sitting on the edge of the sandbox, biting my tongue

June 5, 2011

Circumcision Envy

Filed under: Bay Area politics — Tags: , , , — edge of the sandbox @ 1:48 pm

Since everyone is talking about the anti-Semitism of the proposed San Francisco ban on circumcision, I though maybe I’ll relink to an eye-opening piece about the ban that ran, of all places in the commie pinko rag SF Weekly.  SF Weekly reporter Matt Smith interviewed Lloyd Schofield, the man behind the proposal:

When asked if he’d ever interested himself in children’s issues that didn’t involve genitalia, Schofield recalled once donating to a medical burn unit. “But it was insubstantial,” he said.

Indeed, circumcision is not on the radar of San Francisco’s top children’s rights group. “I’ve been here three years, and we’ve never had a conversation about it,” said Chelsea Boilard, family policy and communications associate with Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth.

However, Schofield does know penises. He manned a booth at the recent Folsom Street Fair explaining the practice of foreskin reconstruction, and was happy to describe the procedure to us.

“It involves stretching the skin to cover the glans of the penis,” he said. “Once the skin is lengthened, the head of the penis becomes more sensitive. There’s a process called keratinization, the thickening of the tissue on the head of the penis, to protect it. Once the foreskin is restored enough, the tissue becomes — it’s actually mucous tissue — and it becomes more moist, more sensitive, and more natural, and more normal. Apparently, there’s more sensitivity there.”

Apparently? As in, Schofield has no firsthand knowledge? For the first time in 20 years of journalism, I was compelled to ask an interview subject about his penis. Did he have the procedure done himself?

“This is not about me personally. I don’t want to talk about my penis, frankly,” he said.

Him and Weiner.

I don’t usually want to talk about interview subjects’ penises either. But this is a germane issue concerning the backer of a drive to get a circumcision ban on the ballot, don’t you think?

“I’m sure everybody thinks this is germane and their business, but I want the focus to be the issue, and not me. People say, ‘Oh, he’s uncircumcised and he wants everyone else that way,'” he said.

Hmm. No, I hadn’t thought of that. What do you mean?

“They must think he’s uncircumcised, and it’s so ugly. And it’s only because he has an ugly penis that he wants to do this. But I’m not embarrassed. I’m not ashamed,” he said.

I wasn’t aware some people thought uncircumcised penises were ugly.

“Oh yes, in the U.S. there’s a stigma, and it’s against intact men,” he explained. “Just look at blogs. It seems like people only feel comfortable with what they’re used to, and I do feel there is way that intact men are stigmatized. I think it’s unfortunate people should be stigmatized one way or another.”

I hadn’t read blogs that said uncircumcised penises were ugly. Is this common?

“It’s very much so. It’s social pressure. It’s understandable, if everybody is one sway, and somebody is a little different, that person is singled out,” he said.

Schofield said prejudice against uncircumcised men is so acceptable that Hollywood celebrities espouse it.

“There’s an “F” list commedienne — you know how Kathy Griffin is “D” list? well this one’s “F” list, and she calls people with intact penises as being anti-Semitic.”

Intactivists would have us believe that circumcised men have “foreskin envy,” a wish to get their foreskin back.  But it looks like Lloyd Schofield has got circumcision envy, bad.



  1. Wow, way to completely misinterpret what he said. His argument was that men shouldn’t be stigmatized or discriminated against simply because they are how they were born/meant to be and didn’t have an integral part of them unceremoniously/irreversibly cut off when they were seconds old for no apparent reason other than “everybody else is doing it.”

    PS If he really had envy as you claim he can CHOOSE to have it done.

    Comment by Moe — June 7, 2011 @ 1:24 am

    • I don’t misrepresent anything. As a matter of fact, I offer very little commentary; this post is 95% quotes.
      His argument is not that men shouldn’t be stigmatized, in fact, he didn’t convincingly show that there is any stigma. His argument is that circumcision should be illegal. Mr. Schofield is a totalitarian. Great majority of circumcised men are not obsessing about their genitals the way your buddy Schofield does, are happy and well adjusted. Who is Lloyd Schofeield to speak on their behalf? Reasons for circumcision are medical and religious.
      The fact that Schofeld wouldn’t get himself circumcised proves that the procedure should be done in infancy.

      Comment by edge of the sandbox — June 7, 2011 @ 7:55 am

  2. […] San Francisco — edge of the sandbox @ 9:54 pm Goldfish.  Yes, it’s goldfish.  Not circumcision, not yellow pages, goldfish.  Via Conservative […]

    Pingback by It’s San Francisco: What Are We Banning? « sitting on the edge of the sandbox, biting my tongue — June 16, 2011 @ 9:55 pm

  3. . . . . I’m happy to add the perspective of a Jewish Intactivist. There is a growing number of Jews of all denominations who are refusing to circumcision and instead doing alternative rituals that honor our religion without harming children.

    Brit Shalom Celebrants by Mark D. Reiss, M.D.

    Brit B’lee Milah (Covenant Without Cutting) Ceremony

    Jewish Voices: The Current Judaic Movement to End Circumcision: Part 1

    The Judaic Movement to End Circumcision: Part 2

    Interview with Jewish Intactivist Miriam Pollack

    Jews who believe that circumcision should be against the law.
    . . . .

    Comment by Jewish Intactivist — August 10, 2011 @ 7:05 pm

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