Shafia: the name has now become known worldwide for the horrific murders of 4 of this family’s members by 3 other family members.
Yesterday, the jury returned a verdict over the father/husband, wife/co-wife, and brother/step-son of the victims: GUILTY!
Guilty of 4 counts of first degree murder!
And, while this is bound to be appealed (as such verdicts always are), it is a victory for Canada.
Yes, for Canada.
Because with this trial, we are beginning to shake the wool that has been pulled over our eyes by the social engineers who insist that we, Canadians, ought not to be treated as equals but that our rights and protections should depend solely on what special social collective we happen to be members of.
If you are unfamiliar with the back-story, here is an excellent write-up by Christie Blatchford in the Montreal Gazette:
‘“This verdict sends a very clear message about our Canadian values and the core principles in a free and democratic society that all Canadians enjoy, and even visitors to Canada enjoy,” Laarhuis said.
The “visitors” reference was a kind and graceful nod to Rona Amir Mohammad, Shafia’s unacknowledged other wife.
Unlike the rest of the sprawling clan, she was brought to Canada as a domestic servant and was on a visitor’s visa, its renewal held over her head like a axe ready to fall by her co-wife Yahya and [husband] Shafia.’
‘The parents were called in by school officials a number of times, but Yahya would weep, Shafia would rail furiously, and no action would be taken.
When the school called in child welfare, the same thing would happen: Denials, rage and tears from these affluent parents worked in this country. All their experience with institutional Canada gave them no reason to imagine that a small-city police force wouldn’t be similarly stymied.’
It is funny how different cultural traditions can ascribe different values to equivalent things: in this case, the face veil.
We have come face-to-niqab (if you will excuse the expression) with the Islamic tradition of the face veil and are familiar with it: Muhammad imposed ‘the veil’ on his wives but not on his concubines.
Some people think ‘Muhammad’s veil’ was worn on the front of the throat, but did not cover the face. This can be seen in some Pakistani dress traditions.
Others think it was based on the Slavic headscarf, as he is reported to have first seen this garment on the Christian slave girl gifted to him by the patriarchs of Constantinopole. He became so enamoured of it, he imposed it on all of his wives. If you look at the linked illustrations, it is possible to think that the hijab could have evolved from it. (This is, in my never-humble-opinion, the most likely the root of the Islamic ‘veil’, because there is a direct reference in the Hadith to the ‘Christian slave girl’. Historically, Slavs were hunted by the Mediterranians , in order to be sold to Arabi harems – that is the origin of the word ‘slave’.)
Yet others suggest that the veil Muhammad imposed on his wives was meant to cover their whole face – the niqab. Some people trace this to ancient symbols of prostitution – perhaps.
But, in our culture, the connection between women covering their faces with a veil while in public and prostitution exists in less distand history. One need not go further than Renaissance Rome.
For reasons that are not exactly clear even to myself, I have been reading a biography of Lucrecia Borgia by Sarah Bradford. (It is, perhaps, the worst-written book I have ever tried to chew my way through. The author is completely absorbed in the minutiae and unless you are familiar with not just the ‘big picture’, but also the ‘medium picture’, you might find – like I did – that without frequent outside references, it is difficult to follow the significance of all the rigorously supported details she has managed to cram into the book. It is precisely the rigorous support – extensive quotes from numerous letters – of what she writes which has kept me slogging through it…even though her analysis of the letters themselves and of their implications is often flawed, to say the least.)
One of the things I learned (supported by a quote from a letter written in that period), she indicates (though she does not dwell on the subject) that in Rome during the time of the Borgias, the high-class prostitutes – courtesans – would wear a veil that covered their face while they rode through the streets or were in public areas. Not being well versed in the history of this period, I have not verified this assertion in another publication – if anyone can suggest books I should check out for this, I would greatly appreciate their help.
While I would like to find further corroboration, the fact that this was a direct quote from a period letter, along with the fact that this was an extraneous detail which simply got in because it was part of a letter focused on another subject altogether, convinces me that this likely was the custom of the day. (The lette-writer complains how low Rome had sunk, as so many of the women one could see about were courtesans, which one could see from the fact that they covered their faces with a veil…)
Married women and mistresses – as well as umarried women and girls – did not veil their faces in public, as there was no need for ‘discretion’. The lower class prostitutes also did not have a need for ‘discretion’, though for the opposite reason. It was only the high-class prostitutes, the courtesans, who would cover their faces when on their way to visit ‘clients’.
