What is it? Why is it done? And why is it normal?
Circumcision isn’t that common in Malta and many might question why someone would have their baby’s burrito turned into a peeping Tom. But the reality is that, all around the world, circumcision is an everyday choice for many religions, cultures and nations.
What is it?
Put very simply, it’s the removal of a man’s foreskin – you know, that bit of ham that covers one’s penis’ head (Yes, that’s a technical term. Yes, I’m joking.) As a practice, it is considered to be the oldest medical procedure in the world, with historians believing that circumcision actually pre-dates recorded history – making it some 15,000 years old.
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What’s its place in history?
In the Egyptian Book of the Dead, circumcision is said to be the mark of the elite, and even the Sun God, Ra, was circumcised. In the Hebrew Bible (commonly known to us Christians as the Old Testament), Abraham and his clan get circumcised, too.
Some people despised it, however, and Alexander the Great, being Greek, made the life of those who were circumcised a living hell. Genghis Khan, on the other hand, simply banned it – i.e., anyone who got circumcised, got murdered.
Today, it is mostly prevalent in the Muslim and Jewish communities, whose religions dictate/advise it to be so.
Why is it done?
Well, for a variety of reasons, really.
Religion-wise, it’s done because they want to feel closer to humanity’s ancestors and the people who were hand-picked by God. But, I can hear you saying, why do Americans do it then?
Well, apart from the fact that there are many Jews and Muslims living in America, circumcision has also been proven to have its up sides. Many, many doctors and researchers believe that circumcision makes it harder for HIV to be transmitted; it is also a well-known fact that it reduces the chance of getting cancer through the human papillomavirus.
Why is it normal?
Hmm, this is a harder one to answer. If we’re defining the word ‘normal’ by the standard way it’s defined (i.e. something that most people do and others are comfortable with), then it would be because one third of the world’s male population is circumcised.
It’s also ‘normal’ because it’s been done for 15,000 years and it pre-dates all of us, and many of our ancestors.
But… isn’t it cruel?
– it’s a completely different process, with a completely different train of thought behind it. It’s not done out of cruelty or jealousy, but out of love.
My two cent’s worth? Well, I believe every man should have the right to decide whether he would like to be circumcised – but, I’m not against it.
What do you think of circumcision? Is it okay to do it to a newborn?
Let us know in the comments section below!