feminism and female solidarity

sorabji.com: The Stalking Post: feminism and female solidarity

By Cyst on Wednesday, June 2, 1999 - 10:20 am:

    I've moved this thread over from the long discussion about weight, sex and costco cards.

    at the end of this post I've lifted three messages from the other thread, in case your connection is too slow to get to the end of it.


    I would think that by most definitions I would be considered a feminist.

    I support abortion rights. I have written many articles and editorials about how ru-486, the french abortion pill, should be legalized in the states. not only will it make pregnancy termination available to the millions of women who live in regions (and some entire states) that have no abortion clinics, it will change the whole context of the abortion "debate" in america. I think vacuum abortion will eventually become a hospital procedure, and women will be able to obtain prescriptions for ru-486 in their regular doctor's offices -- and the "pro-life" crazies can't target every clinic in america.

    women should, of course, be able to name themselves whatever they wish, but I prefer that women keep their own names when the marry, and I think children should have their mothers' names (or keep both). this makes more sense, as paternity is often uncertain, but there's no question who a newborn's mother is. since both parents should of course play equal roles in the child's development, the question of whose name the baby should take is sort of a toss-up, but maybe it could be considered the first sort of honor to the mother for having carried the baby in her body for nine months.

    I cannot see why the father is more important than the mother and why the default should be that the baby receives the father's name.

    the societal tradition of women taking men's names when they marry is obviously sexist. women who choose to change their names are propagating society's sexism assumptions -- but, of course, it should be their right to do so.


    By Lucy Phurre on Tuesday, June 1, 1999 - 11:05 pm:

    I am squelching the desire to say something really really mean to Cyst...I believe in female solidarity...I will not be catty about her post...


    Anyway, even I am getting sick of this discussion...I've made my points, and now I'm just being nasty.

    Plus, I went to BayCon, which was a wonderful antidote to the body image issues.
    (I recognize that I shouldn't be dependent on other people for validation, but a girl's gotta feel attractive sometimes, which happens at cons, where there are women who like women who look like women, and men who like women who look like they would actually survive giving birth)
    I also met someone...don't know if it will develop into anything, but I find him charming, intelligent, and attractive, and I suspect that there is a possibility that I may actually get laid sometime before the milennium.
    But I don't want to jinx it by saying anything else about it.

    By Cyst on Wednesday, June 2, 1999 - 07:10 am:
    I guess I don't know what "female solidarity" means. it seems to me that that means that all women should have the same opinions. if I picketed an abortion clinic with all those fundamentalist christian ladies (to try to save all those unborn women), would I be contributing to female solidarity?

    anyway anyway anyway.

    By Margret on Wednesday, June 2, 1999 - 09:17 am:
    You just might be, Cyst.

    I tend to think it was a call to a minimal agreement in a specific and limited context, but y'know...I am a feminist so I'm probably trying to suck you all into my homogenized ovarian mind control. Ever since I took the oath and mingled my menstrual blood with that of my sisters on the corpse of the helpless college republican man we'd slaughtered, I find I no longer have a commitment to Freedom of Speech.

    Snarky Cysty.

    About that web site: didn't want to put it on my geocities account because I hate geocities and their little banners and shit, so my ISP and I are currently engaged in delicate negotiations regarding the authentication barrier which is not accepting my actual functional password, and whether or not they want to help out a check with a FrontPage Express situation. When the dust settles there will be Nate downloadables and you can look at my CostCo card.


By Cyst on Wednesday, June 2, 1999 - 10:28 am:

    oh, I still don't understand what sort of "female solidarity" she expects to achieve with other women, and in which contexts.

    for instance, I don't see the abortion issue as women vs. men, but of social libertarians vs. fundamentalist christians. I would like to see ration-people solidarity on this issue and have pro-life activists thrown out of office nationwide.

    what else should american feminists be working toward? I see abortion (specifically the lack of clinics in so many parts of the country and ban on ru-486) as the most important issue facing women in america today.

    I think I'm becoming libertarian-leaning (socially anyway -- I think all drugs should be legal but I still think there should be state health care for citizens and legal residents), and I see body image as a market issue. but I don't want to take about body image. we've worn that one out.

