“May the Foreskin Be with You:Why Circumcision Doesn’t Make Sense and What You Can Do About It” by Alan Cumming— “The Unkindest Cut of All”
Cumming, Alan. “May the Foreskin Be with You:Why Circumcision Doesn’t Make Sense and What You Can Do About It”, Magnus Books.
“The Unkindest Cut of All”
Having been born Jewish, circumcision was never an issue in my life and I just took it for granted that this was the way it would always be. I don’t believe I even saw an uncircumcised penis until I got to college and while I thought it looked quite strange, I have grown to have a certain “I don’t know what” for the hooded “schwanz”. I remember joking with the friends when I lived in Israel that the only time civilian would rush to the port was when German ships came in because that meant we were getting non-kosher, uncut meat.
Alan Cummings gives us his views on circumcision as well as a political overview about it in his forthcoming “May the Foreskin Be With You” (Magnus Books). Circumcision in this country is a very common surgical procedure but it is not recommended by any medical society anywhere in the world. There is, however, a common misconception that there are health benefits to circumcision. On the other hand, the simple procedure of removal of the foreskin can cause health problems such as infection and hemorrhage. “Yet, despite these risks, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) are developing public health recommendations that could mislead more parents into agreeing to circumcision for their newborn baby boys. Alan Cumming would like to change that”.
Cumming shows us a great deal about the controversy surrounding circumcision and discusses the origins, history and the cultural and religious backgrounds of the practice. He then tells us why these are “flawed” reasons and how things can go wrong. He also shares with us some personal testimonials by men who are both circumcises and by those who are not. He brings in medical experts, educators and activists who are the vanguard of the debates and know what they are talking about.
While the subject here is very serious, Cumming brings his own sense of humor to the issue and urges that we participate in public discussion about the practice. I do remember by dad saying that Jews are the most optimistic people in that they cut some off long before they even know how big it will be. Now that is quite a stance!
- Posted in: GLBT non-fiction