Girl kicked out of Christian school after refusing to take picture in bathtub

https://onlysky.media/hemant-mehta/girl-kicked-out-of-victory-christian-academy-bathtub-homework/

OK I want to note that at the time the right wing religious people are demanding it is grooming to say gay or talk about gender and that teachers who do so are pedophiles, this Christian school had an assignment of 8 year old taking  nude pictures of themselves or having someone else take a nude picture of them in a bathtub with a book.   This article is about a girl whose mother refused but there are boys in this class also.   How many pervy kids pictures got floated around that school and on the internet?   But mentioning LGBTQ+ or letting kids pick their own pronouns is the real threat to kids in schools?   Hugs

“This just does not sound OK,” said the girl’s mother
 
The assignment from Victory Christian Academy (screenshot via Action News Jax)
Reading Time: 3 MINUTES
 
 

Asecond grader was kicked out of Victory Christian Academy in Jacksonville, Florida after her parents refused to participate in an assignment that involved taking a picture of their child “doing reading homework in bathtub.”

 

When mother Misty Dunham saw the assignment from teacher Irene Castaneda, she wrote a note back to the teacher saying her 8-year-old daughter would do no such thing:

“I emailed the teacher ‘Hey, you may want to explain that. Send something out to the parents. Let them know what the intentions are.’ This just does not sound OK,” Misty Dunham said. “She did send out a message saying, ‘you should be in pajamas, be in your uniform, have fun with it.’ But, it didn’t sit right.”

Actually, what Castaneda wrote (according to a police report) was “We have been sending this homework assignment home for years, and you’re the only one complaining about it. Just cover your child in pillows or pajamas then.”

As if a picture of a clothed or covered-up child was the exception to the rule.

What the hell were people sending her in the past? (Actually, that’s a valid question for another reason. The school’s Facebook page says Castaneda was hired in August. So how does she know no one else has complained about it?)

If the goal was to have a little fun with the reading homework by having Victory Christian Academy parents take a picture of their kids reading in the bathtub with clothes on and no running water, that should’ve been specified. It wasn’t. When Dunham spoke with other parents about the situation, they were equally flippant, saying things like “Just cover your child up with something.”

Everyone was treating Dunham like she was ruining the fun rather than admitting she had a point.

That’s when Dunham and her husband reached out to the school’s administration as well as the local sheriff’s office. They just wanted to document their concerns more than anything else. (It’s not like anyone was going to be charged with wrongdoing over this.) A police officer advised them not to complete that portion of the assignment.

The story should have just ended there. It was a poorly-explained assignment that rightly upset these parents, the teacher should’ve apologized and clarified, and everyone could have moved on.

But days later, the family received a call from an administrator urging them to withdraw their child from the school. When they refused to do that, he said the school would kick her out anyway:

“(He said) ‘I think you guys should do a parental withdrawal for the child.’ I said, ‘I can’t. I can’t do that. We refuse to withdraw her,’” Misty Dunham said. “He said, ‘OK thank you for saying that,’ and continued on saying that, ‘Well, we’re going to proceed with an administration withdraw.’”

Pastor Jesse Latta later explained to Action News Jax’s Meghan Moriarty that the assignment was “innocent,” but “out of an abundance of caution and for there to be no misunderstandings, our administration has removed this particular assignment for any future use.”

That’s the right move. It actually shows the Dunhams had a legitimate complaint. So why the hell was their child kicked out of school?

No answer.

The whole incident is a microcosm of Christianity’s treatment of sexual abuse: A girl bravely said she was uncomfortable with what an adult was doing, and the church’s response was to punish the girl, not the adult.

It would have been so easy to take care of this problem, but the school’s reaction was to double down on the assignment until the media attention made that impossible, then they took their wrath out on the family, leaving them scrambling to find a new school and forcing the child to make new friends after the school year has already begun.

The family is worse off because they enrolled their kid in a Christian school. Thank goodness they’re sharing their story publicly so everyone else can understand how messed up these kinds of schools can be.

 

GOP Leader Nods As MAGA Mom Says ‘Diversity, Equity, And Inclusion’ Is Marxism

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy nods to parents calling “diversity, equity, and inclusion” Marxist programs The Majority Report crew discusses how there is no pushback to conservatives openly advocating to end anti-bullying programs after the critical race theory panic and passing of legislation such as the don’t say gay bill. The crew also talks about how parents are being activated to go to the polls by hateful right-wing rhetoric.

Trans youth charity Mermaids responds to The Telegraph ‘investigation’ amid breast binder row

Again the right has to lie about medical facts, make up fake “investigations”, and lie about the safeguards the charity has for their trans kid subscribers all to drive as much hate as possible against trans.   Please notice that the famous well known TERF J.K Rowling is pushing the lies and myths hard as she does with anything atni-trans.    Hugs

Mermaids marches at Pride in London

Mermaids marches at Pride in London, 2019. (Barcroft Media via Getty/ Wiktor Szymanowicz)

Trans children’s charity Mermaids has responded to an “investigation” by The Telegraph which suggested the charity was putting children at risk.

On Sunday (25 September), The Telegraph ran a story headlined: “Trans charity Mermaids giving breast binders to children behind parents’ backs”.

The story largely relied on an unidentified adult masquerading as a 14-year-old child to access services from Mermaids, including the charity’s youth forum and web chat helpline.

