Thanks to Jamie and Nick for putting these 2 powerful images together. One of the men who created this image is intact, the other was cut against his will at birth. Both are gentle, good men, active in working toward a more peaceful world for everyone.
The original version of this image, by the late John Erickson, can be viewed below or on his website here.
Why are these images being displayed as Erickson once did with his?
"He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it." ~ Martin Luther King, Jr
Nothing is more destructive to gentle parenting and a peaceful world than the complete disregard for the basic human right of bodily integrity of a helpless newborn baby.
Are we saying all babies subject to genital mutilation grow up to commit violent acts against others? To perpetuate what was done to them?
Does the overall violence done to boys have an impact on male culture, expectations, and the way boys and men are socialized?
There are multiple levels to both crimes pictured here. And there are many social scientists who have demonstrated the two (male violence and violence done TO males) are directly related to each other.
This is a social ill.
It does not mean that parents who've chosen circumcision are inherently 'bad' -- in fact, there are many wonderful, loving parents who allowed their son(s) to be cut before they had accurate and complete information. Today, they are bravely and honestly working to make the world a more peaceful place for the men and women who come after them. To enable their sons to make different choices for their grandsons.
It is because this occurs daily in U.S. culture that we cannot remain silent on the issue. It must be brought to light. It is an urgent, pressing issue that needs attention now.
Human babies are just as valuable as adult humans, and are equally deserving of protection from assault under law.
For further information on male violence in society, see any of the phenomenal research by Dr. Jackson Katz.
For Hygeia Halfmoon's thoughts on this subject, see her post, Cutting Boys Cuts to the Core.
For more from Jamie, see his videos in Circumcision Take 3.
To become fully informed on the subject of circumcision, check out any and all of the resources on the subject. Books, sites, and articles on the topic cataloged here.
John Erickson's original images of Menninger's depiction:
"What is done to children...
That is one powerful image.ReplyDelete
The one on the left should be just as hard for people to look at as the right. For me it is harder.ReplyDelete
If You think the women on the right picture feels helpless, how do You think the little innocent boy on the left feels?ReplyDelete
-Im a very proud Mom of and intact toddler.-
Very confronting images. Both are serious crimes, but sadly, one goes unpunished.ReplyDelete
Powerful images... definitely gave me the chills...ReplyDelete
I just wanted you to know how much I love your site...but I'm going to have to stop reading it. The pictures of infants being cut is just too, too, too much for my heart to handle. It seems like such a huge problem and I feel so powerless when I see those images. The one of the BOY being cut?? HOW could a mother do that to a child--one who will NEVER forget that??? And when I see an infant being cut, I just cry. I want to physically cover that child with my body and protect him. I have three girls and one very intact little boy. I can't imagine having ever done that to him. Please keep up your good work and thank you for what you do. I'm sorry I'm not strong enough to keep your blog on my bookmarks page.ReplyDelete
I think this story links in with the above comments
It's well established that pain and trauma inflicted on children - especially babies - affects their adult psychology including their view of violence. That's not to say everyone who is harmed will harmed but there is a trend. If you doubt how much children suffer take a look at this image and the others available at Getty or other picture agencies. I'm in no doubt this boy will be less likely to grow up gentle than someone who hasn't had a mother hand him over to people who would do this...http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/74949650/Getty-Images-NewsReplyDelete
Having part of your genitals amputated without anesthetic (over 10-20 agonizing minutes) is BRUTAL- there's nothing normal about it and no way of comforting the pain away during or in the up to 10 days with a raw wound following it.ReplyDelete
Circ can QUADRUPLE cortisol levels and DOUBLE heart rate to the extent that cardiac arrest can and has occurred during it.
Moreover we know that pain inflicted in infancy does UNIQUE damage to the nervous response- which doesn't occur with pain inflicted later. Read this summary by one of Britain's largest health care research bodies PLEASE and educate yourself. Many people here especially women will be deeply deeply shocked by what you've just said.
And rightly so.
Here's another thought - if having your genitals assaulted is normal and a hug makes it better, do we tell violent rape victims to stop complaining and accept pain as 'part of life'??ReplyDelete
Millions of victims of abuse in childhood will not grow up to harm other children - but that doesn't change the fact that there's a trend for someone deliberately harmed to be more likely to abuse others. That doesn't change our sympathy for them, it doesn't mean it's a given. It means that hurting children is dangerous for society as well as the individual.ReplyDelete
Circumcision is violent...when a baby is circumcised it is both the baby's first sexual experience and its first painfully violent experience. Circumcision is evil and anyone who doesn't get it is ignorant.ReplyDelete
Actually, my following message will be in french since english is not my mother tongue and I'd like to make sure I can express my feelings on this with the 'right' word...I hope some people here can read french ;)ReplyDelete
Je trouve qu'il y a un double discours entre ce qui est montr, et ce qui est écrit. Les 2 images en elles-mêmes peuvent être mises en comparaison si le but est de mettre en lumière la 'violence' du geste, l'impuissance de la personne qui subit l'acte violent, dans ce cas, ces 2 images sont bien choisies, car je ressens autant de colère en regardant l'une quand regardant l'autre.
Par contre, mettre ces 2 images pour prouver que l'enfant circoncis a plus de chance d'être violent, là je trouve que le message ne passe plus, même si on sait aujourd'hui que la maltraitance a un effet sur l'ADN et la génétique. Il faut qu'elle soit continue et maintenue durant une longue période de temps...
Cela dit, je suis farouchement opposée à la circoncision et toute autre forme d'altération sur le corps, y compris le perçage des oreilles, SANS le consentement éclairé de la personne. C'est ce qui s'appelle respecter l'intégrité du corps.
I am from Central America and I may know the cause of such high rate in crime. Spanking and beating our children in our countries is very common. Also there are many studies that agree that even violence starting at such age may affect the person later in life. The person may not remember it but the brain will never forget it.ReplyDelete
Circumcision is a sexual violation Dawn, so that makes it a violent sexual experience. Some babies get an erection while they are getting prepped with iodine solution before the cutting.
