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Uncircumcised Bat

Circumcision is so unnatural, it is never found in the animal world. Here, this random photo capture of a bat shows the perfect uncircumcised penis.

Let's imagine for a second how absurd it would be to witness the bat in the background coming toward that bat with a scalpel and a Gomco and his strapping him down in a papoose board so his wings couldn't move, but his penis was still completely accessible.

See the other bat using his "fingers" to pull the foreskin over the Gomco? Notice how he didn't use any medication to help the bat not feel any pain? See how the bat yacks about the fruit he just found out in the fields and the great grazing ground he heard about just beyond that last rise over there? See him putting the clamp on it? Crushing the foreskin? See the bat writhing underneath in pain? See the scalpel cutting the foreskin off and the Gomco falling off to the side, down to the dirt below? See the big bat wrap the bleeding circumcised penis in gauze with triple antibiotic ointment, taking the bat out of the papoose board and sending him off to hang with his family once again?

Doesn't this sound absolutely ridiculous?

It does to me, too.

(I took this picture at Disney's Animal Kingdom, May 18, 2007, Canon 20D, Aperture Priority, ISO 800, 1/200, F6.3, focal length 200mm.)

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Reader Comments (23)

I don't agree with circumcision...but the doctors around here at least use lidocaine before they start, or we don't let them touch the baby. and also sweetease before, during and after w/some tylenol after too. poor little boys:(

May 20, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

But... they still have a month of peeing on an open, healing wound & the loss of a very nice and functional part of their body. If only doctors would stop doing them without a medical reason.

May 20, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I am so glad that my boy is intact, and so is he ;-) It's one thing I'm proud of doing right. He is quite pleased with himself too. Is it normal for intact boys to be, um, a lot more well endowed than their peers?

May 20, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

It's one of the things I find strange about Americans, circumcision. I remember watching Sex and the City years back and they talked about it, and my girlfriends and my reactions were of 'I've never actually seen a circumcised one'. It's not usual here at all, except among Jewish and Muslim communities.

May 21, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca

Being 7 months pregnant with a long awaited boy child has sensitized me to this particular subject. To cut...or not to cut? Daddy is cut...will it make a difference if his son isn't? Will he suffer ridicule and scorn in the locker room a few years down the road (as my very best friend and mom of 3 boys insists he will). I've read and read and read some more...but it boils down to something very basic for me (and my husband left the decision in my hands). I can't wrap my head around performing cosmetic surgery on an hours old infant to conform to some outdated "standard" of society. In my eyes...it would be exactly as the same as saying...you know...his chin is a little too wide...can we shave a little off before we take the boy home? Nonsense! No one will approach my child for a medical procedure without valid reasons. Especially not with a scalpel in hand! We plan to leave that wee little penis alone. We'll deal with explaining the difference when he's old enough to ask about it and explain that we loved him and couldn't stand to make unecessary changes to the perfection that is his body.

May 21, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJo

I never thought I'd ever see a bat penis.....never thought about bat penises...never thought I'd use "bat" and "penis" in the same sentence, come to think of it.

Looks rather human, doesn't it?

My boys are not circumcized and are quite happy about that.

May 21, 2007 | Unregistered Commentermamarose

I'm assuming you've seen that horrific video with that poor little baby boy? When I saw it, a lot of things clicked into place about male experience, both for circumcized and for those who aren't. That early act of violence. The need to emotionally shut down. The rage. The fear. The inexplicable torment visited on unsuspecting others...men, wimmin, children.

May 21, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterDark Daughta

Yes! Its like twice the size of a cut one.

May 21, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

As a new mama, there were a lot of decisions I was unsure about. Not this one. I told my husband "they come after my kid over my dead body."

And yet I would get stories about Boys Who Had to Have it Later for rare medical reasons/infections. And yes, that is sad. But at least they get anesthetic and can understand why and what is being done.

Why does pain not count if the one being hurt can't complain? It still counts.

I lost all interest in "alternadad" author Neal Pollack when he wrote about deciding to cut his son for really lame, passive-agressive, reasons. I thought maybe he should hop up on the table as an adult and try some mutiliation if it was really no big deal.

May 21, 2007 | Unregistered Commenteremjaybee

We see problems with foreskins in the US for the same reason we see so many breastfeeding problems. For the past century we have been a bottle feeding & circumcising culture and doctors are still very ignorant about what's normal.

If we had a long tradition of leaving kids intact, minor problems would be solved before turning to surgery (!) as a first resort. When people in less developed countries have trouble nursing they have generations of female relatives to help them iron stuff out, in America, very few of our moms nursed & doctors will just offer formula. It's the same thing, but thankfully--its slowly changing.

May 21, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterclara

Thanks for sharing the unbelievably high quallity photo.

I had heard that bats were like the only mammal that didn't naturally have a retractile prepuce, but that is so obviously a foreskin in the photo that I'd say whoever said that about bats before was just nuts.