 

The newspaper reported an email exchange between the charity and the adult – pretending to be a 14-year-old trans boy named “Kai” – in which staff agreed to provide them with a free binder after they had become “a member of the charity’s online Youth Forum for a month and posted three times”.

Mermaids also reportedly provided extensive information about safe binder wearing, and risks associated with binders, which can reduce dysphoria in some trans people.

The Telegraph expressed outrage that the charity did not grill the “child” on their mental health and require that they inform an adult, even though “Kai” had already described their family as unaccepting.

Although Mermaids refused to comment for The Telegraph’s “investigation”, the charity said in its own statement addressing the issues raised: “Some trans masculine, non-binary and gender diverse people experience bodily dysphoria, as a result of their chest, and binding, for some, helps alleviate that distress.

“Mermaids takes a harm reduction position with the understanding that providing a young person with a binder and comprehensive safety guidelines from an experienced member of staff is preferable to the likely alternative of unsafe practices and/or continued or increasing dysphoria.

 

“The risk is considered by Mermaids staff within the context of our safeguarding framework.”

Although Mermaids’ youth forums are designed to be a safe space for young people, The Telegraph also published information about the kind of conversations being had by teenagers, including on the topic of puberty blockers.

Researchers in 2020 found that puberty blockers can be “life-saving” for trans youth, drastically decreasing their chance of suicide, depression and anxiety, and the Endocrine Society describes hormone-blocking medication as a reversible treatment option to “give adolescents more time to explore their options”.

The newspaper tried to paint Mermaids’ forums as unsafe, including quotes from anti-trans campaigners like Transgender Trend founder Stephanie Davies-Arai, and MPs Joanna Cherry and Miriam Cates, who claimed the “investigation” raised “huge safeguarding red flags”.

But the charity clarified: “We have robust security and moderation processes in place to ensure our forums are a safe space for trans, non-binary and gender diverse young people and their families.

 

“In August 2022, an individual – possibly a journalist – tried to gain access to the youth forums by pretending to be a 14-year-old in need of support, seemingly with the aim of discrediting Mermaids.

“This person was caught in the moderation process and has since been blocked. Security of our platforms and safeguarding of young people is of the utmost importance to us and we will continue to regularly review our processes and procedures to make sure our forums remain safe and secure.”

The article from The Telegraph has spread like wildfire across social media, stoking unfounded accusations of safeguarding concerns at Mermaids, and was shared by JK Rowling.

In response, Carrie Lyell, head of communications at Mermaids, told Rowling: “I’d be happy to have a chat about what we actually do at Mermaids. But then, real life is never quite as interesting or salacious as fiction, is it?”

Rowling has not publicly taken up their offer.

 

 

Texas school board bans teachers from saying that trans people exist

https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2022/08/texas-school-board-bans-teachers-saying-trans-people-exist/

As I have said this is never about protecting kids, it is about making the hated icky trans people maga dislikes go away.   It is about their bigotry wrapped up in acceptable language of protect the children.    This is what was done in Russia and Chechnya.   Remove the mention of these people in society and the haters feel more comfortable, only two genders and the bigots are happy again, ban rights for women and minorities and the racists are happy, and when they get rid of democracy the right wing is ecstatic.  Who is next on the hit list, well the don’t say gay already bans the mention or display of same sex couples and gay rights.   It removes anti-discrimination laws and removes anti-bullying displays.   Then when all the LGBTQ+ are wiped from society what next, Jewish people?   Pentecostals?  Who goes away next until there is a homogeneous white single religion population that Tucker Carlson and right wing fascist are pushing for?    Notice most of the people at this meeting were against the anti-trans policy but the minority haters pushed it through anyay.   I will leave you with something famous about this below.   Hugs

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Trade

Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Martin Niemöller

 
Teacher and a student with masks.
Photo: Shutterstock
 

A local school board in Texas has adopted a sweeping new set of guidelines that ban discussion about the existence of transgender people – which they call “gender fluidity” – and critical race theory, prohibits the use of pronouns that aren’t aligned with the sex on a student’s birth certificate, and restricts use of restrooms and locker rooms, among other new prohibitions.

The new guidelines, approved by the Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District near Dallas, are the result of a concerted campaign organized by conservative Christian group Patriot Mobile Action, which has spent millions of dollars electing conservative majorities to Texas school boards.

Hundreds of residents showed up to the contentious meeting Monday night, with a majority speaking out against the proposed restrictions.

Among a far-right wish list of prohibitions, the new rules include guidance based on flawed definitions.

“Gender Fluidity” is defined in the text as “any theory or ideology that (1) espouses the view that biological sex is merely a social construct; (2) espouses the view that it is possible for a person to be any gender or none (i.e., non-binary); or (3) espouses the view that an individual’s biological sex should be changed to ‘match’ a self-believed gender that is different from the person’s biological sex.”

Gender fluidity is actually the idea that a person’s gender identity or expression can change over time. What the school board is calling gender fluidity is, in fact, the idea that transgender people exist at all.

Also, “nonbinary” means that a person isn’t male or female; it doesn’t necessarily mean they have no gender (that’s usually called agender).

The district also banned the use of pronouns for students and teachers “in any manner that is inconsistent with the biological sex of such person.” The district also limited the use of restrooms and other facilities to the one associated with a person’s gender on their “biological birth certificate.”