So, the wearing of the face-veil was a ‘class’ thing: it signified a higher class status among prostitutes.
Which is very curious, because in the Islamic tradition, ‘the veil’ also carries a very definite class distinction: because Muhammad had imposed it on his ‘wives’ – but not on women who were his slaves, whether workers or concubines, women who wore ‘the veil’ were of a higher social status than women who did not.
It is the view of some current Muslims (and Muslimas) that wearing the veil is a symbol of membership in a socially superior class: the woman wearing the veil is demonstrating her class superiority over bear-headed women. This explains why some of the Muslimas wearing veils seem to be doing it as an ‘in-your-face’ aggressive gesture. Far from representing morality or religious piety, this particular set of Muslimas is wearing the veil as a symbol of their superiority.
I am continously fascinated by how, at different times and in different cultures, the same items symbolized different things. In one time and place, the face veil represents a higher social status woman. In another, it denotes a higher social status prostitute.
While catching up on some of the videos by MEMRI (Middle Eastern Media Research Institute), I came upon this most interesting one: a discussion between an Arab and Berber (Amazigh) Muslim from Morocco regarding a proposed Berber-Jewish Friendship centre.
This discussion shows a few separate things I would like to bring to your attention.
There is something that several different Muslims have called my attention to: there is a big gulf between ‘Arab Muslims and non-Arab Muslims’. I am not sure if I understand all the nuances of the situation – and there does appear to be a lot of complexity to it, especially when there is also a racial component – but I am confident that I understand the ‘bones’ of the issue. Or, at least, a few of the bones…
‘Arab Maghreb‘ refers to non-negro, non-Arab areas of Africa (in the North-West) concquered by the Arab-Muslims. Some of the population of the ‘Maghreb’ prior to the Arab invasion was descended from the Phoenicians (who, some anthropologists argue, were (or were closely related to) the proto-Slavs), the ancient Greeks and the Romans. Prior to their conquest during the spread of Islam, this area had strong ‘Mediterranean’ European cultural influences. Arab culture was foregn to them.
The prophet Muhammad was an Arab – and, for some reason, the Muslim scriptures go to great lenght to affirm that his skin was ‘ white’. This is not just a descriptive – it is a direct and itegral part of the Muslim faith! (This may be connected to the same root as the fact that the Arabic word for ‘negro’ or ‘black man’ is the same as the word ‘slave’)
The teachings of Islam state that all races and nationalities are equal to each other – except for Arabs, who are superior (‘more perfected’), which is demonstrated by the fact that Allah chose his messenger from among Arabs (their language is also superior (‘more perfected’) to other languages, ‘which is why’ the Koran was dictated to Muhammad in Arabic).
All Arabs are equal – except the tribe from which the prophet Muahammad came, which is superior, as demonstrated by the fact that Allah chose his messenger from among them.
This teaching is at the root the strict Sharia marriage rules (adherence to these rules, even in our times, confirms their existence and current validity under Sharia):
This is known as the principle of ‘kafa’ah’ – suitability: a woman’s guardian is responsible for finding her a ‘kuff’ (‘suitable’) husband. (In Muslim countries, women have occasionally successfully legally challenged their arranged marriages on the grounds of ‘kafa’ah’. )
Here is a direct quote from one Sharia source:
The Jurists have stated that among Arabs, a non-Quraishi male is not a match (Kuf) for a Quraishi woman, nor can any person of non-Arab descent be a match for a woman of Arab descent. For example, the Sayyids, whether Siddique or Farooque, Uthmaani or Alawi, or belonging to some other branch can never be matched by any person not sharing their lineage, no matter his profession and family status. The Sayyids are suitable matches for one another, since they share descent from the Quraishi tribe. Thus, marriages between themselves are correct and permitted without any condition as appearing in Durrul Mukhtar:
“And Kafaah in lineage. Thus the Quraysh are suitable matches for one another as are the (other) Arabs suitable matches for one another.”
The ruling relevant to non-Arabs is as follows: ‘An Ajmi (non-Arab) cannot be a match for a woman of Arab descent, no matter that he be an Aalim (religious scholar) or even a Sultan (ruling authority). (Raddul Muhtar p.209 v.4)
This whole discourse appears to be a bit of a tangent, but am trying to demostrate something integral to this issue: Arab Muslims consider themselves to be ‘more perfected’ than other Muslims are – and demand that they and their culture are held as superior to all others. After all, the old adage about definingracism/prejudice is not ‘would you sit and talk with ‘insert name of discriminated-against group’, but would you permit your daughter to marry one.