By Margret on Wednesday, June 2, 1999 - 11:39 am:

    I've always been sort of a libertarian. I call myself a feminist because though a lot of what gets published and said under that rubrik makes the capillaries in my eyeballs explode I feel a commitment to examining things from the assumption that our (western post-industrial culture) is institutionally sexist, a sexism which is mutating, and because I feel a commitment to the various threads of feminism, and because I take responsibility for voicing my thoughts on these things. I have had posters for my band ripped off the walls of an academic institution because they weren't attributed to me, and a feminist grad. student in philosophy thought they were some sort of frat boy symbolic violence against women (the posters, depicting 1 topless woman exercising her 2nd amendment rights, bore the slogan "wear what you like and carry a gun..."). She was busted doing this by a feminist professor who was like "umm, you do know that's for Margret's band, don't you?" and the grad. student was mortified and wrote me a huge letter of apology, to which my response was basically "why do you philosophy people keep writing me letters of apology? can't you just buy a chick a cup of coffee and talk for 5 minutes instead?" (it was the second letter of apology I had received from a g.s. in philosophy, the first was from a guy who ordered me off short-stop when we were playing softball, which made me so angry -- because it was a communalist mutual agreement non-authoritarian coaching softball team and I didn't even want to play short but the guy at short wanted a minute at first to mellow -- that I walked off the field without talking to anyone). Long rambling nonsense junk. Anyway, I ended up stopping her in the hallway and explaining that the decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court around the issue of the interpretation of the First Amendment's guarantee of free speech basically abhor prior constraint because speech always has a remedy -- and this is the point that idiot Catherine MacKinnon with her false consciousness bullshit misses -- which is more speech (except for those things like shouting "Fire" which compel immediate physical action, which is why such things are not-protected). Anyway, I guess my thoughts on the female solidarity thing is that the specific context is a discussion of body image/weight obsession in America, and the agreement called for was that America's obsession with the body is a bad thing in general but has its greatest impact on American women (and not necessarily in the obvious ways...I mean dig this: have we not just exhausted the crap out of the poor topic and has not the sheer quantity of posts been from those of us self- or societally- or biologically-identified as women?). And I don't think the solidarity was meant to exclude men, it was rather an exhortation to some notion of this problem as a problem for women. And, y'know, at this point I could give a good goddamn. For me "feminism" is my solidarity. It is nice and vague, and has many things written and said under its mantle I can get behind (as well as the afore mentioned apoplexy-inducing things). But for me it's the way I ask questions more than the way I answer them which is feminist. And I refuse to post about the fat thing again, except to say this: fuck the hardware. I will try to post that to this discussion at least once a day.

By Cyst on Wednesday, June 2, 1999 - 01:12 pm:

    I have a problem with "female solidarity" if it means "you must agree with me."

    I'm a woman too. agree with ME and we'll achieve female solidarity.

    when I worked for my college newspaper, I argued that we should not cover the miss greek "talent" competition because it was sexist, promoted unrealistic ideals of female beauty, etc.

    but five minutes ago I argued that we should run a stand-alone photo of miss kiev, who was crowned at a big ceremony where the mayor was in attendance over the weekend. because it's photo news, people want to see it, people wonder what she looks like, the mayor legitimized it on his election day. there's no question.

    yeah, it's sexist, but it's a big deal here. and it's not worth editorializing about. people like to see pretty young girls in tight dresses, it's the same the world over. I doubt there's a single native kyivan who would even think of protesting the contest.

    the general standard for feminine beauty will probably always be youthful, even though people get old and it's not fair to women who were born a long time ago. so what?

    I just added to the discussion here a paraphrase from some honcho at usa today: "when you have a pretty young girl on the cover, get her tits above the fold." so the designer rearranged the layout a little.

    the older, p.c. deputy editor just told me he thought it was strange that I, the only american woman on staff, would be the one to say such things. (by "such things" I assume he meant stating the obvious.)

    anyway. I think if you're concerned about women's rights, then start with the obvious -- that women in most areas of the country have zero access to abortion services and many end up raising kids at seventeen instead of going to college.

    and if you have a problem with the media, then vote out the congressional shitheads who drafted the communications law of 1998 (or was it 1997 -- the one with that allowed single companies to buy up all the radio stations in one city and had lots of other horrible monopoly-friendly provisions). a major problem with american media is that they're all owned by just a few players. it is less likely that new feminist progressive fat-positive women's magazines are going to show up on store racks when the market is controlled by just a couple companies that probably have the distribution networks on a real short leash.

    unless people stop buying the fashion rags altogether. I can claim to have not bought a single issue in all of the 1990s, but I have bought some of the products advertised therein. sorry.

By Cyst on Wednesday, June 2, 1999 - 01:15 pm:

    I also like to call myself a feminist because so many other women won't.

    women should be allowed to walk around in the same level of undress as men. of course.

By Cyst on Wednesday, June 2, 1999 - 01:17 pm:

    and I sort of take back what I said about how one should prioritize one's causes. that's just how I prioritize mine.

By Margret on Wednesday, June 2, 1999 - 02:20 pm:

    I don't want agreement at all. I was trying to clarify the minimal request I believed Lucy Phurre to be making.

    I handle my own priorities and my own contradictions very well, thank you.

