you think what they mean is what the dictionary tells you they mean.

To pull back towards our starting point, when someone refers to themselves as “agnostic” arguments abound as to the difference between belief and knowledge and that the speaker should properly call themselves an “atheist”. Whilst true, the conversation has been derailed by a misapplied label, and the point the speaker was trying to convey is lost amid the shouting match which ensues.

In this day and age, where labels are now thrown at people to silence them, it becomes necessary for me to stop many a conversation in order to either inform people that I mean precisely what I say and not the baggage you have attached to a label, and conversely for dictionary addicts to ask the important questions as to why people associate with the labels they have applied *before* attacking the strawman in their minds and wondering why the conversion doesn’t go anywhere.

With this in mind, please go forth and use words as properly as you can. If you’re a feminist because you want equal rights, please consider using the more appropriate “Egalitarian”, and if I tell you that because I’m an Egalitarian, and that, because men have fewer rights than women in my country, I am “an advocate of men’s rights”, please don’t assume that by some sinkhole wordplay, I am somehow a misogynist.

Thank you.

(and for God’s sake OED, don’t one day define Islam as “the religion of peace”)

Posted in Atheism, Feminism, MRA, politics, society, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Reasoning Reason

by https://www.twitter.com/MnemoniXs

When I asked* for validation of claims regarding Geocentric** models, I was given this image along with the question “Does this help?”***

C5v8htLWQAEioAx.jpg

..which is obviously doesn’t. But let’s dissect it anyway as he wants me to see where God can end this circle.

“I know my reasoning is valid because I checked the validity of my reasoning using my reasoning therefore..” ..God? – No that doesn’t follow.

“I know my reasoning is valid because [God] checked the validity of my reasoning using [His] reasoning therefore..”? – Hmm that wouldn’t be any more valid.

“I know [God’s] reasoning is valid because I checked the validity of [God’s] reasoning using my reasoning therefore..”? – Nope, same problem. One last try.

“I know my [God] is valid because I checked the validity of my [God] using my [God] therefore..” – That must be what he means. Still circular but given the lack of evidence in favour of whatever passes for a god these days, I suppose that’s how theism works.

As for reasoning, it is a cognitive process that is contingent upon the learned responses to our interaction with the world around us. The simplest “action and reaction” observation, repeatedly instigated and encountered, informs our actions. More complex observations of the world lead to more complex reasoning. Even hypotheticals are based in examples we draw from the real world. Logical statements are routinely rendered in mathematic form, something which is based on very primitive but concrete observances that when you put two rocks together, the result is two rocks, not three, or one.

Reasoning isn’t based on reasoning. It’s based on evidence. Something that theists endeavour to discredit because it doesn’t support their beliefs.

Now Matty, where’s that validation for Geocentrism?

 – – – – – – – – – – – – – 

Update: no answers to questions, just further non-sequiturial claims

“Spiritual things are undetectable by Science. Science has failed”****

– – – – – – – – – – – – –
*https://twitter.com/MnemoniXs/status/836504696902795264

**https://twitter.com/matty_lawrence/status/836499021363556352

***https://twitter.com/matty_lawrence/status/836539817370480644

****https://twitter.com/matty_lawrence/status/836860952725360640

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Milo and The Correct Application Of Words

I’m sick and tired of seeing people labelled incorrectly and seeing them suffer as a result.

Spencer called a Nazi for wanting what Jews have, Trump called a Fascist for winning an election, Gay people called Homophobic, Anti-Muslim speakers called Xenophobic which is ridiculous because Islam isn’t a race, and Islamophobic applied to people who have a perfectly rational fear of islam.

Now Milo is having to defend accusations of endorsing paedophilia..

I won’t bother with direct quotations as the videos are everywhere, go and listen then come back.

Now.. Paedophilia describes a preference for, rather than attraction to someone who happens to be prepubescent, which either way is irrelevant as we’re dealing about the illegal act rather than the diagnosis, but would still not be paedophilia as in UK where Milo is from, that applies to those victims under the age of 11.

He says that the Age of Consent (16 in UK) is about right but also described it as arbitrary, talking about sexual maturity (citing people younger who are sexually mature whereas I would be more worried about people older who aren’t sexually mature). I see no problem with this as a factual observation, I would say informed consent requires mental maturity as well as sexual maturity, but I understand what he means.
The ability to make decisions with regards to long term consequences is severely impacted by mental immaturity, hence it is the adult’s responsibility in these scenarios. (Even with sexually maturity taken into account, neurologically speaking I’d have the age of consent at 18, which would be hypocritical but then every adolescent thinks they know everything).

So there’s no case here for saying he endorses Paedophilia. One could point to his question to the radio host regarding finding someone sexually mature “hot” even if they were 15 (i.e. slightly under legal age) but that would instead be an example of ephebophilia, and only then if that were a preference rather than a singular case, and everyone (I don’t care who they are) has seen some overly sexualised model and thought they looked hot, only to discover later that that person wasn’t of legal age. It happens, and it’s not your fault.

Now we do have a bit towards the end where he won’t name the guy in question despite implication that there were incidents with other boys of an age which Milo found concerning. I agree with Jeff holliday, that is a problem. The only problem in this whole mess. But I will not denounce Milo for not giving the guy up to Social Justice when it’s a matter for the police, the courts, and for due process. I didn’t hear that it hasn’t be reported but I will urge Milo on behalf of the safety of others to report if he hasn’t already done so.

Given that he wasn’t endorsing paedophilia, I find it sickening that the label is being applied to him to the point now where his book has been cancelled by the publisher. This is now a case of monetary loss due to defamation of character.

As someone who keeps seeing derogatory labels used to shut down people for having the “wrong” political opinions I find myself terrified that this can easily happen to anyone including myself. But rather than be quiet, I see the positive in being open, saying what you think, and voting how you believe, because if you shut up before they shut you up, they’ve already won.


Addendum:

Milo has made a Facebook Live style apology, and a researched Press Conference apology, for the wording he used and the flippant tone which may have made other victims feel lessened. He reached out to say that life gets better and that one shouldn’t let abuse dictate their lives. What he didn’t apologise for was his views because as he says, what he said and what CNN etc are saying about him are two different things entirely.

One conflation which people are *still* making are where he talks about long supportive relationships that young gay men get involved as a sad factor of being shunned at home. With this he cites his own long term relationship with a 29 year old whilst he was 17 (legal age in UK is 16, in Germany is 14). This is being lumped in with his comments about how he lost his virginity at 13 which he recognises as abuse, but feels like he was a willing partner in. Despite which he reiterated that the legal age is about right and that older men taking sexual advantage of 13 year olds *is* *wrong*.

Posted in politics | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments