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Joseph
March 1st, 2010, 07:31
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BYC4dsOwkc

So what do you guys think?

I mean yeah, I know it's a longshot, and it most likely will be shot down by religious groups.

But just the fact that it has made it this far actually blows my mind, to the point where I'm having trouble believing this is actually true.

So what are your thoughts?

Negative, positive, let's hear them!

Me: It will take a miracle for this to even pass... but a candle of hope still shines within me... Just the fact that this is even happening is a bit euphoric... it's all going to end that day when it's declared "anti-semitic" or whatever... but one can hope, can't one?

... :o:(

tony12345
March 1st, 2010, 07:58
We will be there to raise awareness on this issue. I will be there there to give testimony.

z726
March 1st, 2010, 12:51
On paper it all looks great, but it's just not realistic to criminalize an act that still happens on a regular basis, and is commonly practiced by two rather vocal religious minorities. There was enough controversy when Denmark considered banning it a couple years ago; in any part of the US, such an effort stands even less of a chance.

At the very least, this will get people talking about the subject off the internet - possibly in a more civil manner than the way people rant about it in response to blog posts or news articles.

Americut
March 1st, 2010, 14:13
Awesome. I went and told my mom. Seems like I did pretty well to teach her about this stuff because after telling her about the bill, she was completely sympathetic.

admin
March 2nd, 2010, 00:10
I called the Howard Stern news team today to see if they would cover it, since Howard is such an anti-circ loudmouth. It's just a voice mail box.

You know who we really missed the boat with was the Daily Show or Colbert Report. Maybe we can worm in and get them to drop in on DC to cover GIAW.

So here's a letter I sent to each of the Mass. legislative committee members listed at MGMBill.org:
- - - - -
re: S. 1777 - Men undoing their circumcisions belies the ethics of cutting babies

Hi,
I have a unique perspective on circumcision in Massachusetts. I invented the TLC Tugger, a foreskin restoration device. Having restored myself, I can tell you that intimacy with the normal amount of slack skin and mucosa that have been protected from drying and abrasion is far better for both my wife and myself. To be blunt, foreskin is very valuable for sex.

During the past 365 days, 46 Massachusetts men paid me to help them start undoing their circumcisions. In that same time about 30,000 Massachusetts infants were circumcised, so for every 650 infant circumcisions, one man is so harmed by it he is willing endure a tedious multi-year process with my device to undo it.

But I am not the only maker of uncircumcising devices. At least 3/4 of foreskin restorers use other devices or methods, so it would be quite fair to estimate that there is one man taking up non-surgical restoration for every 150 infants being cut.

I am shocked the number of restorers is that high, since I had a general perception that few people even knew it was possible. But I can support these numbers with business documents and tax returns.

It is relevant to S. 1777 that so few of the impacts of infant circumcision are widely understood. The consent form that parents sign doesn't say how common the most glaring problems are - things like the loss of 20,000 nerve endings, the loss of about 15 square inches of adult sexual interface, jagged irregular scars, painful bulgy truncated veins, skin bridges, pits and gouges to the glans, stitch tunnels, meatal stenosis scars, buried penis, coarse hair growing all the way to the scar line, horrific malopposition of the shaft and glans, curved erection due to tight skin, early-onset anorgasmia, etc. Just Google "circumcision damage" unless you have a weak stomach. You'll see common hideous cosmetic and functional outcomes of infant circumcision that don't manifest until after puberty.

If infant circumcision were unknown and proposed today to fight STDs, we would insist on the same rigorous testing we require for other medical options. The certain losses, the hideous complications, and the numbers of men obviously harmed by infant circumcision would quickly convince us that only an adult, well-informed owner of a penis can weigh the pros and cons as they apply to his own body. Since most of the US men who have died of AIDS were circumcised at birth, a male would most likely realize that any slight change in STD risk was not worth certain losses of sexual functions and the risks of unintended results.

If a man does choose to get cut as an adult, he will get superior pain management and a more precise cut, without the complication of having to heal in a foul diaper. Circumcising infants just makes no sense. It will be a proud day when Massachusetts law protects boys and girls equally from non-therapeutic genital cutting.

Sincerely,
-Ron Low, President
TLCTugger.com, Inc.
847 414-1692

greg_b
March 2nd, 2010, 05:22
Excellent letter Ron! Very well worded and you bring in a very unique perspective from your business that is compelling.

Thank you for doing that.

Regards

Joseph
March 2nd, 2010, 06:50
I know it's late, but I sent this in anyway... at the very least it gives me relief I sent it.

My name is Joseph X from the state of California, and I wanted to write in today concerning the public hearing of the MGMBill at the Massachusetts State House, otherwise known as S.1777.

