Intended to be a joke and a positive publicity stunt, the comic Foreskin Man is gaining some unwanted attention.
Created by Matthew Hess, the first and second volumes show graphic images of monster doctors and evil Mohels fighting for “the penile flesh of an 8-day-old infant boy.” The hero, who some feel is of the Aryan variety, swoops in at the last second to save the infants foreskin.
Hess has come to the defense of the imagery. He told SFGate, “We’re not trying to be anti-Semitic. We’re trying to be pro-human rights.”
But many aren’t buying it. The Anti-Defamation League is just one of the very vocal critics of the comic. They feel Foreskin Man is “disrespectful and deeply offensive,” and that it has “grotesque anti-Semitic imagery and themes.”
The Jewish Journal says the comic “gives further credence to the accusation that so-called intactivists are in fact motivated by antisemitism.”
Hess even acknowledged there has been some controversy from his own camp. In a Twitter post he says, “Yes, there has been some internal criticism of the comic. That happens when you challenge the status quo.”
The Foreskin Man controversy stems from the initiative to ban the procedure in California cities, such as San Fransisco and Santa Monica. The measure will be on the ballot in November and if it passes, will outlaw circumcision for all underage males with no exceptions, religious or otherwise. The punishment for anyone who violates the would-be law could face a year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.
Supporters feel that male circumcision, like female circumcision, is “a human rights issue”. Lloyd Schofield, who garnered enough votes to put the referendum on the ballot explains, “What you’re doing is you’re taking an infant and removing the most sensitive part of their body.”
While others feel it is a non-issue and is not comparable to female genital mutilation. One dissenter writes, “It’s not just that female circumcision removes nerve endings and reduces (or eliminates) the enjoyment of sex, it’s that this is the PURPOSE of female circumcision. The idea is that if women don’t enjoy sex, they won’t participate in premarital sex or adultery.”
She goes on to say that, “The purpose of male circumcision is to sacrifice a small part (an arguably unnecessary part) of oneself as a sign of obedience to God. Whether the foreskin is actually unnecessary, and whether it is right to make that choice on behalf of an infant is a point of contention, but at least you can’t argue that the parents’ intention is to harm or restrict their child’s future sexual enjoyment.”
The debate undoubtedly will continue. To judge for yourself, images of the comic can be seen on the Foreskin Man Facebook page created by Hess.