Biased terminology - uncut/whole/uncircumcised/natural

Discussion in 'The Healthy Penis' started by matelalique, Sep 23, 2011.

  1. matelalique

    matelalique Active Member

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    This is actually a linguistics post, but will no doubt be regarded as political. A recent poll that I submitted was correctly attacked as poorly constructed (and I totally agree), but the criticism that surprised me was that my use of the word "whole" to describe a penis with foreskin was regarded as divisive and politically charged.

    I've noticed some more comments on terminology, and I hoped to centralise comments and debate on terminology, and hopefully separate them from the discussion (duck for cover now) on circumcision in general, and RIC in particular.

    *THIS IS NOT A THREAD TO DISCUSS RIC - IT IS TO DISCUSS TERMINOLOGY THAT IS APPROPRIATE FOR SUCH DISCUSSIONS WITHOUT ACCUSATIONS OF POLITICAL BIAS*. (If that is possible).

    So we have cut/circumcised/mutilated/normal/funny looking/helmet vs uncut/uncircumcised/natural or whole/funny looking/normal/anteater.

    Circumcised and cut seem to be free of any emotions. Mutilated and funny-looking carry awful connotations, normal is geographically biased (and contains an inherent bias). And then there is helmet (as in motorcycle).

    Uncut and Uncircumcised are criticised because they "un" a natural state - how appropriate/common are the terms unamputated/unbleached/unshaved/untonsellectomied/unmuscled/unappendixed/un-made-up. I'll mention unshaved since it is also a totally unnatural state (has anyone seen a shaved baboon or bear), yet shaved has become a normal state of the western male face, and thus "unshaved" represents a judgment on non-conformity in a shaving society.

    Natural and whole are what they are, but they carry negative connotations for the circumcised, who are presumably unnatural or unwhole (revealing why uncut and uncircumcised are offensive to the other side). Funny looking and normal have the geographic bias the other way, when viewed from Europe or Asia.

    Helmet vs anteater were common in fratboy culture in an early 90s South Africa when we were about 50-50 between the two, and they don't carry any political baggage.

    I'm probably going to go for helmet/anteater for the foreseeable future. I think I like cut/uncut (circ/uncirc) as short simple, and only offensive to uncut guys who really really think about it (ie the cock-obsessed boys in the US, of which I am one). Whole/natural seems closest to correct and more appropriate, but it carries connotations in debate that draw attention create division.

    I would propose helmet/anteater, and maybe I can talk you into this being the standard terminology for this site as a means of avoiding these tirades into whether people like or don't like circumcision. Since I doubt this terminology will stick, then I propose that the uncut suck it up for a few more years, and try to stop upsetting the people who like being circumcised. Let them get on with their lives, and get on with yours.
     
  2. darkbond007

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    I generally use either circumcised/uncircumcised OR cut/uncut.
     
  3. jameslpsg

    jameslpsg Member

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    That was a very thoughtful post. Thanks for putting it out. I would think cut/uncut or circumcised/uncircumcised are appropriate,
    Circumcision is an action or change of status, so uncircumcised is unchanged not unnatural.
    I've only heard "helmets and anteaters" or "roundheads and cavaliers" from recent online posts (not all on this site). Never heard any of those terms at all growing up in the US. Many posts or comments on LPSG have words or subject matter many average people would consider vulgar or juvenile at the least so using them in your survey wouldn't be inappropriate . But in general conversation off site I think you might get some reactions to the terms.
    BTW- I'm happily RIC circed.
     
  4. Snozzle

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    Did you leave out "intact"? The anti-male/female/intersex-genital-cutting movement calls itself Intactivism, so it's certainly a positive on that side, and by derivation it means "untouched" so it's an "un" word in disguise. The only quibble I've heard with it is from circumcised guys who think it's not negative enough, and quibblers who say a pierced cock is not intact even if it has a foreskin, or a man is not intact if he has lost some other body part.

    You won't get much traction with "anteater" when that is used as a term of abuse. (Though there is a move to reclaim it.)

    For complete neutrality there is "non-circumcised".
     
  5. SirConcis

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    cut/uncut is he most widely used and understood. At the end of the day, using terminology that is understood and quick is the best.

    In england, they also had cavaliers and roundheads. But this would not be understood outside of UK (and even in UK today, it probably lost its circumcision related meaning.

    It would also depend on the country. If in a country that is 90% uncut, you wouldn't ask "are you uncut ?". And in a country that is 50/50, then "cut or uncut" would be well understood.
     
  6. matelalique

    matelalique Active Member

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    thank you for the contributions. Snozzle - I don't understand how uncircumcised is different from non-circumcised. I think un/non is the same in descriptive and linguistic sense. And thank you from Sirconcis ... I think that cut/uncut seems the safest terminology. Even though there is an un-XXX word, it seems the least politically firebrand.