The district also banned teaching certain aspect of the history of racism in the U.S., specifically citing the 1619 Project and “critical race theory,” a catch-all term used by conservatives to describe teaching about racism in history.

Over a hundred people spoke in opposition to the proposal, including a United Methodist pastor who said the guidelines reflect a “fascist agenda” that does not represent Christian values.

A Patriot Mobile activist can be seen behind him.

BREAKING: the Grapevine-Colleyville school district board (GCISD), my hometown public school which recently elected a conservative majority, is proposing new guidelines for the district. This includes a ban on any discussion of what they define as "Gender Fluidity."

1/

Also: "the district will not promote, require, or encourage the use of titles or pronoun identifiers for students teachers or any other persons in any manner that is inconsistent with the biological sex of such person" and that employees may comply "at their discretion."

2/

Another item on the Grapevine-Colleyville school board agenda includes the banning of "equity audits" across the district, casting them as a tool of Critical Race Theory.

3/

New restrictions on books are also being proposed by the GCISD board. Some of these proposed restrictions could result in the removal of items from the library that go against "prevailing standards in the adult community." The adult community fired the first Black principal.

4/

There's even a proposal in the GCISD agendat around "bathrooms and changing facilities" which is clearly a part of an anti-trans agenda.

5/

The conservative members of the GCISD board also specifically seek to downplay the role of slavery in the founding of the United States.

6/

This is happening after the election of new conservative board members at GCISD like Tammy Nakamura, who made waves and may have violated school policy by speaking proudly about the firing of the first Black principal at a conservative activist forum.

7/

As @Mike_Hixenbaugh noted, GCISD is one of the districts that Patriot Mobile boasted about "taking over." It is now proposing language against "Critical Race Theory" that is stricter than the state law against CRT, but that language doesn't define CRT.

8/

Meanwhile, "GCISD saw a 40% jump in retirements and resignations this year." The district has a large number of teacher vacancies. The board has considered raising pay to stop the bleeding, but hasn't seemed to consider the role of their policies.

9/

https://www.wfaa.com/article/news/education/texas-teacher-retirements-and-resignations-have-spiked-in-2022-creating-a-crisis-for-districts/287-28c38d2b-cdc8-466d-b248-c7d5c374fcb5

Originally tweeted by steven monacelli (@stevanzetti) on August 19, 2022.

Herschel Walker’s latest INCOHERENT rant SLAMMED in Must-See Takedown

Radical Right Republican Georgia Senate Candidate Herschel Walker made more bizarre statements at a rally the other day in a attempt to repeat the GOP propaganda that schools are teaching specific students to feel guilty or deserving of special treatment for their race. Meidas Contributor Coach D reacts to this nonsense.

Gavin Newsom WIPES THE FLOOR with DeSantis in scathing takedown

At the Texas Tribune event in Austin, Texas on Saturday afternoon, California Governor Gavin Newsom took aim at far-right Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for his anti-freedom stances, which span from his treatment of asylum seekers, the banning of books, the rollback of reproductive rights and beyond. Francis Maxwell reports.

Texas Paul REACTS to MAGA Lying about Man Indicted for TERRORIZING Planned Parenthood Patients

Radical MAGA Senator Mike Lee accused the Department of Justice of “overreach” after forced-birther Mark Houck was indicted. What he failed to mention was that the man had been terrorizing patients at a Planned Parenthood and physically assaulted a 72-year-old man who was escorting patients into the Planned Parenthood—twice. The Republican Party has become a lawless party of crime and never ending gaslighting. Texas Paul breaks it down.

Pennsylvania school district bans Girls Who Code book series

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/sep/26/pennsylvania-book-ban-girls-who-code

Pen America says Central York school district banned the books but officials strongly deny it in statement

Demonstrators gather to protest against banning books in Dearborn, Michigan.
Demonstrators gather to protest against banning books in Dearborn, Michigan; Pen America reports that school districts across 32 states have banned books. Photograph: Jeff Kowalsky/AFP/Getty Images
 

A school district in Pennsylvania has banned the Girls Who Code book series for young readers, according to an index of banned books compiled by the free expression non-profit Pen America.

The books are four of more than 1,500 unique book titles that have been banned by schools across the country after conservative pushes to censor books. According to a report released by Pen America in April, 138 school districts across 32 states have banned books from their classrooms and school libraries.

 

A recent update to Pen America’s banned book index said the Central York school district last year banned the books The Friendship Code, Team BFF: Race to the Finish!, Lights, Music, Code! and Spotlight on Coding Club!. The school district has over 400 banned titles on the index.

A statement from officials in that district on Monday strongly denied that they had banned the book series.

“The information published in this article is categorically false,” the district’s statement said while linking to a Business Insider interview with the founder of Girls Who Code which reported the ban. “This book series not been banned, and they remain available in our libraries.”

Pen America couldn’t immediately be reached for comment about the Central York school district’s statement.

The district last year received national attention after it banned resource materials listed in 2020 by its diversity committee, including children’s books and documentaries. A coalition of students and parents successfully pushed the district to rescind its ban after public pressure.

In a statement explaining the ban of the diverse resources, the school district’s board president at the time, Jane Johnson, said: “What we are attempting to do is balance legitimate academic freedom with what could be literature/materials that are too activist in nature, and may lean more toward indoctrination rather than age-appropriate academic content.”