I just wanted to ask you to please open your hearts to what will be said today. It is my hope that you listen to both sides, and weigh what is said and/or presented with integrity.

If you can please bear with me, I also wanted to weigh in with my own thoughts.

The issue of infant circumcision is a political and emotionally charged one, as, on the one hand, condenming it would infringe on what some religious and ethnic groups see as their "religious freedoms," but on the other, allowing it to continue tacitly legitimizes the blatant and deliberate violation of basic human rights of male children.

It may sound noble that laws should allow Jews and Muslims to circumcise their male children according to their religious commandments, but if we're protecting "religious freedom," why is it that the law that bans female genital mutilation makes no exception for cultures and traditions that circumcise girls and women?

Some of you might say "well female circumcision is different; it's worse," to which I would ask, how many of you have ever even seen a male circumcision, let alone a female one? Have any of you even seen what happens during a circumcision, male or female? Are you aware that not all female circumcision is the same? Of all the female circumcision that exists, infibulation, where a woman's labia and clitoris are scraped off, and the vulva is sewn to leave a small hole for menstruation, is actually the rarest kind. If the NYTimes is correct, it only accounts for 15% of all FGM. The rest isn't "as bad." According to the New York Times, in Indonesia, female genital cutting can be as mild as a pin-prick to draw a drop of blood, to as severe as the removal of the clitoral hood, which would be equivalent to male circumcision.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/20/magazine/20circumcision-t.html

Yet, would the state of Massachusetts ever allow an exception for the kind of female genital mutilation that is "less severe?" Would the state allow the pin-prick for the symbolic drop of blood?

I dare say this is religious bigotry, when one group is protected for circumcising a boy, but the other doesn't enjoy this "religious freedom" for doing the equivalent, if not less, to a girl.

Circumcision is often defended because is a religious custom. But let's get away from that for a bit; 95% of all the circumcisions that happen in the US are secular, non Jewish circumcisions performed in hospitals by doctors. WHY is it that gentile boys must suffer along with Jewish boys?
'
Some might say that circumcision should be a parent's "choice," because it has "potential benefits."

The facts are these; circumcision is an elective, cosmetic surgery. Circumcision removes a substantial piece of normal, healthy flesh that is present in all infant baby boys at birth. It permanently alters the appearence of the penis of the individual, as well as the way it functions for the rest of that child's life. It is unnecessary in a healthy, non-consenting child.

That being the case, how is it that doctors are even allowed to perform circumcisions on children, let alone elicit some sort of "decision" from parents? Since when are doctors obliged to perform elective, cosmetic, non-medical surgery on children at their parents' request?

When it comes to surgical operations, since when are they performed for "potential benefits," and not because of actual proven benefit? Does a doctor ever perform an appendectomy, for example, because it "might work," or because it is an absolute necessity? Is the appendix ever removed prematurely to "avoid rupturing?" Are toe-nails ever removed because ingrown toe-nails are common? Because they can get infected with fungus? Because the spaces between the toes harbor the bacteria that cause athlete's foot? I mean, when do you cut off someone's hand? Is it before or after it gets infected with gangrene?

Circumcision is not necessary in healthy baby boys. Most of the world population (80% or so) are not circumcised. There is no need to remove normal healthy tissue. In the normal intact penis, the foreskin glides back and forth at will, keeping the head of the penis moist and supple. Boys and men use it to masturbate, as the gliding action provides pleasure. Circumcision removes the foreskin, drying out the head of the penis, removing 20,000 or so nerve endings, desensitizing, scarifying a boy's penis, necessitating the need for lubrication for the rest of his life. Do men not have a right to be angry that a healthy part of their bodies was chopped off at birth? Why is it that the violation of the basic human right to one's body is not immediately self-evident in the act of circumcising a newborn child?

It is an outrage to me, that this hearing is even taking place. There is a ban on female genital mutilation without any religious exception, and boys should already be protected under the 14th Amendment. That preference is given to Jews and Muslims that circumcise boys, but not ethnic groups that circumcise girls is bigotry. That girls, but not boys, are protected from charlatans offering this needless surgery is absolute sexism. Only parents wanting to circumcise their boys have "parental choice." Doctors are only obliged to circumcise boys at a parent's "request."

It's high time boys were given the equal protection of the law, and I beseech you, please grant it to them by enacting this bill. Our bodies are all we have. We cannot continue to have it robbed from us from birth. Neither doctors, nor parents have any right to chop off any part of us. They are our bodies, and whether we want to be circumcised or not should be our choice to make.

