In what can only be described as the most bizarre pro-circumcision editorial you’ll ever read, Hilary Bainemigisha urges men in Uganda to get circumcised to fight HIV. There are soccer metaphors and a weird belief in the penis as the “author of life”. All of it is idiotic, and the circumcision claims are irrational, as usual, including a recitation of the “circumcision is the best HIV prevention strategy” myth. There’s even a claim that men should get circumcised, no wait, get the facts and decide for yourself, then get circumcised. And then we’re graced with this, which is supposed to show how necessary circumcision is:
A study in the 12 months before the population survey revealed that 32% of HIV-positive women and 22% of HIV-positive men had sex with non-regular partners in the past year. 34% men and 5% women who were HIV-positive had sex with more than two partners. Of these, only 16% men and 17% women used condoms. And among discordants (where one partner is positive and the other negative), 5% used condoms consistently.
I’m beginning to wonder if people really are this stupid and blind to reality. If you have unprotected sex with multiple partners and a significant percentage of those partners are already HIV-positive, you will become HIV-positive. It is inevitable. Yet, the author asks:
Is this the environment you and your sons want to swim through with an uncircumcised [sic] tail?
If I were you, I would look at my penis, look at all the male members of my family and think about the five million who die annually of HIV. Then I would mobilise all of us, at whatever age, to get to hospital. I would also vow to afford the same protection to any newly born son to the family.
Not only is he indifferent to what he’s just demonstrated, he’s now lumped male children into the push for circumcision based on studies that looked exclusively at voluntary adult circumcision. If you’re going to live in your own world, devoid of facts, you might as well throw in a lack of ethics, I suppose.
Also, I’m proposing a new maxim. The trustworthiness of the circumcision proponent decreases exponentially with each euphemism for penis. If you can’t be mature enough to write penis instead of tail, you do not deserve to be taken seriously¹.
But remember, circumcision does not make you invincible. It only improves your escape chances by 60%. You still need to move along with the Abstinence Be Faithful, Use a Condom (ABC) approach, if you want to see your grandchildren.
No kidding. So why is it so difficult to understand that with the ABC approach, the risk of HIV is reduced for all, including intact males?
Finally, I call upon our female population to add a voice to my plea.
Find a way of getting men off their behinds to face the knife. The tool in question belongs to you as much as it belongs to men and had it not been for you, there would not be need to circumcise it.
First, see my new maxim in relation to tool².
More importantly, no, the man’s penis doesn’t belong to his partner (or should I say “partners”, given the statistic offered and ignored). Just like a child’s penis does not belong to his parents. We do not accept such thinking for men wishing to change the bodies of their female partners or daughters. The same must hold true for the author’s contention.
Update: The original version of this entry incorrectly referred to Hilary Bainemigisha using the pronoun she. It’s been corrected. I apologize for the confusion.
¹ To the extent that anyone proposing circumcision to prevent HIV should be taken seriously.
² I find member most common, which is the best proof of the immaturity on this issue.