Think about it. If you believe that circumcising perfectly healthy little boys is a valid medical procedure due to your concern that the fold of skin on their genitalia has the potential to become a cesspool of odor and disease, then I hate to break it to you, but you’re focusing on the wrong gender. The reality is that if you have an uncircumcised vulva, or are in regular contact with one, you really have no business complaining about uncircumcised penises.
Now the purpose of this post isn’t to shame the natural female genitalia. It’s to point out the idiocy of routine infant male circumcision by applying the same reasons used to justify this practice to the female genitalia. Pot, meet kettle.
Let’s begin, shall we?
Smells? Vulvas got ’em.
Folds of skin where bacteria and other unwanted microorganisms can be trapped. Of course, and to a much greater degree than the foreskin. They’re called labia.
Folds of skin that may not suit your culture’s aesthetic ideal? Yup (NSFW).
Effort required to keep clean? Think really hard here, America: have you ever seen a masculine hygiene section in the supermarket? No? Need I say more?
Smegma? In mammals, the female genitalia actually produce more of this substance than the male genitalia. The oft-used term “dick cheese” is misleading and telling of our different standards for the male and female genitalia. Cute Reddit post on girl smegma here.
Phimosis? Look up clitoral phimosis. And labial adhesions while you’re at it. And guess what? Just like these conditions affecting the female genitalia, penile phimosis typically resolves itself naturally or can be corrected by far less invasive means than amputation of genital tissue.
Bacteria? Yup, women got more types of those down there too.
HIV and other health concerns? When compared to the uncircumcised penis, the uncircumcised vulva has far more folds, far more bacteria existing in a dark, moist environment, far more exposed mucosal tissue, and the same Langerhans cells found in the foreskin that American scientists love to hypothesize as an entry point for HIV. Result? The uncircumcised female genitalia are far more prone to UTIs, yeast infections, odor, smegma, HPV, and HIV and most STDs from unprotected sex than the uncircumcised male genitalia.
But here we are, with Americans insisting on cutting boys, and viewing the uncircumcised penis rather than the uncircumcised vulva as repulsive, despite its greater tendency to all of the maladies listed above. No wonder the rest of the developed world thinks we’re a nation of idiots.
Nevertheless, for all the health risks they pack within their tender folds, women seem to carry along perfectly fine without any alteration downstairs, and we have never researched cutting their genitalia at birth for “health benefits” under the same sanitary conditions in which we examine male circumcision, nor do we ask questions like, “Are uncircumcised vulvas less hygienic than circumcised vulvas?”, nor does the average American redneck recoil at the thought of an uncircumcised vulva because of all that “extra skin.” We just accept the human vulva for what it is without question. We demand the same be true for the male genitalia.
It is nothing short of the most grievous, violent form of sexism permitted under U.S. law today that parents are not permitted to cut into any normal, healthy part of their child’s body except for the genitalia–and only if that child is male.
Equal protection, anyone?