To everyone (on the FB fan page) commenting on how this image was inappropriate, extreme, or ignorant: It was also effective. It got you all talking about circumcision and it's effects on society. That's was shocking images are designed to do - they demand your attention.ReplyDelete
Circumcision demands your attention if your really want to cultivate peace. It's unnecessary violence which mutilates baby boys, and it's generally accepted(and unchallenged) in our western culture.
Instead of focusing on whether or not the juxtaposition of those images disturbs you, focus the outrage on the topic at hand- the mutilation of baby boys.
interesting link on epigenetics research...ReplyDelete
Some arguments for circumcision are the same for circumcision of girls.ReplyDelete
Would you circ your girls if I show you girls are prone to UTIs more than boys, and that circumcising girls can prevent HIV?
What about amputating girls' breast buds to prevent breast cancer?
Breast cancer is more common, but should we be amputating our children's limbs to prevent disease?
what a twisted world we live in...
One poster's 'information' about sexually transmitted diseases and circ on the fan page is not legit, and is disputed by many other studies. Instead of getting into a fact-link war, consider this:ReplyDelete
Chopping off your baby boy's penis to the base would have taken his chances of getting STD's to 0%! How about just the top half of the penis? That might have reduced his chances of getting STD's by 50%!
Why didn't you consider doing either of those? Because you know that ultimately his chances of catching STD's have more to do with his behavior than the amount of skin on his penis.
Every little experience and a child- especially in the first couple years of life - carries huge significance later in life in ways we might not consciously understand. Maybe you've shaved off a few % in your boys chances of getting STDs, but who knows what kind of unnatural, horrific experience you've imprinted on his mind? Not worth it IMO, and when entire cultures take part there are cultural karmic consequences.
Those who think cleaning an intact penis (when the person is an adult) will be too much 'work', we should probably amputate the butt hole as well, besides, that's even harder to keep clean! Some men tend to leave poop stains in their undies, I think they will be grateful if we cut those off at birth. just sayin'ReplyDelete
previous poster - lol!!!ReplyDelete
Sometimes I have found myself trying to explain circumcision to procutting people. Some won't get it with sweet words but with images like this, they do. I'm tired myself of trying to be sweet and friendly when speaking against the mutilation of baby boys then found out they still decided to do it. This image is real and yes, it may not apply to ALL circumcised men but psychological speaking, it may apply to some.ReplyDelete
I agree with most people posting on this issue - circ. babies most likely will not grow up to be violent men. However, that is not the purpose of the comparison.Its to compare that both acts are committed unwillingly to the victim - causing pain and fear.ReplyDelete
I don't care whether it is being done for religious beliefs or otherwise, the procedure is done violently and is torturous to a 2day old life that you carried inside your womb for 9months, who doesn't deserve to be going through pain, even for a moment, even if he will not remember it later in life. It doesnt matter that they will not remember and to suggest that as a reason to allow it is pathetic. If your religious beliefs help you overcome your guilt - God bless you. Jihad is committed under the act of religious belief as well, should we allow that? To me, there is no difference.
Furthermore - IT DOESNT LESSEN THE CHANCE OF STD'S!!! I encourage you to research further. The reason it is promoted by the medical community is because it is a $4-billion a year industry.
I appreciate your blog and videos. I am having a baby boy and debating this topic with my husband now. I am against it and my husband is still on the fence as he has not been fully educated on the subject. So I am sharing this with him today. Thank you so much!ReplyDelete
The violence starts in infancy and how they were treated. Was the baby anesthetized? how about pain management after the wound? what about breastfeeding? was he CIO? yes, circumcision may not be the ONLY cause of violence later in life but it may be a start of something that can go so wrong.ReplyDelete
check this interesting video:
watch the whole thing, I recommend.
I believe that as babies we are sentient and aware, and that we can absorb and imprint things even if we can't verbalize or remember them. Violence done to children (being held down and cut) can perpetuate violence----like the willingness of the circumcised adult to cut his/her own child. =(ReplyDelete
yep Jen!! that's exactly right....ReplyDelete
"Violence done to children (being held down and cut) can perpetuate violence----like the willingness of the circumcised adult to cut his/her own child."
Obviously, to say all circ'd boys will be violent murderers is untrue, and not the point of the image. No one is saying that. PP already said this earlier in the post:ReplyDelete
"Are we saying all babies subject to genital mutilation grow up to commit violent acts against others? To perpetuate what was done to them?
Does the overall violence done to boys have an impact on male culture, expectations, and the way boys and men are socialized?
At the same time, to claim that all of these little horrific (intentional) experiences on millions of baby boys will not add up to negatively effect an entire culture in unpeaceful ways is also untrue.
Accidents requiring amputation are not the same as a culture of parents opting for mutilating their children. While both are no doubt traumatic and will effect the person's development- babies, as young as they are, know the difference.
It may be extreme but you know what? that's what helped ME to make an educated decision.ReplyDelete
It is what it is.
The images are difficult to look at no question... but some people seem to think the ONLY statement that the images are making is that a circumcised man will grow up to be a rapist or a murderer. I guess that what I took from it was a little different.ReplyDelete
In one you have a woman who is raped and is having sexual violence perpetrated against her without choice. That picture causes us great distress because we have fought to violence against women. We also know that the act being committed is WRONG. No one can even question that.
The other image is of a little boy with the same look of pain and terror on his face. He also is having a sexually violent act perpetrated against him. The difference between those acts not that one is worse than the other... the difference is that one is legal. And the one that is legal is perpetrated against the youngest and most innocent in our population.
And as to whether or not this is sexual violence, let me just say this: I have heard it argued that rape is not a sexual crime. And to the man who commits the act it is NOT, but tell that to the woman who suffers the violence done to her.
