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Rites of the Parents Against Rights of the Child; Circumcision, a Misdemeanor or a Crime?Sigismond (Michel Hervé Navoiseau-Bertaux) - Salem-News.com
Starting from a children judge point of view.
(PARIS, France) - This article had been written in support of the defenders of the child promoting the 2011 November ballot in San Francisco. Learning Judge Georgi's decision quashing this ballot, we didn't change a line in it but we must say that if that decision is maintained, San Francisco, the USA and the world will lose much more than the loss to circumcision.
Jean-Pierre Rosenczveig is the President of the children's court of Bobigny (France). We shall introduce the matter through quoting an article from his blog in LeMonde.fr:
"Excision, circumcision: men's power over the child!"
"In truth, circumcision does not answer the needs of the child…"
"To believe the latest UNICEF report, "more than 70 million girls and women have undergone FGM in 28 African countries, plus Yemen". Of course this figure must be taken as a rough estimate, revealing the extent of a practice that endures despite opposition that arises not only in so-called Western countries, but also in Africa. States now condemn it in a majority, if not unanimously.
Nevertheless, it dies hard. Regularly, some give it a religious legitimacy. Blame the Koran again. Fortunately, another reading of the texts, which does not allow excision, compels recognition.
For the international community, religion cannot make the law; legal standards adopted in common must.
In the case in point, the International convention on the rights of the child of November 20 1989 prohibits, with the diplomatic language that was unfortunately required, attacks to the physical integrity of a child which are not warranted by medical reasons:
"Article 24 3. States Parties shall take all effective and appropriate measures with a view to abolishing traditional practices prejudicial to the health of children."
And we are forced to acknowledge that human imagination is fertile to establish the domination of men over women, of adults upon children or of the group over the individual. The neck is stretched, the feet are pinched, things are introduced into the vagina, excision or circumcision is performed, etc... In short, the body of the other is deeply or indelibly marked to show her or him that it does not belong to her or him.
Excision is a real amputation of women with the concern of preventing them from enjoyment, this pleasure being kept for men. And it is successful. Women who have undergone that criminal assault bear it less and less and denounce that aggression. At best, they wish to find their bodily integrity again and, very fortunately, medical technology enables them to do so, as a report broadcast yesterday in France 2 news remarkably showed. We must be thrilled for them.
Yet, it is no small task for each one, particularly on the psychological level, if not the physical one, to follow this path to find their fullness again; all the more since they already need to face their families. They often choose not to tell them about that reconstruction. The time will probably come when they will dare leading the fight openly. We must hope for it.
At all events, the previous generation was able to rebel and complain about the endured violence or seek help to avoid being excised.
French justice was able to help them in the 90's through symbolic trials with high media coverage both here and in Africa. Excisers have been condemned, parents sometimes too, to sentences of around 5-6 years imprisonment, part of which without remission.
Through the echo given to the debates and convictions, these trials in court of assizes probably contributed to affirm the prohibition. Obviously, by themselves, they were not enough to prevent further acting out, but they were necessary. They supported the resistance in Africa and helped significantly to eliminate the phenomenon in France.
It is desirable that those who practice this crime abroad, enable it or even incite it should be punished in France as it is the case as regards sexual violence, whether they should be French or foreigners. French public order and international public order require it more than ever on behalf of human rights.
For those who might have been shocked that I have included circumcision in the list of condemnable sexual mutilations, I shall make it clear that I am aware that the implications upon sexuality are obviously different. Similarly, it is certain that circumcision may have been imposed in the past or may still be necessary for medical reasons, but in the majority of cases, it is nothing of the sort; except for these rare cases that are medically justified, it meets the preoccupation of parents to "mark" their children religiously and this prospect comes into the purpose laid down by the International convention on the rights of the child.
It is time to have a public debate on this subject so as not to put only others' houses in order."
The San Francisco ballot
The vote that should take place in November 2011 in San Francisco is the first historical opportunity to give this debate important media coverage. However, we must point out that Judge Rosenczveig's use of international conventions was very parsimonious. Indeed, he might have resorted to the following international agreements in defence of human rights:
- Universal declaration of human rights of the United Nations organization (10 December 1948):
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights."
- Universal declaration of the rights of the child of the United Nations organization (20 November 1959):
"Principle 9: The child shall be protected against all form of neglect, cruelty and exploitation..."<
Principle 10: The child shall be protected from practices that… may foster racial, religious or any other form of discrimination..."