Clearly, the ‘rule’ – as established by Sharia and as enforced everywhere where Sharia contols civil laws, the Quraishi are not permitted to marry their daughters outside their tribe Arab Muslims are not permitted marry their daughters to non-Arab Muslims, and Muslims are not permitted to marry their daughters to non-Muslims. In other words, there is a ‘lineage-based’ (meaning ‘race’ as well as ‘culture’, ‘wealth’ and ‘religion’ based) class order established and enforced by Sharia, with Arabs ‘above’ and at the top and the Quraishi at the pinnacle…
This has been a sore point with many non-Arab Muslims, because marriage law is not the only aspect of life where the Arabs claim their ways are ‘more perfected’ and therefore that should replace the local customs and culture. Many non-Arab Muslims are vocal opponents of the ‘Arabization’ of their cultures and the devastating effects this has on their youth.
These Muslims have no difficulty in distinguishing between ‘cultural’ and ‘religious’ practices: they accept Islam as their religion, but they will be damned if the accept ‘Arabic’ culture as superior (and thus preferable) to their own!
One Muslim I spoke with referred to this as Arab supremacism and said that Imams intent on radicalizing non-Arab Muslim youth are capitalizing on this. To paraphraze him (as I do not recall the exact wording he used) these Imams tell the non-Arab Muslim youths that no matter how devout they are, they can never become as ‘perfected’ and thus beloved of Allah) as the lowliest Arabs – unless, of course, they martyr themselves in the cause of jihad.
In no uncertain terms, young and vulnerable people are being targetted by some unscrupulous Imams and told that because they are of Pakistani or other non-white descent, they cannot ever become first class Muslims and the ONLY way they can become perfected enough to enter paradise is by becoming suicide bombers.
This is important for us all to know and understand!
But, back to the video above…
You can see from the body language – as well as the discourse between them – that the two men (aside from the mediator) come from very different points of view. The Arab’s (Yahya Abu Zakariya) body language is aggressive and presumptive of dominance. The Berber’s (Ahmed Adghirni) body language is much more interesting…
(Disclosure – I may be reading more to this than there is… A few decades ago, while I was taking a University course on Arab history, I had a neighbour who was a Berber and who loved to fill me in on the ‘Berber perception of life’ – including that of Arabs. Right or wrong, the Berber perspective (according to my Berber neighbour) regards the Arabs as invaders who used to raid the peaceful Berbers in order to steal their women – the Berber wome were famed for their beauty and piercing blue eyes. He said that it was considered a status-symbol among the Arab colonists to have blue-eyed children… Eventually, the Berbers came to regard the Arabs as the usurper colonists – much as the Arab in the debate regards the French…)
In the Berber’s perception – and I think this s born out by Ahmed Adghirni’s body language, the Arabs are unwelcome colonists… a point completely lost on Yahya Abu Zakaruya, who seems compleely incapable of getting the idea that not everyone regards Arab culture as the pinnacle to aspire to, and does not seem aware that not everyone sees the world from the Arab perspective.
This video shows that there is serious animosity to the increasing Arabization of culture in Islamic countries. Nor is anti-semitism as universal in Muslim countries as the Arabic lenz makes it appear.
And that is something we should pay attention to.
Yesterday, I was dismayed to read about what happened to Brigitte Robinson and John Kennedy when their daughter was born at the Kingston General Hospital.
Following complications from a C-section to deliver her daughter, Brigitte Robinson’s husband, John Kennedy, was there to help take care of their newborn.
Except for when Ms. Robinson’s room-mate was breast-feeding: Mr. Kennedy (and other father(s) ) was kicked out of the room, because the privacy curtain was deemed insufficient to protect her modesty.
But that is not all….
Newborns need to be kept clean. Their skin is very sensitive. So, they do need to be kept clean. Mr. Kennedy did try to keep his newborn daughter clean. But, he was not permitted to use the sink in the room, provided for this purpose, because providing proper hygiene for his newborn also offended that same woman….
BlazingCatfur, who brought this story to my attention, also provided an email address for the ombudsman for the Kingston General Hospital (email@example.com), so that concerned Canadians could let him/her know exactly what we thought about this.
