Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A mutilator’s question


Many years ago, I witnessed an infant circumcision in person at the invitation of a mutilator. He invited me to attend, to prove to me that there is nothing wrong with mutilating babies. He also decided and told me that he would not do a complete circumcision, just a little dorsal slit, to minimize trauma, damage, injury, and blood loss. “I will cut on the center line. There are no blood vessels there.” (Right.)

I decided to go. White mutilator, black baby, southern USA, 1972 or so. With the first probe under the foreskin the baby screams a blood curdling scream and keeps screaming.

I have since learned from a reformed circumciser, who did scores of circumcisions, that he didn’t hear the babies he circumcised screaming. He was so intent on doing his work “correctly” that he literally, as hard as it is to believe, did not hear the screaming. Then, one day—why, he didn’t know—he heard it. He heard the baby and knew what the screaming meant. He was injuring the baby, deeply. He’s never done another one.

The mystery of how people can do this to babies and allow it to be done and think it normal gets deeper for me every day.


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