Our Dicks, Ourselves

Eugene Volokh rejects the notion that circumcision bans are "motivated by hostility to Jews":

[I]t’s true that circumcision bans are likely to affect Jews more deeply than others, because Jewish parents are more likely to feel strongly about circumcising their children. But it would still be the odd anti-Semite who so wants to hurt Jews that he’s willing to try to in the process forcibly change the practices of over 50% of the population — overwhelmingly non-Jews — and thus to incur the political opposition of that big chunk of the population.

Also: Muslims. My position on this is based on a very simple principle that people's bodies should not be permanently altered without their consent. But I would still include a religious exception to this law, that would protect the rights of Muslims and Jews to retain this barbaric act because they sincerely believe it is integral to their faith, and is not as drastic or as hideous as female genital mutilation, where sexual feeling is removed, rather than merely blunted by scar tissue.

More TMI. I think many readers assume that being British, I was never put under the knife.

But I was, because, as my parents later explained, my foreskin was apparently too abundant and/or tight according to the doctor. With so few circumcisers in Britain, they actually took me to a mohel for the process, during which I am told I screamed like bloody murder. No doubt Goldblog will infer from this my profound desire to lop off the West Bank from Israel as some sort of repressed psychological revenge. And I'm not going to plumb my own subconscious on this. But, to be honest, the Jewish angle never really occurred to me, growing up as a roundhead rather than a cavalier. I only found out in my early twenties when I asked my folks what had happened. (At one point in early high school, since no one ever explained to me why my willy looked different from my peers', I even wondered if the relative oddness of my member was the outward sign of my inward homosexuality. I had no idea it had just been mutilated at all.)

But actually, my simple impulse on this is the same I have in many areas: a very dogged defense of my own liberty. If others can permanently alter your own body without your consent, you really have no freedom at all.