So, I did. Here is the letter I sent today to the ombudsman of the Kingston General Hospital:
Dear Sir/Madam:I am writing to you regarding the experience Brigitte Robinson and
John Kennedy had at hospital during the birth of their daughter, as
highlighted in this article:
First of all, let me commend your medical professionals on their
excellent work during the actual delivery itself. Well done.
However, that is where the accolades end. Once this acute period of
danger had passed and the mother and infant were placed in a hospital
room, the way that your hospital policies were implemented had
actually put the newborn in a potentially dangerous situation.
Please, note that I speak as a woman immigrant and also as a member of
a religious minority: I understand very well indeed how important it
is to be respectful of wide range of sensibilities. However, this
must never be done at the expense of others.
There is a hierarchy of needs.
Providing necessary care adequately, especially for a newborn, must
take precedence over cultural or religious sensitivities of other
patients in the hospital.
If a father is taking care of an infant because, like in this case,
the mother has not recovered from surgery (or for whatever other
potential reason), he must not be excluded from the room – regardless
of what anyone’s sensitivities may be. Why? Because excluding him
puts the infant at a disadvantage and potential harm.
Accommodating sensitivities is important – but it must not be invasive
on other patients. If a person does not feel comfortable nursing in
the room where there are other people, she might be provided with
formula so that she may feed her infant without the need to expose her
breast. In other words, sensitivities ought to be accommodated
through providing choices – not through infringing on others!
If a father is taking care of an infant, barring him from washing the
cloths in the closest sink – the sink especially provided for the care
of those in this room – is putting the sensitivities of some people
above the real physical requirement of this infant for proper hygiene!
Newborns have many needs that must be satisfied if the child is to
thrive. They are the most vulnerable members of our society.
Enacting any policy which infringes on the parents’ ability to care
for their infants adequately – however noble the motivation – is
Demanding that the family be financially responsible for having been
placed in a setting where they finally were unhindered from caring
adequately for their infant is not only unreasonable, it suggests ill
will from your hospital. I would like to register my strong
disapproval of this outrageous behaviour by your organization.
A few days ago, I posted my thought on ‘The trouble with ‘circumcision’. A friend replied – in a private email, so as to save me the embarrasement of lambasting me in public – pointing out to me the medical benefits of male circumcision. His heart is definitely in the right place!
Still, this is a very important debate – which is why I thought I ought to post my reply to him. It was a bit long – I do go on a lot – so I split it up into two parts: the ‘physical issues’, and the ‘rights issues’, below.
What makes all the medical arguments for or against male circumcision irrelevant is that this is a question of rights.
Because removing a healthy body part – no matter how beneficial one may think this to be – is not something one person has the right to decide on behalf of another person.
Parents must do their best to look after their children. They must make decisions on their behalf regarding medical treatment when their children are ill or injured. But nobody – not even a parent – has the right to subject a healthy child to non-reversible medical procedures, amputations of healthy tissue or any other violation of that child’s bodily integrity.
Yes, parents have the right to raise their child as they believe best.
No, that does not give parents the right to subject a healthy child to invasive medical procedures or random amputations!
I am aware that many parents have ‘snipped’ their sons, truly believing they were doing the best thing for their children. Families that perform circumcision on their female children also truly believe that they are acting in the best interest of their child.
That is something we must acknowledge: these parents are not monsters who want to punish their daughters for being female! Or to hurt or damage them. But, their beliefs lead them to actions which DO harm and damage their children.
THAT is what we must address!
And it is not easy to admit that one was duped into harming one’s own child!
But it is important that we face the truth and stop tolerating this violation of children’s bodies and rights. Each and every individual can choose to become circumcised as an adult – and nobody else has the right to interfere with this choice.
Bodily integrity is one of the core human rights.
We must not tolerate its violations.
Even by well meaning parents!
I am sorry to have hit another point of disagreement with you – please, do not take this as an attack upon you, personally. Just that this is one of those instances where I think many of us, in ‘The West’, have ‘blinders’ on: we see the horror and just how wrong this is when we see a variation of this practice by a different culture – but we seem unable to recognize that we are guilty of exactly the same thing, in a slightly different form.
Perhaps I did not express my central thought as explicitly in my original post as I should have: until we recognize just how wrong male circumcision is, until we begin to respect the human right to bodily integrity of ALL our children, we cannot possibly criticize (much less stop) the practice of female circumcision.
