...to counter the Advice Goddess. I mean, she's got it goin' on, right? She's got the hair, the 'tude, the hot links from Insty. And most of the time, I'm down with her rap, man.
But, circumcision, dude? I really should step aside. Angels fear to tread, and all that. If my son is reading this, please, Heather, send him out of the room. I mean it!
To call it, "penisectomy" as Ms. Alkon does, is a bit much. And incorrect. Even the Jolly Roger agrees with me on that point. That's just emotional and over-the-top drama. To call it purely cosmetic is possibly understating, as well. But there is simply no correlation between circumcision and a clitorodotomy procedure. To assert such is to unwittingly abet those who would impose female genital mutilation, which I'm sure is not Ms. Alkon's intent. [update: for excellent articles and discussion of FGM, click here.]
Let's call things by what they mean. It's ever so helpful. A penisectomy would infer the removal of the penis. No normal person would want that. Nor would a normal person insist on removing a woman's sexual sensitivity. An insecure person might, but... enough about Muslim men.
I'm not sure why it's important to Ms. Alkon to make such an irrational comparison. There's a bunch more to discuss about it. Lots and lots of levels of thought. Let's tackle just one.
To assume that one backward and barbaric culture's insecurities are the reason behind a vibrant and progressive culture's continuance of a shared custom deserves a bit of pondering.
Me, I'm just thinking out loud, and not buying into the "health benefits" argument as the only spiritual vs. visceral correlation of reason for circumcision. To do so is to assume quite a bit. Let's assume, along the lines of, "pork was forbidden by God because Moses was a genius who figured out that undercooked pork was a danger." From there, a generally touted "modern" explanation for a seemingly irrational demand, we jump to: circumcision was instituted for health reasons.
But, you don't know that. And neither do I.
And, as any woman who lives with a "cut" man can tell you, circumcision doesn't seem to slow the old boy down one bit. In fact, to be totally scientific, someone would have to sponsor a study comparing the libidos of uncut and cut men, and record the resulting amount of pleasure and satisfaction for each. Many a "cut" man would volunteer to participate in such a study, I'm sure.
"But! You don't know what you don't experience!!" Well, I can't speak to that, for sure. But I can say this:
Alcohol has done more to defeat a man's pleasure than any circumcision.
No lesser a mortal than Wm. Shakespeare confirms this in stating that alcohol, “provokes the desire but it takes away the performance.” Alcohol interferes in two ways, by keeping the blood vessels open and relaxed, and by inhibiting the nerve-endings. Of both sexes.
Some say that a "sheath-ectomy" exposes nerve endings so as to keep a man in a perpetual state of excitement. Anecdotal testimony may bear that out. ::ahem!:: You know, there may be a "go forth and multiply" factor in the ancient mindset that provoked men to keep the arousal factor up, so to speak, in order to assure a survival of his species. It may not be health, it may not be cosmetic. It may be tribal and primordial, an ancient wisdom or ploy of survival.
Strictly speaking outside of the spiritual reference: It was instituted by men, after all. Not by women. My suspicions lead me to conclude that men know what they are doing for their sons. Cut or uncut. One thing they are not doing is acting on irrational insecurities. They're all about the happy penis.
Nothing is more sacred to a man than his penis. It's his best friend. Tell me I'm wrong, guys.
But no, we got men worrying now, like women, about what they may be missing out on; fretting about the amount of enjoyment they may not be experiencing. Heck. Cut guys may be having more fun, but nobody can measure that, can they? And if it's the opposite? If it takes a guy a bit longer to arrive at his happy moment because of over-exposure, then who benefits most from that?
Maybe circumcision is a pro-feminist agenda.
Oh, and Valentine's Day?
It has nothing to do with the above, (or maybe it does...) it just happens to be another peeve that Ms. Alkon and countless others feel the need to grind up and serve to the blogosphere.
Well, you know what? TOO BAD!! Valentine's Day is not for you, just like Yom Kippur is not for me. It's a day for those who find meaning in it. Insecure people that want to be harried by it? Fine. Ignore it.
But there are millions of romantics who find meaning in the day. So the yammering and sour grapes about Valentine's Day are just that. Bah Humbug!
For the rest of ya'll, you got about two weeks to make your plans for your sweet thing and you to celebrate what you've found.
Everyone else can just bugger off. Or go get your genitals pierced.