Barbara Kay

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Barbara Kay
Neil Pollock

Barbara Kay has generalized and exaggerated female circumcision and the societies and religions that practice it, while praising male circumcision for having been practiced for "thousands of years." She is an advocate for circumcision, particularly infant circumcision, and regularly promotes it in her articles on the National Post. In her article, she decried FGM, saying it is done "with the specific intention of eliminating the capacity for sexual pleasure, and rightly considered a criminal action" and contrasted it with MGM (despite admitting male circumcision also leads to "diminished pleasure").[1] She however spun this as positive, claiming circumcised men have "greater pre-orgasmic endurance" (and implied this solidified long-term relationships).

National Post Article

In a recent article in Canada's National Post, Kay describes male circumcision as being "painless," "life-saving" and "taking only 30 seconds" (she shortens this to ten seconds in a live debate with Jackson Doughart[2]). It was written in response to another article, by Jackson Doughart, which was against circumcision.[3] She had learned of Doughart's article before it was to be published, due to her son being the comments editor at the paper. In response, she prepared her own article, which then appeared in the paper at the same time as Doughart's. Kay praises circumcision for having been practiced for thousands of years (Kay is Jewish), and likens this to a "massive controlled study of Jewish and Muslim men, from which no negative effects can be ascribed to male circumcision." She compares circumcision to a vaccine and dismisses sex education and condom use as "not working in significant numbers."[4]

Barbara Kay on circumcision: A painless, live-saving surgery
'Mutilation' is a disgusting word to apply to the excision of a non-essential bacteria trap, nearly painless and instantly forgotten (those who claim otherwise are fantasizing; no credible study demonstrates lasting effects). Unlike ordinary circumcised men, FGM victims know they have been mutilated in the real sense of the word. Feminists constantly remind us that men have all the power. If true, how is it that after so many thousands of years — coincidentally up to the advent of the sexual revolution and the privileging of erotic freedom over ethical mating — so many millions of intelligent and even powerful Jewish and Muslim males never spoke up about their alleged victimhood?


Set aside the rights-based rhetoric. It’s about sex: Circumcised men have greater pre-orgasmic endurance; non-circumcision permits more frequent ejaculations. What matters most to the anti-circumcision activists is their diminished pleasure with frequently changing sexual partners, as befits an era where the number of conquests is a more common metric of romantic success than long-term relationships.[5]

The implication being that intact men are promiscuous, licentious letchers, and circumcised men are faithful men who use their prowess "enhanced" by circumcision (with diminished pleasure?) to please a single partner.

Live Debate with Jackson Doughart

Barbara Kay appeared in a live debate with Jackson Doughart on the Charles Adler Talk Radio show.[6] The following quotes were taken from that episode of the show.

8:08: The pain lasts only ten seconds.

8:50: What if there were vaccinations against something that would only happen in adulthood, but if you waited 'till adulthood to have that vaccination, it would be a horribly painful procedure? Would it not be kinder to give the vaccination in childhood when there's no complications and the pain last only ten seconds?
Note: This is the second time that Kay asserts the pain of circumcision only lasts ten seconds.

9:41: It is a kind of vaccine against HIV and AIDS in women, and reduces it sharply in men, so really, it has become a kind of vaccination.

12:04: I would query the 1 in 50 complications when done by a mohel, who does nothing else (and by the way now many of them are doctors as well as mohels). I don't know what you mean by complications, if you mean perhaps an inflamation that doesn't go away or something. If we talk about the morbidity rate with circumcisions, it is so trivial when done by experienced circumcisionists. It is so trivial that you would stop having your teeth cleaned if you took those kind of statistics seriously. I am sure that adult circumcision have higher complications.

21:33: It seems to me very strange that here we have fantastic proof that you can actually protect your child from future diseases, as one doctor said. It is a vaccine, it is actually a vaccine, as good as a vaccine against HIV.

22:01: My kids learned English against their consent. Maybe they would have liked to have grown up French-speaking, but that's the way it is.

22:09: Parents do decide things for their children on the basis of protecting them from future negative happenings.

22:46: With the foreskin you get faster and more frequent ejaculations. Without it, it takes a little longer, but you get more endurance. This is something I am told by the way, this is not something I would know about on my own.

24:03: The foreskin is a trap for bacteria.

27:31: You've got an intervention that does no harm, that does a lot of good, and that has been the staple of two ancient religions for millenia.

27:49; Many children are aborted with out their consent, and that hasn't brought about anti-abortion legislation [...][7]

See also

  • Neil Pollock -- Kay uses quotes by Pollock.
  • Bias -- Learn how religion and culture effects ones views on circumcision.

External links


  1. REFnews Kay, Barbara (24 January 2011)."Barbara Kay on circumcision: A painless, live-saving surgery", Postmedia Network: National Post. Archive
  2. REFweb Adler, Charles (24 January 2011)., Retrieved 22 February 2011. The pain lasts only ten seconds...
  3. REFweb Jackson Doughart on circumcision: Infants can’t choose. Retrieved 24 January 2011.
  4. REFnews Kay, Barbara (24 January 2011)."Barbara Kay on circumcision: A painless, live-saving surgery", Postmedia Network: National Post. Archive
  5. Kay, B. (2011, January 24). A painless, live-saving surgery. National Post Archive
  6. Adler, CA, Megarry, BM, & Tsirgiotis, ST. (Producer). (2011, January 24). To cut? or not to cut? circumcision debate! [Audio Podcast]. Retrieved from
  7. Adler, Megarry, Tsirgiotis. (2011, January 24). To cut or not to cut?