I agree with your sentiment: until popular tide turns, boys will suffer and get ill – and, in some cases, loose their lives: but I lament this same outcome as the result of an unnecessary, traumatic amputation of a healthy body part!
We are both going to the same place: we just differ about which route is medically better.
Still, there is no counterargument for the human right to bodily integrity…. because there is no valid argument for ‘male-only’ circumcision on the basis of whose rights are supreme: the right of an infant to bodily integrity or the right of a parent to amputate healthy body parts on the grounds of their ‘beliefs’ – sorry, getting long winded here…
What I mean is that there is no argument that, on the basis of ‘balancing rights’, would permit ‘male circumcision’ while forbidding ‘female circumcision’.
If the parents’ right to amputate a child’s healthy body part on the grounds of their beliefs (religious, cultural, scientific or otherwise) are supreme – all forms of genital mutilation will be ‘in’.
If the child’s right to bodily integrity is tops, then NO form of circumcision can be permitted!
We must face up to that in our fight against female circumcision….
This is one of those ‘charged issues’: moral and religious issues get muddled up with cultural prejudices and pseudo-scientific propaganda. So, I’m really not sure where and how to begin…
The easy one first…
So much has been written about this, I will not go into details of the various ‘levels’ of female genital mutilation (recently re-named ‘female genital cutting’ in order to escape the deservedly bad PR). I’ll just note that it is a horrible thing which I condemn.
Rather, I would like to concentrate on the 3 reasons ‘why’ ‘female circumcision’ is practiced.
Many Muslims believe that Islam mandates both female and male circumcision because in the Islamic texts, the sex act is, at times, referred to as ‘when the circumcised parts meet’. This makes many Muslims believe that in order to emulate the prophet Muhammad, as their religion commands, both men and women ought to be circumcised – despite the fact that Muhmmad himself urged that ‘cutting less is better than cutting more’ because this ‘increases pleasure for both the man and the woman’ (I am paraphrasing).
Some cultures have such contempt for women that they believe that without removing the clitoris, a woman would not be able to control her sexual urges and would copulate with anyone, anytime. Therefore, removing a source of sexual pleasure will help protect her honour and the honour of her family.
But contempt for women is not the only cultural reason for this practice.
In some places, like Ethiopia, female circumcision is a cultural custom, practiced both by Muslims and Christians. It is part of the cultural fabric: the mom was ‘circumcised’, the grandma was ‘circumcised’, so the possibility that the daughter might not be ‘circumcised’ does not even occur to anyone. It’s just what is done!
I have commented on this phenomenon before: people cannot possibly stop a harmful practice if it never actually occurs to them that there is something they could – and should – question…. It is only after people figure out that that something could be questioned that the actual battle for change can begin.
As bizarre as it seems to us, there are people (women) who honestly believe that complete clitorectemy is medically necessary. I saw a video (long ago) of an old woman who was renown as an expert practitioner of clitorectemy explaining (through an interpreter) that unless the clitoris is removed before puberty, it will grow and suffocate the child during childbirth. She even cited ‘real evidence’, where women had ‘bad, partial’ ones and the baby suffocated in the womb…
Of course, most of us would recognize this as a symptom of the ‘operation’ itself: the severe scaring which results in less flexible tissues which do not stretch properly, which causes the child to suffocate in the birth canal. But, they ‘have their observations’ and truly and honestly believe that full clitorectemies are a medical necessity.
‘Female circumcision’ is practiced for religious and cultural reasons as well as because trusted members of their society who preform the clitorectomies honestly believe that it is medically beneficial to do so and are believed by the members of their society.
Here, in The West, this vile and inhumane and – well, horrible, sadistic torture – is not tolerated.
Unfortunately, recent voices – from among the people who would be the ones who wish to perform (and benefit financially from doing so) this procedure – have began a propaganda to normalize this practice ‘for the good of the little girls’! Their argument goes something like this:
The choice we are facing (they convincingly explain) is between horrible, painful, ‘back-shack-clitorectomies’ with no anaesthesia or even clean surgical instruments on one hand, and permitting a ‘ritual nick’ or ‘ritual pin-prick’ here, in the safety of a sanitary medical facility.
It’s the only safe option!
Don’t you care about these girls safety?
