Male Circumcision and the Need for Pain

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-02-2009
Male Circumcision and the Need for Pain
Tue, 03-02-2010 - 9:30pm

We all know of the excruciating pain circumcision can inflict on its victims. Only older boys or adults can safely be given sufficient local or general anaesthesia to totally eliminate pain during the surgery. Yet once the anaesthetic wears off the consequent pain is, at times, nigh unbearable.

Furthermore, most of us know the procedure was introduced in the West as a deliberately painful punishment for child 'self-abuse'.

So, all in all, circumcision is never without pain.

The following quote is from one of Circlist's pages - a prominent pro-circ Web site familiar to many.

"I came away from the Bris knowing that some day the boy would find out from his parents that his community stood witness to him in his pain, and they will do so again when he is a teenager, at his Bar Mitzva. In all of life's changes, there is loss. In all loss, there is pain. His community, through their rituals, is there to help him through these changes by acknowledging his loss and celebrating what is to come.

So, which is better? The Bris with it's spirituality, community, gift giving, and pain and loss inflicted by older men? Or, western circumcision in a sterile operating room, with no community present, no spirituality, denial of the pain, all preceded by a highly commercialized and feminised baby shower? Or, no circumcision, no community, no spirituality, no men helping boys?

I think the species NEEDS overt recognition of life's pain, (especially western men). It is an essential part of good mental health. Circumcisions are a cross-cultural manifestation of this need. Saying no to circumcision is one thing. Saying no to pain is something completely different. If, in our enlightenment, we are choosing to toss away the ritualized recognition of pain, what are we replacing it with?"

Of all the expressed benefits of circumcision I have ever seen, this is one I have not come across before. Note that despite the article's Jewish stance, the author expands his view to encompass all males as a species.

How many, I ask and wonder, share his belief? Has the CDC, currently poised to recommend that all little American boys should be circumcised, considered this additional benefit?

Has the thought of circumcision's inevitable pain even crossed your mind as a possible advantage?


P.S. If you care to, do take a look at the rest of the link I give . It's a fascinating commentary on pro-circ thinking today. Oh, and not a suggestion of fetishism, I'm pleased to say.

"Education is the discovery of our own ignorance." Will Durant

"Almost any manmade phenomenon is explained by tradition, inertia - or both." Anon

CL - Circumcision Debate

"Education is the discovery of our own ignorance.