    I could give a shit about objectification. When I was in college I thought it was this horrible thing. Now I'm all for it. As long as it's interesting. I am not all that motivated by standard format object commodification of any type. I love the Calvin Klein ads. I think they totally subvert the beauty issue.

    I love advertising as a medium.

    Love, don't just like, love.

    Fuck the hardware.

By Cyst on Wednesday, June 2, 1999 - 02:55 pm:


    I like print-media ads. I think glossy magazine ads are pretty, and many newspaper ads, which can be very informative instead of just attention-getting. like this swissair ad offering $399 round-trip tickets to a big list of cities around europe. this is a welcome sight to me.

    I hate billboards -- would much rather see the trees and buildings. kiev is home to the largest billboard in the world. needless to say, it destroys the aesthetics of the square it sits on. I will never buy organics shampoo.

    I like the non-frame ads in the pages of free web services. I hate the ones that pop up in their own windows, which I usually close before the ad appears at all. annoying AND useless.

    I love ads on buses and in subways. I am glad of something to read, and I often end up memorizing lines from them, even in languages I don't fully understand.

    I hate tv and radio commercials, which are played much louder than the normal programs. but I don't watch tv and only listen to public radio, so I don't really care.

    and I will lead the boycotts on any companies that put their ads in orbit, adding to night-sky light pollution just to sell a goddamn burger.

By H on Wednesday, June 2, 1999 - 03:03 pm:

    Try watching a NASCAR race sometime. You'll be in marketing heaven.

By Cyst on Wednesday, June 2, 1999 - 03:18 pm:

    oh yeah. a few weeks ago we ran a photo of some race car driver and I noticed how it would be impossible for a paper to run a photo of the guy collecting his prize without also running free ads for companies.

    I don't care as much about event sponsorship, but I don't like to see big public facilities named for companies. 3m park? yuck. I think I've already complained on these boards about how aplets and cotlets forced its host town of cashmere, washington, to change its name to "cashmere, the home of aplets and cotlets."

    the american way.

By Cyst on Wednesday, June 2, 1999 - 03:20 pm:

    how do calvin klein ads subvert the beauty issue?

By R.C. on Thursday, June 3, 1999 - 01:19 pm:

    Yeah, how? For me/those kinds of ads & the women they feature ARE the issue.

    I used to call myself a feminist. But around age 30/I became more of a womanist (Alice Walker's term). I don't need for every woman to agree w/me on every issue. And I don't look down on stay-at-home Moms. I think it boils down to 4 basic issues:

    You're a Feminist/Womanist if:

    1. You believe in equal pay for equivalent work. No matter who's doing the job.

    2. You believe in a woman's right to choose abortion/even if that's not a choice you personally wd make.

    3. You accept that "torture isn't culture" & support the banning of Female Genital Mutilation in all it's forms across the globe.

    4. You refuse to fuck around w/another woman's man/on principle. Becuz some men are dogs/but women who get involved w/another woman's husband or lover are just as wrong. THAT kind of female solidarity wd change the world overnite.

    So I think it's pretty simple. Stuff like whether or not a woman keeps her name after marriage doesn't faze me. I'd keep my name/but I don't care if anyone else does. But becuz White female academics from middle-class backgrounds have been the dominant voices in the feminist movement for so long/I personally have a hard time relating to chicks like Susan Faludi & Camille Paglia. The world they live in seems totally alien to mine. And some of the most prominent American feminists haven't had much to say abt issues like FGM & honor killings/which are core issues for me as a Sister /even tho' they're rare in the U.S.

By Cyst on Thursday, June 3, 1999 - 01:32 pm:

    I have no idea how we could effectively protest female genital mutilation in the islamic middle east. or widows throwing themselves on their husbands' funeral pyres in india. these are barbaric practices.

    I think I once heard of a girl who was going to be genitally mutilated apply for political asylum in the u.s. -- have you heard anything about that, r.c.? I seem to think she got it.

    I don't think it's wrong for a woman to fuck around with another woman's man. if the man chooses to do this, then it is his problem and his mate's problem. I think holding the other woman responsible is placing blame in the wrong place (with the woman instead of the man).

By Cyst on Thursday, June 3, 1999 - 01:36 pm:

    my friend whose husband dumped her for a former stripper from texas working at a wal-mart lingerie deparment, she is also on the blame-the-woman side of the issue.

    I told her that yeah, that bitch was a wicked little temptress, because she was, but that didn't change the fact that her husband was an asshole who had cheated before and would cheat again and again and she was better off without him. why blame the wal-mart bimbo? my friend had never gotten any solemn vows from HER.

By Margret on Thursday, June 3, 1999 - 01:39 pm:

    Calvin Klein ads these days look like they're ads for Bergen Belsen. They basically say: consumer culture=death. That is so hot!

