Why circumcision is good — a historical argument
Don’t ask how I came across it, but I came across an essay from a 13th century Jewish scholar living in France, Isaac ben Yedaiah. He proposed a rather interesting argument as to why the Jewish custom of circumcision was superior to the Christian eschewing of that practice. And I guess his argument would’ve made all the sense in the world…but I think now, everyone should recognize several troubling implications of this blast to the past. This is graphic, so I’m warning you now. This essay features sexism, graphic depictions of sex, misogyny, and a clever weightloss scheme.
[A beautiful woman] will court a man who is uncircumcised in the flesh and lie against his breast with great passion, for he thrusts inside her a long time because of the foreskin, which is a barrier against ejaculation in intercourse. Thus she feels pleasure and reaches an orgasm first. When an uncircumcised man sleeps with her and then resolves to return to his home, she brazenly grasps him, holding on to his genitals and says to him, “Come back, make love to me.” This is because of the pleasure that she finds in intercourse with him, from the sinews of his testicles–sinew of iron–and from his ejaculation–that of a horse–which he shoots like an arrow into her womb. They are united without separating and he makes love twice and three times in one night, yet the appetite is not filled. And so he acts with her night after night. The sexual activity emaciates him of his bodily fat and afflicts his flesh and he devotes his brain entirely to women, an evil thing…
But when a circumcised man desires the beauty of a woman, and cleaves to his wife, or to another woman comely in appearance, he will find himself performing his task quickly, emitting his seed as soon as he inserts the crown…He has an orgasm first; he does not hold back his strength. As soon as he begins intercourse with her, he immediately comes to a climax. She has no pleasure from him when she lies down or when she arises and it would be better for her if he had not known her…, for he arouses her passion to no avail and she remains in a state of desire for her husband, ashamed and confounded, while the seed is still in her “reservoir.” She does not have an orgasm once a year, except on rare occasions, because of the great heat and the fire burning within her. Thus he who says “I am the Lord’s” will not empty his brain because of his wife or the wife of his friend. He will find grace and good favor; his heart will be strong to seek out God.
Oh gosh. This was posted here, which appears to be an .edu site (aren’t those credible ones?), but I thought it was kinda ridiculous, so I searched more for Isaac ben Yedaiah, and the story comes up again, and here too.
If you couldn’t tell by now, I’m not really going to make any arguments in this post about if circumcision is better or not. Rather, I’m just commenting on how history has produced some rather strange things. I wonder what, in 800 years from now, our progeny will look back and say about us. Will they have found such sexism and misogyny? Such folklore that you could lose your mind by pleasing a woman in sex?