Another double-standard: Genital mutilation

I have been meaning to write a post about this subject for some time but today I came across an article that basically took the words right out of my mouth, and is a great introduction to the issue.

That article is called Female genital mutilation (FGM) and male circumcision: Time to confront the double standard by Brian Earp (18 February 2014)

What is happening in many countries is that the issue of FGM is receiving a great deal more attention than male circumcision. This has generated an increasingly strong reaction from opponents of infant circumcision. The opposing reaction from feminists and some others, has been a combination of downplaying the actual and potential harmful effects of male circumcision, combined with exaggeration of is potential health benefits.

Some of the arguments put forward in support of circumcision include better personal hygiene, and related to that a reduced propensity to infection by STD’s including HIV/AIDS. In reality, however, in western society such benefits are marginal. Curiously one does not hear corresponding arguments that infants’ fingernails and toenails should be removed for these reasons, nor the breast buds of pubescent girls (to prevent breast cancer, which is far more prevalent than HIV).

This conflicting treatment of the GM issue for males and females is now being enshrined in an increasing number of new laws that ban FGM whilst ignoring the circumcision of male infants (example).

Further useful and/or disturbing information can be obtained from the following sources:

The Circumcision Information and Resource Pages

The BBC just released a video featuring Nimco Ali entitled, “FGM and male circumcision aren’t the same” (7 February 2019)

Turkish boys scream as they’re put by agonising circumcision ritual in photograph sequence displaying their contorted faces (30 June 2017)

Mother laughs at son’s circumcision pain as he walks holding his pants away from the wound (21 April 2017) Reddit discussion thread and linked video.

MGM: Claimed medical benefits Part 1 (25 March 2017) This is the first in a three part series of articles in this web site

World Journal of Clinical Pediatrics study finds evidence in favour of male infant circumcision (8 February 2017)

uncircumcised males face an 80 per cent risk of developing a foreskin-related condition requiring medical attention” which could equate to a dab of bepanthen and extra washing – but let’s cut the little blighter anyway and be done with it.

Denmark’s doctors express their view on circumcision (12 January 2017) See related Reddit discussion thread here

Why female genital mutilation is a very different issue to male circumcision | International Business Times (7 November 2016) Reddit discussion thread and linked article

Oxford Doesn’t Understand Genital Mutilation (31 August 2016) Video

Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics: ‘Circimcision is Unethical and Unlawful’ (14 July 2016)

Why The Fight To End Female Genital Mutilation Needs To Include Infant Male Circumcision (1 June 2016)

Västra Götaland Parliament: Genital mutilation of boys is OK (13 April 2016)

Why circumcision is the same as FGM (30 March 2016) UK. Video

No More Intactivism for Me: Here’s Why (5 January 2016)

MRA interrupts HeforShe speech at Stony Brook University, challenges speaker on MGM (2 September 2015) Reddit discussion thread and linked video

Circumcision debate raises health claims and ethical issues (12 May 2015)

Female Circumcision – The Hidden Truth (2 April 2015) A Muslim perspective

Defending FGM (18 February 2013)

The Doctors: Daytime Talk Show Disaster (16 January 2014) Good Youtube video

Sex Talk Realness: Circumcised Penises vs. Uncircumcised Penises (23 October 2014) Unbelievably tasteless article from Cosmopolitan

12 African men forced to undergo circumcision (3 August 2014)

Don’t compare male circumcision with FGM (30 July 2014) Rubbish article but comments worth reading

http://www.sott.net/article/282359-Why-the-benefits-of-circumcision-are-based-on-false-assumptions-erroneous-conclusions-and-misleading-medical-information (21 July 2014)

Three charged with circumcising girls committed to stand trial (23 May 2014)

A Youtube video on the subject of circumcision

Sexually-transmitted infections and circumcision: A systematic review and meta-analysis (2013)

“Consequently, the prevention of sexually transmitted infections cannot rationally be interpreted as a benefit of circumcision, and any policy of circumcision for the general population to prevent sexually transmitted infections is not supported by the evidence in the medical literature.”

http://www.collegehumor.com/video/6966989/the-real-reason-youre-circumcised

http://www.examiner.com/article/female-genital-mutilation-vs-circumcision

http://www.circinfo.org/Circumcision_and_women.html

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/baby-dies-herpes-virus-ritual-circumcision-nyc-orthodox/story?id=15888618

The case against the case against circumcision‘ (18 October 2009) Some interesting info amongst the readers comments section

http://www.avoiceformen.com/men/mens-health/circumcision-is-a-universal-horror-so-why-do-some-of-londons-most-powerful-feminists-refuse-to-save-boys-from-genital-mutilation/

http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2013/09/18/how-intactivists-are-ruining-the-debate-on-circumcision/

