Circumcision is actually one of the oldest medical procedures in human history, coming into vogue around 25,000 years ago somewhere in Egypt. Ironically, despite its endurance, a lot of people still don't have a clear idea about why we're doing it, except maybe that it has something to do with Jews. Half of us men here in the West have had our dicks nipped and tucked and, aside from a very vocal few, haven't given it a second thought.
This is a family circumcision set from the 18th century. It includes a "spice vessel." People from the past are fucking crazy as birds.
So what's the problem?
It's completely inconclusive, though a lot of proud and uncut stallions will try vehemently to convince you otherwise.
The practice was popularized in recent times by, no kidding, cereal magnate John Harvey Kellogg. In addition to making breakfast fun, he embarked upon a crusade to eliminate the evil of masturbation through the two-pronged approach of feeding young boys Kellogg's Corn Flakes and chopping parts of their dicks off without anesthetic. Absolutely none of this is made up.
This is the face of a man who hasn't had a single good blowjob in all his life.
Today, the pro-circumcision camp says the procedure can lower the risk of things like penile cancer and decrease the chances of getting HIV, but on the other hand, you have rare-but-documented botched procedures that can result in death, or even worse, loss of the penis.
But overall, despite the popularity of the procedure, there isn't a single medical authority anywhere that will recommend it. Not because of any overwhelming negative side effects, but simply because it's a completely pointless medical procedure that just kind of caught on, like skintight jeans. It's medically comparable to removing a male baby's nipples at birth -- sure, they're useless, but all things considered, why add expense and/or risk if you don't have to?
For the sweet pleasures of conformity, of course.
Nowadays, cesarean sections are a standard medical procedure and keep us from living in the age where having a baby was like playing Russian roulette with your vaginal canal. It used to be that any sort of birthing complication commonly resulted in the death of the mother, but today if anything goes wrong during the delivery of a baby, doctors are ready to quickly cut the bastard out. If it weren't for C-sections, there'd be a whole lot more single dads.
"Another pallet-load of Hot Pockets will keep my depression in check."
So what's the problem?
Lately there has been a staggering increase in the number of women getting C-sections. Sure, a lot of these are totally necessary and life-saving, but a lot of them are not. The World Health Organization recommends a C-section rate of around 15 percent, but here in America it's twice that. And we're not even the worst offenders. Brazil can't get enough of them -- in some hospitals, 80 percent of babies are born by way of the blade.
It turns out that a growing number of C-sections are being ordered by patients just for the sake of convenience. Louise Silverton of the Royal College of Midwives (which has got to have the worst college parties ever) says that women are frankly terrified by the prospect of having to squeeze a watermelon through a garden hose, especially if the alternative involves a truckload of sedatives, some scented candles and Huey Lewis and the News.
Vaginas, start your clenching.
What's more, in the era of working moms, many women are getting C-sections just so they can schedule the birth in advance, taking the decision away from the baby, who doesn't know jack shit about running a tight ship.
"I've scheduled your next installment of 'childhood' for Q3 2013. For now, I need you working the Jenkins account."
Then again, who are we to say what women should or shouldn't do with their bodies? Even if they're aware that C-sections carry an increased risk of death or injury to both mother and baby? Sure, but also consider that women are often being pressured into having C-sections by their doctors. And surprise! The motivation for the pressure seems to be money.
Recommending a natural birth is just a lawsuit waiting to happen if something goes awry. But more troubling is that profit-making hospitals are far more likely to perform C-sections than non profit hospitals, even when serving similar populations. C-sections free up beds a lot quicker, and converting a vaginal birth to a surgical one adds a sweet $1,000 of profit.
Seriously, how many more pictures like this could we possibly have?