- International convention on the rights of the child of the United Nations organization (20 November 1989):
"Article 14 – 1: States Parties shall respect the right of the child to freedom... of religion."
"Article 19: States parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child against all forms of physical or mental violence..."
And since, culturally speaking, sexual mutilation is a particularly cruel form of hazing, article 225-14 of the French criminal code must be applied to it:
The subjection of a person whose vulnerability or state of dependence is apparent or known to the author, to working or living conditions incompatible with human dignity is punished by five years jailing and a 150 000 Euros fine." and article 225-15 states:
"Offences defined at... article 225-14..., when committed towards a minor... are punished by seven years jailing and a 200 000 Euros fine."
The First international symposium on circumcision (1989) unanimously declared that the genital mutilation of children is torture. And, introducing the passage condemning excision and circumcision in her book: "Banished knowledge - Facing childhood injuries"2, Alice MiIler suggested that sexual mutilation is the greatest crime against humanity:
"... society ... till now said yes to humanity’s greatest crimes."
The French Academy of Medicine confirmed this stance through entitling its 10 June 2004 symposium in Paris: "FEMININE SEXUAL MUTILATION, ANOTHER CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY". At the end of that meeting, refusing, like Judge Rosenczveig, to make gender discrimination, I declared:
"Excision is a crime against humanity; circumcision is a crime against humanity too."
No one objected.
Nevertheless, a great principle of criminal law must be reminded: there is no crime or offence committed without intention of harming, which is obviously the case. Therefore, applying common law to sexual mutilation is impossible. A special law must be enacted and widely advertised so that trespassers should not argue ignorance.
Therefore Mr. Schoffield's initiative in San Francisco is modest but, "in order not to put only others' houses in order", the European author of this paper, himself a victim of sexual abuse when a child, reminds that forced retraction of the foreskin is definitely an unwarrantable offence that should also be repressed by law, like force feeding, claps and spanking.
As for those, amongst whom doctors, who think that circumcision would not be a mutilation, they must learn that the foreskin, like the clitoris, is the specific organ for manusexuality, which is the sexuality of the child, and not only the child but also adolescents, bachelors and widowers. This is why circumcision is as criminal as excision.
However, we have demonstrated that sexual mutilation, and foremost circumcision, because it strikes men who hold the power, is a terribly sick achievement with redoubtable hidden consequences: racism and violence:
- "Excision, circumcision, between barbarity and exclusion'"
- "Genocide, wars, the death penalty, excision, rape, and circumcision'"
The gravest outcome of circumcision is the high correlation between war, genocide and circumcision:
Of the twelve genocides of modern times: Congolese, Hereros, Armenians, Jews, Tziganes, Biafrans, Bengalis, Hutus, Tutsis, Kurds, Bosnians, inhabitants of Darfur, eleven implied circumcised on one side at least, and three on both sides. In six of them, circumcised were the perpetrators.
Psychoanalysis very plainly explains this phenomenon. Indeed, Alice Miller's above affirmation is based upon Freud's finding of unconscious processes that lead to madness. For the unconscious, the whole is equivalent to the part, circumcision to a threat of castration, and a threat of castration to a death threat. This is true for the individual but, on the collective level, circumcision is unconsciously tantamount to a threat of extermination.
This is why it is necessary to declare sexual mutilation a serious offence, independently of the sex. Consequently, the San Francisco ballot is a great challenge and even the beginning of a new start for humanity. Only when media coverage will publicly have emphasized: (1) the grave assault of circumcision to individual freedom, (2) its physical, sexological, and psychological harm, and (3) its obnoxious societal consequences, will it be possible to put an end to the primitive barbarity of the pedo-sexual criminality of human sacrifices of sexual parts of the child. The psychoanalyst needs to stress the particular psychological harm of circumcision entailing from the fact that the people behind it are the parents, which happens in no other animal society and makes mankind the most inhuman species of creation. Indeed, wounding one's own children is the most unthinkable crime, a crime that makes betrayal enter into the most sacred relationships.
- "Reyes and Zagdanski denounce the racism of circumcision"
- "Psychoanalysis and the 2011 slaughter in Oslo"
- "Thou Shalt Not Circumcise', The 2nd Commandment Abolishes Circumcision"
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