Please, consider, really consider, why is it that our political and cultural leaders are having such a hard time rejecting this flimsy excuse and ripping it to shreds for the ‘soft-racism’ and financial self-interest it so thinly veils?
I think that most of us would arrive at ‘the other circumcision’….
We tolerate it.
Many of us practice it.
If we permit bits of male infants’ genetalia to be chopped off (without anaesthetics to boot), how can we effectively combat a similar practice on female infants? Equality of the sexes and all….
Which brings me to:
Again, most of us are familiar with the ‘mechanics’ of what the term refers to. And, many of us, in The West, accept it as unquestioningly as that Ethiopian clitorectemist accepts ‘female circumcision’!
Some of us have, however, began to question this extremely painful practice which can lead to permanent re-wiring of a newborn’s brain. Many studies demonstrate that male infants who underwent circumcision display symptoms of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) months or even years later and that the neurological damage the infant suffers may cause life-long damage. And, most doctors now know that perfectly well.
And, there is always the issue of where do the rights of the parent end and the rights of the child begin….
Let me quote from the policy manual on non-therapeutic male circumcision by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia:
“Under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, an infant has rights that include security of person, life, freedom and bodily integrity. Routine infant male circumcision is an unnecessary and irreversible procedure. Therefore, many consider it to be “unwarranted mutilating surgery”.
There are 3 reasons:
The first thing most of us (at least, those of us born in Europe) think of when we hear ‘male circumcision’ is the practice of Judaism. So, for those of the Jewish faith, this has sort of been ‘grandfathered in’ and is never really questioned. Even though it goes on and on about how Jews must also circumcise their slaves…
If nothing else, that ought to give us a moment of pause: Jews are mandated by God to circumcise all their slaves?!?!?
Well, the Bible says so.
So, how did this practice enter the North American society?
Victorian ‘religious puritans’ (for lack of a better term) brought in the practice in order to decrease young men’s sexual pleasure so they would stop masturbating and spent more time thinking about God.
By removing the skin that protects the glans of the penis, the very sensitive nerve endings are constantly rubbed by ‘stuff’ – from undies on. This ‘constant stimulation’ is too much – so the brain decreases the sensitivity of these nerves. (Sort of like once you’ve been in cold water for a while, the nerve impulses screaming the message ‘this water is cold’ become weakened and you are ‘used to the temperature’.)
That is the reasoning behind removing the foreskin. By constant mild stimulation, the strength of the pleasure signals decreases and the mutilated man can better keep his mind on God!
To sum it up: just like ‘female circumcision’, the religious goal of ‘male circumcision’ is the reduction of sexual pleasure.
In North America, this practice became so deeply culturally entrenched that, for generations, nobody questioned the practice. It was ‘simply done’. Promoted on the grounds of hygiene, the religious origins of this practice became forgotten by much of the population and became ‘the norm’.
Now, some parents circumcise their male infants ‘so they would not feel different from dad and/or other boys’… I know – I have seen it.
Many medical practitioners who perform infant circumcisions claim all kinds of wonderful medical benefits as a result of the procedure. Sort of like that Ethiopian clitorectomist does….
And there are tons of claims that circumcision reduces AIDS and other infections…. Yet, for each one of these studies, there are others that prove this is not so. And if one reads these ‘circumcision reduces AIDS’ studies, you will find that ‘circumcision’ in these studies is accompanied by a comprehensive education on AIDS and other STDs…. Yet, the studies do not make any difference between reduction in AIDS through education or circumcision. That is kind of like saying that learning the alphabet will make you good at math without mentioning that to learn the alphabet, you go to school where you are taught both the alphabet and the math….
So, what do the ‘Western’ MDs say about the medical benefits of male circumcision? Let’s see what the CPSCB has to say about the ‘Medical Perspecives’ (my emphasis):
Circumcision removes the prepuce that covers and protects the head or the glans of the penis. The prepuce is composed of an outer skin and an inner mucosa that is rich in specialized sensory nerve endings and erogenous tissue. Circumcision is painful, and puts the patient at risk for complications ranging from minor, as in mild local infections, to more serious such as injury to the penis, meatal stenosis, urinary retention, urinary tract infection and, rarely, even haemorrhage leading to death. The benefits of infant male circumcision that have been promoted over time include the prevention of urinary tract infections and sexually transmitted diseases, and the reduction in risk of penile and cervical cancer. Current consensus of medical opinion, including that of the Canadian and American Paediatric Societies and the American Urological Society, is that there is insufficient evidence that these benefits outweigh the potential risks. That is, routine infant male circumcision, i.e. routine removal of normal tissue in a healthy infant, is not recommended.