The Central York school district did not immediately respond to request for comment on its ban of the Girls Who Code series.

The series features a group of girls who become friends in their school’s coding club. The series is in partnership with Girls Who Code, a non-profit that runs computer coding clubs and programming in schools for girls.

 
Banned Books<br>Display of banned books or censored books at Books Inc independent bookstore in Alameda, California, October 16, 2021. (Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)
How to beat a book ban: students, parents and librarians fight back
Read more

The CEO and founder of Girls Who Code, Reshma Saujani, expressed her anger over the series being banned.

“We use these stories to teach kids to code,” Saujani told Business Insider. “It felt very much like a direct attack on the movement we’ve been building to get girls coding.

“This is an opportunity to realize how big this movement is against our kids and how much we need to fight.”

Saujani said that the group Moms for Liberty, a conservative non-profit formed in 2021 that has been pushing book bans through local chapters across the country, was responsible for the Central York district’s ban on the series. The organization has advocated for banning books on race – including ones on the civil rights movement – and on LGBTQ+ themes, saying the volumes are “sexually explicit”, according to media watchdog Media Matters.

Aggressive campaigns to ban books in schools and libraries across the country have flared up over the culture wars of the last two years. While campaigns to ban books have always existed in the US, the movement gained momentum in 2021 when conservatives took aim at the academic “critical race” theory and turned it into a buzzword to stoke fears of liberal ideals being taught in classrooms.

According to Pen America’s banned books report, many of the titles being banned deal with LGBTQ+ themes or have non-white characters. The organization estimates that more than 300 groups, including local chapters of national organizations like Moms for Liberty, have been pushing for book bans. The groups have gained large traction through social media, where lists of titles have circulated.

The campaigns try to deflect accusations of racism and bigotry by claiming they are targeting material that is offensive or inappropriate for children.

Pen America estimates that 41% of banned books deal with LGBTQ+ themes while 40% have protagonists or secondary characters who are people of color.

An author of one of the Girls Who Code books, Jo Whittemore, said on Twitter: “Some people choose not to focus on how awesome and empowering and inspiring these books are but instead choose fear.”

 

Proud Boys And Nazis Menace TX Drag Event [VIDEO] – JMG

“We are out here to push back on things that society knows is wrong”.   Wrong society has said that drag dressing up is fine and has for decades.   It is only recently that the rabid republican elected office holders made it a sexual thing claiming it was orgies that kids were taken to.   The religious leaders have decried it as sin and against the word of god and they jumped on the republican hate language.  Dressing in drag has been done forever, from early theater to the advent of TV, to Flip Wilson in the 1970s to even Rudy Giuliani.   It is done on Halloween and has been done in drag shows for as long as I can remember.   It was done at schools.    It is only the last year that these assholes that want everyone to live, act, and be just like they demand that everyone be some kind of fictionalized 1950s.   But even in the 1950s you had drag.   This is a made up outrage to try to force the minority view that the LGBTQ+ must be removed from society, that anyone who doesn’t follow a traditional male / female role must be removed from society, and any religion not approved by this minority must be removed from society.   These groups at the US Taliban.   The Proud Boys and Patriot Front are the Nazi loving brownshirt enforcers of the curreent rabid republican party.    Hugs

Click2Houston reports:

A Drag Bingo night at a Katy Church stirred up controversy on Saturday evening. The event, meant to raise money for the church’s clothing boutique for trans-youth, sparked heated demonstrations.

KPRC 2′s cameras were rolling as demonstrators clashed outside the First Christian Church on Morton Ranch Road. A number of groups were there supporting the LGBTQ+ community and other groups against the event said they wanted to make sure their voices were heard.

“We are out here to push back on things that society knows is wrong. They are having an event, welcoming children to drag queen bingo hour. This is unacceptable,” Founder of Urban Conservatives of America Jonathan McCullough said.

Houston’s ABC affiliate reports:

“That is nonsense, because drag in itself is just a costume,” said one person supporting the event. “It’s no different than someone dressed up like a superhero at a comic convention or someone who puts on a Halloween costume.”

Heavily armed officers formed a line in the median in an effort to keep the two sides separate. As the crowds grew bigger and bigger, more officers arrived. Despite the chaos, a pastor told KHOU 11 the event was a sold-out success.

“We know that not everyone will agree with us, so we create a place for people to feel welcomed and understand there will always be people who don’t agree with us,” the pastor said.

Ščŏŧŧ Ċ – 🇺🇦 🕊 • 4 hours ago

I’m glad no one was hurt, and I’m glad they didn’t cancel the event, or back down.

Grown-ass men getting their undies bunched because they don’t like someone else’s wardrobe, and they think that entitles them to threaten violence. If there’s a better definition of toxic masculinity, I can’t think of it.

Mrs. Councillor Nugent Ščŏŧŧ Ċ – 🇺🇦 🕊 • 4 hours ago

Freedom of religion much?

Gigi • 4 hours ago

I’m very concerned about children being exposed to the hateful and toxic beliefs of men like this. Drag queens, not so much.

Thumbnail

SkokieDaddy – wiener dog dad Gigi • 4 hours ago

Won’t wear masks to reduce transmission of a deadly disease, but will wear masks to hide their “Proud” identify.