By Swine on Thursday, June 3, 1999 - 02:16 pm:

    there was a sati performed in a small village outside of madurai when i was there in '91. it got a lot of attention in the community. apparently the widow was an unwilling participant. she was "encouraged" by her family to fulfill her final matrimonial duties as dictated by tradition.
    they pretty much picked her up and threw her into the funeral pyre.

    you can't really protest those kinds of incidents because they mostly occur in remote villages that largely exist in a cultural vacuum.

    you go there and start talking about women's rights and more often than not you'd be met with blank stares.

By R.C. on Thursday, June 3, 1999 - 02:32 pm:

    When I mentioned honor killings/I was speaking abt the practice in Indian & Pakistan where male relatives murder women & girls for cheating on their husbands/or having sex before marriage.

    Like I said/some men are dogs. But my golden rule is "Do unto others as you wd have them do unto you." If women had enuf ingetrity to say "NO -- I don't care what yr excuse is/yr ass is married/or involved w/someone/so you can't get w/ME!" the world wd change. Overnite.

    But too many of us just wanna pass the buck /rather than walk the feminist talk.

    If YOU want yr man to be faithful to you (& who doesn't?) then you shdn't make yrself a vehicle for some other man's infidelity. If he's so damn unhappy/let him get a divorce/or break up w/his girlfirend/before he starts shagging you.

    The fact that he's married to someone & the woman he's screwing around w/is single doesn't make her blameless. We need to stop making excuses for our OWN fucked-up behavior.

By Nate on Thursday, June 3, 1999 - 02:35 pm:

    can we protest male genitalia mutilation also? as widely practiced in the US?n

By J on Thursday, June 3, 1999 - 02:38 pm:

    As always R.C. you are sooo right.

By Margret on Thursday, June 3, 1999 - 03:07 pm:

    People already do protest it, Nate love.

    I have watched with curiousity because I never thought about the whole thing.

By Nate on Thursday, June 3, 1999 - 03:12 pm:

    you watch circumcisions?

By Lucy Phurre on Thursday, June 3, 1999 - 10:59 pm:

    A little late, but I've been really swamped this week.
    RE: my views on female solidarity, I was referring to the whole female cattiness thing.
    Women, even strongly feminist women, seem to be eager to tear each other apart over men.
    I think that the whole women taking part in bashing of fat chicks thing is part of it.

    RE: male circumcision, they are protesting, there is an organization called RECAP (sorry, don't have the URL, just read about it in Utne Reader a couple years ago), about men who are trying to reverse the procedure.
    However, I don't think it's quite in the same league as FGM, which usually robs a woman of most or all sexual pleasure.

By R.C. on Thursday, June 3, 1999 - 11:46 pm:

    Thank you/Lucy.

    If we cd simply lose a foreskin when we were newborns (an organ which serves virtually no purpose in terms of male sexual function & pleasure/& the absence of which is cited as a contributing factor in HPV & cervical cancer in women who have sex w/uncircumscized males) & that was the extent of FGM/I wdn't consider it a beef. But God forbid a man shd miss out on one iota of sexual pleasure due to the absence of a disease-carrying foreskin! (Becuz most American guys' fathers are circumcised/& don't know how to teach their sons to clean that damn foreskin!)

    Nate -- you don't wanna know abt FGM. Or if you do/check out these stories:
    Waris Dirie's personal story (which is graphic/but absent much of the gory details):


    My mistake. Although Reader's Digest featured Waris Dirie on their cover/& I read her story in the latest edition at my parent's hse./their website does not include a full-text version of her story/but only a link to a William Morrow site (her book's publisher) that gives no specifics abt the horrors she endured the day she was circumscisied. Suffice it to say that the descripitions I have read of her circumscision (& others) were so horrific they made me vomit. And I do not have a weak stomach. But you can find better info here @ Amnesty Int'l.:


    Now/you yell me if that compares to a 30-sec. surgery performed w/local anaesthesia on newborn males/or 8-day-old Jewish males???

    When you have kids/you may chose not to curcumscize yr sons. But FGM is something you wd NEVER opt to inflict on any female. And it was VERY FLIP of you to compare the two.

By Margret on Friday, June 4, 1999 - 08:48 am:

    Cut Nate some slack.

    We don't all have to be the conscience of the world every waking second do we?

    That's what Swine and Nate set out to do, to my way of thinking. They've made it their mission to, with the occasional slip, not only not be too self-important and serious themselves, but to chill us out on occasion if possible.

    Female genital mutilation does thoroughly suck. The descriptions I have read of it (apparently it's a big deal in Colorado because of our immigration demographics) made me cry. At work. In front of other people (if salespeople can be called human). In the lunch room.