Tell the woman who cannot bear to be touched that it was not a sexual crime there for it should not have a sexual effect on her. It isn't a valid argument to anyone who actually has had that act committed against them.
The act of circumcision changes a mans sexual experience for the rest of his life. So I guess that makes it a pretty sexual act of violence.
I haven't read through all of the comments .... but what is the issue with this graphic? It's ON TV ALL THE TIME!!ReplyDelete
My question is what has kept so many men from ACTING UPON their inner violent urges over the decades of circumcision as the "norm" and what do we do about the clearly increasing ability to not control their urges?
Any woman or man who defends circumcision ... because of their own, or they allowed it, or were socially conditioned at the time to not know how brutal and life-altering it is ... does so because they just don't want to embrace the magnitude of the pain .. guilt, shame, and disruption to their relationship.
Believe me, been there ... one circ'd and one not. To recognize that I was overpowered by butchers and not able to stop the mutilation of my son, is hard to bear but healing is possible, even though the idea that he will never know normalcy can make cry in a heartbeat. Circumcision severed the connection between his brain and the nerve bundle in his foreskin meant to make him be able to feel depths of love and intimacy. He is a normal, upstanding man today? Yes, he is ... and I attribute much of that to breastfeeding him. I HAD TO FIGHT to breastfeed him .. fight two nurses who did everything in their power to stop it. Yes, he and I are "just fine" other than our lifelong experience of living with "trauma bonding" and me overprotecting him in situations where he didn't really need to be protecting him, etc. etc.
From another post I just did:
Yes, I think there is a "conspiracy" around the practices of drugging, violating, separating baby from placenta and mother, violating more, taking blood, taking cells, and disrupting breastfeeding .... as a means of "establishing control" over the population. One baby at at time. One brain at a time. Well, three brains at a time. Mother, father, and baby. Disrupt this unit and you have control. Are doctors and nurses aware of it? Not in that sense, but some are, but they do enjoy the control over others that they personally have. And, that's a good beginning for controlling others. They are rewarded psychologically and financially for disrupting mother-baby, they're trained not to question it, they're trained to believe and to promote that whatever they do in the name of science is scientific, and to believe that only they know it -- not because it's true, but because of the brainwashing and hazing they went through. They are the God. Actually they are merely the worker bees for the Queens who control the honey (lawyers, politicians, and insurance companies and the myriad of other corporations) -- who reap the profit of controlling birth. Research and legislation goes so far as to misrepresent truth to even prevent co-sleeping and breast feeding -- because birth is one of the biggest industries in our country if you include everything -- think about it ... all that it takes to have a hospital to provide birth AND then the stealing of blood and foreskins to sell for profit to those who make gigantic profits. Empowering women in birth is one big systemic, political, financial, spiritual fight ... so beyond what the sheeple want to even imagine.
Podcasts of my radio show with cohost, Rich Winkle discussing this with experts and professionals from around the world is at ThoughtCrimeRadio.blogspot.com
After the "routine" birth of repeated disruptions and violations, circumcision is the finishing touch .... the ultimate weapon to create control ... creating a man who is very wounded and angry, outraged, unable to reconnect with mother or women ... yet compliant ... BECAUSE of the extreme mutilation. Will not fight the status quo ...ReplyDelete
Goodness, some were taking this photo WAY too literally. It's an ANALOGY. And it only makes sense!ReplyDelete
While I absolutely defend the message of that graphic and don't personally see anything shocking or over the top (having survived both infant circ and sexual molestation), I can see where it could be a divisive element, and the intactivist movement can't afford to be divided.ReplyDelete
For those who commented that circumcision causes momentary pain, I ask you this: what about the lifelong effects on a man? On his partner? What do you say to those permanently disfigured men; or to those who suffer life-threatening infections due to this needless, violent procedure?ReplyDelete
More importantly, as a parent, why would you EVER want to be responsible for causing your little baby such pain? The 'a moment of agony' argument is disgraceful.
The picture is meant to illustrate the sameness of sexual violence, and yes, it should get you riled up because it should make you think long and hard about the true nature of genital mutilation. The text simply points out that violence begets violence. No one is saying all cut men are evil and all intact men are saintly. The point in my opinion is that if you condone this violent act being committed on your child, you need to think long and hard about why that is okay - and why an image of a violent act committed against a woman makes you upset if you're willing to commit violence against your child.
101 Reasons Not to Have Your Baby in a HospitalReplyDelete
Don't you think that subjecting one gender to a violent sexual experience at birth would culminate in a wounding to society?ReplyDelete
Wouldn't we also say that the cultures that practice FGM are messed up?
To say I've never felt enough rage to act out against someone with extreme violence would be dishonest (for instance I'd love nothing more than five minutes with a scalpel in a room with the "doctor" who cut me), but I'm more self aware than many cut men.ReplyDelete
Therapy helps, restoration helps. And as the one without intact genitals, I can tell you circumcision is a primal, cultural wound.
I absolutely believe that if you tell generations of men they are not good enough as they are born, reduce and ridicule their suffering, they WILL act out. And they DO. In all sorts of ways we minimize or rationalize as a culture.
Maybe a few need to examine their own knee-jerk reaction to the image, and ask why they have a compulsion to react so vehemently... it must be pretty powerful.
Rock the boat, pp, rock the boat!ReplyDelete
I came across this picture a few months ago. Shocking indeed.
I can't believe people think babies don't remember 20 minutes trauma that was done to them soon after they came into a brand new world (a somewhat momentous experience...). That's *going* to have an effect on the brain whether you like it or not.
