From the legislature that has brought to us innovative, freedom-loving ideas like (and I wish this didn’t require a bulleted list):
- The Happy Meal ban, and
- Cell phone radiation warnings on packaging (attempted), and
- Soda-free summers, and
- Incredibly overbearing smoking ban (no smoking at ATM, movie theater lines, your apartment vents or windows, etc), and
- Free needle exchanges for drug addicts, and
- Meatless Mondays,
… comes the most nutty idea yet. San Francisco legislators have begun work on a comprehensive ban on circumcision.
Now, generally I’d limit my block quotes to a timely article on the subject at hand, but this topic warrants the big guns:
I’m as vehemently anti-circumcision as any relatively normal person can be, but the above passage and the surrounding text of its document seem to be at odds with a measure which would limit the freedom of people to, without any real negative repercussions, exercise a practice of their religion (or a societal norm, in many cases).
The primary advocate for this breathtakingly anti-liberty measure, Lloyd Schofield, claims to be a “foreskin regeneration advocate” (no, seriously). He likens the act of circumcision to the despicable torture known as female genital mutilation (most popular in Africa). Well, he doesn’t so much “liken” the two as claim they are no different. As a point of reference, lets look at these two firsthand accounts of female genital mutilation (FGM):
I screamed with pain as I fought to get free but, no-one listened to the cries rising from my depth. The pain was unbearable and I felt like my body was sitting on a fast sewing machine. That deep and private pain was stamped into my mind, forever.
and another from Halima Mohamed Abdel Rahman, which is too graphic too excerpt here.
Perhaps its too much information (nay, it is definitely too much information), but the author of this piece is circumcised and I can give you my first hand account. It goes a lot like this:
Right, I don’t remember it. No physical scarring, no emotional scarring, no sewing machines to the crotch, nothing… nothing.
Schofield makes a valiant attempt to sound like he values individual rights, but fails miserably.
It’s a man’s body and … his body doesn’t belong to his culture, his government, his religion or even his parents. It’s his decision.