Monday, 7 May 2012

PR Man hits out at male critics of circumcision

A PR man who lives just 30 miles away from the site of one of the UK’s most recent circumcision deaths has publicly dismissed calls to tackle Unnecessary Male Circumcision.

Andrew Nott, a journalist and PR man from Warrington, hit out at male critics of Unnecessary Male Circumcision saying they had clearly never “paid any serious attention to women’s genitalia” and “should get out more”.

Mr Nott’s outburst comes just weeks after a UK midwife was charged with manslaughter and banned from carrying out male circumcisions after a baby boy bled to death less than 30 miles away from Mr Nott’s home.

Nott, a former crime reporter on the Manchester Evening News, was responding to letters about Unnecessary Male Circumcision published in the Sunday Times from three men – including one from the respected Dr Anthony Lempert who is the Director of the Secular Medical Forum.

Responding to these letters Mr Nott wrote to The Sunday Times to say:

“I was astounded that amongst your letters last week two preposterously compared female circumcision to the male version. Clearly neither of these contributors – both men – has ever paid any serious attention to women’s genitalia. Both should get out more – or ask their mothers.”

Interestingly, in 2000, Mr Nott reported on the double standards applied to male and female sex offenders. In an article on “the worst case of a woman abusing children in her care any court in the land has had to face", Mr Nott wrote that the Judge said he was constrained by the law which only allows for specific charges to be brought when the offender is a woman” Had the offender been male the sentence would have been in double figures, reported Nott.

It is difficult to understand why a former crime reporter and professional of Mr Nott's standing, who lives just 30 miles from the scene of an alleged manslaughter where a baby boy bled to death following an Unnecessary Male Circumcision would react so dismissively to the suggestion that we address the issue of Unnecessary Male Circumcision. 

For those concerned with protecting children from medically unnecessary, non-consensual, ritual genital cutting it is clearly a case of double standards to protect girls from this ritual but not boys. To read our post on comparisons between female circumcision and male circumcision click here.

As letters to newspapers are often heavily edited we will be writing to Mr Nott for clarity and to ask him whether or not he agrees with us that it is unnecessary to carry out ritual and religious circumcisions in the way that led to the tragic death of Goodluck Caubergs in 2010 just 30 miles from Mr Nott's home - and what action Mr Nott thinks should be taken to prevent such avoidable and unnecessary events happening in future. 


  1. Circumcision must surely affect sexual response insofar as it is a built-in lubricator and protector against abrasion. I know that I would miss mine very much.

    The various parts of the human anatomy generally fulfil some evolutionary purpose; even those generally considered to be vestigial have or had a function.

    It is outrageous that parents think they have the right to make a decision like this on behalf of their sons; and even worse that this is allowed to happen in non-medical environments by people not holding medical qualifications.

    All that said, it seems to me that the equivalent of a female circumcision would be a glansectomy - which is a very different matter.

    1. Thanks for your feedback

      "it is outrageous that parents think they have the right to make a decision like this on behalf of their sons"

      Good point - having heard from many men who wished they had not been circumcised I believe that the choice should be left for every child to make for himself as an adult

      On male and female circumcision being different - they ARE different - just like lung cancer and bowel cancer are different

      However the problem is people say male circumcision is different - and therefore we don't need to take it seriously

      With bowel cancer we don't say oh it's different from lung cancer - and therefore don't need to take it seriously

      My point is male circumcision IS different and in some cases worse - than female circumcision - it's different AND we need to take it seriously because it kills and injures boys and robs them of a choice that only they should be able to make for themselves

      Thanks for visiting the blog and leaving a comment Darren



  2. yes, it's a serious matter in and of itself, without any need to draw parallels with anything else. Detractors will simply use any differences to argue for inaction (which is precisely your point, I think).

    It is sufficient to say that it is an invasion of boys' and men's rights to make choices about their own bodies, and not in an insignificant manner either: actually it affects something that couldn't be more personal. On top of this, we add the infections and deaths that are completely avoidable.

    I've heard more debate about whether or not ADULT women should vajasell their OWN pubic regions than whether parents should be allowed to mutilate their sons' penises.

  3. Andrew Nott really needs to research the issue of forced genital cutting of minors properly, before making any more ill-informed comments.

  4. Hi James: not sure I want to follow the link, to be honest. Can you describe it?

    Sorry to be squeamish.


    1. It's safe Darren - it's a 5 minute word-based presentation comparing male and female circumcision - highly recommended - and thanks for sharing that James - Glen

  5. “I was astounded that amongst your letters last week two preposterously compared female circumcision to the male version. Clearly neither of these contributors – both men – has ever paid any serious attention to women’s genitalia. Both should get out more – or ask their mothers.”

    Clearly, this very journalist has yet to follow his own advice.

    Actually, no; his mother might not have the faintest idea of what her own genitals look like.

    People that make the claim that male and female circumcision cannot be compared have simply never actually sat down and made the comparisons.

    Let us ask this man; how many male circumcisions has he actually seen? How many female circumcisions?

    And I mean, in the same context?

    There is the "hospital" setting, and then there is the bush. Male and female circumcision occur in both. But male infant circumcision as it is performed in hospitals is only ever compared to the female circumcisions that happen in the bush. But sit and compare like with like.

    All of the excuses that people use to say that female circumcision is "worse" than male circumcision are true for male circumcision as well.

    Loss of sensitivity? Sorrells shows us that that is just what happens. Infibulation? It's actually quite rare at 15% globally. Most female circumcision isn't as brutal. In male genital cutting, there exists subincision, where the penis is split lengthwise like a boiled frankfurter. This would qualify as "mutilation," for most. It's also quite possibly the rarest form of male genital cutting; the rest isn't "as bad."

    So females bleed to death in the bush? Well, so do the men. It is well documented that men that go to initiation schools often die in the scores, if not lose their penises to gangrene. But let's not look there; let's compare bleeding females in the bush, to tied down babies in hospitals. Again, compare like with like, and it's actually quite similar. In Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, the great majority of females, in some places as high as 96%, have all undergone some sort of female genital cutting as baby girls. The women grow up learning it's part of the culture and do it to their daughters. No resentment, no major complications, all done in hospital setting by a doctor. Sound familiar? That's because it is; compare hospital infant male circumcision to hospital infant female circumcision, it's basically the same thing.

    I can go on forever, but I'll stop here.

    I'll say it again; male and female circumcision are closer than people would like to think. Those that say it's not, like this man, haven't actually explored the extents of male and female circumcision, and have actually no basis of comparison.

    I'd dare tell this man he doesn't know what he's talking about, and he ought to follow his own advice before pretending to sound like he does.

    Please read my article where I go further than here in comparing both male and female circumcision.

    1. Thanks Joseph that's a really useful post

      The situation in the UK is that while it is perfectly legal for an Indonesian family to have their son's entire foreskin removed for no medical reason in a non-medical setting they cannot legally perform the ritual removal of the smallest piece of skin and it is also illegal for them to take their daughter out of the country to have this procedure performed ceremonially in sanitized conditions

      Personally I am against all of these procedures - and my opinion is the legal hypocrisy and inequality in the UK is unnacceptable

  6. Thank you Joseph for your feedback and you insights into the similarities between male and female circumcision

  7. How would this man feel about this boy? Would he feel differently if it were a girl? Why?

    Note; girls are circumcised in pretty much the same way in this country... But nevermind that, the organs look different, it's only a human rights violation in only one sex.

    (I'll give you one guess...)

    A page on Facebook dedicated to male and female circumcision comparison:

    Thank YOU for your time, Glen...