Circumcision is a sexual assault of a child.
It being a widely accepted practice doesn’t change this fact.
This bold statement likely evokes a feeling within you.
Take a moment and note what you feel now, we’ll come back to it.
Altering the genitalia of another, unless medically necessary, without consent to do so, is unequivocally wrong.
(Medical necessities include something like needing to create a urethral opening for urine to leave the body, not aesthetic or “hygienic” reasons.)
Children do not have the capacity to consent.
It is an unarguable truth that we’ve collectively accepted this assault on children. No other rebuttal touches this painful reality. Common responses are often argued along the following lines:
Respect for religious rights is important. When it comes to harming others because of spiritual beliefs, the line must be drawn. It is not okay to harm another because of your beliefs. Altering the genitals of a child is harmful, even if you’ve been told otherwise.
Hygienic and healthy sexual behaviors can be taught, without assaulting children.
If a penis owner prefers to have a circumcised penis, they ought to be able to make that decision as a consenting adult. No one has the right to make that decision for them.
“It’s just what we do”
Human history is full of atrocities. When we know better, we must do better. I understand it’s what we’ve done. That doesn’t mean it’s what we must continue to do.
What if making it illegal to assault children in this way created a ripple effect of less sexual violence on a larger scale?
Now, back to your feelings on the matter. This is a hugely important piece of the conversation. Your feelings matter. Sit with what comes up for you. Write about it, get mad, cry, seek professional help. There is collective trauma here and we all have our own selves to heal.
Compassion must be hand-in-hand with this conversation.
Compassion for everyone and their genitals, that are perfect exactly as they are right now.
Compassion for the mothers, fathers, parents, and guardians that made the best decisions with the information they had.
We must love every scar, and every insecurity. This is a crucial part of the conversation. There is absolutely no need to circulate any more shame than what already exists.
Stop cutting children’s genitals. This is not okay.
Put all energy after that into healing.