“Unspeakable Mutilations”

Men are coerced by society to keep silent if they feel damaged by circumcision. A man complaining about what is essentially a sexual assault will be greeted with statements like “Oh you’ve just got a problem” or “You’ve got a bee in your bonnet”. Almost never will they be greeted with sympathy or any understanding. Watson’s book does an enormous amount to break the silence and to encourage a compassionate view of men who have had an unnecessary procedure forced on them.

DSC_0865crop26wWatson’s introduction to the book is a neat summary of the well documented harms caused by male circumcision. The papers published by various academics and scientists working in the fields covered by human biology have all concluded that the foreskin which is removed by the act of circumcision is a functional and specialised component of the male anatomy. Academic papers can be a challenge to digest, Watson’s introduction is easy to comprehend and gives excellent references if the reader wants to study the subject of physical harm further.

The heart of the book is the light it shines onto the psychological damage caused by non-therapeutic male circumcision. Watson examines what little evidence there is in the the academic sphere and goes on to provide the stories of 50 men, from a wide range of cultures and ages, who tell us about their journeys from the discovery of what has been done to them, to the harm it has caused, and their reaction to that harm. Often men who have taken this path arrive at a positive or at least optimistic place.

What can no longer be in doubt, thanks to Watson’s book and the brave men who tell their stories, is that some men do suffer a significant amount of damage as a result of an anachronistic and inappropriate medical practice. Some men may claim to be unharmed and even be happy with their circumcision but the question lingers about how comfortable you are knowing that a large number of men do suffer in silence from the misguided parenting and the unnecessary medical treatment they have received. Surely the prudent course of action is to let the child mature and then make his own decision.

9 thoughts on ““Unspeakable Mutilations””

  1. Is there any other way to buy a kindle version of this book other than Amazon?

    Issue is that my Amazon account is in the Asia Zone (China), and apparently the e-book is not offered there. I only get the option of buying the paperback. Really I’d prefer an e-book though.

    1. Thanks for your response. We are starting to collect men’s stories for this web site and would welcome your contribution. See our voices section near the bottom of the home page for the first example.

  2. Hello
    Your site is excellent.
    Cut in mid life after a freak accident, I am awakened to this subject to which I had never gaven a seconds thought. My life is now upside down – uncomfortable by day, less fun at night. If my experience of life with/without can be of any help in awakening others to the reality of this absurd state, just let me know how many words would be appropriate

    1. Thank you for your generous comment. All men’s stories and experiences are helpful in breaking the silence that perpetuates the harm done to men and boys by this anachronistic procedure.

    2. I too was ‘cut’ in mid-life for ‘phimosis’. I too suffer from continual discomfort, impaired sensitivity & sexual performance. The sensations coming from my penis are anything but pleasant, mostly unnatural & abnormal. I was not told any of this before the operation & treated like a loony afterwards when I complained. The psychological effect was devastating. I am posting this in reply to your post as it seemed at first glance that this website was aimed at those who were non-consensually cut in childhood rather than those who, later in life, not properly informed by the medical profession, were misled into giving their consent for a barbaric treatment for a spurious medical condition which can now be treated in a non-surgical & less painful way. Seeing your post made me realise that perhaps it was not & that they would like the views of men who were ‘cut’ later in life. I would therefore like to add my voice to yours to show that it is not just those who were ‘cut’ in childhood who are suffering.

      1. Thank you very much for telling your story. You are quite right informed consent is meaningless without proper information. The experiences reported by men like you are a vital part of the campaign to end the non-consensual cutting of children; you explode the myths that nothing is lost when you cut a child’s genitals.

        1. Yes, a very great deal is certainly lost! Unfortunately we seem to have very great difficulty in convincing others of this. One is treated simply as if one has been unlucky & that the things that have happened to you don’t happen to others.

          1. Update : 2 yrs after being cut, and 6 expert consultants later, my experience so far is that the opinion of the consultant is simply linked to his own personal state – as at the end of each one I have asked. When complaining that sexual pleasure is diminished 4 have either denied there is any difference or infer the problem is with me. 2 have recognised the consequence and given practical advice on how to find pleasure differently. All this in the presence of my wife who confirms as a direct witness to them the overnight change in sexual experience. The conclusion 2 yrs on is that you learn to live with the loss and adapt to less. Knowing what is lost is certainly an inconvenient convesation to many, men and women. Am still learning how to talk about it without being taken for a fool. But the conversation will go on. My main “fear” hereon is protecting my daughers against pressure from future partners to have their offspring cut.

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