Sunday, 28 July 2013

Babyface Nietzsche

And so, the world's first feminazi was born.... :)

No, I'm kidding. I don't really know why this (previously suppressed) scene from 1933's 'Baby Face' speaks to me so much, it just seems to touch on so many raw realities of life, outside of all ages, such as woman's unchanging power & elevated position over man, & the unvarnished venality & greed of hungry human beings.

It seems also to freeze a moment in time that would be gone almost as soon as the scene was over: once the second world war began, only a few years hence, a friendly German character stridently plugging the philosophy of Nietzsche would be unthinkable right up to pretty much the present day, tarred with its new fascist associations. And all the references to a woman using her body to manipulate men to her will would also become a thing of the past once the Hays Code was passed the following year.

This scene was never actually shown anywhere until the uncut film's discovery & restoration in 2004. In 1933 it was instead overdubbed with the following feeble propaganda:

"A woman, young, beautiful like you, can get anything she wants in the world. But there is a right way and a wrong way. Remember, the price of the wrong way is too great. Go to some big city where you will find opportunities! Don't let people mislead you. You must be a master, not a slave. Be clean, be strong, defiant, and you will be a success."

And that's the way another age, another history, another world began.

Friday, 26 July 2013

The Normalization of Male & Female Circumcision

What is so great about this video is that it demonstrates the societal explanations for practicing male & female circumcision are exactly the same in both the 'barbaric' Islamic east & the 'enlightened' American west. In both cases religious traditions are fundamentally at the root but are more widely explained as being done in the interests of health, hygiene & some mysterious localized standard of 'normality': "it's just what we DO here". In both cases it is ultimately presented as something done for the child's benefit, something that they will thank you for in later life, for making them like all the others in their area, & then carry out themselves on their own children. 

One of these, of course, is seen (in our own present paradigm) as essentially harmless & trivial, whilst the other is seen as the greatest evil under the sun, even though the actual procedure - the taking of a razor blade to the healthy genitals of children - is exactly the same in both cases.

This whole issue I find a great thought experiment, to try take oneself out of ones culture to see the thing before you as it really is, stripped of all the cultural explanations attached to it, which can be so different from how you've always seen it before.

The video was brought to my attention by the excellent Tumblr blogger Oratorasaurus, whose posting it naturally brought forth all the usual comments, such as:

Circumcising girls is a lot more harmful than circumcising guys. The long term effects of a circumcision for a guy? The penis is less sensitive. For a girl? It makes sex painful.
To which he responded:

First things first: Did you watch the video?

Secondly, circumcised penises tear during sex, the skin actually will tear because it is stretched too tight across the erect penile muscles. This causes pain. This causes soreness. This causes a week or longer of not being able to have sex, of hoping that you don’t have an involuntary erection because it will cause the skin to tear even more. I know, this happens to me. And according to a recent study, women find sex with a circumcised penis more painful than sex with a uncircumcised penis (which makes sense, since the foreskin keeps all the vagina’s juices inside of the vagina whereas without the foreskin, they leak out all over the thighs, legs, and bed).

Thirdly, I feel that MGM and FGM are rather equal in their severity. The clitoris being removed is rather terrible, but the foreskin has 20,000–70,000 of erogenous nerve endings, the majority of which are concentrated in the ridged band, which encircles the inner opening of the foreskin. When the penis is flaccid, the nerve endings are protected but, when erect, they are exposed. Circumcision removes about three-fourths of the nerve endings in the penis, leaving the circumcised penis severely disabled by comparison. Compare this to the 8,000 erogenous nerve endings in the clitoris and the complete lack of them in the labia. I am not suggesting that one is worse than the other, but people need to realize that the severity of their shock and rage when they hear about FGM needs to the same when they hear about MGM.

Fourthly, only a lack of sensitivity?
"For the glans penis, circumcised men reported decreased sexual pleasure and lower orgasm intensity. They also stated more effort was required to achieve orgasm, and a higher percentage of them experienced unusual sensations (burning, prickling, itching, or tingling and numbness of the glans penis). For the penile shaft a higher percentage of circumcised men described discomfort and pain, numbness and unusual sensations." - See more at:
"burning, prickling, itching, tingling", “numbness", “discomfort", “pain", “unusual sensations"… see those? Those are not simply descriptions of less sensitivity.

