In case you missed it, recently a bunch of folks managed to gather enough signatures to put an initiative on the ballot that would ban circumcision in SF. It made national news due to the oddity of such an initiative. Of course as usual, everyone starts over-generalizing about ‘liberal SF’. I’ll be the first to admit people here are so initiative happy it borders on hysterical.1 Some things should require a little more review and decision making before just putting it to a vote. But while it was a bit of an extreme, the idea itself did have some merit IMHO.
Anyway, I knew right up front the initiative would fail. One, it didn’t allow religious exemptions and two it was very poorly written and overly broad. Circumcision has been part of “religious” ceremonies long enough it would take some serious doing to get something passed that didn’t include said exemptions. Being overly broad, it would have also created to many legal problems for enforcement. In the end, a judge actually ordered it removed from the ballot before it even went to a vote. That in itself is rare so that should tell you just how poorly it was written.
Frankly, I don’t think the government should be legislating something like this. I also think that we’ve become overly dependent on such an unnecessary procedure. While rare, there can be complications from a circumcision. And once done, its very hard to undo and even then its usually not the same. Why risk it unless its necessary? It is true circumcision has shown to be slightly more effective at preventing the spread of HIV. But the studies mentioned were for 3rd-world countries that don’t have ready access to clean water, good hygiene, medicines, etc. How very convenient to leave that detail out. lol And yes, there are cases where it ends up being medically necessary. But said complications are the exception not the rule.
Most people hide behind the “medical benefits” of circumcision to cover up the fact they are just uncomfortable with it. Cosmetically, it may look nicer but that shouldn’t out-weigh common-sense. Making a decision for your child based on a purely cosmetic preference is a bit selfish and extreme. Frankly, I’m glad I still have my hood. Its not overly pronounced or anything weird. When I’m “excited” you barely even notice. Side note here: One time after a “biblical encounter” with a guy, he went off on a tangent about it saying how he disliked it. Wasn’t he surprised when I pulled the sheet down and showed him! lolol True story!
Anyway, for .02, instead of coming up with more laws that limit social behavior, we should focus on community education. Communities rarely focus on public awareness campaigns anymore and its obviously showing. We’ve become a society fixated with telling people what they can/can’t do vs actually teaching people the pros/cons of their decisions. /rant
- Seriously, if you can get enough signatures, you can put virtually anything on the ballot for people to vote on. [↩]