Look, I’m critical of circumcising male babies because of the bodily autonomy issues, but maybe don’t play fast and loose with the scientific facts? And don’t torpedo the success of a very important book just because it includes ten pages on a public health policy that you dislike? Circumcision helps to reduce the risk of HIV infection. In places where HIV infection is widespread, that may make circumcision good public health policy — that’s what a lot of international health organizations think, anyway. Or it might not — it might be that the moral and ethical implications of removing a piece of a baby’s sexual organs trump the health benefits, even in places where we are literally talking about the difference between life and death. I don’t actually know. I am generally in favor of “do not permanently fuck with your kid’s body without his or her consent,” extending from circumcision to pierced ears. But when it’s a procedure that has been shown to have very few negative side effects but offers a 70% reduction in the likelihood that you will contract HIV? In places where the HIV rate is depressingly high, and where preventative tools like condoms may not always be readily available? The calculus changes.
But even if for you the calculus doesn’t change, that doesn’t justify maligning the good work of public health professionals just because they come to a different conclusion based on the facts. The ideological attacks on AIDS scholarship are scary. If the moral arguments against circumcision can stand on their own, then they can stand on their own; there’s no need to deny the scientific truths that, for many of us, complicate the issue. And there’s certainly no need to trash an important body of work just because it doesn’t bow to your agenda.
And the first person on this thread to compare male circumcision to female circumcision will get my fist in their face (shaking the fist, only shaking, but then you will be banned).