Apeshit over circumcision. March 10, 2006 1:45 PM   Subscribe

meehawl has gone apeshit over circumcision. Just relax, man.
posted by The Jesse Helms to Etiquette/Policy at 1:45 PM (101 comments total)

He actually sounds pretty calm to me. A weird, serial killer kind of calm, but calm.
posted by xmutex at 1:48 PM on March 10, 2006


This is by far, the weakest callout I've seen.
posted by knave at 1:48 PM on March 10, 2006


This is me going apeshit. Stop it.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:49 PM on March 10, 2006


Yeah, but this is completely beyond the bounds of AskMe, and in addition to his hit-em-early-hit-em-hard mutilation comment, is very bad form.
posted by OmieWise at 1:54 PM on March 10, 2006


Did some early comments get deleted? Otherwise, I think it's really the questioner who should be called out. They responded to some pretty reasonable comments by flipping out.
posted by selfnoise at 1:59 PM on March 10, 2006


I'm calling you all out. C'mon out!

I'm going to try avoiding these discussions from here on out. Unless somebody's trying to pass a law against circumsision, people's opinions on the subject don't effect me, and the so-rabidly-anti-circumcision-that-even-Jews-shouldn't-get-them crowd bothers me beyond what is good for my blood pressure.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:05 PM on March 10, 2006


"we live in a society of deists? did he mean theists?
posted by selfnoise at 2:06 PM on March 10, 2006


The questioner didn't appreciate being told, "Oh please, act like an adult," and I can't say I blame 'em.
posted by Gator at 2:07 PM on March 10, 2006


Did some early comments get deleted?

No, the thread remains uncut.
posted by brain_drain at 2:07 PM on March 10, 2006


Much like a smiling young Tony Danza.
posted by Gator at 2:08 PM on March 10, 2006


Hold me closer, Tony Danza.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:18 PM on March 10, 2006


This is bullshit.

This is just another case of people unable to tolerate differing viewpoints.

meehawl spoke in an articulate, reasoned way. The only problem is that Jesse Helms disagreed with his viewpoint, so he chose to call him out.

Ideological fascism.

Look, circumcision threads will always have the point of view that meehawl is articulating. If that point of view pisses you off, then you need to either avoid circumcision threads or learn to accept that the point of view will exist.

Just because someone is saying something that you disagree with doesn't make them trolling, crazy, or in need of a callout.

I cannot understand the demand for ideological agreement on controversial topics here.
posted by dios at 2:23 PM on March 10, 2006


meehawl spoke in an articulate, reasoned way.

It could also be argued that he used some strong words to describe a process which can be interpretted as strong opinion by others (like say, calling it "mutilation" right off the bat).

It's a sensitive issue and people are fairly polarized. It would have been nice if people didn't say things like "way to fucking troll".
posted by mathowie (staff) at 2:28 PM on March 10, 2006


Metafilter: conform, or eat shit and die.
posted by jfuller at 2:28 PM on March 10, 2006


^^^Godwin. ;)
posted by Balisong at 2:29 PM on March 10, 2006


Not bullshit, "apeshit." Which apparently means throwing words like "dysmorphia" around in public.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:30 PM on March 10, 2006


"strong words"

Those words! They burn!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:32 PM on March 10, 2006


> This is because such religious perseverance is more likely to be lifelong, and
> proceeds from a more durable and complete analysis of motivations than
> dysmorphia accentuated by peer pressure. Some people might call this a
> double standard. however, we live in a society of deists and our rationality is
> circumscribed by cultural norms and expectations.

Strunk and White say Simplify! Simplify! Simplify!
posted by jfuller at 2:35 PM on March 10, 2006


Well, I said it was a fucking troll and I may be willing to reconsider. But it's disheartening to see someone come to AskMeFi with a concern - in this case a well-articulated, complex, reasonable medical dilemma - and have the thread go to shit from the start because of a poor choice of words. There's a collective knowledge here that I would argue rivals anything else on the web or elsewhere, as many of the subsequent comments revealed, and comments like meehawls dilute our potential. People shouldn't have to risk having to wade through a gauntlet of polemicists whenever they come here.

I'm probably more sensitive to this because I see the anguish people have gone through at the hands of their axe-grinding peers by the time they actually sit down with me to discuss a medical issue.
posted by docpops at 2:37 PM on March 10, 2006


Simplify! Simplify! Simplify!

