To Salon Magazine

November 4, 1998

Re: "Circumcision in America" by Debra S. Ollivier, Salon Magazine (10/26/98)

Isn't it amazing that people actually discuss modifying someone else's body as if they have some sort of ownership of it?

What audacity to espouse, and further, to even promote the concept, that they have any right at all to determine if healthy living tissues should be cut from another human being.

How impertinent to disregard the body integrity of another living being. Encouraging someone else be altered by knife or blade to satisfy their own whim is absurd. It smacks of ancient barbaric blood rituals.

If the tables were turned, would these same promoters of surgically altering others acquiesce to being the focus of public discussion about which portion of their own body was disposable? To be subjectively severed and discarded? Would they permit someone else to decide whether or not they "needed" what they were born with? Would they actually allow someone else to destroy part of their own body?

If this is not morally or ethically acceptable, then with what right do they empower themselves to condone the invasive partial destruction of a body not their own?

With what authority do these non-owners temporarily vest themselves to disregard another's right of body sovereignty?

Whose body is it? The person living inside it, or some outsider?

Who enjoys the benefits of that body remaining whole and in one piece as nature intended? Who is victimized when part of that body is excised? Who has no choice but to live with that violation for the rest of their life?

What is the motivation for inflicting a body altering procedure on a helpless infant?

Whose desires are appeased by cutting away the living flesh of an infant? Surely not the infant's.

I concur with Debra S. Ollivier and her wonderfully perceptive article "Circumcision in America". The whole idea of circumcision is preposterous.

Leo Freyer

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