Sunday, September 2, 2012

Facebook Campaign Protests AAP Circumcision Policy



By ELIYAHU UNGAR-SARGON

The AAP, who as recently as 2010 embarrassed themselves by recommending that physicians offer their patients a form of female genital cutting, find themselves on the wrong side of history once again. Their task force report is an insult to both reason and science and has destroyed what little credibility they may have had left on the subject.

Although we are a marginal voice within the Jewish community, there have always been Jewish opponents to Brit Milah. It makes me proud that some of us are leading the current movement against this cruel and unusual practice both within the Jewish community and in the world at large. 

Even as the world abandons the unethical practice of infant male circumcision, the American Academy of Pediatrics recently revised its policy statement to more strongly recommend it. In response to this step backwards, people of conscience all over the world have been protesting the AAP’s misguided decision by posting on Facebook photographs of themselves with the words “AAP” on one hand and “No Ethics” on the other. 

As a proud Jew and an opponent of infant male circumcision, I wanted to join this protest in a meaningful way. It is my belief that a deep concern for ethics lies at the core of the Jewish tradition and it is this concern, along with the ability to adapt to new information, that gives meaning and relevance to my heritage in the 21st century.

Eliyahu Ungar-Sargon is a documentary filmmaker. His film "Cut: Slicing Through the Myths of Circumcision looks critically at the ancient ritual from a Jewish perspective. The "Wash Your Hands Clean of the APP" Facebook the campaign was started by the Whole Network.

11 comments:

  1. I am Jewish according to heritage and I also dislike that I was perminently disfigured when part of my crotch was cut off on my 8th day. I am serious about making this abuse illegal, with no exception for the Jews.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The AAP has already discredited themselves by advocating for a "ritual nick" on the genitals of infant girls only two years ago and then "recanting" it due to the outrage of the FGM activists. I don't know why anyone is paying attention to a clearly financially motivated policy change. Right, more circumcisions, more money....end of story.

    ReplyDelete
  3. At the least half of all of the circumcised boys that I have known have had to go back for corrections and revisions. Many complications have come from this surgery. And each time the doctors go, "Cha-Ching!" My son wasn't touched, no money there. Never retracted, no open wound to infect. No harsh soaps, no irritation. No one, including me, has ever had to touch his penis. And that is the policy we should have for all childrens' genitalia. HANDS OFF.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This page gives me new respect for my Jewish brethren. So often I have found circumcision to be a wall built between myself and friends/family who follow the Jewish faith. To learn about devoted Jews who see this assault on infant boys in the same horrific light as I do opens a whole new chapter in which I can learn from my brothers and sisters who love their children wholly and without harm.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Unfortunately, circumcision falls into the category of The Big Lie, so preposterous and grandiose in its claims that Joe Public puts aside his normal skepticism. It’s disgusting to realize that the pro-circ industry has twisted the AAP in bureaucratic knots with this convoluted statement, which implies support of RIC without actually stating it. The youtube video “snip-snip” (2005) @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KPmGS3sRok includes a graphic video of the gruesome procedure. It should be required viewing for any parent before they subject their beautiful boy to this barbaric torture from another time.

    It will be up to merciful mothers to spare their sons this humiliation. With a few exceptions, most circumcised men are so defensive they’ll never own up to their loss.
    ~Dick-Scalper

    ReplyDelete
  6. I heve never understood why circumscicion is allowed in this day and age. Religions have to evolve to survive. If a religion, any, does not keep up with society at large it will dissapear. I have never understood why a female would give birth to a son in a natural way and then rip the foreskin off, without his conscent. I do not think it is a good mother that allows this to happen.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Check out the "Wash Your Hands Clean of the AAP" video on YouTube. It's very powerful.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApGYjkSXDQE

    ReplyDelete
  8. I am against infant circumcision, that is why I left my son intact against my husband's wishes. We were an interfaith couple ( I am converting) and I feel it is a lonely uphill battle, specially, when you are the non-Jewish part, and your husband and all your Jewish and non-Jewish friends are strongly in favor of circumcision.
    Some of the opponents of circumcision are quick to judge the mother of the child that is circumcised, but I strongly feel that Jewish men should be more vocal in voicing their opposition to the brit milah to protect their sons. Mothers right after birth are in a very weak and vulnerable position, they are going through all the thinkable emotions, which is largely due to the hormone level experienced right after giving birth. Not to mention the pain and soreness and the bleeding afterwards. 8 days after giving birth is the peak of their mental weakness. Plus women do not know how is like to have a penis, never mind an mutilated one. All they are told is a little snip snip, and that it won't hurt them.
    My husband has gone as far as to imply that I am an anti-Semite because I stood my ground and kept my son intact. I have never met a Jewish male that opposes circumcision, and I feel that I am alone, is me vs my husband, my rabbis, my friends Jewish and not-Jewish ones, the world.
    This past weekend was particularly hard, we went to the brit milah of a couple friends of us and needless to say it was shocking and deeply troubling for me. As I heard the baby cring out-loud I could not hold my tears running down my face. I held my son tight and I faded to the back of the room, I nursed him to disguise my disappointment and how horrified I was.It was then I realized i made the right decision for my son.

    However it is a hard battle, is me against the world, at least that is how I feel. I sometimes wonder if I made the right decision. I know in my heart it is but it surely feels like it is me vs the world.
    I would like to hear some words of encouragement from some Jewish men that share my view.
    Thanks a lot
    Shalom

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm a Jewish man and I share your view, completely. My mom made the same choice as you did. As I mention, in my comment below. "I'm glad, I am all here!" I did feel some shame for it but all in all. I'm happy and your sons will be too. Your sons might have the same feeling as I did, but make sure they know, that no matter what. God and them will always be connected, spiritually...

      Don't worry about your husband, he'll get over it. My dad did and he's the most stubborness man you have ever met. Lol

      Good Luck: )

      Delete
  9. I am Jewish and was raise in that faith, my whole life. My mom whose also Jewish decided against circumcising me and my brother. I am grateful that she made that decision because I have also heard some terrible stories about circumcision from other men. The only thing that affected me about the whole situation is feeling ashamed. I never tell anyone, I am not circumcised because I don't want other's to look harshly on me and my family. Even when the topic comes up, I still feel ashamed about it. I really wish the Jewish's faith wouldn't focus so much on this circumcision thing, to be connected with god. My mother made the RIGHT decision, even if I felt ashamed about it. I'm glad, I'm all here!! When I have kids, I will make the same decision my mom did and go against circumcision: )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your mother is a tough and brave woman. But over and over I have observed that women have more common sense and empathy about that most masculine of places, the tip of the penis, than most men do. Note that this blog is mainly a feminine space. This is a curious fact about the social psychology of sexuality.

      I am an American gentile whose mother insisted that I remain intact, even threatening to divorce my father over the matter. I was very ashamed of being in a sexual minority, until I read Edward Wallerstein's 1980 book in my 30s. I am now proudly intact, and reveal the fact in conversation 2-3x a year.

      Delete