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/mar/03/men-and-female-genital-mutilation

Reddit discussion thread about a pro-circumcision article in the Sydney Morning Herald

http://j4mb.wordpress.com/2014/06/08/herbert-purdy-comments-on-andrew-delaneys-paper-on-the-double-standards-concerning-fgm-and-male-circumcision/

Should we circumcise women to prevent throat cancer in men?  (7 July 2014)

US Navy study on the (absence of a ) link between circumcision and HIV infection (July 2004)

And finally … I couldn’t believe this when I first read about it … sick stuff. Skin cream for women made from the foreskins of baby boys (12 April 2013)

end_circumcision

circumcision

On mens health: The statistics and the underlying factors

The life expectancy of both men and women has substantially increased over the past 130 years. Most people would recognise that women have always had a longer life expectancy than men. But did you did you know that the gap between the life expectancy of men and women is wider now than it was in 1884? Now why would that be?

Well the author of this paper has a theory:

“Feminism is wrong about which sex has it harder when it comes to health. Men are the real victims of biased public health programs designed to help women at the expense of men. But this section has only explored a few areas where feminism has created a false perception of which sex needs greater attention to their health issues. It should be clear that men have no special privileges when it comes to health. However, women’s health, both physically and psychologically, is taken very seriously, is far better funded, and women are privileged with longer healthier lives when compared to men because of the social and political privileges that are exclusive to women. Hence health is a men’s rights issue that needs to be addressed.”

In 2012, suicide was the third leading cause of death for American men and boys in the 10-14, 15-19, and 20-24 age groups along with the second leading cause of death for men 25-29 and 30-34. That year, it was also the leading cause of death for US soldiers. Overall, suicide was the 7th leading cause of death for American men in 2012 with males making up more than 78% of suicide victims for the year.

In 2012, more than twice as many boys aged 10-14 took their own lives than were victims of homicide. The only two causes of death that took more boys’ lives in this age group were cancer and accidental injuries. More than 72% of the children in this age group who took their own lives were boys. Even at a young age, boys are far more likely to end their own lives.

Data from http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/dvs/LCWK1_2012.pdf (as cited here)

The issue of suicide is addressed in this other post within my blog.

Further information concerning men’s health can be found in the various reference works listed below:

80% of those diagnosed with oropharyngeal cancer are men, the leading cancer caused by HPV, surpassing cervical cancer. However, just 16% of men aged 18 to 21 years old have received a dose of the HPV vaccine, which is a cancer-prevention vaccine for men as well as women (Reddit discussion thread) (29 April 2021)

Gender bias in healthcare: Five ways men are left behind (December 2020)

10 Reasons government’s Injury Strategy must target men (November 2020)

Lack of men’s health strategies may have cost lives in pandemic (19 June 2020)

Is there really a men’s health crisis? (15 November 2019) USA

Australia’s National Men’s Health Strategy launched today (11 April 2019)

Government medical research funding favors women (30 August 2018)

Uneven access to health services drives life expectancy gaps: WHO (4 April 2019) And yet again, the standard simplistic and blaming explanation is rolled out: Men choose not to go and see the doctor often enough or fast enough! See also related Tweet.

Men with prostate cancer wait four times as long for a diagnosis as women with breast cancer (20 December 2017)

Why Men Don’t Care About The Healthcare Debate (13 November 2017) USA

Men are killed at a greater rate than women in Australia – what can we do to reduce their risk? (28 June 2017)

Barbara Kay: Why does a report on ‘gender equity’ in mental health all but ignore the illnesses of men and boys? (16 May 2017)

Men DO open up about their problems – but no-one is listening (20 March 2017) Reddit discussion thread and linked article.

If men are favored in our society, why do they die younger than women? (8 March 2017)

The American Heart Association Is Sexist with #GoRedForWomen. More Men Die From Heart Disease So Why Not #GoRedForALL? (4 February 2017) Reddit Mensrights discussion thread.

38 new substance-use treatment beds for women opening in Vancouver (25 January 2017) Canada. See related Reddit thread here.

A total of 914 people died of a drug overdose in B.C. last year. Of that, 176 were women”.

