It looks as if the comment thread of the MC post on feministe.us is permanently closed, so I’ll use this roundabout way to clarify my point once more.
A user named macavitykitsune replied to me:
You know what, it’s possible to be anti-circ and not be anti-Semitic. I posted a fairly strongly worded comment on the anti-circ side and no one said it was anti-Semitic or Islamophobic.
You, on the other hand, got on your failtrain and chugged down that failroad. Congratulations.
And yet he or she gets their facts wrong.
What happened was that Donna L and Safiya Outlines decided to set the terms of the discussion bright and early and threw out the blanket accusations of anti-semitism and islamophobia in the 2nd and 5th comments.
After I wrote my post in which I stated that I have a problem with parents’ religious believes overriding a child’s rights, Donna L then claimed that
Germany, of all places in the entire world, to try to make infant male circumcision for religious reasons illegal?
(which it didn’t) and told me that she couldn’t have a discussion with me. What she did not do, what in fact no one had done so far and I greatly appreciate that, is accuse me personally of being anti-semitic. In fact, macavitykitsune’s come closest with:
You know what, it’s possible to be anti-circ and not be anti-Semitic.
The main difference between my post and macavitykitsune’s is the following: she or he gives religious reasons a very slight benefit of the doubt:
I don’t feel substantially more comfortable about religious reasons for circumcision than non-religious ones. (http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2013/09/18/how-intactivists-are-ruining-the-debate-on-circumcision/#comment-674958)
(my emphasis) which means that different strawmen were used to ignore the main points of his/her position than in my case.
Whereas my position is pretty much the opposite of hers/his: if something is done for reasons of religion, tradition, customs, ideology or similar unfounded believes, this is always a stupid reason.
- You’re not eating meat on Fridays because your religious authorities tell you so? Stupid!
You’re not because you think eating less meat is healthier and environmentally more sustainable? Now we can discuss.
- You don’t eat beef because your religious authorities tell you so? Stupid!
You don’t because cattle are bad a converting energy and produce methane? We can discuss.
- You advocate all utilities and services be privatized because the “market is always more efficient than the state”? Stupid!
You have data that shows that for certain sectors privatization improved quality and/or brought prizes down? We can discuss.
- You oppose GMOs because we shouldn’t mess with nature? Stupid!
You worry about genetic transfer and seed monopolies? Let’s talk.
- You think the US brings democracy wherever it goes because of Manifest Destiny? Stupid!
You give examples in which the US chose a democratic movement over a strongman? Let’s examine the case.
- You think acupuncture should be reimbursed by medical insurers because vital energy is somehow released and aligned? Stupid!
You think that for some conditions such as chronic pain the best treatment is a placebo response and well-trained acupuncturists can elicit such a response? Let’s talk medical ethics.
- You perform MC because your religious book tells you so? Stupid!
You claim there are medical benefits? Let’s look at the data and find out.
If you do things to yourself, I don’t mind if you do it for stupid reasons. As soon as it affects others, especially ones that can’t consent, the bar is raised.
The discussion we should have about MC, the only discussion, in my opinion, is the one in the preceding sentence. And that’s the one I wanna have, because I have a sneaking suspicion that we’re looking at a case of “enemy of my enemy is my friend” here.
But we don’t get to have this discussion because the pro-MCers can count on religious exceptionalism. Which is why I made it very clear in my post that I find arguments from religion highly problematic.