NOTEBOOK: Let’s Get Philosophical

Get ready. It’s coming. Whether we like it or not. Circumcision in all its cruel and hideous unintended outcomes will soon visit hitherto untouched parts of the world. American researchers are gearing up to deliver to the world a disfiguring stopgap measure against the HIV virus – where better methods already exist. (As if America wasn’t a pioneer in “creating demand” for products heretofore unimagined.)

So what are people to do who believe male circumcision is fraught with ethical and decidedly medieval traits – and certainly unable to “prevent” HIV infection? There is only one path short of withdrawing into the forest and setting up a separate community apart from the big bad world, as if that could ever really happen.

We have to keep repeating our doubts. Raising the ethical questions. Insisting the issue be revisited over and over again. We will win some. We will lose some. And the war won’t be won in our lifetime.

Coming up are 10 new entries. Most of the past few weeks have been blanketed with the euphoric cheers of misplaced hope with a few sober, sensible voices getting through. I’ll comment on a few, paying particular attention to areas where I think there is hope.

Chin up. Keep fighting for the rights of our children. And add your voice to the chorus wherever you can. And settle in for the long haul. Your journey won’t be alone or in vain.

– The Editors

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