Why males are more likely to die from conception to old age (26 August 2016)

‘Equal pay day’ this year is April 12; the next ‘equal occupational fatality day’ will be in the year 2027 (9 April 2016)

Men’s Health: A Global Problem Hiding in Plain Sight (24 March 2016)

The Canadian Federal Budget was just released. Take a look at the differences between “Men’s Health” and “Women’s Heart Health” in both funding and tone (22 March 2016)

STOP: Discrimination against Men by Psychologists (March 2016) Australia. A change.org petition

The Men’s Health Gap: Men must be included in the Global Health Equity Agenda (undated)

Obesity in women ‘as dangerous as terror threat’: Extraordinary claim by health chief as she uses speech to demand condition is added to list of emergency threats. But obesity in the UK affects far more men than women. Why is she only concerned about women? with related discussion thread here

Why is there a womenshealth.gov but not a menshealth.gov? (3 June 2015) Reddit mensrights discussion thread

Gender Bias In Osteoporosis Screening (5 November 2014)

Men’s Health – Not That Important – Still (27 October 2014)

Is the problem with men’s health, Gender Politics? (29 October 2014)

14 men open up about the devastation of divorce (17 October 2014)

Man flu isn’t a myth (17 October 2014)

The invisible blue taboo: The burden of boys and men (28 August 2014)

Death rate of Australian men is 50% higher than for women (21 August 2014)

Men die earlier but women’s health gets four times more funding (4 January 2014)

When men’s health doesn’t count (5 September 2013)

A notable case brought by Dr Alex Proudfoot was in relation to inequitable and gender-biased health funding (Proudfoot and Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (1992) 28 ALD 734). The case was dismissed.

National Male Health Policy (Australia)

Research into gender differences in heart disease

Boys left out: no HPV vaccine immunization program in Canada (undated)

And one man’s account of what happened when he did go to the doctor

The unsafe sex: Should the world invest more in men’s health? (18 May 2014)

The President and the Women’s Lobby (29 October 2012)

Why is men’s health suffering in London? (25 June 2012)

Europe’s men need their own health strategy (29 November 2011)

To improve men’s health, treat the cause not just the illness (15 August 2011) Australia

Government’s Huge Cancer Funding Gender Gap (16 August 2009)

http://ideas.time.com/2013/08/23/women-should-pay-more-for-health-care/

Osteoporosis drug subsidised for women but not men

http://www.antifeministtech.info/2014/03/geeksgetcovered-is-obamacares-latest-attack-on-young-unmarried-men/

http://www.cms.gov/Research-Statistics-Data-and-Systems/Statistics-Trends-and-Reports/NationalHealthExpendData/Downloads/2004GenderandAgeHighlights.pdf

http://goodmenproject.com/good-feed-blog/mens-global-healthcare-is-woefully-underfunded/

http://www.angryharry.com/esbreastcancer.htm??note

http://www.harrysnews.com/tgUNCheatsMenWithGenderAgenda.htm?note

http://www.hookingupsmart.com/2014/03/20/hookinguprealities/an-increase-in-male-eating-disorders-reflects-confusion-about-what-women-want/

On Prostate Cancer

I read this article the other day noting an alleged fall-off in PSA testing by men during the Covid pandemic. I subsequently received this info via a tweet:

“In 2018, 2999 women & 35 men died from breast cancer in Aust. In 2018, 3,264 men died from prostate cancer in Aust. Nearly $3.5m has been given to fund research specifically into prostate cancer whilst breast cancer received $460m”

This data was subsequently confirmed via source1, source2, source3

Metastatic prostate cancer cases increase 72% in ten years (29 July 2016) Reddit discussion thread

Left to battle alone, 30,000 men dying of prostate cancer: Patients are not being offered enough support, say experts (20 March 2015)

http://dailycaller.com/2010/10/05/breast-cancer-receives-much-more-research-funding-publicity-than-prostate-cancer-despite-similar-number-of-victims/

Prostate cancer sufferer: ‘It’s either buy the drugs, or die’ (13 October 2014)

Discussion thread about the funding differential between prostate cancer and breast cancer (2 October 2014)

Prostate patients ‘get second-rate NHS care’: Report says sufferers are far less likely to receive the latest drugs or be looked after by specialist nurses (1 October 2014)

California offers free treatment for uninsured breast cancer sufferers, but not for prostate cancer (reddit discussion thread, August 2014)

Prostate cancer drug ruling a ‘fiasco’, says charity (15 August 2014)

Vasectomy increases risk of prostate cancer (11 July 2014)

Prostate cancer as male privilege (November 2011) Reddit discussion thread and original article/readers comments

prostate

On feminists actively undermining men’s health initiatives

In my blog I have listed hundreds of articles and academic papers that relate to various men’s rights issues. Within this collection there would be precious few that have been included purely because of how appallingly bad they were. This paper by Dr Michael Salter is therefore exceptional in that, and only in that, regard. His paper which attacks the involvement of men’s rights groups in lobbying for equitable treatment of men’s health issues displays a truly extraordinary degree of anti-male and pro-feminist bias.