Chris Baker SkokieDaddy – wiener dog dad • 4 hours ago

How can they even breathe in those masks? I mean, haven’t they seen the studies that show that masks reduce oxygen in the body. I am really concerned for their health.


S_E_P • 4 hours ago

Must be some kind of really boring life when all one does is search the internet for drag queen events that can be harrassed.
I guess since all the abortion clinics were closed, there’s nothing else to entertain the nazis

Chris Baker S_E_P • 4 hours ago

I hope someone had a sign “Americans defeated Nazis once, we can do it again.” With some American flags on it. Why can’t liberals use the American flag too? We want America to be a great place to live for everyone. (Well, except Nazis)

Chris Baker Chris Baker • 4 hours ago

Didn’t some right wing nut write a book about how the Nazi were really all gay? Should make a sign promoting that book. (I was going to say to hand out copies of the book, but that would be supporting the author.)

Gustav2 S_E_P • 4 hours ago • edited

They are just trying to make their numbers much higher than those numbers are and pretend they are not just uneducated rural militia folks. I always ask crazy “conservatives” in central Ohio where their parents and/or grandparents were born.

Serene Pumpkin • 4 hours ago

And so much for freedom of religion.
This event was taking place at a church.

AyJayDee • 4 hours ago

“Sparked heated demonstrations … other groups against the event said they wanted to make sure their voices were heard“

One of the reasons we’re hurtling toward theocratic fascism in this country is because the media keep describing what’s happening with sanitizing, normalizing language like this.

David Walker AyJayDee • 4 hours ago

When the takeover happens, though, it will be interesting to see which brand of bible thumping will ‘win.’

S_E_P David Walker • 4 hours ago

And dont think it will be peaceful.

AyJayDee S_E_P • 4 hours ago

Violence is a key component of fascism, and we’re already seeing that

S_E_P AyJayDee • 4 hours ago

I understand that. Im talking about afterward, when/if they get their way. The christian factions will be killing each other for supremacy.

SkokieDaddy – wiener dog dad • 5 hours ago

We are out here to push back on things that society knows is wrong

1). Nazis

Thorn Spike • 5 hours ago

For big, proud Nazis they seem awfully scared.

Tawreos • 4 hours ago

Have they tried praying? They claim that prayer can solve any problem, but when they actually care about something they show up. Dead kids in school,? Nothing but prayer. Kids at a show? Threats and intimidation. They need to actually act like they believe their own religious bullshit on occasion.

Boreal • 4 hours ago

If you are going to events, probably a good idea to bring something like pepper spray to defend yourself if these knuckledraggers show up. They have been given permission to act like this by the GQP.

Steven in TX 🏳️‍🌈 ISOLATION Boreal • 4 hours ago

Wasp spay shoots 20 feet, and is flammable, can cause permanent eye damage if not treated quickly.
Very cost effective.

Boreal Steven in TX 🏳️‍🌈 ISOLATION • 4 hours ago

Good point. I thought I saw a wasp about to sting that incel. Good thing I brought some spray to help him.

David Walker • 5 hours ago

“That is nonsense, because drag in itself is just a costume,” said one person supporting the event. “It’s no different than someone dressed up like a superhero at a comic convention or someone who puts on a Halloween costume.”


One might also suggest proud boy and oath keepers drag as costumes.

olandp Atman SP • 3 minutes ago

As Ru Paul says, “We are born naked, all the rest is drag.”

‘My son killed himself after circumcision’

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-47292307

I read this article earlier in the day, then did some other things, and then read it again.   I was not sure how to introduce it on my Playtime Site.   Why I decided I had to post it is because I have long thought that circumcision is wrong and is male genital mutilation.    This is the first article I have read that used that term and compared it to female genital mutilation.   Yes!  I agree whole heartly.   I have posted on my blogs about how wrong FGM is and how it ruins the pleasure of sex for women.   I think that is the reason religions call for it to be done is that it reduces the sexual pleasure for those that it is done to.  I think the old males in charge of these religions understood how much pleasure they were deprived of in their youth they would rebel then, but now in their older age they use it to discourage sexual exploration because it is not as fun.   So how do I know that it is harmful and reduces sensation greatly if you were circumcised as a kid.     Well I have dated and had sex with circumcised men, and I can tell you that circumcision lowers the sexual sensations, it reduces the pleasure of sexual acts with the penis, and it can increase the time to orgasm to the point where sometimes it is very hard for circumcised men to orgasm.   I have had sex with men in their prime who could only orgasm with a lot of stimulation and some sexual fun acts simply would be enough to get them to orgasm.   As the doctor in the article says your are taking a highly sensitive part of the body and removing all protection from it so it is constantly rubbed on clothing and other things.   I don’t know if it causes the brain to shut down the sensation or wears the nerves out or what but it is like having gloves on and trying to feel things with your fingers.      As someone who was highly sexualized in childhood and has been highly sexual all my life, I can understand how someone in their early twenties would think life not worth living if that part of their life were taken away from them.   It would have destroyed me also.    In case it is not clear I am NOT circumcised.  (yes for those worried about how much information about myself online I am poor and while my penis is very important to me it is not listed on my credit reports that I can find so it won’t help anyone to important me to gain money)   The read is long but very informative and I would ask you all to read the article and consider joining the ranks of the people trying to stop the routine sexual mutilation of baby boys.   For those worried that children are being given sexual surgery and it is harming them, well people here are the real child sexual surgeries that are happening that are harming little kids.    Hugs

By Caroline Lowbridge
BBC News

  • Published
 
Lesley Roberts and Alex Hardy in CanadaIMAGE SOURCE,LESLEY ROBERTS
Image caption,
Alex Hardy sent his mum Lesley Roberts an email explaining his decision

“It quickly became apparent that what had just happened was a catastrophe… I died in 2015, not now.”