Translation for Céline: I find that there is a double message between what is shown and what is written. The two images themselves can be compared if the goal is to highlight the violence of the acts, and the helplessness of the person subjected to such violence. In this case, these two images are well-chosen, for they both provoke such anger when I look at one or the other.ReplyDelete
On the other hand, I find that displaying these two images so as to prove that a circumcised child has a greater chance of becoming violent doesn’t fly—even if if it is known today that mistreatment has an effect on DNA and genetics. It needs to be continued and maintained for a long period of time…
That said, I am vehemently opposed to circumcision and all other forms of alterations of the body, including ear piercing, without the clear consent of the person in question. This is known as respecting the integrity of the body.
I'm a real man and I was circumcised, and wish I weren't.ReplyDelete
I know many men who feel the same way.
Most just don't shout it from the rooftops.
Rich - "Most just don't shout it from the rooftops."ReplyDelete
Amen, brother. Not when we've been trained since day one to be stoic and just "get over it".
It's nobody's business what a consenting ADULT wants to do to his or her genitals.ReplyDelete
It is not for anyone (not a doctor, not a parent) to decide what part of a healthy non-consenting minor's body he gets to keep, especially since to do the same thing to a female minor is a felony.
The double standard sends a very clear message: men and their bodies are not worth as much as the female in our society.
We finally got to the heart of one argument on the FB fan page. @Dawn was shocked at a presentation of the very real horror of infant genital cutting, and then tried to justify her position with personal aesthetics and herd mentality. Wow.
So here's something to think about: just about half of American males (50%) are remaining intact now, and the intact rates in the western states are much higher (83%) than the circumcised rates.
If you cut your boy, he may be teased for NOT having his whole penis. But then again, there is no (and has never been) a credible "locker room" argument.
As for a mother being turned off by the normal, intact penis, how very shallow (if honest) and how totally irrelevant to the discussion.
No mother will be having sex with her son, I hope.
So what difference does it make that his penis is whole?
85%+ of the men in the world are intact, and most of them have willing partners who love their normal, healthy penises.
Now just alter the language and let me ask what you would think of a man who said he gets horribly turned off by large labia or a long clitoral hood, so he wanted to have a doctor cut those extra bits off his daughter at birth.
I think we're missing the point. Every action has a reaction and it can take many forms. We need to mindful of our affects on the world and as we all know, our children are the future. This goes beyond circumcision in my opinion. There is no better truth than this; Blank breeds blank. You fill in the blank with whatever you wish.ReplyDelete
I have to ask mothers who use the sexual aesthetics argument: are you planning on having sex with your son? No? Why would it matter then, if your preference is for a mutilated penis over an intact one?ReplyDelete
I personally, prefer intact penis. I think cut ones look weird. My SO would agree since he wants to restore his foreskin. And I think the web group he belongs to as well would have to agree with me as well. They are all either in the process of restoring, have restored or want to.
He is extremely angry about what was done to him as a baby, and he has every right to be.
He believes his fear of sex and desensitized glans, stems form the abuse he endured as a baby.
Sure it was only a 30 minutes of horrific pain but gosh, somehow it seems to have stayed with him.
So you would rather cause your baby life and brain altering pain to save him for "being made fun of in the locker room"? I really don't think guys go around looking at each others penises when they are changing. Just FYI.
And I can assure you, on some level, babies DO remember the trauma. They do remember the pain.
A very close friend of mine has not had sex in 8 years because he feels so awful about his penis. He hates, truly hates, his mother for circumcising him.
It's not your body. It's his. His penis has NOTHING to do with you.
And until your willing to have a healthy part of your genitals cut off with out anesthetic or your consent, you really have no argument to make.
First of all the comment is NOT specifically stating that all circumcised men will become violent.ReplyDelete
The caption is something that was added TO the photos and was not originally intended to be linked with the photos.
The caption makes a larger point.
PP just gave a valid EXAMPLE of what the quote is stating.
As a society we have become increasingly able to shrug off violence.
My husband and I were just talking last night about how the video games and movies that show violence... even the news reports recently on Haiti where they have been showing pictures of dead bodies. When we are no longer aghast at the violence that we see every day it become common place.
This caption says that when we allow that violence to become a common part of a child's life it is what the child will become.
Circumcision is just one aspect of what I believe to be violence that is perpetrated on our young.
Add to that list Cry-It-Out, the methods that Babywise outline, the use of physical punishment on the youngest and most in need of protection.
Are these images saying that all little boys who are circumcised become violent? NO... what it is saying is that a society that cannot RECOGNIZE the violence in what we are doing and CONTINUES it will end up with violence as its norm.
The doors to people's minds slam shut anyway. There is a case that any person who studies Sociology will have at least touched base with - In Chicago there was a woman who was raped. There were people who looked down from their apartment buildings and saw what was happening... her attackers ran off thinking that time was of the essence. However when they realized that the police were not coming they went back and killed the lady.
Again NO police came.
When the people in the neighborhood were asked later WHY no one had called the police they all said that they thought someone else would.
If we are ALL complacent and sure that someone else will do the hard and somewhat distasteful work to stop circumcision... it will NEVER EVER be stopped.
Circumcision is an act of violence... and it speaks to how immune to the violence we have become that so many people are willing to argue that it does not compare to rape.
Perhaps this is distasteful, but not because it is less of an invasion to that little boy's rights and personal choice regarding his own body, it should be distasteful because of how appropriate the comparison is!
I am one woman who is PISSED off my husband, the man I want to be with for so many reasons, was circumcised at birth.ReplyDelete
I prefer intact men, moms who circ their sons thinking they are doing their future partners a favor are wrong. I was done no favors, I was robbed of having a perfect sex life with an otherwise perfect man.
The message is: if we perform primal acts of violence on our most vulnerable, how can we think that violence won't be perpetrated back upon society further down the line?ReplyDelete
I've seen that pic with the message before, and never taken it as a literal A to B line of causality. Honestly, what's so difficult to grasp?
I agree it's a shocking and extreme image, of two shocking and extreme acts of violence (although the second one is staged, while the first is actually happening).