By Nate on Friday, June 4, 1999 - 11:06 am:

    hey, bucko. i'm well aware of female genital mutilation and it's various forms (one of which is called circumcision.)

    the impacts of male circuimcision have not been fully studied. you can't come out with a study on the psychological effects of circuimcision in judeo-christian run society unless your study is inconclusive.

    there is no current medical arguement for circumcision of males.

    it is painful. i challenge you to watch one.

    it is not as bad as most female genital mutilation.

By Accustat on Friday, June 4, 1999 - 06:54 pm:

    I just stumbled across this website/message board and this conversation is interesting. A few notes regarding male circumcision. The practice is a spill over from our Puritanical heritage in which they though they could stop boys from masturbating. Obviously it didn't work. There are no health benefits to being cut. The skin is there for a reason, protection. There are not any issues of cleanliness, our genitals are the cleanest parts of our body since they are protected by clothing almost 24 hours a day and we Americans shower neurotically. Mutilation of ANY kind is immoral and utter & complete bullshit. In regards to R.C's comments above, there are nerve endings that are lost in circumcision, we do loose a bit of pleasure that comes from circumcision. Secondly, the attitude you portray in the sentence "god forbid.....blah blah blah" First, it is a proven fact that women achieve more intense orgasms, they have proven this by measuring the amount of neurons fired from the central nervous system during orgasm AND women have the distinct pleasure of multiple orgasms....in other words STOP bitching. And foreskin is no more "disease-infested" that your labia or vulva. Our genitals are not that uncommon. You have your flesh protecting your insides and we have our flesh protecting ours, it's no more available to disease than yours.

By R.C. on Friday, June 4, 1999 - 07:38 pm:

    As a woman who previously had an uncircumscized lover & caught various non-life threatening but annoying vaginal ailments from his penis/I beg to differ.

    If his M.D. father had also been uncircumscized & had taught him the proper hygenic techniques /perhaps my attitude wd be different. This was however/well before the scourge of AIDS/when a woman cd simply take a b.c. pill every day & not worry abt catching something life-threatening if she was in a monogamous relationship.

    But no foreskin is ever making it's way inside moi again.

    And there is no way in hell you can compare slicing off a female's labia minor & major/cutting out her clitoris/stitching her up so there's only a pencil-sized hole let to excrete urine & menstrual blood/to removing a newborn male's foreskin. Esp. since where FGM is practiced regularly/it is done without even local anaesthesia.

By Accustat on Friday, June 4, 1999 - 08:02 pm:

    RC, I certainly wasn't comparing which is worse, i simply stated any mutilation is wrong. I can compare them in the sense that they both are mutilation of the genitals to prevent pleasure, most boys who are circumsized in the jewish faith are not given anaesthesia either, but htat is neither here or there. I do not deny the misogyny of other cultures in doing FGM.

    However, I find it extremely difficult that nature would design our bodies with such intricate detail and brilliance as to over look the flaw with the reproductive organs. It seems implausible that of all the organs to be flawed and vulnerable to disease, the one used for procreation, would be the penis. I suspect that your circumstances are isolated, did he often pee his pants? Are there special cleaning techniques to cleaning your labia or vulva? Urine does come in contact with those regions. Was his foreskin specifically blamed for your illnesses? The skin was put there for a reason, just like labia and vulva. The practice of circumcison is a left over religious practice, it has no medical basis. Please contact the AMA and they will tell you there is no medical basis for circumcison on men OR women.

By Spiracle on Saturday, June 5, 1999 - 12:18 am:

    "However, I find it extremely difficult that nature would design our bodies with such intricate detail and brilliance as to over look the flaw with the reproductive organs."

    that's a damn good point..i'm convinced..

By R.C. on Saturday, June 5, 1999 - 03:50 pm:

    Accustat said:

    <It seems implausible that of all the organs to be flawed and vulnerable to disease, the one used for procreation, would be the penis.>

    Always wondered abt that myself. Hey Sem -- what's the anthro-biological basis for the male foreskin? Do apes & chimps have 'em? I wd think it was an adaptation developed later/when apes evolved into less-hairy (supposed) human precursors/becuz of less protective hair covering the netherparts.

    <I suspect that your circumstances are isolated, did he often pee his pants? Are there special cleaning techniques to cleaning your labia or vulva? Urine does come in contact with those regions. Was his foreskin specifically blamed for your illnesses? The skin was put there for a reason, just like labia and vulva.>

    He did not pee his pants. My gynecologist/after treating me repeatedly for yeast infections & non-specific vaginitis/finally asked if my partner was circumscized. When I told her no/she gave me instructions on how to clean his foreskin -- which was, like, HIS job/y'know? Female labia do not develope smegma. And becuz of the physiological differences btwn labia & a foreskin/our parts eare easily cleaned during regular showers/etc. A foreskin requires complete retraction w/special attention paid to cleaning around the glans. It is a more time- consuming hygenic task & more likely to be skipped. Also/the menstrual cycle provides a natural cleaning process (thanks to basic gravity) in the female reproductive tract. Whereas nothing will natrually flow out of the area btwn the foreskin & penis/becuz there is no
    organ or system to facilitate a natural cleansing process. It must be done manually.