How redundant.




my elegant solution: Smplfy! Smplfy! Smplfy!
posted by sonofsamiam at 2:37 PM on March 10, 2006


But it's disheartening to see someone come to AskMeFi with a concern - in this case a well-articulated, complex, reasonable medical dilemma - and have the thread go to shit from the start because of a poor choice of words.

I agree. I don't believe it was a troll -- it seems that meehawl really believes that circumcision is nothing more or less than mutilation, and therefore doesn't believe the word choice was poor -- but it's highly charged and the word choice was poor because of the inevitable back-and-forth that would result from using it, derailing from the question that was asked. In the Blue, that's to be expected, but the Green should be held to a higher standard.

dios, I don't think there's any demand for ideological agreement, but there is and should be a demand to keep volatile shit out of AskMe. meehawl could've just said, "Does this desire stem from religious impulses, or from non-specific peer pressure?"
posted by Gator at 2:43 PM on March 10, 2006


Weak callout, weak apeshit, weak pretty much everything.

DON'T YOU BE WEAK, TOO!!! SIGN UP NOW FOR MY COURSE ON HOW TO BE A MAN'S MAN'S MAN (IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN) - ONLY $9.95 FOR THE FIRST THREE TAPES, BEFORE I EAT THEM!!

(alcohol and inflated ego not included, void where prohibited)
posted by Ryvar at 2:43 PM on March 10, 2006


... and have the thread go to shit from the start ...

Except that it didn't. Meehawl presented a thoughtful, if forceful, point of view, which didn't derail the thread or even generate much argument until docpops called him a "fucking troll." In fact, despite both comments, the thread seems to be rolling along just fine. I think it's The Jesse Helms and docpops that need to relax.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 2:45 PM on March 10, 2006


This is why we'll never have space tourism.
posted by blue_beetle at 2:47 PM on March 10, 2006


This was not strictly a medical question, docpops. The poster described her own misgivings and asked "Are there long-term emotional issues surrounding adolescent circumcision?" meehawl's response was totally on topic, and about as un-apeshit as I've ever seen around here on a controversial topic. A topic which, for the record, I have no real opinion on.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:47 PM on March 10, 2006


Yeah, monju's right, as far as the thread goes. I overreacted. But I'd point out the same thing again, albeit in softer language, the next time. Keep the rhetoric out of the green.
posted by docpops at 2:48 PM on March 10, 2006


Metafilter: Ever vigilant belligerent.
posted by boo_radley at 2:53 PM on March 10, 2006


"Keep the rhetoric out of the green."

I don't think that word means what you think it means.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:56 PM on March 10, 2006


I don't think that word means what you think it means.

" b. Language that is elaborate, pretentious, insincere, or intellectually vacuous"
posted by xmutex at 3:08 PM on March 10, 2006


Oh please, people. Meehawl's initial comment was totally out of control and you're letting him off way too easily. Look at the whole thing:

Does this desire for genital mutilation stem from religious impulses, or from non-specific peer pressure?

If the former I'd say get a religious figure to discuss it. If the latter I'd say, given his adolescence, there's body dysmorphia exhibiting. The desire to "fit in" will probably not be alleviated by one simple act of pseudo-castration.

Does he have questions about gender identity?



First there's the "genital mutilation" thing which sets an over-the-top tone. Next, there is the totally unwarranted and baseless "diagnosis" of body dysmorphia? Is he serious? Does he have any idea what that syndrome actually involves? It's a severe mental disorder, not a joke to be tossed around on no evidence whatsoever. This is the equivalent of a poster asking "how can I lose ten pounds?" and the response being "you are exhibiting signs of anorexia". It's nonsense. He then ratchets things up by referring to circumcision as "psuedo-castration" (a stance he disavows in his subsequent post).

And then, just to throw gasoline on the fire, he comes out with some vague assertion that the poster's son may be a closet transsexual. What in the world is a desire to be circumcised supposed to have to do with "gender identity issues"?

