April 11, 2014

"That’s how I found myself Biblically nude in a kind of spiritual locker room, a shower space in a converted brownstone, waiting on a man with a razor...."

"When the mohel arrived, he looked, I’m sorry to say, like Danny Devito in curls. We stood in silence. I opened my towel. Hello, groin. He opened a shaving bag with glinting instruments. Hello, knife. My mohel produced a pen-sized lance, which he wielded ever so gently, like Lady Grantham with a paring knife. He sliced, sliced, squeezed, dripped, and was done. The whole transaction was over in seconds, long before I could scream, or faint, or decide if I liked it."

From "My Adult Circumcision/How I made the cut for my new religion."

22 comments:

Bob R said...

P.J. O'Rourke's circumcision principle - usually applied to the federal budget - is that you can cut 10% off of anything without affecting its function.

Gabriel said...

It wasn't a real circumcision--he was already circumcised. It was a symbolic one.

YoungHegelian said...

Back when I was in high school, one of my buddies had some sort of issue with his foreskin & was circumcised when he was 16.

We kidded him that we were going to pay a cheerleader to visit him in the hospital, offer to kiss it to make it feel all better, & make him bust his stitches.

He seemed to recover quickly, all considered.

Titus said...

Althouse, are you going to move somewhere, when and if you retire?

Or maybe have the summer home in Wisconsin and another place during the winter months?

Do you think about that?

tits.

YoungHegelian said...

There's no way in hell, if I was uncircumcised, I'd get the weeney clopped for a bunch of free-wheelin' "We'll follow what part of the Torah we feel like following today" Reform Jews.

I'd tell them y'all start keeping full kosher, guys only for Minyan, no lovey-lovey on the gays & abortion, and absolutely none of this chick-rabbi BS, and then we'll talk about the importance of carving the Covenant into my tubesteak.

chuck said...

Ouch!

traditionalguy said...

There is no covenant without the shedding of blood.

HG said...

Young heglians second comment is so spot on...

gadfly said...

Modern circumcision is unnecessary but religious laws have caused the surgical scaring of most newborn males while females are spared the torture except in certain primitive cultures.

We have come a long way medically. So lets leave foreskin alone for better sexual sensitivity and enjoyment in the future.

Saint Croix said...

P.J. O'Rourke's circumcision principle - usually applied to the federal budget - is that you can cut 10% off of anything without affecting its function.

It's a way better slogan than castrating hogs!

"I'm a mohel--I cut with finesse."

Lucien said...

Sounds anticlimactic.

Smilin' Jack said...

""That’s how I found myself Biblically nude in a kind of spiritual locker room, a shower space in a converted brownstone, waiting on a man with a razor....""

The stupid, like the poor, will always be with us.

mezzrow said...

My reaction mimics Ann's skeptical gaze at the title line of this entry - at least as long as it is on top, that is.

Sometimes less is more, but not in this case.

Michael McNeil said...

Modern circumcision is unnecessary but religious laws have caused the surgical scaring of most newborn males while females are spared the torture except in certain primitive cultures.

We have come a long way medically. So lets leave foreskin alone for better sexual sensitivity and enjoyment in the future.


What does “unnecessary” mean? Who are “we”? What about the miserable health situation in, say, Africa? The prospect of death for one's children after they've become sexually active would seem to alter the equation about what's “necessary” and what isn't.

As the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) puts it:

“Male circumcision reduces the risk that a man will acquire HIV from an infected female partner, and also lowers the risk of other STDs, penile cancer, and infant urinary tract infection.

“For female partners, male circumcision reduces the risk of cervical cancer, genital ulceration, bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis, and HPV. Although male circumcision has risks including pain, bleeding, and infection, more serious complications are rare.” …

Among the considerable discussion that follows in that CDC publication, I'll point to this specifically:

“Three randomized controlled clinical trials (RCTs) were conducted in Africa to determine whether circumcision of adult males reduces their risk for HIV infection. … When the data were reanalyzed to account for these occurrences, men who had been circumcised had a 76% (South Africa), 60% (Kenya), and 55% (Uganda) reduction in risk for HIV infection compared with those who were not circumcised.

“A 2008 meta-analysis, which examined data from the three RCTs, as well as from cohort and case-control studies, found that HIV risk was reduced 58% in circumcised men (overall risk ratio [RR], 0.42; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.33-0.53). The authors concluded that the studies provided enough evidence to conclude that circumcision causes a reduction in transmission of HIV-1 infection.”

The UN's World Health Organization (WHO) says much the same thing:

“There is compelling evidence that male circumcision reduces the risk of heterosexually acquired HIV infection in men by approximately 60%.”

AReasonableMan said...

Genital mutilation is a weird primitive ritual. The fact that it has been practiced for tens of thousands of years by all kinds of primitive tribes is no defense, cannibalism was also widely practiced for millennia by many of the same tribes.

cubanbob said...

Genital mutilation is a weird primitive ritual. The fact that it has been practiced for tens of thousands of years by all kinds of primitive tribes is no defense, cannibalism was also widely practiced for millennia by many of the same tribes."

So ARM are we to conclude you are opposed to all mutilations in general or just the one you don't approve of? Please tell us how you view mutilations such as tattoos, nose jobs, boob jobs and gender reassignment surgery and the various piercings.

West Texas Intermediate Crude said...

The author wrote that he signed the check to the mohel.

Most mohels work just for tips.

Paco Wové said...

"Biblically nude in a kind of spiritual locker room"....?

That's some horrifically grotesque overwriting there. To bad the mohel couldn't take a knife to the text.

Count me as a conditional male circumcision defender. If you don't have access to the modern infrastructure of cleanliness, male circumcision can have definite public health benefits, as noted by M. McNeill. Female circumcision is a whole different matter.

AReasonableMan said...

cubanbob said...

So ARM are we to conclude you are opposed to all mutilations in general or just the one you don't approve of? Please tell us how you view mutilations such as tattoos, nose jobs, boob jobs and gender reassignment surgery and the various piercings.


The big difference between genital mutilation and all the other things you mention is consent. If you are over 18 and give consent I don't think the government has the right to stop you, although I question the value of all of these mutilations.

Dr Weevil said...

I've seen children and even small babies with multiple ear-piercings and tattoos. In some states at least, the only consent required is the parents'. There was a case in Alabama where a 17-year-old woman was refused a requested tattoo because she didn't have a parent's permission, but the tattooist offered to tattoo her baby for her, with her signed permission. (The law doesn't say that the parent of the under-18 has to be over 18.)

Of course, the problem with writing "Genital mutilation is a weird primitive ritual" is that it is two rituals - or rather operations - with only superficially resemblances. One of them may detract somewhat from sexual pleasure (there aren't a lot of men who can offer an informed opinion, and no one can offer an objective one) while offering hygienic advantages. The other seems to be designed to prevent orgasm entirely, and has nothing whatever to recommend it except (if that's what you want) reinforcement for the patriarchy. (I imagine women who have undergone FGM are less likely to cheat on their husbands, since they have a lot less motive - they won't enjoy it, so only spite or revenge would incline them towards it.)

Conflating circumcision and clitoridectomy as if they were the same thing seems tendentious - to put it as kindly as I can.

Ann Althouse said...

"Do you think about that?"

Yeah. A lot. Any suggestions?

Fred Drinkwater said...

You think about WHAT a lot?!
Oh..Titus's question. Never mind.