The Global Campaign for Men and Boys
Lynne Featherstone, the Liberal Democrats Junior Minister for International Development, has once again demonstrated how sexist against men and boys she is with a staggeringly insensitive article about genital mutilation.
Speaking out against female genital mutilation Featherstone said:
“Quite frankly if it was boys’ willies that were being cut off without anaesthetic it wouldn’t have lasted four minutes, let alone 4,000 years”.
The tragic irony of this comment is that last year—just a few miles from Featherstone’s London constituency—a one month old baby boy bled to death, after his foreskin was cut off by a Rabbi, without anaesthetic.
The boy lost three-quarters of his blood out of the end of his penis and died of a cardiac arrest. This is not an isolated case.
Unlike girls in the UK, boys have no legal protection against adults who want to perform medically unnecessary surgery on their genitals without anaesthetic in backstreet settings such as homes, restaurants and community centres. An estimated half a million boys are at risk of forced circumcision in the UK.
Medically unnecessary male circumcision is different and sometimes worse than female circumcision which takes many forms. In South Africa, nearly 80 boys and young men died as a result of ritual circumcision this year. As a former Equalities Minister and now Junior Minister for International Development, we would expect the MP to be aware that circumcision kills and damages boys both in the UK and abroad.
It isn’t the first time Lynne Featherstone has directed such sexist and thoughtless comments at men and boys. In 2011 the Liberal Democrat came under fire when she blamed men for the “mess the world is in”. Fellow coalition MP, Priti Patel of the Conservative Party, attacked Featherstone for her comments saying:
“These comments are really ill-thought out. As equalities minister she has got to be unbiased about the value that both men and women bring to decision-making.”
If you want to help us end unnecessary male circumcision in the UK then join our #StopTheChop campaign today.
—Photo courtesy of Flickr/Rodrigo_Amorim