I can now affirm: "every mammal on earth evolved a foreskin before there was surgery or soap."

HIS body HIS decision

May 21, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterTLC Tugger

How screwed up is it that in the major metro area I live in, there are *maybe* half a dozen docs that will snip a frenulum for a baby having trouble nursing, but thousands who will happily cut off the end of a baby boy's penis.

We live in a sad, sad place.


May 22, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterHomebody

Great picture and post!

It kills me with those that give the "prevent them from needing it done later in life" excuse.

My oldest son is circumcised (and my second but not my third) and he had surgery in January of last year (8 years old) BECAUSE of his circumcision (meatal stenosis) so circumcision did not help him in preventing penile surgery later in life.

A good example of the ignorance of what is normal is my step-sister and her SO insisted their son be circed because her SO had to have it done at about 7 months because he kept getting infections "no matter how clean [his mom] kept it", um, perhaps he was getting infections BECAUSE of the retracted cleanings?
Unfortunately they refused to hear any of it *cry*.


May 22, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Hi! I have been lurking on your site for a few months -- love reading about all you do! I myself am in nursing school with interest in becoming a midwife. Thanks for creating such a fun and touching and informative blog!

May 23, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMummy Dearest

When I was practicing long long ago, the only strong stand I would take with couples was on this topic. About 20 years ago they didn't use any form of numbing cream or anything. I had a video of a circumcision I used to make all my couples watch...with full on sound of the baby's pain.

The thing that used to get to me was when the parents would decide to go ahead anyway. When I would suggest they at least accompany their child to give comfort, they would look at me like I was crazy...it would be "too painful and difficult" for them to watch.

May 23, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterPamm

I am sorry to hijack your post but I usually link from your blog to Dr. Fleas. Where did he go?

May 24, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

To any parents contemplating on whether "to cut or not to cut": please watch the documentary "Birth As We Know It", which shows the video (mentioned in the above comments) of the baby boy being cut. It's unbearable to watch. That will help you decide.

As for what to say to your son when he's old enough to notice that Daddy's looks different, I heard a circumsized dad who said, "Most men my age were circumsized as babies, but your mom and I wouldn't let them do that to you. We think you're perfect the way you are." Simple and loving!

May 27, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

To the first anonymous commenter, lidocaine is pretty useless when it comes to pain relief during circumcision. It still hurts. Tylenol was never meant to be a pain reliever, it's a fever reducer and is also useless for circumcision pain relief.

My two sons are intact and it was my circumcised husband who insisted upon it. I hope someday that male genital mutilation is illegal, just as it's counterpart FGM is.

May 27, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSandy

Circumcision also SERIOUSLY CUTS DOWN on sexual pleasure.

See: http://www.circumstitions.com/Sexuality.html

I am an undergrad at Stanford, and I'm trying to start a group to encourage young people to sign a pledge that they will not circumcise their children and that they will advise other people not to circumcise.
Also a pledge for medical students that they will not perform circumcisions.

Contact me if you're interested:

June 1, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

Okay, just want to chime in on this one.
Circumcision is a cultural choice. That's right--CHOICE. Those who chose it are usually Jewish or Christian. Not to sat that there are Christians and Jew's who aren't circumcized, I know some Christians who aren't.
I also know a boy who got a terrible infection under his foreskin and at the age of 13(!!!!!!!!) had to be circumcized.
Now, a newborn is not going to remember that circumcision. A thirteen yearold however...
My boys are circumcized, except the youngest. He was born with hypospadius, and still has to have surgery to correct it. When corrected, he, too, will be circ'ed.
I am a Christian, and I believe that God ordained circumcision to set a race of people apart from the rest of the world. It was a form of cleansing that is not neccessary today.
Circumcision is a personal, religious, cultural choice that should not be berated or compared to uncircumcision.
Thanks for bringing up the debate.

June 9, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterthe doe

Whose choice? Your sons'? It doesn't sound like it. It sounds like you think it is YOUR choice. It isn't YOUR penis. How do YOU know they don't remember circumcision at birth? Where do you think that memory goes? It just evaporates? It never existed?

If you are so Pro-CHOICE... then let your SONS decide if they want their skin taken off - *with* anesthesia, *without* peeing on an open wound in a diaper.

Choice? You betcha. Yours? Absolutely not.

June 11, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterNavelgazing Midwife

So much to learn from this good work:

October 16, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I know this is a really old post and lots of people won't see my comment. But I just can't let the previos post about Christianity and circumcision stand.

Paul clearly tells Christians in the Bible that circumcision is not required and that it has no spiritual value for Christians. Paul even says that those preaching circumcision should "Go the whole way and emasculate themselves."(Gal 5:12)
Read Galations 5.

Before you claim religious reasons for doing something, know your religion.

February 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKristy

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