I'm glad that some people, in response to the article in its original
location, were able to address the fallacy that this surgery is
driven by the pornography industry. The newspaper was irresponsible
to repeat that fib, particularly by positioning it at the top of the
article as though its been empirically substantiated. Pornography
(like other forms of mass media) thrives from showing people
something new and different - hardly a homogenised corpus of
eroticism. It's the bodies that regulate pornography that demand that
it conforms to their standards of decency. See Helen Vnuk's 2003
book, 'Snatched: Sex & Censorship in Australia' (Vintage: Sydney),
for an expose of Australian gynephobia.
I understand that gynecologists may not be experts in pornography but I think it would be responsible to consult an expert in pornography to comment upon whether there is any sort of link, and what its nature may be. Still, I expect too much from an increasingly tabloidised mass media.
In terms of 'stopping the massacre', I don't think that we'll really make any headway if we don't also address male genital mutilation - circumcision. Although women may balk that they are made to feel that any protrusion is a anomaly that requires surgery, throughout a lot of the world, any foreskin is treated with similar disdain.
It might seem like I'm drawing a long bow by conflating male circumcision with labiaplasty but I contend that they have the same cultural origin.
Take, for example, the episode of Penn & Teller : Bullshit on circumcision (back when the show still had some topics they were willing and able to meaningfully and entertainingly explore). They get a vox pop from (US) women on the street and they more or unanimously agree that uncut cocks are a bit weird and gross. Nevermind that there may have been a host of unaired opinions that said they were fine, I think anyone who finds something in its natural state to be weird or gross is probably well thought of as, "culturally deformed."
I've got no compunction in regards to adults who want to get their body surgically sculpted (although I do express some skepticism about the extent to which this surgery will facilitate the desired sense of well being). However, I think it's absolutely abhorrent that we have any tolerance for the circumcision of children, of either gender. Honestly, I think it's probably less harmful to fellate your infant son than it is to circumcise him. That may seem like a disgusting thing to say but I do think it's worth asking why we're (culturally, not personally) indifferent to the pain of circumcision, yet so concerned about other forms of genital fiddling.
Haydn Walters, Tasmanian president of the Australian Medical Association, believes that circumcision should not be practiced except for medical or religious reasons. Sure, I can see why it's perfectly ethical to permit the procedure if it saves the child from harm (and not a potential harm or 'reducing the risk'). However, 'religious reasons' sure aren't sufficient for me. Again, would it be acceptable for me to fellate my infant son for 'religious reasons'? Circumcising or fellating my son for religious reasons is simply me exercising my religious beliefs, upon a being with no capacity to appreciate or object to my reasoning. In that sense, it's no different to animal sacrifice -> Barbarism.
Do not sacrifice yourself or your loved ones upon the altar of conformity.
vimeo.com/9924049 (sorry if the link has already been posted)