Lesley Roberts was stunned as she read the devastating final email from her beloved son Alex Hardy.

The email had been timed to arrive on 25 November 2017, 12 hours after he killed himself. Less than an hour before the email arrived, Lesley had opened her front door to find a police officer standing there, explaining her son was dead.

Alex was an intelligent and popular 23-year-old with no history of mental illness. Lesley could not understand why he would have wanted to take his own life.

His email explained how the foreskin of his penis had been surgically removed two years before. This is commonly known as circumcision, but Alex had come to believe it should be regarded as “male genital mutilation”.

He never mentioned this to his family or friends when he was alive. Lesley did not even know her son had been circumcised.

 

In the following months, she tried to find out more about circumcision. Why had it affected Alex so badly, and why did he feel killing himself was his only option?

Alex as a babyIMAGE SOURCE,LESLEY ROBERTS
Image caption,
Lesley says her “dreams came true” when she became a mother in July 1994
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Alex was the eldest of Lesley’s three sons and had been very much longed for, having been conceived after fertility treatment.

Lesley says her “dreams came true” when she became a mother in July 1994.

“He was everything I could have wished for,” she says. “Gorgeous, easygoing, and adoring of his younger brother Thomas who arrived following more treatment almost three years later.”

He also adored his baby brother James, who was born when Alex was 13. The walls and windowsills of Lesley’s home in Cheshire are covered in photos of all of them.

Alex sailed through his education and was particularly gifted at English, so much so that his old school established the Alex Hardy Creative Writing Award in his memory.

 

“Alex was passionate about history but as his English teacher I saw in him a true talent for writing,” says Jason Lowe, who is now head teacher at Tarporley High School.

Alex at schoolIMAGE SOURCE,LESLEY ROBERTS
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Alex was intelligent and sailed through school
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It was while on a school skiing trip to Canada, aged 14, that Alex fell in love with the country. He had enjoyed skiing as a child and the trip reignited his passion. So, when Alex reached 18, he decided to defer university and live in Canada for a year.

“He fell in love completely with Canada and made so many friends and got a promotion at work,” says Lesley.

“After one year he rang me and said ‘Mum, I’m deferring my place for university’. The same thing happened after year two.”

Two years turned into three, then four, and by the time of his death Alex had been living in Canada for five years and had obtained residency.

“He was known as the ‘super-smart Brit’ with impeccable manners,” says his mother. “The super-intelligent guy from the UK who helped people with their Canadian residency applications.”

 
Alex snowboardingIMAGE SOURCE,LESLEY ROBERTS
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Alex was a keen skier and snowboarder, but he found physical activity painful after being circumcised

Lesley visited her son several times, both alone and with his brothers and stepfather. They were a close family, but Alex did not tell any of them he was secretly suffering with a problem with his penis.

“I had issues with a tight foreskin,” he eventually wrote in his final email, “but from my late teens it created issues in the bedroom as it meant my foreskin would not retract over the glans as intended which caused some awkward moments.”

In 2015, still silently suffering, Alex consulted a doctor in Canada. He was given steroid cream to stretch his foreskin, but went back to the doctor after just a few weeks because he did not think the treatment was working.

The medical name for Alex’s problem is phimosis. It simply means his foreskin was too tight to pull back from the head of his penis, or the “glans” as Alex referred to it in his email. This is perfectly normal for boys in the early years of their life. As boys get older, their foreskin usually starts to separate from the head of the penis.

Lesley Roberts at home
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Lesley says Alex was “intuitive, empathetic, gentle, kind, witty, quirky, unassuming and caring”

Phimosis does not always cause problems, but if it does, problems can include difficulty urinating and pain during sex. In England, the NHS advises topical steroids and stretching techniques – and circumcision as a last resort.

Over in Canada, where circumcision is more common, Alex was referred to a urologist.

“He immediately suggested circumcision,” Alex wrote. “I asked about stretching and he completely lied to my face and said it would not work for me.

“I was mostly trusting as I felt he was the expert who knew best in this regard so with a pinch of salt I accepted it.”

Lesley has since read online reviews of this urologist which have made her question his competence. One patient said she had been unable to work since having surgery for kidney problems, and he had “destroyed” her quality of life.

“I’m a mother of three young children who are scared every day I will die as they see me suffering in so much pain,” she wrote.

“I can see how he misdiagnosed others, botched surgeries, and ruined lives,” said another review. “He’s dangerously incompetent.”

Another review of Alex’s urologist read: “They left a surgical instrument in my bladder but I only got notified three months later. Run away before you get hurt!”

Alex Hardy in CanadaIMAGE SOURCE,LESLEY ROBERTS
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Lesley says she misses Alex’s “big sparkly eyes, his grin, his sense of humour, and his bear hugs”
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Lesley, who was “horrified” by these reviews, has asked for the urologist to be investigated. She has been told an inquiry is ongoing.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia told the BBC it “cannot disclose the existence of a complaint against a physician, and only may do so if the complaint leads to formal discipline”.