The entire post is inflammatory, accusatory and just plain ugly. The poster asked a reasonable, complex question primarily focused on the medical issues attendant to adult circumcision. The reply was a judgmental, accusatory troll purporting to diagnose her son with a variety of more or less serious psychological disorders. Please.
posted by The Bellman at 3:10 PM on March 10, 2006


And which part of meehawl's comments fits that description?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:10 PM on March 10, 2006


*responding to xmutex*
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:10 PM on March 10, 2006


One really must wonder what causes a person to be so vociferous about circumcision. I mean, a psychoanalyst's wet dream or something.
posted by crunchland at 3:12 PM on March 10, 2006


seriously.
posted by puke & cry at 3:17 PM on March 10, 2006


Unbelievable. I had no idea people had strong feelings about this. Maybe meehawl could have toned it down a bit, but his advice struck me as totally appropriate. How is being a healthy 16 year old a "medical dilemma" by any rational standard? As for the poster, I appreciate the complexity of her situation, but for god's sake people, askme should not be used in lieu of a doctor, psychiatrist, or counselor.

Anyways, I think we should stop measuring our dicks.
posted by bardic at 3:24 PM on March 10, 2006


posted by jfuller Simplify! Simplify! Simplify!

I think that's the whole point of circumcision.
posted by fandango_matt at 3:26 PM on March 10, 2006


Good plan. 'Cause I'm a much bigger dick than you could ever hope to be.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:26 PM on March 10, 2006


Anyways, I think we should stop measuring our dicks.

I stopped, but only because my ruler didn't go past 12 inches.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:27 PM on March 10, 2006


Now that's what I call Astro Projecting.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:28 PM on March 10, 2006


I compensate for my small penis with a third testicle.
posted by bardic at 3:30 PM on March 10, 2006


Yeah, you're nuts.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:09 PM on March 10, 2006


I have an extra set of nipples, does that count?
My dad calls it "the family curse".
posted by Balisong at 5:14 PM on March 10, 2006


MetaFilter: we should stop measuring our dicks.
posted by Chuckles at 5:17 PM on March 10, 2006


Ya, I know bardic telegraphed that one, it is such an apt description though.
posted by Chuckles at 5:18 PM on March 10, 2006


meehawl spoke in an articulate, reasoned way. The only problem is that Jesse Helms disagreed with his viewpoint, so he chose to call him out.

Ideological fascism.

Look, circumcision threads will always have the point of view that meehawl is articulating. If that point of view pisses you off, then you need to either avoid circumcision threads or learn to accept that the point of view will exist.

Just because someone is saying something that you disagree with doesn't make them trolling, crazy, or in need of a callout.

I cannot understand the demand for ideological agreement on controversial topics here.
posted by dios at 2:23 PM PST on March 10


This is pretty much exactly right and while I hate saying "this is a dumb callout," this is a dumb callout.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 5:25 PM on March 10, 2006


Why are they so mad about declawing the cups?
posted by loquacious at 6:09 PM on March 10, 2006


monju_bosatsu nailed it dead on. Someone later in the thread said that the circumcision issue was a hot button topic here and I kinda chuckled. Boy was I wrong.

This is why we'll never have robotic dogs that shoot lasers from their eyes.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 6:16 PM on March 10, 2006


> I have an extra set of nipples, does that count? My dad calls it
> "the family curse".

Hey, I got four sets. Most dogs do.

Oh darn, now the whole Internet knows.
posted by jfuller at 6:19 PM on March 10, 2006


My varicocele is UNSTOPPABLE.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 6:35 PM on March 10, 2006


his diction was abrasive, but since when is that a crime? when is it even worth a callout?

every comment in that thread that is not an answer to the person's question, including all direct responses to meehawl's original comment and meehawl's second comment, should be excised, but there's nothing wrong enough with his first response to merit deletion.
posted by shmegegge at 6:37 PM on March 10, 2006


I have an extra set of nipples, does that count?
My dad calls it "the family curse".


Wow, what happened to your family thanks to your nipples?
posted by mendel at 6:50 PM on March 10, 2006


mendel writes "Wow, what happened to your family thanks to your nipples?"

Heh.
posted by purephase at 6:53 PM on March 10, 2006


Can "thanks to your nipples" be a new injoke?
posted by Gator at 7:02 PM on March 10, 2006


Thank you, extra set of magical nipples.
You know, it's a sign of evolutional advancement.

Whatever you can do with your puny single set of nipples, I can do TWICE!
posted by Balisong at 7:15 PM on March 10, 2006


Can "thanks to your nipples" be a new injoke?

