In an essay discussing a magazine article reviewing the origin of circumcision, the author demonstrates – parenthetically – why it continues.
(The most logical explanation is simple. The male organ [sic] simply looks better post-circumcision than it does pre-circumcision. And looks matter: Consider how visual an animal the human male is and just how much time he spends gazing at himself.)
That’s not logic. That’s a subjective preference rationalized from an ex post facto analysis fueled by cultural conditioning, as well as a refusal to accept that what is common is not necessarily normal and may, in fact, be harmful.
(For my own parenthetical, the last sentence of the excerpt warrants a response, but it is beyond the scope of my more fundamental argument. If you understand my objection to the first two sentences, my critique of the third sentence is obvious.)
I put the magazine back on the stack, fishing for my handkerchief to deal with the chilly sweat now covering my forehead. [ed. note: There is slightly more context to this excerpt, before and after, but excluding it does not alter the meaning.]
I will never understand how circumcised men react to discussion of the topic this way, only to defend imposing on infant boys what would be so objectionable to them now. What makes a man express relief because he doesn’t remember rather than disbelief that something so objectively offensive could be forced on him? And where is the empathy, the moment of thought for other individuals that might make us ask whether or not he wants his healthy penis cut?