“I will wish with my last breath and with all of heart that my darling son had run away,” says Lesley.

Much to his regret, Alex was not able to research the urologist – or circumcision – properly at the time because his laptop was broken.

He had tried researching the topic in a public computer space but felt uncomfortable, and also felt it was “too much of a taboo” to discuss with friends.

So Alex booked what he believed was a minor procedure and had the surgery in 2015, at the age of 21.

Alex and his youngest brotherIMAGE SOURCE,LESLEY ROBERTS
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Alex “adored” his little brother
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In the email to his mother, Alex explained, in great detail, the physical problems he had suffered afterwards.

He described experiencing constant stimulation from the head of his penis, which was no longer protected by his foreskin.

“These ever-present stimulated sensations from clothing friction are torture within themselves; they have not subsided/normalised from years of exposure,” he wrote.

“Imagine what would happen to an eyeball if the eyelid was amputated?”

“He was in so much pain that it hurt to do normal physical activity,” says Lesley. “He was a keen skier and snowboarder so you can imagine the pain he was in.”

Male reproductive systemIMAGE SOURCE,GETTY IMAGES
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The foreskin protects the head of the penis, known as the glans

Consultant urological surgeon Trevor Dorkin, who is a member of the British Association of Urological Surgeons, advises his patients that the head of their penis will be more sensitive after circumcision.

However, this sensitivity usually reduces.

“I always say to guys ‘it’s going to feel more sensitive to start with’ because all of a sudden you haven’t got this protection over the head of the penis and it will feel different,” says Mr Dorkin, who has carried out more than 1,000 circumcisions.

“But in the vast majority of the cases the man adjusts to that, the brain adjusts to that, it adjusts to the signals that are coming back through the nerves from the head of the penis.”

Alex also wrote about experiencing erectile dysfunction, and burning and itching sensations, particularly from a scar which sat where his frenulum was removed. The frenulum is a band of tissue where the foreskin attaches to the under surface of the penis. Some men refer to it as their “banjo string”.

“It’s one of the more erogenous zones so it’s thought to be important in sexual function,” says Mr Dorkin.

“The foreskin, the head of the penis and the frenulum is a very, very sensitive area.

“But again when you do circumcision sometimes the frenulum is not preserved and it doesn’t necessarily have an effect on overall sexual function and enjoyment.”

A circumcision protest outside the Super Bowl Experience in Atlanta, Georgia on 2 February 2019IMAGE SOURCE,GETTY IMAGES
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A growing movement regards male circumcision as male genital mutilation

But Alex felt his frenulum had been important.

“Through its absence I can certainly verify it is the most erogenously sensitive area of the penis and male body overall,” he wrote.

“If someone were to amputate your clitoris you may begin to be able to understand how this feels.”

He wrote about experiencing cramps and contractions in his muscles and “uncomfortable” sensations which extended deep into his abdomen.

Lesley does not know whether or not Alex had sex after his circumcision.

“Where I once had a sexual organ I have now been left with a numb, botched stick,” he wrote. “My sexuality has been left in tatters.”

He asked: “Nature knows best – how can chopping off a section of healthy tissue improve nature’s evolved design?”

Foreskin ‘protects head of penis’

Like many people, Lesley admits she knew very little about the foreskin or circumcision before her son died.

“I didn’t know anything apart from I believed it was a very routine surgery,” she says.

The foreskin is sometimes dismissed as a “useless flap of skin”, but Mr Dorkin says it does have a purpose.

“It covers the head of the penis,” he says. “In terms of what’s it for, it provides a bit of protection to the head of the penis. It’s thought to have some sort of immunological function perhaps.”

Circumcision rates vary a lot depending on where you are in the world and which culture you grew up in.

According to the World Health Organization, 95% of men are circumcised in Nigeria but only 8.5% of men in the UK are.

Table showing circumcision rates among men in a number of countries around the world. Source: WHO

Most of the men circumcised in the UK are either Muslim or Jewish, as circumcision is regarded as an important part of their religions.

According to the 2011 census, Muslims accounted for 4.8% of the population in England and Wales, while 0.5% were Jewish.

People who question circumcision are sometimes accused of being anti-Semitic or Islamophobic, but Lesley stresses her son was neither.

“For me, this has nothing to do with religion at all. I respect all people of faith or indeed no faith, as Alex did,” she says.

In Canada, where Alex had moved to, an estimated 32% of men are circumcised.

Alex felt male circumcision has been normalised to the extent that most people do not question it, while female circumcision has become known as female genital mutilation (FGM) and is now illegal in many countries.

Lesley, Alex and one of his younger brothers
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Alex was the eldest of Lesley’s three sons

He felt male circumcision should be known as “male genital mutilation” – a view shared by a growing anti-circumcision movement.

“If I were a female (in Western nations) this would have been illegal, the surgeon would be a criminal and this would never have been considered as an option by doctors,” Alex wrote.

“I do not believe in championing one gender over another but I feel strongly that gender equality should be achieved for all.”

Campaigners for “genital autonomy” believe it is wrong to circumcise a baby or child – whether they are male or female – because the patient cannot give consent, and these campaigners regard circumcision as a human rights issue.