But instead of people thinking and speaking rationally, I see a lot of knee-jerk being offended and projection on others on the Facebook page.
Take a deep breath and look inside before getting all offended.
That is EXACTLY right Todd... Circumcision IS rape and both must end.ReplyDelete
Interesting dialogue and perspectives.ReplyDelete
I do find it unfortunate that four posters said 'shame on PP for posting these shots' on the FB page.
I simply take from these photos that PP is asking people to consider the procedure of circ a violent crime against infants and really acknowledge the brutality of it.
It says to me HEY!!!! As a society we speak out against brutality against women - lets afford our males that same respect!!
That shame word is so loaded!!
Seems to me those who use it may be unwilling and or unable to emotionally process the topic based on their own guilt, shame, feelings of inadequacy....
If there were a magic computer that could tally statistics for all violent offenders in this country I would be willing to bet ANYTHING that proportionately, the men who were intact, breastfed, peacefully parented constitute a much smaller percentage of incarcerated men than they do relative to the percentage of them in society at large.
I'm appalled at the mother that says "pain is a part of life - they are comforted with a hug from mommy after the procedure".
I invite her to have her next dental appointment/surgery/ without the benefit of pain killers and then just go home and get a hug from her husband.
As far as the commentators on the Facebook fan page - we cannot end both forms of sexual assault and violence while we are arguing which is worse (the genital mutilation of newborn babies or the rape of adults).ReplyDelete
When males have the same protections under the law as females, I will be right there with ya.
Women in America are actually protected under law from genital mutilation... Males were missing from that legislation for some reason.ReplyDelete
You CANNOT circumcise a female under penalty of law.
However, little boys are not afforded the same protection.
Seems to me that our boys are not protected as well as our girls under law.
How can people believe that circumcision is NOT an act of violence? It's cutting the skin off of a person in one of the most sensitive areas of the body against their will.ReplyDelete
It is very interesting that images of infants being assaulted by the circumcision knife have been posted before - to highlight what is going on. No one causes much commotion about them. In fact, they often go unnoticed.ReplyDelete
But when the image of an adult woman being assaulted is placed next to the infant - both with knives about to cut them against their will, all turmoil breaks loose. People are irate. Upset. Furious.
Maybe this is the reaction we SHOULD be having to what is done daily to our BABIES!!!
Side note regarding adult women who have endured such horrors (myself included) - I've also worked with many in the clinical therapy setting and found that most are sensitized TO the violence against babies/children and would wish for their protection against all forms of violence equally as for adults.ReplyDelete
Before posting Jamie's images (which were actually posted once before - just not side-by-side), I met with several women who had endured similar attacks, and many men who had endured such things as infants. All were in support of posting the image and getting the message out.
THIS is what happens to babies daily in the U.S. And THIS is what happens to women (in media especially) all too frequently as well.
The reaction we have for one should at least equal the reaction we have for the other.
Maybe then change could and would take place overnight.
There's a great article asking who would commit crimes of violence and violation against another? And linking that to babies deprived of nurturing touch, physical affection, breastfeeding, and basic needs met. This reminds me of the same concept.ReplyDelete
I'm surprised that so many people aren't able to draw the parallel between violent sexual abuse towards men in infancy and violent sexual abuse towards women committed by men.ReplyDelete
Obviously, not every person who is abused grows in to an abuser, yet hasn't it been shown that most serial killers and rapists were once physically and/or sexually abused themselves?
We are all aware of the permanent emotional and psychological trauma created by the violent sexual abuse of circumcision, why is it far fetched to acknowledge the potential impact later in life?
And as for this comment made on the FB fan page: "Anyone familiar with PETA's juxtaposition of Holocaust victims next to animal carcasses? This is no better."
This is called speciesism. The only reason to be offended by PETA's campaign is because you are (obviously) placing a higher value on the life of a human than the life of the countless animals tortured and killed to clog your colon.
I don't make light of genocide suffered by any race or any species, and neither should you.
Millions were imprisoned, tortured and killed during the tremendous disregard for the sanctity of life we call the Holocaust. Didn't we learn from this?
How many millions upon millions of animals have to suffer and die before we can see the truth?
"Violence begets violence..."
I just have to say that I am surprised at all the comments I always see about how it only hurts for a little bit and then it' over for the baby.ReplyDelete
There are many men and boys that are circumcised at a later age. In every account that I've heard or read about, men always talk about the lasting pain that occurs several days after and they all have full anesthetic DURING the actual procedure.
So why do we think that it's any better for a newborn infant?
It's probably a hundred times worse because he has no idea of what is happening to him, around him, and no pain relief.
Hmm it seems there should be more outrage simply b/c human infants are completely helpless and completely innocent and yet it is completely legal to sexually mutilate them.ReplyDelete
At the very least a woman can fight. She can scream. She can kick and bite. And it's illegal to rape or sexually mutilate her.
Just another long thread illuminating how far we have to go as a society.
John Erickson put these images together with the Menninger quote two decades ago. It's as powerful a message today as it was then!ReplyDelete
Actually, when John put them together on a page, they included the female doctor's face, behind surgical mask and under a surgical hat, as she circumcises the screaming baby. Then, under that, he had the man in a ski mask, holding a knife to the woman's throat. Under that, he had the quote. The mask on the faces of the perpetrators was significant!
Thanks for offering your comments Marilyn.ReplyDelete
Marilyn, do you know where the original images can be found?ReplyDelete
Love ALL the info!!! Keep it coming!!!ReplyDelete
This is proof of how this post makes so much sense. Thanks for all the info you give us! :)ReplyDelete
There is NOTHING that you post that isn't AMAZING information! Keep up the good work, keep up the good fight! ♥ReplyDelete
Strong images are, sometimes, what SOME people need in order to get the message into their heads.ReplyDelete
It is exactly what made one friend of mine become all against animal mistreatment, turning her into a vegetarian; and it sure helped me realize what male circumcision is.
