One of the reasons I love having this blog is because it puts me in contact with some interesting, beautiful men. Of the more popular features, those looked at the most are the articles on average guys, guys who share their thoughts and their bodies. This article is about an Englishman. He’s sharing a lot with us, but for reasons you understand, he chooses not to share his identity. The following statements are his own words.
For a man who is always been quite mindful about body image and never all that comfortable with my body, or at least drawing comparisons with other men’s bodies, it was a big step for me to strip off for a photo shoot.
When I was 15 I had an operation on my chest to correct a pigeon chest leaving me with a big scar, and I was always very skinny growing up until like most men my metabolism changed and gravity started working against me.
Having said that I find as I get older I care less and less about what people think and become more confident and comfortable with the shape of my body. I have been at the gym for about 5 months and plan on building up core strength rather than become a muscle Mary.Pin It
Born and raised in a working class neighborhood in Detroit, Richard’s father worked in the auto industry. The youngest in a large Polish,Catholic family, he is the last of the nine children that survived, five years younger than his next oldest brother.
After graduating from High School, he worked several years full time and came to the realization that there was no place for him in the factory. He went back to school (eventually full time) and got a degree in English, finding himself channeled into teaching by default. After getting a teaching certificate and a Math minor, he landed a job in the Detroit School System and completed a Master’s degree in Middle School Mathematics, then went on to teach math in an inner city middle school for 30 years.
In his own words:
On the home front, as the youngest, I saw my parents through to the end of their lives. All of this time, I was trying to figure out who I was as a person, spiritually and sexually. I married and moved to Windsor, Ontario just before I was “50.” I commuted across the border daily. It was easy because I drove the opposite way of rush hour traffic. Easy till 911 when it became a nightmare.
There are growing numbers coming down on the side against circumcision. There are growing numbers of men who regret being denied the choice. Cutting off an infants foreskin needs to stop. It’s the way we’re born. Despite the fact some men would choose circumcision, they deserve the right to be old enough to make the choice. Even in Africa, where AIDS is so pervasive, where research indicates circumcision reduces the risk of this dreaded disease, is it a better alternative to education and good hygiene?
A Jewish friend of mine, fraught with his own mixed emotions about this time honored but controversial practice, has spent a great deal of time researching the Jewish point of view. He has found many who oppose circumcision among our Jewish brothers and sisters. A sampling of the opinions he has collected are listed below, followed by links to other informative sites.
The current San Francisco circumcision referendum has made the public aware of the severe physical consequences of the controversial surgery. The idea that an individual has the right to their own body is recent by historical standards. For many years, a number of courageous Jewish and Israeli scholars, historians, activists, and parents have raised serious objections to circumcision surgery. More and more Jews are choosing not to circumcise their sons. These Jewish voices against circumcision are just starting to enter the mainstream conversation.
Here are some of these pioneers in their own words.
“Coming from a European background… where many Jews reject a brit milah as an archaic and barbaric ritual… This author grew up in France in a traditional Jewish family. Not a single male of her generation or her children’s generation within her large family (or in her circle of Jewish friends) was ever circumcised.”
- Nelly Karsenty, Humanistic Judaism, 1988.
“Judaism has always been a core piece of my identity, even though my practice and understanding have evolved over the years. I have great reverence for what we hold as spiritual. When the authorities of my tradition define the sacred in a way that violates the most elemental and life-giving forces, mothers and babies, then something is very wrong. That which is not ethical, cannot be spiritual. That is a basic Jewish tenet… It is Judaism that has taught me that reverence for life, the principle of pikuah nefesh, and the mandate incumbant upon all of us to distinguish (l’havdeel) between what is holy and what is profane. It is precisely these fundamental tenets of Judaism that have led me to conclude that circumcision is not holy in terms of Jewish ethics.… What is most satisfying to me is knowing that I have helped a number of parents, particularly Jewish parents, come to the conclusion that they can be good Jews and leave their baby intact.”
- Miriam Pollack, Defying Convention: An Interview With Miriam Pollack, Beyond the Bris, July 27, 2011
“Circumcision is child abuse…It is a poor way to introduce a newborn male into the world and into the Jewish community. This presentation will focus on my experience as an active Jew living in an observant Jewish community in Brooklyn, New York, who chose not to have his son circumcised. I will present the brit (literally “covenant”) b’lee milah (without circumcision) ceremony that my wife, a full participant in the decision, and I held on the eighth day of our son Sammy’s life.”
- Moshe Rothenberg, Ending Circumcision in the Jewish Community.
“Mutilation of the divinely made human body is as far from Judaism as anything could be… Torah mentions circumcision only cursorily. Circumcision is conspicuously absent from the Sinai commandments, and from the subsequent listings of rules… Deut30:6 mentions circumcision metaphorically at most, “circumcise your heart.” No less likely is the meaning, “tame your pride.”
- Israeli Linguist Vadim Cherny, How Judaic is the circumcision?
“Laurie Evans is the director of the New York Hudson Valley Chapter of the National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers. She said that as a Jewish woman, it was difficult to stand up to her family.
“Once I witnessed a bris (ritual Jewish circumcision), understood the function of the foreskin and the long, lasting harm of circumcision, I had to follow my conscience and leave my son intact,” Evans testified.
“My son is now 20, is grateful, as he understands just what he was spared,” Evans said. “When I realized how many parents were uninformed about this surgery, I founded and became director of the New York Hudson Valley Chapter of NOCIRC.”
- WND, March 05, 2010Pin It