    The AMA has said there is no medical reason for circumcision. But the WHO has stated that female partners of uncircumscized males have a higher incidence of HPV & cervical cancer.

    For me/that & my past experience were enuf to be me off foreskins permanently.

    Plus/getting condoms on an uncircumscized (sp? I never spell that right...) erection can be tricky. They're much more likely to leak if you aren't careful when he withdraws.

By Cyst on Sunday, June 6, 1999 - 08:15 am:

    "hey, bucko. i'm well aware of female genital mutilation and it's various forms (one of which is called circumcision.)

    the impacts of male circuimcision have not been fully studied. you can't come out with a study on the psychological effects of circuimcision in judeo-christian run society unless your study is inconclusive.

    there is no current medical arguement for circumcision of males."


    because some forms of female genital mutilation are euphemistically called "circumcision," that does not mean they are equivalent to male foreskin removal -- an operation that has a low risk of infection and does not kill the male's ability to experience sexual pleasure.

    the impacts of circumcision haven't been fully studied. we should conduct another sorabji poll. hey guys, do you miss your foreskins? do you wish you had one? or, do you wish your parents had circumcised you?

    the guys I've talked to about it have all said they were glad about their parents' choices for them (all were circumcised at birth except one).


    unless there is a valid medical reason to mutilate someone without their adult consent, I don't think it should be done. I don't think baby girls' ears should be pierced, I don't think baby boys should have their foreskins cut off.

    I know the procedure is more complicated on an adult man (it's hard for skin to heal when it keeps expanding and contracting), but it can be done, if someone really wants it done.

    circumcision is rare among non-jewish europeans. I've had one conversation about it here in ukraine on this trip, and the mixed-euro group I was talking to had a hard time believing me that it was standard practice in the united states.

    I wish I could make the argument that infant circumcision should be outlawed, but I can't. it still doesn't seem that big a deal to me. maybe I should study the issue some more.

By Cyst on Sunday, June 6, 1999 - 08:59 am:

    male macaques have foreskins. I would guess that primates even more closely related to us (apes) have them as well.

    this is what I found on the web to find out that at least some monkeys have foreskins:

    "Circumcision could also reduce the incidence of HIV by directly decreasing the infectivity of men with HIV, as suggested by the studies of tissue samples collected from macaques infected with the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), which showed infected mononuclear cells in the dermis and epidermis of the penile foreskin [9]."

    it's from some 1994 study that suggests that circumcision may decrease infectivity of men with hiv:


By Bagpuss on Sunday, June 6, 1999 - 07:05 pm:

    Over here we get to keep our foreskins if religion allows. Freaks out many a fresh faced American exchange student I can tell you.

By Markus on Sunday, June 6, 1999 - 08:25 pm:

    I'm quite happy with my parents' choice on this matter, thank you very much.

By Accustat on Monday, June 7, 1999 - 03:50 pm:

    its quite hard to answer, "if we miss our foreskins?" since we don't necessarily know what we are missing....however, again I have to speculate that the skin was there for a reason, there are nerve endings there., I have heard from women that sex is better with an uncut stud......frankly speaking there if there is such a thing as an attractive penis, I would say it would have to be a cut one......sex is good now, could it be better? At what price? Do I want my foreskin back, well, no, the less time a knife is near my prick the better...who knows,

By Swine on Monday, June 7, 1999 - 04:00 pm:

    "the less time a knife is near my prick the better..."


By Cyst on Tuesday, June 8, 1999 - 04:41 am:

    once read a letter to the editor in a college daily debate about circumcision, and as one cut guy put it, "I don't know if sex would be any better with a foreskin, but if it were, I would never get anything else done."

By Lucy_Phurre on Tuesday, June 8, 1999 - 11:26 pm:

    I would like to second R.C.'s comment...I got almost constant UTI's when I had an uncircumcised partner. (I also prefer a snipped man from an aesthetic perspective, but that's hardly relevant.)

    Nate, there may not be a medical argument from the male's perspective, but what about his partner?
    If it's not snipped, keep it clean.

By Nate on Wednesday, June 9, 1999 - 12:17 pm:

    Was your uncircumcised buddy rather large? UTI's are more frequent with large partners & woman on top sex.

