Beyond the Bris : Howard Stern deems circumcision “a mutilation”
Beyond the Bris, an online blog, discusses radio personality Howard Stern’s opposition to infant circumcision, in an article titles “HOWARD STERN, JEWISH INTACTIVIST.”
Beyond the Bris, a web-based multimedia project that puts real faces and voices to the current Jewish movement against circumcision. This is a site being created by, for, and about Jewish people. We each hold our own ideas about life and our Jewish heritage. We won’t always agree. But we’re united by this principle: the genital cutting of infants and children is wrong and must stop, no matter their religion or gender.
By Rebecca Wald
Satellite radio talk show host Howard Stern told millions of listeners this Tuesday that he felt male infant circumcision should be illegal in the United States, declaring it a “mutilation.” Stern’s statements coincide with Genital Integrity Awareness Week, during which opponents of circumcision will be rallying at the Capitol in Washington, D.C. and across several U.S. cities. In a half-hour segment, Stern interviewed Ron Low, an anti-circumcision activist and industrial engineer who developed and actively promotes several devices that enable circumcised men to restore their foreskins.
The interview was predictably lighthearted with all the typical Stern show hijinks, yet it was also respectful and informative. Low had ample opportunity to discus the function and purpose of the male foreskin. Many times during the interview, Stern said he agreed with Low that circumcision should be illegal. Stern was less enthusiastic about the prospect of foreskin restoration, stating: “Is it really worth all that effort? I don’t know that it’s that important to me at this point in my life.”
Low also spoke about his respect for Van Lewis, an early and well respected member of the anti-circumcision community. Lewis was jailed in 1970 for peacefully protesting against infant male circumcision on the public sidewalk in front of Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. Lewis is critically ill at this time.
Stern wrapped things up by telling Low, “You’re preaching to the choir . . . I happen to agree with you that foreskin removal should be illegal. It is a mutilation.” He went on to say, “Good luck and we do support your cause.” Low then asked Stern if he would sign a photo album to be auctioned off with the proceeds going to Intact America and Howard agreed.
Here is one excerpt from the satellite radio segment: “Ron, I agree with you that men should not be circumcised, that when a baby is born . . . I don’t know where this circumcision came from, some people feel it’s a religious thing, it’s about health, it’s about cutting off the foreskin makes your penis less likely to get cancer. There’s been all kinds of myths. I think it’s nonsense. That if you’re born that way, it seems to me it’s a mutilation to cut it off. The same way in Africa they sometimes cut off a woman’s clitoris and they think that’s justified. I think our foreskins were cut off in order to desensitize us, and I think it was a bunch of religious nudnicks who decided they didn’t want us going around fornicating so they cut off some of our penis skin.”