In other words, any claims of medical benefits of male circumcision are about as well grounded in fact as the Ethopian woman’s belief that not cutting out the clitoris will cause it to grow so bit, it will suffocate the infant during childbirth!
Yet – we tolerate it….
Both male and female circumcision is done for the same reasons: religious and cultural pressures to decrease the ability of the individual to experience sexual pleasure, medical misinformation and cultural momentum.
Until we recognize the parallels between the two and criminalize the practice of parents imposing this choice onto their children, we cannot pretend we are a civilized people who respect basic human rights!
This classic (10-year-old) video has become a meme of its own.
(That is an objective statement and the fact that the TechnoViking is uber-hot is most likely a simple side effect of this subject’s effective projection of super-concentrated male energy (constructively, not destructively channeled) and has not been influential in the selection of this specific video for observation and study!)
I call special attention to the classic, metllic Mjolnir-shaped amulet around the TechnoViking’s neck (which identifies him as a worshiper of Thor – NOT Odin) and the theological significance of both his socks and the colouring of his shorts: all of which have led to the subject’s identification with the Viking theological heritage.
Thor – whose hammer (and symbol) Mjolnir is – used to be considered the ‘father’ of all the Viking gods, the head of the Norse Pantheon. Mjolnir itself played an extremely important role in spring and fertility rites! (Happy spring equinox!)
It was only following the influence of the Mediterranean theologies – and the rise of an affluent upper class among the Vikings – that Odin began to rise to the prominence we are accustomed to see him in. It was Thor who had been firmly in charge during the ‘classical’ era of Norse religion!
The rise in Odin’s (and that of the ‘upper class’) influence and status only began well into the ‘common era’ and could only succeed through diminishing the image of Thor: thus, in later times, Thor is increasingly marginalized and, since he could not easily be maligned, ridiculed …. Just as the ‘upper classes’ considered themselves to be much more ‘clever’ (though not ‘wise’ – in my never-humble-opinion), Odin began to thirst for more ‘knowledge’ (not ‘wisdom’) and Thor became depicted as increasingly dull and dull-witted…
What an interesting commentary on the nature of humanity: even centuries ago, the ‘upper-middle-class progressives’ saw the unpretentious ‘conservatives’ as ‘dull and dumb’! How little some things change… But, I digress…
By the time of Christian conquest of the Norse, Odin had risen to such prominence that he had not only de-throned Thor as the head of the pantheon, Odin had been elevated to the status of Thor’s father – reversing their original roles!
In order to join Odin’s cult, a young man had to go through a ritual of mystical ‘death and re-birth’, which was – according to the descriptions from that era, very similar to the Biblical account of the mystical initiation of Jesus’s brother-in-law… and, later, Jesus himself: a ritual ‘hanging’ (either using a rope or crucificction) to almost the point of death and ritual wounding with a sharp spear in very specific spots – identical to the places Jesus was to have been wounded by Roman soldiers while crucified – followed by 3 days of seclusion and healing….and the the joyful welcoming of the ‘re-born’ person!
But – that is NOT the focus of this video!
Nor is it the reason I embedded it.
Rather, I would like to go further back in the Norse mythology, to the time when Thor – with his ‘oak-power’ – was the alpha male god. This is exactly the mythology of ‘the oak’ which, for centuries, motivated European women to wish to give birth to male children ‘beneath’ or ‘in the shadow of’ an oak tree!
It is also why there are so many ‘oak-groves’ in Europe which are considered ‘sacred’ and why two days of our week are named in honour of Thor’s ‘mainland incarnations’, Tiwan and Woodin!
With the coming of the spring equinox, it is difficult to look around to see ‘all of nature waking up’ without being reminded of all the ancient spring fertility rituals (from Luprenalia to Easter) without remembering (even in some long-hidden recesses of our sub-conscious) the significance of the birch, the oak, and – with the help of TechnoViking – Mjolnir!
So, I repeat: this video is not just ‘eye-candy’ – it is a serious study in successful projection of ‘Mjolnir/oak/Thor-channeled’ alpha male energy and body language!
Now that you have all this in your mind – go watch the video again!
Observe and enjoy learn!