And lastly, I feel that you are woefully uninformed about circumcisions and are only looking at what society tells you in order to come to those woefully inadequate views on the subject. So let me lay down some facts for you to go through, to read up on, and hopefully come out of this little exchange far better prepared and informed about circumcision and how it is, in fact, genital mutilation:
The vast majority of medical organizations in the world with a policy on circumcision are outright against it. Including:

Swedish Pediatric Society (they outright call for a ban)
Royal Dutch Medical Association calls it a violation of human rights, and calls for a “strong policy of deterrence." this policy has been endorsed by several other organizations:
The Netherlands Society of General Practitioners,
The Netherlands Society of Youth Healthcare Physicians,
The Netherlands Association of Paediatric Surgeons,
The Netherlands Association of Plastic Surgeons,
The Netherlands Association for Paediatric Medicine,
The Netherlands Urology Association, and
The Netherlands Surgeons’ Association.
College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia
This procedure should be delayed to a later date when the child can make his own informed decision. Parental preference alone does not justify a non‐therapeutic procedure…. Advise parents that the current medical consensus is that routine infant male circumcision is not a recommended procedure; it is non‐therapeutic and has no medical prophylactic basis; current evidence indicates that previously‐thought prophylactic public health benefits do not out‐weigh the potential risks.…. Routine infant male circumcision does cause pain and permanent loss of healthy tissue. |
Australian Federation of Aids organizations They state that circumcision has “no role" in the HIV epidemic. TheGerman Association of Pediatricians called for a ban recently.
The German Association of Child and Youth Doctors recently Attacked the AAP’s claims, saying the benefits they claim, including HIV reduction, are “questionable," and that “Seen from the outside, cultural bias reflecting the normality of non-therapeutic male circumcision in the US seems obvious, and the report’s conclusions are different from those reached by doctors in other parts of the Western world, including Europe, Canada, and Australia." (scroll to page 7 for the English translation.)
The AAP was recently attacked by the President of the British Association of Paediatric Urologists because the evidence of benefit is weak, and they are promoting "Irreversible mutilating surgery."
The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan has taken a position against it, saying it is harmful and will likely be considered illegal in the future, given the number of men who are angry that it was done to them and are becoming activists against it.
The President of the Saskatchewan Medical Association has said the same (link above).
The Central Union for Child Welfare “considers that circumcision of boys that violates the personal integrity of the boys is not acceptable unless it is done for medical reasons to treat an illness. The basis for the measures of a society must be an unconditional respect for the bodily integrity of an under-aged person… Circumcision can only be allowed to independent major persons, both women and men, after it has been ascertained that the person in question wants it of his or her own free will and he or she has not been subjected to pressure.
Royal College of Surgeons of England
"The one absolute indication for circumcision is scarring of the opening of the foreskin making it non- retractable (pathological phimosis). This is unusual before five years of age."…"The parents and, when competent, the child, must be made fully aware of the implications of this operation as it is a non-reversible procedure." |
British Medical Association
it is now widely accepted, including by the BMA, that this surgical procedure has medical and psychological risks. …. very similar arguments are also used to try and justify very harmful cultural procedures, such as female genital mutilation or ritual scarification. Furthermore, the harm of denying a person the opportunity to choose not to be circumcised must also be taken into account, together with the damage that can be done to the individual’s relationship with his parents and the medical profession if he feels harmed by the procedure. …. parental preference alone is not sufficient justification for performing a surgical procedure on a child. …. The BMA considers that the evidence concerning health benefit from non-therapeutic circumcision is insufficient for this alone to be a justification for doing it. |
Australian Medical Association Has a policy of discouraging it, ad says “The Australian College of Paediatrics should continue to discourage the practice of circumcision in newborns.
Australian College of Paediatrics:
"The possibility that routine circumcision may contravene human rights has been raised because circumcision is performed on a minor and is without proven medical benefit. Whether these legal concerns are valid will probably only be known if the matter is determined in a court of law …..Neonatal male circumcision has no medical indication. It is a traumatic procedure performed without anaesthesia to remove a normal and healthy prepuce.”|
Royal Australasian College of Physicians
Some men strongly resent having been circumcised as infants. There has been increasing interest in this problem, evidenced by the number of surgical and non-surgical techniques for recreation of the foreskin.|
ON that note, 74% of Australian doctors overall believe circumcision should not be offered, and 51% consider it abuse. Circumcision used to be common in Australia, but the movement against it spread faster there than America, where rates continue to drop.
Royal Australasian College of Surgeons I like this one especially. It’s a detailed evaluation of the arguments in favor of circumcision, They note that during one of the recent trials in Africa, the researchers claimed there was no loss of sexual satisfaction, when in fact there was. But the RACS called them out:
Despite uncircumcised men reporting greater sexual satisfaction, which was statistically significant,Kigozi et al (2008) concluded that adult male circumcision does not adversely affect sexual satisfaction or clinically significant function in men." In general, they discuss how there’s no evidence to support it.
The Norwegian Council of Medical Ethics states that ritual circumcision of boys is not consistent with important principles of medical ethics, that it is without medical value, and should not be paid for with public funds.
The Norwegian Children’s Ombudsman is opposed as well.
The Denmark National Council for Children is also opposed.
And recently, the politically appointed Health minister of Norway opposed a ban on circumcision, yet the ban was supported by the Norwegian Medical Association, the Norwegian Nurses Organization, the Norwegian Ombudsman for Children, and the University of Oslo.
Swedish Association for Sexuality Education published this guide that talks about circumcision, in a pretty negative way. not an official advocacy policy but it makes it fairly clear. it also mentions the frenulum is sexually sensitive, and helps prevent infection by blocking fluid from the urethra; the frenulum is often removed in an infant circumcision, yet easier to leave intact if an adult is circumcised.
this study shows significant harms to men’s sexual ability and satisfaction after circumcision.
And here’s a list of medical literature proving the dangers.
Circumcision decreases penile sensitivity
Circumcision associated with sexual difficulties
Circumcision linked to alexithymia
The exaggeration of the benefits of circumcision in regards to HIV/AIDS transmission
Circumcision/HIV claims are based on insufficient evidence
There is no case for the widespread implementation of circumcision as a preventative measure to stop transmission of AIDS/HIV
Circumcision decreases sexual pleasure
Circumcision decreases efficiency of nerve response in the glans of the penis
Circumcision policy is influenced by psychosocial factors rather than alleged health benefits
Circumcision linked to pain, trauma, and psychosexual sequelae
Circumcision results in significant loss of erogenous tissue
Circumcision has negligible benefit
Neonatal circumcision linked to pain and trauma
Circumcision may lead to need for increased care and medical attention in the first 3 years of life
Circumcision linked to psychological trauma
Circumcision may lead to abnormal brain development and subsequent deviations in behavior
Anyone who supports this rather despicable practice is directly and justifying the mutilation of infant boys (which kills roughly 117 every year). And they have the gall to say that we are contrived in our outrage, because it can’t possibly be as bad for men as it is for women.
The fact that they can go on calling the foreskin “just skin", and ignore the countless articles and studies proving that it is far more than that, is mind boggling to me.
- See more at:

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Women Can Stop Rape

According to the SFRCC (San Francisco Women Against Rape), it is estimated that one out of three lesbians have been sexually assaulted by another woman. Here's a few posters reflecting that fact to make a refreshing change from those god-damned awful 'Men Can Stop Rape' ones presently doing the rounds:

Top Ten Issues Facing UK Men & Boys

A nice little overview of present-day men's rights issues that originally appears over at By no means exhaustive but it may serve as a handy introduction to the uninitiated.

1. Ending violence against men and boys
The majority of victims of violence in the UK are men and boys. Seven out of 10 murder victims are men and men are 70% more likely to be killed by someone they know and seven times more likely to be killed by a stranger. Male victims of domestic violence and sexual violence are less likely than their female counterparts to access help and support.
2. Stopping male suicide
Men are three times more likely to commit suicide and more than 10 men kill themselves every day in the UK.
3. Equal rights for dads
Unmarried fathers are not currently given automatic parental rights from birth and the amount of parental leave and pay new parents can qualify for is not equal for mums and dads. Campaign groups say law reform is needed to promote and facilitate shared parenting after separation and some are calling for an overhaul of the benefits system to support shared parenting. Currently when separated parents share care only one parent (usually mum) qualifies for support from the state through child benefit, housing benefit, child tax credits etc.
4. Giving boys a better education
One in ten boys, for example, leave primary school at 11 with a reading age of a 7 year old. Boys of all backgrounds are more likely to be excluded from schools ranging from white boys who are 2.4 times more likely to be excluded than a white girl to poor black boys with special educational needs who are 168 times more likely to be excluded from school than richer white girl with no special educational needs. Only one in eight primary school teachers are male and one in four primary schools have no male teachers.
5. Tackling negative portrayals of men in the media and promoting male role models.
6. Improving men’s health and life expectancy
Men of all backgrounds die on average 4 years younger than women with the gap between the poorest men and richest women rising to over 10 years. Men are less likely to access and benefit from health services. Men’s health researchers and campaigners say services need to change and become more male friendly if we are to tackle men’s health inequalities.
7. Tackling male disposability
The majority of homeless people, prisoners, children excluded from school, children put into foster care, unemployed people and isolated older people are men. More than 95% of people who die at work are men and the majority of soldiers killed in service are men. Some campaigners see this issue as a sign that we take men’s lives less seriously than women’s lives and conclude that men are treated as being more ‘disposable’. For some campaigners this perception of ‘male disposability’ is further exacerbated by the unequal number of schemes and initiatives that are focused on supporting and helping women.
8. Ending unnecessary male circumcision
Everyday, as many as 100 Unnecessary Male Circumcisions are performed legally on boys in the UK, often in non-medical settings without anaesthetic. This practice can and does cause death, disability, disease, pain and discomfort and physical damage.
9. Beating male cancer and tackling men’s cancer inequalities
Men are 70% more likely to die from the cancers that affect both sexes, less money is spent on researching male cancers, more than 90% of the people screened for cancer are women, and girls are now vaccinated against some cancers but boys are not.
10. Tackling male unemployment
According to the ONS Labour Market Statistics for May 2012 there are 2.6 million people currently unemployed in the UK and 6 out of ten of them are men. A report by the Higher Education Policy Institute think tank found that male graduates are 50% more likely to end up unemployed.