It will not have been the first time the state of Massachusetts has challenged the status quo; it happened on May 17, 2004 when it enacted same-sex marriage laws. It is my sincere hope that in this case also, you will listen with open minds, refuse to please the masses and do what is right. I pray that once again, the state of Massachusetts plays the role of pioneer for basic human rights in the United States, and grants equal rights to baby boys.

Very truly yours,

tony12345
March 3rd, 2010, 03:52
I just got back from the hearing. Things went well, about 18 people spoke in support of S1777, only 3 opposed on religious grounds. I thought there would be less people showing up in favor, and more opposed. Those in favor of the MGM bill all did a great job, from various angles, including legal experts (lawyer), medical experts (physician assistant), some testimony was emotional, some motivational. The facts are clearly on our side, and our opponents really could not give a good argument why MGM should be permitted to continue.

We are unsure if this bill will move out of committee, especially since it's the first time around, many bills need to get re-introduced for consideration before getting out of committee.

From the standpoint of raising public awareness it is a win, and I was with a great group of people. I've been up 24 hours now between traveling and testifying, i'm dead tired, I will have more to say later.

Joseph
March 3rd, 2010, 04:41
From the standpoint of raising public awareness it is a win, and I was with a great group of people. I've been up 24 hours now between traveling and testifying, i'm dead tired, I will have more to say later.

That's the way we should look at it; a win for public awareness.

Fuckin' kudos for being able to attend. I hope to hear more from you.

Sounds surprising to me; one would think that everybody and their grandma would be protesting this bill, seeing the high rate of circumcision in the East Coast.

It would be SCHWEET if this thing moved past committee on the first go... if this thing gets re-submitted, gets a 2nd hearing etc, no doubt the 3 would call in bigger guns. If I know this issue of circumcision in America, it ain't goin' down without a fight.

I'm curious to know what exactly was said in their defense. I mean, I know pretty much the schtick, but still. From the horse's mouth you know?

Rest up man, you've had a long day today.

1Taoist
March 3rd, 2010, 10:39
Great letter Joseph. I was really overwhelmed reading that. You're factually and intellectually sound. That is a winning approach.

And Tony, you did it. Way to go. From the sound of it, this is really an issue of clear facts and application of the laws of the land. I get the feeling if we all stay focused on these facts we can NOT lose. In other words, we only lose when WE sensationalize this and make it sound crazy. Drive home the simple facts and legalities and this is a go. It actually has all the makings of a Brown v Board.

Has anything like this been into'd to CA? I'd like to see that.

Unregistered
March 4th, 2010, 08:44
On paper it all looks great, but it's just not realistic to criminalize an act that still happens on a regular basis, and is commonly practiced by two rather vocal religious minorities.
Discrimination against black people (like male genital mutilation) was once an act that happened on a regular basis. Today it is considered unthinkable. I look forward to the day when discrimination against baby boys will also be unthinkable.

I would rather sit in the back of a bus than have a part of my body stolen from me.

OracleYori
March 4th, 2010, 12:07
Discrimination against black people (like male genital mutilation) was once an act that happened on a regular basis. Today it is considered unthinkable. I look forward to the day when discrimination against baby boys will also be unthinkable.

I would rather sit in the back of a bus than have a part of my body stolen from me.

Yes. If this starts to raise discussion on discrimination against males maybe a lot of other talks will happen and finally lead to some sex equality in the USA.

iwantitback
March 7th, 2010, 13:38
The most important thing is that it is getting exposure and politicians are beginning to see that it is a REAL issue with alot of support against genital mutilation. Just the fact that all the senators will have to think over circumcision and maybe take a look at their own circumcised cocks and think hmmm was i mutilated? This could be huge.

photenman
March 7th, 2010, 13:56
The organization that submitted this bill has put most of the supporting testimony online here: http://www.mgmbill.org/hearing.htm.

jninja
March 7th, 2010, 14:32
Regular people are not going to present any convincing information to politicians. They are going to need to hear doctors, lots of doctors. Like all those doctors that Obama brings out every time he wants to push his health care reform.

frizzen
March 7th, 2010, 20:37
Many thanks to those who made it out and testified, and everyone else that send letters too.

The testimony I got to read on the MGM site sounded VERY compelling, and I hope that they will actually find and vote in accordance with the law.

If you HAVEN'T submitted written testimony or a video testimony, you can still do so until March 17 2010 through the email addresses at the bottom of the MGM-bill site linked above.

I'm on the edge of my seat until the 17th! :D

Unregistered
March 7th, 2010, 20:48
Whichever representative of mine prevents the male genital mutilation bill from becoming law, I will personally vote out of office.

regrow4skin2day
March 8th, 2010, 22:12
I have two things to add to everything that has been said.