Jewish baby about to be circumcisedIMAGE SOURCE,GETTY IMAGES
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Campaigners for “genital autonomy” argue that circumcising a baby is wrong because an infant cannot consent

Having lived with an intact penis for 21 years, Alex believed men circumcised as babies or young children would “tragically never be able to fully comprehend what has been taken away”. He estimated he had been stripped of 75% of the sensitivity of his penis.

However, experiences of men circumcised as adults differ dramatically.

Some men actually prefer sex afterwards because they no longer have the pain of a tight or inflamed foreskin.

Some report a significant loss in sensitivity and greatly reduced sexual pleasure.

Some report being less sensitive but say there is no change in their overall enjoyment of sex.

Some are very happy with their decision to get circumcised.

Some, like Alex, deeply regret having it done.

Alex Roberts whale watching on his 21st birthdayIMAGE SOURCE,LESLEY ROBERTS
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Alex went whale watching with his mother for his 21st birthday

Alex sought further medical help following the circumcision as well as psychological help, but never shared his problems with his family or friends.

“I was with him during those two years and I think I would be lying if I said I didn’t think something wasn’t right,” says Lesley.

“I did say ‘Is something bothering you? Are you OK?’ and he would absolutely reassure me that he was.”

Lesley, who used to be a teacher, now hopes to go into schools and speak to young men about sharing their problems, even if they are very personal.

“I think we all know that men don’t particularly tend to talk about their problems in the same way that girls do but I think circumcision is very much a taboo subject,” she says.

“Alex was reserved. He certainly wouldn’t have said ‘I’ve got a tight foreskin and it really hurts’. And he didn’t. And I didn’t know.”

Only a week after Alex died, a friend opened up to Lesley about his own circumcision.

“He told me he wouldn’t normally have mentioned it but he had a circumcision as an older man, 10 years ago, and he was in constant daily pain,” says Lesley. “It just seems it’s more common than you think.”

Trevor Dorkin
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Consultant urological surgeon Trevor Dorkin, who is a member of the British Association of Urological Surgeons, warns his patients of risks before circumcising them

Mr Dorkin says serious problems following a circumcision are rare, but not unheard of.

“You do hear of horror stories where a circumcision has been done poorly and there’s damage done to the head of the penis itself,” he says.

Sometimes too much skin is taken and this can result in what’s known as “burying” or shortening of the penis, where it gets pulled back into the body.

“Surgeons at the end of the day are human and there is potential for human error and technical error during any operation,” he says.

“One of my mentors told me every case is a tricky case, that’s got to be your approach to surgery. You never take anything for granted in surgery.”

** Scottie note, there is a video at the link above for here on circumcision in South Africa if you are interested. **

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Circumcision in South Africa

There have been cases of children and men dying after being circumcised.

Four-week-old Goodluck Caubergs bled to death after a nurse circumcised him at his home in Manchester, while one-month-old Angelo Ofori-Mintah bled to death after being circumcised.

Since 1995 at least 1,100 boys have died in South Africa after ritual circumcisions. Some penises fall off after becoming infected and rotten, while some have to be amputated.

In Canada, where Alex was living, newborn baby Ryan Heydari bled to death after being circumcised by a doctor in Ontario.

Recently there have been reports of two babies dying within weeks of each other after home circumcisions in Italy, and a two-year-old boy died after being circumcised at a migrant centre in Italy.

Alex and his younger brotherIMAGE SOURCE,LESLEY ROBERTS
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As a child Alex was “gorgeous, easygoing, and adoring of his younger brother Thomas”

“I’m not qualified to say that circumcision is always bad, because it isn’t,” says Lesley.

“It certainly was in my son’s case and I think we need more research. We need to look into the risks, what can really go wrong, and we need to be more aware of them.”

If a circumcision is necessary, Mr Dorkin says it is important to tell patients about potential complications.

“Particularly when you are doing the operation in a guy who is in his late teenage years or early adulthood, it’s a very sensitive area and sexual function is important, so you have to explain the risks to them,” he says.

Lesley with Alex as a babyIMAGE SOURCE,LESLEY ROBERTS
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Alex asked his mother to share his story after he died

“Alex said he was not made aware of all the risks,” says Lesley. “If he had, I feel sure he would not have had the surgery.

“Alex wasn’t alone. I now know he wasn’t the only one that this has happened to. And that can’t be right.”

The UK charity 15 Square, which tries to educate people about circumcision, says Alex is not the only man to have killed himself after being circumcised.

“It happens more frequently than people realise,” says chairman David Smith.

There are no statistics on men who have killed themselves after being circumcised. Alex died over a year ago but his story has not been told until now. An inquest into his death was held in the UK but it was not reported by the media.

Lesley, who is normally private and reserved like her son, only agreed to share Alex’s story because it was his dying wish.

“If the following information can benefit anybody then it has served its purpose,” he wrote.

“I did not feel comfortable raising the issue when I had a choice, so if my story can raise awareness to break this taboo within society regarding men’s health then I am happy for release of my words.

“Alex said in his letter ‘We stand on the shoulders of those who came before us’,” says Lesley.

“This is the last thing I’m doing for my precious son.”

For details of organisations which offer advice and support, go to BBC Action Line.

** Scotties note, at the link above is the links to these other circumcision articles.   The links were not correctly embedded in the post. **

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