    Yeast infections (which just happen frequently in the bay area anyway, or so i've heard. our atmosphere for great sour dough seems to also mean great bouts of the cheese and itch,) are most often caused by oral sex. The beasties in a mans mouth are more likely to cause problems for a woman than any beasties growing in the crud under their foreskin.

    which is just nasty. if you shower daily, there is no reason to have anything dirty under the skin tube.

    So don't mutilate your little man, just stop getting the oral sex.

    If men only had sex with virgin women that would pretty much stop the spread of most STD's. That's a medical arguement for the snip and sew mutilation of female gentalia. I wouldn't recommend it. I wouldn't recommend mutilating your boy child either.

    By all means, keep it clean.

By Waffleboy on Wednesday, June 9, 1999 - 02:30 pm:

    theres a political agenda for the new century


By Lucy Phurre on Wednesday, June 9, 1999 - 11:07 pm:

    Yes, he was rather large...but that doesn't account for nearly constant UTI's..I've had partners who were hung before.
    He showered very regularly (he was British and very uptight), but it still wasn't really clean.

    (P.S. I don't get yeast infections b/c I don't eat refined sugar.)

    And, RE: health risks, the thing that I was pointing out was that the AMA apparently does not consider the medical benefits/risks incurred by the women a man sleeps with to be worth mentioning.

    Also the fact that people in this country raise more of a stink about circumcision than about FGM.

By Waffleboy on Thursday, June 10, 1999 - 01:01 pm:

    refined sugar = yeast infections??????

    Well keep in mind THIS country doesn't have FGM, more men in this country are snipped than women. NOT that it doesn't go on elsewhere, but since when were we more concerned more with the poverty in Botswana than here in the states. They both are horrendous acts that should be stopped eitherway.

    Though I am a feminist by definition I have a question...
    if the American medical practice is sexist, as implied above, then why don't we have a cure for testicular cancer or prostate cancer? They are closer to curing breast cancer than the two aforemention ailments. I am certainly not naive to think that sexism doesn't rear its ugly head in American professional institutions....but I have heard many women imply that there is some sort of sexist medical conspiracy. They compared the money spent fighting breast cancer to the money spent fighting HIV (which more men suffer from)by the govt and the private sector.

By R.C. on Thursday, June 10, 1999 - 03:03 pm:

    Testicular cancer is far more rare than breast cancer. At least testicular cancer is readily detectable -- & treatable thru an orchidectomy. (I know -- perish the thought! But you'd rather lose a jewel than die from keepign a disease one/wdn't you?) TTBOMK/there is still no screening test for ovarian cancer. It's nearly always fatal & generally asymptomatic in the early stages. Which means they don't find it until you've spent months going from M.D. to M.D./ trying to figure out why you have worse cramps than before. Then they finally do a laparoscopy (it often doesn't show on sonograms) & you get the bad news.

    Prostate cancer even has a higher survuval rate than breast cancer. There are case histories of (older, poorer) men who have lived for a decade after their initial diagnosis w/out any treatment /becuz they had no health ins. My Dad is a prostate cancer survivor. He's been cancer-free for more than 4 yrs. now.

    The only reason the breast cancer cure rate has improved so much is becuz we've spent the last 10 yrs. throwing piles of $$ at the problem. But that only happened after women took a very pro-active stand towards raising b.c. awareness & $$ for research.

    Women still die of heart attacks & heart disease more often than men/even though we have a lower occurrence of those ailments. Becuz up until recently/all the studies & treatments for coronaries & heart disease were based solely on male subjects. Most doctors don't even screen women for heart problems if they're under 50 -- becuz "women aren't supposed to have heart trouble befopre menopause".

    Medicine is still very much a man's world/IMO.

By R.C. on Thursday, June 10, 1999 - 03:14 pm:

    Want more evidence that the medical profession spends more time & $$ on diseases that effect men??

    In Japan/you can practiacally get Viagra on the street. Yet I found out last week that it wasn't until this month that b.c. pills became legal & widely-available in Japan for the 1st time. (Previously/they cd only be prescribed to threat serious hormonal problems -- not as b.c. And you cdn't buy THEM on the street.)

By Waffleboy on Thursday, June 10, 1999 - 03:23 pm:

    well thats japan for you, my wife works for a japanese fashion co and she htis the glass ceiling daily, yet they priase her work and pay her shit, don't get me started on the japanese

By semillama on Sunday, April 23, 2000 - 03:28 pm:

    Wow, How did I miss this one back then?

    I saw the topic and had something to post but since it turned into a thing about genital mutilations, here's something:

    Lopping off nerve endings inthe foreskin decreases teh amount of pleasure for the man, but a recent Brit study (sorry, don't know which one, got this from Men's health), women apparently have 40% more multiple orgasm when having sex with an uncut man. Since the foreskin helps the penis glide in its own skin, there's less friction in the vagina, which stays lubricated longer. And teh uncut last an average of 4 minutes longer than their cut brethern.

