Recently I read an article in the news about San Francisco trying to pass a bill making the practice of male circumcision on baby boys illegal. San Francisco has always been pushing the envelope on controversial topics such as gay marriage and usually leads the way for more progressive thinking.

Now, we all know how horrible female circumcision is; why would it be any different for males? You are removing skin from a very sensitive organ. That skin is the same as a clitoral hood, most of the nerve endings are in the glans of the penis. The foreskin protects those nerve endings from too much contact, preventing the desensitizing of the glans (and making sitting in jeans more confortable). Yes, I know that baby boys do not remember the pain and they heal faster than adults, but does that mean the pain never happened?

Aside from religious reasons for those of Jewish and Muslim faiths, there is no reason to continue the practice. Some people might argue that it’s done to prevent the spread of AIDS and STI’s, I counter with the statement “wear a condom you idiot”. Others argue that it’s for cleanliness; I think this argument has nothing to stand on. When you are teaching a little boy how to properly wash himself, showing him how to pull his foreskin back is no different than teaching him to wash behind his ears, it is just another part of his body.

Even the reasons given by religious faiths are not enough for me to justify mutilating baby boys. I know how steadfast people can be to their beliefs and pardon me if I offend anyone, but I find it unnecessary that the practice is still justified within religious circles. The punishment under this new law will see parents paying a fine of up to $1000 or time in jail; I know some people would rather pay the fine than go against their religious beliefs; at least this law may stop people for doing it for non-religious reasons, such as aesthetics.

This new law wouldn’t make circumcision illegal in all cases, the proposal states that once a male turns 18 he can make the decision for himself whether he wants to be circumcised or not. I think the biggest argument here is having the right to choose. By circumcising your baby boy, you take away his right to choose what happens to his body. I know you might say “isn’t it a parents’ job to make decisions for their children”? You are right, but not when it comes to permanently altering their bodies. What if the child resents his parents for doing it? There is no way (successfully, that I have seen) to sculpt a new foreskin that will function the same as his original. If any of my readers has hear of this, please send me a link, I would LOVE to read about it.

So, in summation, I hope San Francisco passes this controversial new law. I’m sure we’ll see more in the news if it gets passed or not, we all know how both sides of the argument can be very vocal if they don’t get their way.

*Originally posted on May 23, 2011*