Sunday, January 16, 2011

Stop the extremism, and then off on a tangent.

I hate extremes. Which is odd, since I guess technically I should just strongly dislike extremes, hate being an extreme and all. I'll have to ponder that moderately someday. But anyway....

I am in favor of gun control. I don't want to ban them, but I'd like to think there's a way of keeping psychopaths from buying guns on a whim. I think people should be able to carry concealed weapons, with a permit.

I am opposed to abortion. But I am in favor of keeping it legal because as long as I can see some circumstance in which I might want to get one I feel I have no authority to say anyone else should never be able to get one. That said, I do not think abortion is a right, or merely something a woman chooses to do to her own body. There is, at the very least, a potential for life other than hers involved and that discredits, to me, the "It's my body" argument.

I am opposed to circumcision. Or should I say, to routine infant circumcision. I think it's pointless, needless, cosmetic, and not in a child's best interest at all. But I don't think it's mutilation, because I don't think a circumcised penis has been mutilated. I think a penis that went through a meat grinder would be mutilated, or an amputated penis, or a scarred up with a switchblade penis, but not a circumcised penis. However, I do think that certain forms of female genital mutilation are very much comparable to circumcision, like the ones where they just remove the labia as opposed to removing the clitoris and then sewing the whole thing up. And I think that as long as we say it is horrific and terrible and abusive for Africans to cut the labia off their young daughters so that the girls can a) look like their mothers, b) look more attractive and normal because in their culture all they ever see are vaginas without labia, and c) prevent the formation of smegma later in life, and then continue to circumcise our own sons for the exact same reasons, we are hypocrites and we are idiots for not even seeing it.

I think that when people go all extreme in their arguments the first (and often the only) thing they accomplish is to convince the other side that they are the only rational side there is. As long as the intactivists keep screaming about people mutilating their sons and ruining them, the pro-circumcision side will continue to think that we are all wackos who take this shit wayyy too seriously and that we are too unstable to pay attention to. Also, maybe we should stop ranting on about how much sexual pleasure there is in the foreskin and all that. People don't generally like to think about their infant sons getting off; it makes it harder to deal with the tiny erections that tend to pop up in smiling babies' diapers. When they say they don't want girls to laugh at an intact penis later on, they aren't imagining sex as much as they are imagining 2 people seeing each other naked, which is an important distinction for a mother. When we are tasked with all the bathing and diaper changing, we need to separate the organ from it's future function, or else we can't manhandle it the way we need to. (Baby boys poop all up around their junk, you need to move it around and really get under and around everything to wipe it clean. Laugh if you will, but desexualizing our children is a vital parental coping skill.

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