Foreskin Man: Hero or Villain?
His enemies are doctors and those who support circumcision. Foreskin Man is a recent addition to the comic book universe, and if internet traffic and publicity have any say, he’s one of the most powerful comic book heroes out there.
San Diego activist Matthew Hess created the character in an attempt to denounce circumcision, or as he claims, to make it illegal to circumcise boys under 18 unless due to “medical need”.
Hess says he wants to make circumcision a personal choice, rather than the obligatory ritual that many boys experience. Estimates suggest that 30% of men are circumcised.
While he’s gained attention, it’s not all good. Critics say that Foreskin Man is anti-Semitic, with imagery that resembles Nazi propaganda.
Hess is founder of MGMbill, which stands for Male Genital Mutilation, and the bill refers to legislation drafts for state and federal lawmakers to consider. The organization successfully got the issue on San Francisco’s ballot, which would make circumcision a misdemeanour when practised on boys younger than 18.
The public first glimpsed Foreskin Man at the San Diego Comic Convention last year, and as Hess says, people thought it was weird. Then he released the second issue and readership soared.
The San Francisco Chronicle denounced the comic on June 8 and stated that its “classic anti-Semitic imagery is inexcusable” and that “Foreskin Man provides yet another reason to vote against the circumcision ban.”
Russell Crowe recently lashed out at the practice of circumcision on his Twitter account, but quickly recanted the message with an apology.
In Judaism, circumcision is viewed as a ritual offering of male sacrifice to God. The practice takes place on the eighth day after birth and is usually done at home or in a synagogue, with a doctor’s scalpel or knife specifically designed for the practice, which cuts the foreskin.