No.
posted by delmoi at 7:23 PM on March 10, 2006


Can "thanks to your nipples" be a new injoke?

only if it involves SCIENCE!
posted by dersins at 7:24 PM on March 10, 2006


Of course cirumcision is mutilation. The real question is, of course, 'is mutilation instrinsically a bad thing?'

Define your terms, people. It's the First Rule.

I think it's The Jesse Helms and docpops that need to relax.

Indeed. What dios said, also, if not in such ismistic (I just made that adjective up) terms.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:30 PM on March 10, 2006


But it's disheartening to see someone come to AskMeFi with a concern - in this case a well-articulated, complex, reasonable medical dilemma - and have the thread go to shit from the start because of a poor choice of words.

disheartening? i can think of a lot of disheartening things, but events occurring in a discussion thread on a web site would never be among them. get real.
posted by quonsar at 7:33 PM on March 10, 2006


Yeah, but what's Mutilationier: Circumcision or Declawing?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:54 PM on March 10, 2006


I, too, tire of the noise in AskMe. Justifying or clarifying reasoning further down in a thread or providing an alternate perspective from previous posters is one thing, but it is clear when people are no longer addressing the question at hand. I would say just remove AskMe rights from these accounts in the more egregious situations, but maybe this would stunt healthy discussion of issues in the threads?
posted by GooseOnTheLoose at 8:14 PM on March 10, 2006


I agree there needs to be some sort of feedback if an "answer" goes over the top. AskMe is not about discussion, it's about solving problems.
posted by delmoi at 8:40 PM on March 10, 2006


Why can't we all just mind our own business?
posted by semmi at 8:59 PM on March 10, 2006


What crunchland dreamt.
posted by kosem at 9:23 PM on March 10, 2006


The anti-circumcision camp is full of blowhards.
posted by fleacircus at 9:36 PM on March 10, 2006


Hey, for them circumcision is self-evidentally child abuse, just as, to some, abortion is self-evidentally murder. Just because we can't see it doesn's mean they don't have the right to make their case as shrilly and forcefully as possible every opportunity they get.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:04 PM on March 10, 2006


You know who wasn't circumcised?

Hitler.
posted by brownpau at 10:15 PM on March 10, 2006


He never ate foreskins, either.
posted by mediareport at 10:18 PM on March 10, 2006


Snark aside, circumcision plays an important role in Europa, Europa.
posted by bardic at 10:20 PM on March 10, 2006


I really don't see what the fuss is about circumcision. Ancient, barbaric tribal customs like this have really waned in modern society, and I'd hate to see them all dissapear.
posted by Jimbob at 10:55 PM on March 10, 2006


I'm circumsised and proud of it!

(never thought I'd feel compelled to yell that out in a crowded room thread)
posted by jahmoon at 11:16 PM on March 10, 2006


...circumcised too.
posted by jahmoon at 11:17 PM on March 10, 2006


Hey, for them circumcision is self-evidentally child abuse, just as, to some, abortion is self-evidentally murder.

Yah, but you know what: the question was all about the child himself wanting it.

It's not so different from choosing to become part of the piercing culture, tattoo culture, and BME culture. If the kid has been fantasizing about it since he was prepubscent, I think it's safe to say he's not wired for au natural. He's gonna have it cut regardless; it's just a matter of timing.

We'd shout and scream like daemons if we were talking about a parent "preventing" his child from becoming queer. Why would there be support for the parent "preventing" the child from becoming body-image-fulfilled?
posted by five fresh fish at 1:55 AM on March 11, 2006


Hi. Is this thing on? Is this the right thread? OK here we go. You see there was this Scottish Jewish man who wanted to get into St Andrews. Every question they asked him he answered correctly but they wanted to keep him out, see. So finally they asked him, “Colin, you’re Jewish right? “That’s right, you know that I am.” “That means you’re circumcised, right?” “Yes, of course I am. It’s a fundamental part of my religion.” “Well Colin we’re very sorry but we can’t let you in, we only let ‘whole men’ into St Andrews.” “Well,” Colin says, “I thought I’d heard everything, but that takes the cake. I never knew that to be a member of St Andrew’s you have to be a complete prick.”
posted by mono blanco at 2:27 AM on March 11, 2006


St Andrew's is a gold course.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:48 AM on March 11, 2006


