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In the video below two doctors speak about male genital cutting from two very different perspectives. The second story is more common than you might think.

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  1. When I was seven years old I was circumcised against my will. I had told my father on numerous occasions that I did not want this. He laughed and said that it wasn’t my choice. My mother was Scottish and my father is from Bangladesh. I was circumcised in Bangladesh.

    My arms were held by older male family members. My legs were held apart by male family members. My shorts and pants were pulled down and then a traditional muslim practitioner cut off my foreskin in front of me with a sharp blade. It felt like being raped. The pain was enormous. My body was violated against my will and there was no one to protect me. The people who I would normally expect to protect me had in fact inflicted this agony on me. My father was there watching the assault. You can imagine the excruciating pain and deep sense of loss. I have never been able to forget it.

    The anger, the shame, the feelings of loss and the physical and emotional hurt have remained with me ever since. I wish that I could undo what was done to me. Go back in a time machine and protect myself against these people who did me harm, but unfortunately this is not possible. Once this act has been inflicted on a child there is no road back. The pain, hurt and loss cannot be undone.

    This also happened to my younger brother when he was ten years old.

    I feel great empathy for both your younger son and for you. It’s a tragic tale, but so common – as is my own and my brother’s. This happens to so many boys in the UK, but it is hidden and silent. It happens behind closed doors and it is not talked about. Most non-muslim people are not even aware that this practice goes on. In the muslim faith circumcisions can happen up to puberty and all muslim boys are circumcised. There are a lot of muslim males in the UK.

    You did very well to protect your older son. You made the right choice. I wish that there had been someone there to protect my younger brother and myself. I was able to protect my third youngest brother against my father’s wishes. By this time I was old enough and tall enough to ensure that this fate was not inflicted on him. He is intact and I am very thankful that he did not go through the ordeal that my middle brother and myself endured.

    Kind regards,

    K

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