Currently two tag wikis are at odds because they want to transport a political opinion.

The tag for circumcision reads:

Use this for male circumcision. For female genital mutation, use "female-genital-mutilation". Circumcision is the surgical removal of the foreskin from the penis for any of a number of medical or cultural reasons.

And, as is already obvious, the tag Female genital mutilation

Female genital mutilation, also called "female circumcision", or "female genital cutting".

Discussing the procedures for males I found that "surgical removal" gives it a medical connotation of cleanliness and ethically approved usage. This excludes a part of religious procedures done by medically unqualified personnel with religiously motivated traditions. Further, it is incorrect due to incompleteness, since there are methods that are surely non surgical in technique:

Minimally invasive circumcision technique utilizing plastic clamp

To reduce the incompleteness and the bias present with "surgical removal" I suggested to change that into "amputation".

That got rejected with the reason: "'Amputation' is prejudicial". Using "Mutilation" in the other tag-wiki excerpt is clearly more prejudicial in its connotations for the average reader if compared?

I specifically suggested "amputation" to approach a more neutral ground, since in the vast majority of cases male circumcision is also nothing more than genital mutilation.

To quote again from the wikipedia page:

Some ethnic groups practice ritual mutilation, e.g. scarification, circumcision, burning, flagellation, tattooing, or wheeling, as part of a rite of passage.

Although this was not the goal of this question, it seems necessary to point out that there is a need to address the most common objections that might deflect from the core issues:

  • Both procedures are most often forced on the unconsenting (minors)
  • FGM is not the only procedure with varying degrees of damage done
  • FGM as a term is a combat term invented in the 70s. A good term because it applies universal, non-culture-relativistic standards to describe the phenomenon and at the same time trying to end it.
  • This whole comparison in search for balance is not grounded on a view of a one or two or few fringe persons with disreputable character.

There is a huge load of bias around this theme, but being blind to ones own perspective is a human condition. There is a conflict between human rights, gender equality and cultural relativism. One tag goes one way, the second in another.

To give a few reputable sources in support of this reasoning:

Circumcision in the Ancient near East

Sexual Mutilations: A Human Tragedy

Questioning circumcisionism: feminism, gender equity, and human rights

A Rose by Any Other Name? Rethinking the Similarities and Differences between Male and Female Genital Cutting:

In this article, we offer a critical examination of the tendency to segregate discussion of surgical alterations to the male and female genitals into separate compartments – the first known as circumcision, the second as genital mutilation. We argue that this fundamental problem of definition underlies the considerable controversy surrounding these procedures when carried out on minors, and that it hinders objective discussion of the alleged benefits, harms, and risks. We explore the variable effects of male and female genital surgeries, and we propose a scale of damage for male circumcision to complement the World Health Organization's categorization of female genital mutilation. The origins of the double standard identified are placed in historical perspective, and in a brief conclusion we make a plea for greater gender neutrality in the approach to this contentious issue.

Shouldn't both tag wiki excerpts aim at the same level of prejudice or lack thereof?

  • I don't think political is the right word, but that's just semantics, I suppose.
    – fredsbend Mod
    Oct 6 '17 at 22:34
  • @fredsbend Open to suggestions. Now, both are promoting a particular view on one issue painted as two; basically the same subject with differing standards and in different directions. Oct 6 '17 at 22:47
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    I'd just remove the word altogether.
    – fredsbend Mod
    Oct 6 '17 at 23:43
  • 1
    "To give a few reputable sources" [citation needed] Oct 9 '17 at 10:38

No it's not, but I don't see a bias in the existing descriptions.

  • FGM is the term used in all recent scientific literature, by all relevant health organizations, etc. The same goes for male circumcision; no reputable source calls it amputation.
  • Amputation is the removal of limbs. Male circumcision does not remove a limb, thus it is not amputation.
  • FGM and male circumcision are in no way comparable. FGM is a broad term which includes procedures such as the partial or complete removal of the clitoris, removal of the labia minora and/or majora, infibulation, etc. Male circumcision on the other hand does not remove the glans of the penis, it leaves the scrotum intact, it does not close anything, etc.

I could see a case for removing "surgical" from the description, but your edit is obviously based on your own biases, not reputable sources.

  • Both are procedures forced onto others. – No; Rep. source for amputation: books.google.de/… There are many. – And FGM is a combat term invented in the 70s (ngram search). A term I like, because I share that bias also. Comparing and judging these procedures in the way you did is not the topic I was aiming for. Oct 6 '17 at 9:54
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    @LangLangC Yes, both are performed without the consent of the person, but the comparison ends there. And you did bring up FGM to argue your point about circumcision, which just isn't a good point.
    – tim Mod
    Oct 6 '17 at 10:42
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    @LangLangC Regarding amputation: I'm not familiar with James DeMeo, but I'm not sure that he is a credible source for anything. One of the top google results for him is titled "Encyclopedia of American Loons". It claims that DeMeo denies human involvement in climate change (instead blaming "orgone energy"), that he is involved in HIV denialism, etc. A quick google search seems to confirm these claims, so I have serious doubts in the reliability of DeMeo.
    – tim Mod
    Oct 6 '17 at 10:43
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    It's probably worth noting that much of the literature about FGM is openly biased against it.
    – Nat
    Oct 6 '17 at 15:04
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    +1. The third point, about how FGM refers to a set of diverse practices, is probably the strongest point. While "mutilation" would seem like a suspiciously broad term for a specific practice, it seems like an apt description for the common element in the set of practices that FGM refers to.
    – Nat
    Oct 6 '17 at 15:20

The tag wiki for female genital mutilation should not be changed, or watered down in any way. There should not be calls for it to be watered down if someone does not get their way with their proposed changes to the tag referring to male circumcision.

  • Au contraire. FGM has a universalist bias that may be kept. But the male procedure has a culture relativistic bias that should be reduced. Oct 9 '17 at 10:48

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