My only fear is that circumcision just isn't enough. We should hook this mom up with glider and maybe he can help her choose from a richer variety of options for all her son's cock modifying needs. Perhaps with a little creative cauterization we could get this kid some sort of forked penis with two multi-directional piss holes. Or is there some sort of progressive ring system, like with African lip plates? We urgently need something that will make the glans as large and purple as possible.
posted by dgaicun at 6:31 AM on March 11, 2006


It takes a village, people, it takes a village.
posted by dgaicun at 6:35 AM on March 11, 2006


It takes a village to destroy a village to save a village.
posted by sonofsamiam at 6:50 AM on March 11, 2006


Have you ever obliterated a village?
posted by Gator at 6:52 AM on March 11, 2006


See, that's what I mean, we need more villaging pillaging.
posted by disclaimer at 7:34 AM on March 11, 2006


It takes a Village Person to raise the Village People.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:51 AM on March 11, 2006


Ideological fascism.

ah the irony
posted by matteo at 9:02 AM on March 11, 2006


Please avoid spillage when pillaging the villages.

Meehawl for president. His comments were right. fucking. on.

The only reason this callout exists is because TJH doesn't think circumcision is genital mutilation. Which it is, by definition.

posted by Baby_Balrog at 9:07 AM on March 11, 2006


...and deep!
posted by languagehat at 9:08 AM on March 11, 2006


Don't be a prick about circumcision.

In a world where we've got people who remove their limbs for the sake of BME, circumcision is about as controversial as ear piercing.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:02 AM on March 11, 2006


In a world where we've got people who remove their limbs for the sake of BME

You mean like this?

WARNING: This picture is not safe work, small children, the elderly, pregnant smokers, fatties, or people in general. Do not click it.
posted by dgaicun at 10:11 AM on March 11, 2006


You mean like this?

Aww, jeez! And I got crap for posting MrHands.mwv
posted by Balisong at 10:20 AM on March 11, 2006


There's no way I'm clcking on that link.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:19 AM on March 11, 2006


God damn it, I clicked it.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:30 AM on March 11, 2006


"What dios said, also, if not in such ismistic (I just made that adjective up) terms"

I don't believe in isms, I just believe in me.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:36 AM on March 11, 2006


Oh, God.

I am so stupid. I clicked it too.
posted by cedar at 12:07 PM on March 11, 2006


so thats what the inside of a penis looks like.
posted by puke & cry at 1:32 PM on March 11, 2006


WTF?!

I tried to figure out what the original context of that <shudder> was by going up a directory in the address and I got a banner ad:

"Cut your phone bills in half."

/pours acid in brain (is that a fake or ... what was the context, dgaicun?)

There is one good side effect of circumcision; immortalized human foreskin fibroblasts* are a useful tool for propogating viruses in research.

*zombified scar tissue from foreskins removed from infants
posted by PurplePorpoise at 1:43 PM on March 11, 2006


Cool! Zombie foreskins!
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:50 PM on March 11, 2006


My foreskin is wandering the earth undead? Damn.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:02 PM on March 11, 2006


posted by Astro Zombie Cool! Zombie foreskins!

Golem Orlah and the The Mohels would be a great band name.
posted by fandango_matt at 2:49 PM on March 11, 2006


I am beginning to want to fuck the skull of all the "oh noes! panic circumcision panic! it's so wrong!" assholes.

As if circumcision were going to bring the world to its knees. Gahd.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:49 PM on March 11, 2006


Really. If someone wants to cut the tip off their dick, it's their business.
posted by dgaicun at 4:42 PM on March 11, 2006


But I do think the kid should get a professional to do it; those at-home procedures tend to get out of hand. But if you do decide to do it the Time-Life way, for the love of God, people, chain up those hungry pets.
posted by dgaicun at 4:49 PM on March 11, 2006


Man, I must be precient or something, this link belongs in this thread.
posted by PurplePorpoise at 7:55 PM on March 11, 2006


I'd like to state for the record that the circumcision threads have contained some of the most stunningly stupid statements I have ever had the misfortune to read.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:46 PM on March 12, 2006


I do so wish that when someone threw a party for me they'd send me an invitation so I knew where to go, when to arrive, and what to bring.

I stand by my clarification concerning my choice of language.

Don't be a prick about circumcision.

This is the worthiest advice in this entire thread.
posted by meehawl at 8:25 AM on March 13, 2006


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