The popular "full procedure" video that goes around the internet, of a black baby boy being circumcised, was probably the single most powerful thing to spark my disgust against Male Genital Mutilation.
I think it's great that people are SEEING what these babies are put through -- you may not like the image or the accompanying message, but I challenge you to ask WHY you are so disturbed by it. I mean, seriously, what do you think these babies endure when they are cut?ReplyDelete
Sexual violence is sexual violence, regardless of the gender. I'm disturbed that one person said the two images side by side downplays the violence against women.ReplyDelete
Why isn't violence against men being raised to a new level of awareness instead?
I am not saying, nor have i ever thought -- nor has this website stated -- that circumcision causes men to go out and become rapists. That isn't the point of the image or the post.
Has everyone read the comments below the image? Looked at the websites?
I'm not trying to belittle others' opinions about the image - it IS violent and disturbing.
And yet as a society we allow images of violence against women to be viewed all the time, in all sorts of forums.
And as a society we IGNORE the violence committed against male infants every single day.
For me, yes, the image of a baby being violated is plenty, for some it isn't.ReplyDelete
I guess I'm trying to play devil's advocate against the disgust at this posting.
Genital mutilation is violent and happens to occur in the US quite often compared with European nations (just as an example) -- and we in the US tend to embrace a much more violent culture. Not everyone -- but many -- we have tons of violence on TV, in video games, etc and don't seem to think it's a problem.
I do, and I think MGM just reinforces said violence -- but it's really a chicken or egg question isn't it?
Do we embrace mgm because we're violent, or are we violent because we embrace mgm?
And personally I think it's important to point out that we cringe at violence committed against women but not so much at violence committed against men.
Maybe this isn't the best image to do that with, but that's kind of of interesting, isn't it?
Isn't it shocking that fgm is condemned the world over and is a felony in the US, and yet mgm is advocated?!
It should be shocking.
It should be horrifying.
And I wanted to say to mothers who circumcised their first son(s) and would not repeat on future son(s) that I'm so glad that after the fact, you know mgm isn't something you'd do again.
I'm not judging you or your decisions in any way. In fact, I think you should be really proud of yourself for doing the research and coming to current conclusions.
A lot of people don't bother. You didn't have the information with your fist son, now you do. And I think that's great! I wish more people did their research and were open to changing their opinions!
But maybe for those people who don't think they care about circumcision, and don't think it's really a big deal -- maybe for some of those people an image like this one will be what reaches them.
Totally agree, Natalie. Especially in your praise of other mothers. When we know better, we do better.ReplyDelete
Until society views the human infant as a person, there will always be outrage over this comparison.ReplyDelete
I would say it's the same as comparing violence against a dog with violence against a woman, but most people I have met have more regard for a dog than a human infant.
Brings tears to my eyes every time I see images like these. I just hope it is not legal anymore. Poor babies, especially the ones with no anesthesia.ReplyDelete
Marilyn, and how to get permission to use them? I need to put this in my film. www.theothersideoftheglass.comReplyDelete
This past year my spouse and I decided not to circumcise our sons. It so happens when we did our research Biblically (we are Christian) and medically, we found NO grounds for this practice to go on. A friend of ours also decided this for their growing family and decided to share articles with their friends and family.
After one article was shared, it caused so much controversy that I'm not so sure that family relationships and friendships will ever be healed. All over CIRCUMCISION!
I feel now that I can never speak of my dislike for circumcision out of fear of losing people in my life. Isn't this crazy? The American public is so blind that to this practice being beneficial in a spiritual or physical sense, when it's FAR FROM IT!
Pray this practice ends soon. It's hurting so many emotionally and physically.
Guggie, I have a copy of John's page, which I could copy and send you. You might also look on the sites that are left in his memory...ReplyDelete
John might have put them there.
Janel, if they're not on either of John's site, I can send them to you.
Oh, Janel, I forgot to say that John left his stuff to me, so you have my permission!ReplyDelete
Found the link!ReplyDelete
Guggie - Thank you for the link to John Erickson's original depiction of these scenes.ReplyDelete
Sad, that it has been over 2 decades and still we do not recognize that violence breeds violence or that all humans are equally deserving of basic protection from assault.
Marilyn - Are you aware of the reactions that John received when these images were first published?
**BTW - these images (Erickson's and Jamie/Nick's) are in NO WAY directed at parents who made a choice to circumcised their son before having accurate information.**
There are many in this position, and thankfully with additional knowledge, wise choices can be made the next time around and our grandchildren can be spared the same atrocities.
This is commentary on a SOCIAL ILL that we are still dealing with (as stated in the description under the image).
And it is one that is central to gentle parenting in a peaceful world. We cannot ignore the violence being done under our noses and continue on as if it is not taking place. To paint everything rainbows and roses does no one any good.
Sometimes we must deal with the *hard* issues.
And the assault of an infant (which, as Todd pointed out, was REALLY HAPPENING HERE) deserves just as much horrified response as the assault (posed for this image) of an adult. Sometimes there needs to be a fire lit to get people talking. And this is one subject that we should not stop talking about until it is completely and totally abolished.
check out this link:ReplyDelete
Scroll to the bottom and you will find a "posters" link with more food for thought.
This is disgusting. Yet both of them happen daily.ReplyDelete
What's worse is that circumcision occurs mostly because parents won't take the time to do the research on the subject. They just follow the crowd and make their sons experience intense pain for the first time in their lives.
Absolutely disgusting indeed.
The assault of an infant and of an adult are equally as horrifying and BOTH need to be brought to a swift and immediate end.ReplyDelete
Let's hope the MGM Bill soon provides boys/men with equal protection as girls/women have in the States. http://www.mgmbill.org/
man...this one just game me chills.ReplyDelete
About 2/3 of the way above this post, Celine Escalle wrote something in French because it was her native language and it was easier for her to put it into words. And put it into words, she did! I translated it for those who can't read it, because I think her message is a good one...ReplyDelete
"I find there are two conversations happening here - one about the images shown, and one of the words written. The two images on their own can be put into comparison if the goal is to bring to light the violence of the act and the helplessness of the person who's subjected to the act of violence. That being the case, the two images were well chosen. I feel just as much anger looking at one image as I do looking at the other.