1) As a fetus the genitals of both male and females start out exactly the same. {mod adds: indeed they are all truly female until the effects of testosterone kick in, and visual differentiation doesn't commence until 3 months gestation} They then change shape to fit the gender the baby will become. Both the vagina and penis are made of the same tissues, have similar numbers of nerve endings, and use similar structures (ie. clitoral hood is basically a foreskin). They are the same except for appearance, and therefore FGM and MGM are just as wrong. Its also illegal to just draw blood on a female's genitals, so arguing that FGM is more brutal is ludicrous. Males deserve the same protection.

2) No one I have ever heard talking about circumcision has ever mentioned this. Before the 1800s and the medical establishment took over the circumcision movement the procedure was completely different. In biblical times only the tip of the foreskin was removed. It was not a medical procedure it was a marking (a sign of the covenant). The frenum would never have been removed, and circumcised males would still have a foreskin covering part of their glans. The glans would not be covered like a normal intact male, but during the olympics in Greece Jewish males would actually tie their foreskin forward in the image of an intact man because it was basically forbidden to show your glans in public. In today's society almost no circumcised man can pull their skin forward enough to touch their glans, let alone cover it. This would still allow for slack, a gliding effect, and would not impact sex/masturbation nearly as much as today. The only way to describe ancient MGM would be a restorer who's half finished. Anyone who's defense is religious beliefs has no argument against this. Even if MGM is altered so it is less harsh, it is still a mini victory. I would gladly have had the real form of circumcision instead of the brutal and completely unnecessary bullshit called circumcision now. It would also be a lot easier to restore :)

I would however choose to be left alone, and I truly believe all genital mutilation should be outlawed. I hope Canadians accept some form of law against this like the state of Mass is doing.

Dasher
March 10th, 2010, 04:47
If the bill does not get reported out of committee, does it go to interim study?

Fortunately, the U.S. has adopted a strong stand against FGM. It may turn out that this is what gets a ban on MGM in the door. In other words, because of the Equal Protection Clause.

In this country, people who would slice off a girl's clitoris or the foreskin that protects it are considered sadists and butchers, sickos. Unfortunately, a lot of Americans can not add up two and two, and come out with four. They just can't understand that slicing off a boy's foreskin is just as horriffic. Especially since there is almost never a valid medical reason to do so.

There is a lot of unnecessary litigation in this country, but if some guy who was circumcised without his permission sued the doctor and hospital who circumcised him, I would call that necessary litigation. Not only that, but litigation in the public interest.

Joseph
March 10th, 2010, 11:33
It sounds like it should all make logical and rational sense.

Unfortunately, at this point, there may not be enough logic and reason in the American psyche regarding circumcision to easily see it in the same light as FGM.

It's been said before, but we need to remember that we should not be surprised that this bill doesn't pass.

Circumcision is still seen as an "important religious Jewish rite" in the American psyche, not to mention the chorus of pro-circ snake-oil salesmen that call themselves doctors using their image of the important-looking doctor in a white coat that relentlessly tout myths to promote their trade.

Male infant circumcision, no, male infant genital mutilation, is not going down without a fight in this country.

photenman
March 11th, 2010, 12:57
Joseph, would you recommend as second best a bill that bans circumcision in hospitals? And like Sweden allows a lay person such as a Jewish Mohel, authorized by the department of health, to do it in the first 2 months, after full disclosure to and consent by both parents? And it would follow, the Muslim equivalent.

Of course that would be unethical, unjust, and violate the equal protection clause, but do you recommend it to get a law passed, to protect most boys rather than none? Maybe get that passed and then declared unconstitutional? Or 3d best, a 7 day waiting period? What do you think is practical/would get passed?

jninja
March 12th, 2010, 01:00
I'd be all for it but I still think there would be a huge outcry by the ignorant about parent's rights and other nonsense.

photenman
March 17th, 2010, 21:42
Unfortunately today the Massachusetts legislature rejected the bill that would have banned circumcision. MGMBill.Org has filed similar bills in Congress and 44 other states.

I believe that 14 states have ended Medicaid funding for it. A novel idea, not to pay for unnecessary, risky surgery that mutilates defenseless newborns.

Unregistered
March 18th, 2010, 14:36
To all of these lawmakers: SHAME ON YOU. You are sexist people who deserve to be voted out of office, for treating men as second-class citizens.

Discrimination is never okay, especially from elected officials.

(All I can say is that this is a tragedy. It really is).

z726
March 18th, 2010, 19:00
Well… their government isn't actively discriminating against anyone by not taking action. They simply voted against a controversial bill that, if approved, would probably have brought them a costly lawsuit claiming oppression of certain religious freedoms.

If you ask me, it might be different if people in any state would start recognizing the act of circumcision as an assault and battery on a child. There are already laws, so why not use them?