    I wish I had my foreskin.

By cyst on Sunday, April 23, 2000 - 06:13 pm:

    wow. I have a hard time believing I wrote those things up there. my god, I used to care about the outside world. fascinating. I used to try to make intelligent, rational arguments on sorabji.com. I wonder if I can change back. it's about time.

By Antigone on Sunday, April 23, 2000 - 10:57 pm:

    Nope. It's too late.

By cyst on Monday, April 24, 2000 - 01:02 am:

    damn. you're probably right. never mind.

By semillama on Monday, April 24, 2000 - 08:30 am:

    We all used to do that, cyst.

    I think you should act like you're still in a foreign country.

By patrick on Monday, April 24, 2000 - 12:12 pm:

    waffleboy is an ass

By sarah on Monday, April 24, 2000 - 05:44 pm:

    i'm fat. i'm a wide load. big fat bloated blubber butt. i'm a fat tub of loveless lard. fire up the bbq.

By Nate on Friday, June 22, 2001 - 02:11 am:


By dave. on Friday, June 22, 2001 - 04:23 am:

    yeah, fat like what's in your skull. light you on fire, you burn like a candle. porkcandle. on hell's birthday cake.

    can you not see the humor in this?

By sarah on Friday, June 22, 2001 - 05:39 am:

    only if you assume that being a feminist means you shouldn't care about how much you weigh.


By Nate on Friday, June 22, 2001 - 10:49 am:

    i'm not a feminist. i care how much i weigh.

By patrick on Friday, June 22, 2001 - 11:05 am:

    im a feminist and i care a lot about how much i weight. i just dont have a scale.

By Dougie on Friday, June 22, 2001 - 11:27 am:

    I'm starting to care about my weight too. I just bought a used soloflex off ebay. Cool machine, but the fucker's a hell of a lot bigger than it looks in the ads. Takes up half my apartment with all the attachments and accoutrements.

By semillama on Friday, June 22, 2001 - 11:28 am:

    I'm a humanist (sometimes) and I don't give a shit about what I weigh, I do care about how I look and I only have a problem with one area. The gut of Terror. Which, admittedly, isn't much of one, but it has eluded many efforts to erode it.

By sarah on Friday, June 22, 2001 - 01:07 pm:

    i used to be a feminist but the work is too hard and demeaning, and the pay is too little.

    and boy howdy* do i care about my weight.

    * actual Texan lingo

By droopy on Friday, June 22, 2001 - 02:01 pm:

    i'm trying to imagine what your texas lingo sounds like in a detroit-cum-hawaiian accent.

By Cat on Friday, June 22, 2001 - 04:52 pm:

    "i used to be a feminist but the work is too hard and demeaning, and the pay is too little."

    Too too funny. Thanks Sarah, I was just starting to wonder why I bothered with the boards.

By sarah on Friday, June 22, 2001 - 05:20 pm:

    thanks cat :) glad someone got it.

    hey, listen. don't stop bothering. your acerbic wit is refreshing and exciting, if at times a little scary and/or a little over the top. but that's okay, because every sorabjiite has their shit [especially me]. remember... sometimes just you need a time out, and you never should take anything personally.

    free to be
    you and me

By Cat on Friday, June 22, 2001 - 06:12 pm:

    Argghhhh, I've turned into one of those hissy fit Sorabjites. No, I wasn't planning on going anywhere or stopping anything but thank you anyways.

    Actually, it's kind of handy having six assholes. heh

By moonit on Friday, June 22, 2001 - 08:50 pm:

    I so don't need the vision I'm having right now.

By heather on Friday, June 22, 2001 - 08:57 pm:

    in a row?

    or like the sixes on a pair of dice.
    maybe a daisy pattern.

    removed to separate limbs. stigmata.

By wisper on Sunday, June 24, 2001 - 02:17 am:

    asshole stigmamta.
    thank you, that's all i needed. I'm going to bed now ;)

By V.v. on Monday, May 3, 2004 - 05:26 pm:

    are you still asleep?

By heather on Monday, May 3, 2004 - 10:43 pm:


    By Accustat on Friday, June 4, 1999 - 06:54 pm:
    I just stumbled across this website/message board

    also: i am NOT pro-male circumcision

By sarah on Tuesday, May 4, 2004 - 04:01 pm:

    his fifth anniversary is just around the corner? wow. that kind of longevity deserves respect. after all these years. fuck time flies by.

By Xonnel on Monday, September 27, 2004 - 10:43 am:

    funny how "86" means 'all gone/none of' in
    restraunteur terms.

    I dont know, Are you for 86?


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