However, to put these two images together to prove that a circumcised infant has a higher chance of being violent, takes away from that message (despite the fact that we now know mistreatment has an effect on DNA and genetics, over a continued period of time).
That being said, I am fiercely opposed to circumcision and all other forms of body mutilation (including ear piercings), when it's done WITHOUT the express consent of the person. It's about respecting the bodily integrity of another."
And now what I have to say....ReplyDelete
I agree with what she said. I, by the way, come to the table as a parent who subjected one infant to this torture before learning the truth. I see what the written message is saying, and I also see how it derails the point of the pictures combined.
There are so many people who downplay circumcision; and try to make it okay by giving canned responses like how the baby won't remember it. That ticks me right off. Hurting someone's body because they won't remember later, does NOT make it ok to do now!
It should also be noted that many doctors do not use anesthetic; but even if they did, what's a topical anesthetic going to do for the nerves under the skin, really? That's like having your teeth drilled with Orajel as a painkiller. Oh, and sugar water isn't a pain killer, it stops the crying because it tastes good.
By the way, the baby isn't crying just because it's their only way of communicating, and to call it "discomfort" is an incredible insult. They cry because they are in great pain as a knife cuts through their flesh; and crying is their only defense. They've even taken the infant's natural defense ability (kicking) away from them, by strapping down their little legs. Talk about needing to pick on someone your own size!
And for what?....
Foreskin is a multi-billion dollar per year industry, yet most people aren't even aware their baby's foreskin was sold! And now, to save their product, they're grasping at straws trying to come up with "benefits" to circumcision. Preventing the transmission of AIDS?? How about promoting condoms instead?
And can we please NOT forget the long-term consequences of removing a body part that was INTENDED to be there!?
When you know better, you do better; and so many people need to close their mouths with their pathetic "reasons" to circumcise, and open their eyes to the true damage it's doing to the human being who's only defense is to cry when their body is being hurt!
f*ck people are sooooo cruel, we are the cruelest race there is, just plain animals, this saddens meReplyDelete
Vanessa - so very, very well put. And thank you for speaking up as a mother who made one choice for her son BEFORE learning the facts of the matter, and would not repeat the same.ReplyDelete
Your reminder rings true: "the baby isn't crying just because it's their only way of communicating, and to call it "discomfort" is an incredible insult. They cry because they are in great pain as a knife cuts through their flesh; and crying is their only defense. They've even taken the infant's natural defense ability (kicking) away from them, by strapping down their little legs."
sounds a lot like rape. doesn't it?
I don't like using comparisons when describing circumcision, because I feel that it makes people shut down to the idea. However, I do understand what you mean by that. It's a violation of another persons body, against their will. That's the thing. I believe that's why it started being babies. What grown man would say "sure, lop off my foreskin!"...?ReplyDelete
So, they do it to people who can't say no; and they lead the parents to bring them, by telling them all kinds of crazy stories about why they should. If people just slowed down and thought about it for a bit, they'd understand how insane it really is.
I can tell you this: when you learn about circumcision; you find that it's hard to keep a middle ground on the subject, because there IS no middle ground. People who are indifferent on the subject are simply not informed enough to be angry about it. Comments that are dismissive about circumcision do nothing more than feed the masses of sheeple who don't know better, and give them just enough justification to mutilate their babies.
I have talked about circumcision with many people; friends, family and strangers alike. The pro-circ reasons are all the same, and the answers to them are fairly simple. As I said, those who profit from circumcision grasp hard to put forth reasons for people to agree to torture their babies, but none are really good reasons.
The reactions when John put these images together has been the same as what you're reading here. Some people get it instantly, some are horrified. Some attacked John for putting the images together (kill the messenger). But, John was an intact man and he thought that the torture and mutilation inherent in circumcision was abhorrent and needed to be stopped. He was aware of the psychological and emotional damage done by circumcision. He understood exactly what Menninger was saying and he wanted to portray that in a way that would upset the observer. He wanted to shake people out of their complacency, especially those who think circumcision is a little snip, the baby doesn't feel pain, or that the foreskin is a useless flap of skin.ReplyDelete
With regard to mothers feeling guilty: Guilt is what you feel when you put your hand in the cookie jar when you know you're not supposed to.
Mothers allow their sons to be circumcised because they don't understand the harm of the procedure, or believe a doctor would do such a horrific thing to a baby.
I grew up believing doctors were next to god. When my doctor promoted circumcision, I was 18 years old, was married to an intact man, and we still didn't get it. We bought the doctor's line of goods, the party line. All three of my sons were circumcised behind closed doors and I believed the procedure took only a minute, didn't hurt, and would protect them. That's what my doctor told me. He lied. And, you can imagine my shock, horror, and remorse when I witnessed a circumcision as a nursing student.
I've been blamed for doing my work because I feel guilty, but I don't feel guilty, I feel stupid, I feel great sadness, I feel deep sorrow, not guilt. It was seeing a circumcision as a nursing student, when my sons were 20, 17, and 10, that literally changed the course of my life 31 years ago!
I have spent every single day since then to bring an end to the atrocity.
Guilt is a waste of time. But, the horror, sadness, and anger we feel as mothers who were lied to or coerced into allowing our sons to be circumcised or because we didn't know better can be used to do something about this, to bring an end to circumcision.
One of my favorite quotes, by Bette Reese, is "If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in bed with a mosquito!"
And, if it takes images for people to get the horror of circumcision, then show them images.
