9 Jan 2017

A Futile Attempt To Enlighten A Feminist About MGM & FGM

By Mike Buchanan: On International Men’s Day (2015) we held an anti-MGM protest in Parliament Square, the video (6:30) is here. This afternoon I received some comments on YouTube in response to that video, from ‘Sarah R’, and reproduce them (and my responses) here.
She wrote:

Male circumcision isn’t mutilation. [Yes, it is.] In fgm, the entire clitoris is removed. [No, it isn’t.] In males, that would be the equivalent to cutting of the head of the penis. [No, it wouldn’t be.] The foreskin is a tiny thin membrane that covers the penis [No, it’s not, it’s a substantial and extremely nerve-rich piece of skin which covers the tip of the glans, and has important functions about which you’re evidently ignorant] and in females it would be equivalent to the hymen. [No, it wouldn’t.] It’s not the same and most people who get it done do not want their son to contract STDs and expose other people to them. [That’s very rarely their motivation.] Uncircumcised males are more likely to contract and spread disease. [Where’s your evidence for this?] It’s only logical. [No, it’s not.]
I wrote:
Sarah, I am only publishing your comment because you’re clearly deeply ignorant about both FGM and MGM.
The Wiki entry on FGM should help you to start improving your understanding:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Female_genital_mutilation 
The following should help you to start improving your understanding of MGM, and why we oppose it (in addition to the fact it’s illegal in the UK): 
The foreskin is a biological equivalent to the clitoral hood, not the hymen.
I’ll be happy to have an exchange when you’ve at least read and absorbed those materials.
I added:

Sarah, another thought. Very few people who have their male offspring circumcised do it for the reasons you state. Which is just as well, because those reasons don’t bear critical examination.
She wrote:

I read your links but I simply cannot equate this mutilation to the mutilation suffered by females as the many females undergo the the destruction and removal of the whole genital area or at least all areas susceptible to great sensitivity. Some girls even have their vaginal opening sowed up and thus will either die due to menstruation or childbirth and will experience infertility and horrendous pain or discomfort in the area for the rest of their lives. I’m not saying male mutilation is not bad because I agree with you that this should not be carried out without the man’s consent. However equating fgm with mgm is quite frankly dishonest.
Uncircumcised men are more susceptible to STDs. You can say that it’s called soap and water but no offence but many men aren’t hugely in favour of frequent cleanliness.
I understand if you wish to campaign for these rights, but why diminish women’s rights in the process. It makes your intentions seem ingenuine like there is an ulterior motive. I’ve watched many of you interviews and you fail to discuss any of these problems without taking a hit of feminism. Campaigning to criminalise fgm and standing for the women who are against this practice shouldn’t feel like a threat nor should you feel it undermines your campaign. That’s why I don’t take you seriously a lot of the times as many of your arguments seem to be driven by your evident dislike of the female population.
I wrote:

Sarah, you could not have read and absorbed the content of both links in 18 minutes, let alone reflected on them properly, and proof of this is that your second contribution is even more ill-informed and ridiculous than the first. Rather than waste any more time on you, I’ll publish a blog post instead.
I’m sorry you don’t take me seriously ‘a lot of the times’, but hopefully I’ll survive the emotional trauma of knowing that.
Have a nice day.
She wrote:

I admit that I didn’t read your Wikipedia article on fgm as it has been well publicised what happens to the body when attacked in this manner. However I did read the other article you gave me thoroughly. I’m a fast reader. I just did not agree with many of the points you made [The article was written by William Collins, not me] as many of them were subjective with little exploration of opposing views. In addition, many of your points were little more than a moan and whine about how terrible women are and how this problem can be attributed to female power. Your movement is a farce and your sincerity is false. But don’t worry, I tend not to take cry babies too seriously.
I wrote:

Thanks for that, just received it in time to include it in my blog piece.