Equal rights?

Do men have equal rights? When it comes to protection from non-therapeutic genital cutting the answer is a definite no. The legislation that protects women and girls is discriminatory legislation.
“Circumcision is worse for girls.” This is one of the most pernicious myths around and it is just sexist nonsense. The original legislation protecting girls from genital cutting in the U.K. was called the Prohibition of Female Circumcision Act 1985. In 2003 the Act was repealed and made extra territorial, in other words you risk prosecution if you take a girl anywhere in the world, have her circumcised and then brought back to the U.K. Along with this alteration the name of the Act was changed to The Female Genital Mutilation Act.

This simple act of spin has helped to make the circumcision of girls seem different to the circumcision of boys. The old Act’s title recognised the equivalence of the cutting of boys and girls. The change in the Act’s title reflects the widespread perception that the circumcision of boys is not harmful but the circumcision of girls is genital mutilation. If you think this is correct and justifiable, transpose the genders and ask yourself the question, is a law that protects only males from genital cutting an equitable law free from any sexual discrimination?

In the womb the baby develops undifferentiated genital tissue until later in the pregnancy when either testes or ovaries develop; if testes develop the hormones that result influence the genital tissue to form the typical male genitalia. If on the other hand ovaries develop then the identical tissue goes on to become the typical female genitalia. The original tissue forms the penis in the male and the clitoris in the female.
Also it is essential to remember that the process by which the genitals take their different forms is a subtle combination of genes and a complex system of hormones which can have variable results. This means that there are a significant number of children born with atypical genitals. Often such children can, and should be, be left intact until such time as they are able to give informed consent to any treatment or surgery, this should be the path that is followed rather than a rush to surgery.

Circumcision in either sex is excising analogous tissue. In girls the clitoris is excised to a greater or lesser extent and in boys the end of the foreskin containing the ridged band [6] is always removed. The anatomy of male genitals is very poorly taught and poorly appreciated by medical professionals and the public; but the science has been done and is convincing. The foreskin includes the most sensitive part of the penis [3]. This fact means that a man circumcised before he becomes sexually active will never know what sex is supposed to feel like, he simply has not got the nerve endings and slack skin [4] that would have given him the full sensations of sex. Is this any different to the female experience? It may be that there are subtle differences in the tissue that is excised but it is clear that a significant change is made to the genitals of any child by the act of circumcision. The ethics are clear; to hit a child and leave that child with a black eye is wrong. To hit a child and leave a cut lip is also wrong. In both cases the exact injury is not important, it is the wounding that is the important point.

Do you tell a young man who has painful erections and pain during sex because too much skin has been removed that it is worse for a woman to have had her skin taken away? Do you tell a young man that his partially or wholly amputated glans (head of the penis) is somehow acceptable?

What do you say to the baby boys [7] that will die in the United States of America this year as a result of an operation they did not need or consent to? What do you say to the uncounted boys who will die in the South African “Circumcision Schools” this year? Are you going to say dying is worse for girls?

Protection is essential. Law does work. The Family Courts and their system of prohibited steps orders can and does protect girls from circumcision. All children should be protected from unnecessary surgery, unnecessary gender reassignments and unnecessarily invasive treatments whatever their parent’s wishes might be.

6 thoughts on “Equal rights?”

  1. In the event of accidental pregnancy, both should have equal opportunity. Yay for EQUALITY! If the man declares he doesn’t want to be a father, but mom goes forward with it on her own, the dad is nothing more than a sperm donor at that point and should be afforded all the protections that sperm donors enjoy. Nobody is forcing the woman to have the baby, nor to keep and raise it. Women have the options of abortion, legal abandonment, and adoption. Men have none. Her body, her choice, HER responsibility. Everyone keeps getting hung up on abortion though when this gets discussed, but there’s more options than that which men don’t have because men have no legal rights when it comes to reproduction. That has to stop.

  2. good article but dont forget not to take sides.in equality,there are disadvantages for both genders.equality should be looked at from all perspectives.

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