It's the babies we're trying to protect and the practice we're trying to end. For, as Gandhi said, "If we are ever to have real peace, we must begin with the children."
Oops, I forgot to say: Yes, you can use John's images.ReplyDelete
@Rebecca: Ironically, the FDA has limits on the cortisol (stress hormone) levels in animals we are killing for food. According to Matthew Hess on a recent radio show appearance, babies undergoing circumcision experience higher cortisol levels than what the FDA deems appropriate for an animal being killed for food. Unfortunately he didn't cite the source of his data (and I for one would be really interested in knowing where it came from). But regardless of one's dietary habits or moral stance on eating meat, if what Matthew said is true, that's pretty messed up - both that we have an acceptable level of torture we let our food supply endure, and that over a million baby boys each year endure more than that.ReplyDelete
What a terrible cost to be carried by any society.
I had another thought about this image that has sparked a bit of uproar lately on the FB fan page.ReplyDelete
It is interesting and odd, how these images have disgusted so many people.
Yet, i wonder what would have happened if we had kept the same sequence (baby being cut - woman being assaulted); but changed the baby-being-circumcised with the image of a child being spanked or otherwise violently disciplined.
"What is done to children they will do to society."
I bet such an image would NOT have caused so much debate. Why?...
After all, many people claim to be disgusted by child mistreatment.
In my personal experience, I do NOT believe in physical violence against children "for discipline," unless it is used as an extreme measure to instantly keep a child from harming himself (like forcefully pulling a toddler away from fire, for example).
But my parents did. As a kid I was spanked, slapped in the hands, among other "measures". And I did not turn out to be a violent person, neither did any of my siblings.
Does physical "discipline" turn SOME children violent, when combined with other causes?... Absolutely.
Is it EVERY case?... NO!!
Do I still love my parents to pieces?... YES!!
So why do we fail to see the same connection, for SOME cases, in male circumcision?
Oh yes it would have! People deeply believe in violence against children. Just had an argument on my FB wall about that.ReplyDelete
In fact, with all my AP friends, spanking, swatting, pinching or whatever they call it is the last one to go...if it goes at all.
I think also that some of my more anti-government type friends feel they have to protect spanking even if they dislike it b/c they are scared of the way the government is changing the child/parent relationship. They feel that if the government can outlaw spanking, the government can outlaw unschooling, UC/HB, no-vax etc b/c they see it as "harmful" to the child.
"What's worse is that circumcision occurs mostly because parents won't take the time to do the research on the subject."ReplyDelete
Actually, doesn't it keep happening because doctors continue to do it and aren't held liable for the medical fraud that circumcising healthy babies is?
I think most doctors are actually guilty themselves of not really looking into it. It's something they are taught at school that is the norm and they just go along with it. It is the only surgical procedure that the AAP has said is up to the parents. In fact that's the only time any medical group has stated that they defer judgment to the parents. They at least also state that it is an unnecessary procedure.ReplyDelete
Agree Nick! Parents often turn to their doctors for advice, which does them no good since the majority of the medical field is ignorant to the function of the foreskin and the harms of circumcision.ReplyDelete
A doctor has no right to perform non-medically necessary surgery on healthy tissue and a parent has no right to request it.ReplyDelete
When my first son was born there was no question that i was getting him circumcised. So the morning after he was born they took him in and said it was going to be about 20 min. at the least.ReplyDelete
So after bout 45 min. i started to get sick to my stomache. I called the nursery and they were not answering. So i waited. Finally i seen my docter and the doc who performed the circ walk in WITHOUT MY SON!!!! I was horrified the looks on there faces were so scary. I was like WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED?!?!?!?!?
The docter who performed it said that he performed 1000s of these and didnt know how he could've done this. then he went on to explain he snipped a peice of skin off. i asked well how much and they beat around the bush and just kept saying a small peice. They said he had to go to childrens to c if they could re attach it.
i asked if they could bring him up to c me befor he left and they said no at first and i demanded to. so they said yes. my mom went with them and she said it was the most disgusting thing she had ever seen and she started bawling. they brought him up covered of course....
so the next day i left the hospital and went to c him after his surgery. he was in the nicu for about a week and i stayed the entire time. Later on after talking to the urolagist i found out it was the WHOLE HEAD that the doc cut off. The re attachment surgery went well and hes fully functioning and he even got an extra inch added on to his pee pee lol.
So my second son was born and i didnt get him circumcised b/c i was terrified. everyone thought i was wrong in doing this espesially his dad. but who can blame me what i went through with my first son. I think i will get him circumcised soon while hes still young tho. What r your thoughts on this????
Marilyn you have no idea the respect and admiration I have towards you. Thanks for everything you are doing.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Enith. It's a little awkward being acknowledged for something I must do. After witnessing a circumcision and realizing the horror of what was done to my own precious sons, I never wanted one more baby or one more mother to suffer the anguish, terror, pain, or trauma that were experienced by my sons and me. Well, many have, but I'm still working on it! And look at how many have joined the mission. Together, we will win, we must, the babies are depending on us! And, I'm grateful to be doing this work with you, too!ReplyDelete
To the anonymous poster above:ReplyDelete
I am so very sorry to hear what happened to your first son. It should NEVER happen to any baby, ever. And it does occur all too often. You are (unfortunately) not alone in having to deal with this. Here are rates taken from the last 20 years of figures on the subject of genital cutting: http://www.drmomma.org/2010/01/cut-vs-intact-outcome-statistics.html
I'd encourage you to look into all the reasons to keep your 2nd son intact. He is perfect and complete and healthy just the way he was made. There is NO CARE necessary for an intact baby or child, and he will thank you greatly for protecting him and giving him the choice when he is older.
There are many resources (books, websites, and articles) on this page to check out: http://www.drmomma.org/2010/01/are-you-fully-informed.html
Feel free to email with specific questions anytime, or request a circumcision information pack to be sent if you'd like one: email@example.com