This Reddit mensrights discussion thread is about feminists seeking to undermine the ‘Movember’ men’s health initiative on the basis of it supporting masculinity (20 October 2014). Here is one of the examples cited, and following it is a detailed response from a representative of the Movember movement. I think it’s well-worthy of being reproduced here and now:

“Pete Bombaci here, Country Director for Movember Canada. I’ve read the above and I want to clarify many of the inaccurate points written about Movember here.

You say that “what once started out as a harmless campaign has become sexist, racist, transphobic, and misinformed.” This is simply not true.

As you admit in your article, Movember isn’t just about raising money. It’s about having conversations. The magic of Movember is that it can unite different people from all sorts of socio-economic backgrounds under one flag: men’s health. You don’t have to be rich to wear a Mo, and you don’t have to be cool to change the world.

Thanks to our amazing Mo Bros and Mo Sistas, we are changing the world, and that includes changing standard definitions of masculinity. Movember isn’t about men being super tough or butch, though many Mo Bros and some of our Mo Sistas are so. Movember isn’t about growing the biggest, butchest, moustache. It’s about growing the best Mo you can personally grow. It’s about personal bests, about getting engaged in men’s health, about knowing yourself and taking care of yourself and your communities.

The Movember community is a global one that cuts across race, class and gender because cancer and mental health illness cuts across race, class, and gender. The idea that white cisgendered men shouldn’t raise funds for prostate cancer because they aren’t the ones most affected by it is antithetical to Movember vision. Making sure our fathers, brothers, uncles, lovers, friends, neighbours, coworkers feel safer being vulnerable talking about and taking care of their health, their bodies, and their mental health can only make life better for ALL OF US.

Some folks might argue that Movember isn’t a space for transpeople. This only speaks to the stigma and lack of understanding that transpeople face on a daily basis. We are well aware that some Mo Bros don’t have prostates. Whether it’s because a Mo Bro’s cancer treatment required the removal of his prostate, or whether he simply wasn’t born with one, we don’t discriminate against our Mo Bros for not having a prostate. For us, the truest mark of a Mo Bro is his willingness to change the world. The only binary we recognize is Movember and the rest of the year.

To your claim that Movember is sexist, I would say that Movember was and continues to be inspired by women’s health movements. Beyond that, women are a vital part of Movember as team leaders, teammates, and supporters. Women are substantial fundraisers. Women are, traditionally, the gatekeepers of family health and can be experts at one of our main goals: getting conversations about male health going. SinceMovember is about moustaches, we don’t typically encourage women to grow out their leg or armpit hair, though we’ll never turn down a nicely styled Mo,regardless of who wears it. We have one Mo Sista this year from Ottawa who is sporting a Mo every day for the entire month of Movember. Who would dream of trying to squash that kind of determination?

An important face to note here is that you represent Movember as No Shave November. Taking comments from No Shave November participants and portraying them as the opinions of our Mo Bros and Mo Sistas is inaccurate and disingenuous. Movember is not No Shave November and No Shave November is not Movember.

Movember suggests that folks show solidarity with each other by joining the Movember journey, in whatever form that looks like for you: go to a MOVE event; talk to your friends about their health, grow a Mo, or if you can’t, don’t. However, the Mo will always be our King because ultimately, our awareness program is powered by the growth of a new moustache and the obvious question that follows – why the moustache? Because our community members want an explanation for our change in appearance, a new Mo, those with Mo’s arm themselves with knowledge, provided by Movember, about men’s health.

The conversations started as a result of the moustache help to educate, breakdown stigmas, and ultimately change behaviour. From this program we know that 90% of Movember participants spend time thinking about improving their health, 75% discussed their health with family, friends or colleagues during Movember, and 66% of participants have had a recent general check-up. Globally in 2012 Mo Bros and Mo Sistas started 2.7 billion conversations about men’s health and Movember. We know that pairing this program with funding of world class men’s health research and programs helping men live with and beyond cancer and mental illness will help to truly change the face of men’s health.

You have also misrepresented our recommendation on PSA testing. Movember suggests: Men should talk to their doctor about prostate cancer testing. There are advantages and disadvantages to PSA testing. Understand the prostate cancer risk factors, discuss these with your doctor and decide if prostate cancer testing is right for you. You can find this here –http://ca.movember.com/mens-he….

You’ll also find a tool about the PROS and CONS of testing that we developed with the Societe internationale du urology. As Movember has grown we have worked with medical professionals to evolve our men’s health information and the materials available on Movember.com have been approved by national and international experts in the field.

It’s honestly disappointing to see Movember misrepresented in this way Movember. McGill continues to be one of the top supporting teams and the University has been an integral part of Movember funded research in Canada and on an international basis. We’re very proud of the community there and the work they have done. To date Mo Bros and Mo Sistas in Canada have raised an astonishing $13.5 Million for mental health.”