San Fran to Ban Circumcision?

Speaking to the man behind the campaign to ban circumcision in San Francisco.

Published: March 4th 2011
in News » World

Despite female circumcision being widely regarded as cruel and unnecessary, as Jews and citizens of the western world, male circumcision has spent the better part of a century as the status quo. Well, seems like tides are shifting according to a study done by SDI Health claiming that as of 2009, only 32.5 percent of boys were cut, down from 56 percent in 2006. While these numbers don’t include procedures outside hospitals (like most Jewish ritual circumcisions) or those not reimbursed by insurance, groups like view this as a small victory in their campaign to ban the procedure on men under the age of 18.


We spoke to Lloyd Schofield, the man behind the campaign to get the SF bay area bris-free. Half-way done on his mission of 7,138 signatures by April 26, Mr.Schofield aims to let voters decide whether the covenant is an outmoded form of mutilation, or an issue of spirituality, and preventative health.


“We come at this from the point of view of the child, whether Muslim, Jewish, or Christian the child is certainly not experiencing any spiritual uplifting. If you’re doing it in the hospital there are no religious implications. If someone feels this is something they want to do for spiritual reasons, or otherwise, they should be able to choose for themselves. Their body, their decision.” Schofield says, “The basis of Judaism is the ability to talk about everything, yet this topic is avoided.”


While there is still much debate within the medical community concerning the benefits of circumcision to reproductive and sexual health, Mr. Schofield’s organization feels that the public has been misled. “With programs like Operation Abraham, who knows what motives are but the end result seems disastrous for Africa. The Bill Gates Foundation, U.S. government, all those initial proponents are back-peddling. It’s a shame more wasn’t done to actually prevent and educate on the issue of AIDS and the proper sterilization of surgical equipment and syringes.”


Claiming that the procedure was first pushed due to a belief that jerking off was less difficult and risky sans schmuck, Schofield stands firmly on the premise that this is not a lifestyle issue. As a woman, I’ve grown accustomed to a certain aerodynamic design afforded by the boys of the bris, but this isn’t about personal aesthetics. You’re even welcome to restore to factory settings, if it tickles your fancy. Contrary to popular belief, most men seem to shy away from discussing the cut of their birthday suits, be it turtle or v-neck. But now that the future of circumcision might end up in the hands of the voters, we want to know how you feel about what you’ve got in hand.


This article first appeard on Heeb Magazine and is reprinted with permission.

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