    My proposal going forward is that we stick with cut/uncut, and intactivists back off over the non-un terminology, and if you see anyone on the whole/natural/un-mutilated etc schtick (from a non-jew) then point them here. At some point someone has to say "here is the neutral technology", and it seems to be be cut/uncut in september 2011.

    If anyone anywhere uses this before 2014, then flaming them should be officially inappropriate on lpsg, and should be corrected as such.

    Can someone nominate themselves for a 2014 poll on appropriate terminology polls then ...
     
  7. matelalique

    matelalique Active Member

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    for the tl/dr crowd, we seem to think that cut/uncut is the correct terminology.
     
  8. SirConcis

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    Someone would not ask " do you have a foreskin ?". They would ask "are you circumcised?" and the response would be "yes" or "no". Or perhaps "I am not circumcised". hence, the "uncut" terminology relates better to the question being asked.
     
  9. Charles Finn

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    we are all born with a foreskin it should be up to the owner weather to remove it or not
     
  10. Snozzle

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    "Uncircumcised" is different from "non-circumcised". "Non-" is more neutral. Un- makes circumcised the norm, from which "uncircumcised" deviates. We don't say a woman with breasts is "unmastectomised" or someone with feet is "unamputated". (Strictly speaking, "un-" means he was circumcised, but he's reversed it, and Jim Bigelow's classic book on foreskin restoration is called "The Joy of Uncircumcising".)

    It's a bit like the difference between disinterested and uninterested - they look as though they should mean the same thing, but they don't.

    untonsilectomied, unappendixed, unamputated - unknown
    unbleached - where bleaching is the norm (sheets, paper towels, not hair)
    unshaved - again, where shaving is the norm. I don't have an unshaved chest, I have a hairy one. And we usually say someone is unshaved to refer to their face, where hair constantly regrows. We don't say someone who has always worn a beard is "unshaved".

    There is no point in you or me or anyone else trying to set themselves up as the arbiter. Language is like those giant flags that hundreds of people carry on to a stadium at opening ceremonies. We all have a hand in what direction it goes.

    Actually, "Do you have a foreskin?" is a perfectly natural usage in, for example, international chat, and/because it carries no connotations either way. "Un/cut" is not understood where circumcision is not customary.

    What is the tl/dr crowd?
     
    #10 Snozzle, Sep 26, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2011
  11. matelalique

    matelalique Active Member

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    tl/dr is "too long didn't read", ie those who got bored halfway through my first post who needed a one line summary.
     
  12. slurper_la

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    I am circumcised and I refer to myself as such, or as "cut" - an unnatural state.

    I refer to beautiful, untouched penises as "natural" because that's what they are.
     
  13. Ronald75

    Ronald75 New Member

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    What is the consensus? When did the decline in the incidence of circumcision start?
     
  14. gettingonwithit

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    as an Aussie kid something I used to hear a bit was milk bottles and helmet heads.
     
  15. kelvinza

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    Cut and uncut are normal gay term
     
  16. KindlyJedi

    KindlyJedi New Member

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    I've always gone with the terms "intact" vs "circumcised", because both terms are the accepted medical terms. Both terms are pretty neutral. I've always thought of myself as "natural" or "intact", long before either term became common. "Un-circumcised" never sounded right to me. I've always worn a beard, but I do not consider myself "unshaven". Same thing with my penis...how can a person be "Un" something, if that something was never done or considered in the first place?

    Most of the other terms you've mentioned sound childish to me. Helmets and anteaters are particularly immature terms.

    I'm just a stickler for calling things what they ARE, I guess. Oddly enough, though, I often use "cock" over "penis" and "pussy" over "vulva", particularly when discussing such things with my wife or other adults, and during sex, of course. Sounds silly to say, "Oh, baby! Suck my penis," doesn't it? LOL!
     
  17. KindlyJedi

    KindlyJedi New Member

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    Here's another way of looking at it; with the prevalence of plastic surgery (including male circumcision) in North America, why do we not call women who've not had labiaplasty surgery "uncircumcised"? Why do we think of women with large breasts who've not had breast implants as "naturally" busty? I wonder if, in Muslim countries, are intact girls thought of as "uncircumcised"? Seriously! Think about it. In countries where circumcision of any kind is not practiced, what's the term they use? "Normal"? What would a woman from one of those countries think, upon seeing a circumcised penis for the first time?

    I did once meet a young lady in College, she was from Scandinavia (or Switzerland or something, I can't remember), and she was appalled and distgusted by it...to the point she stated that she wouldn't even touch one...
     
  18. GuillaumeBordeaux

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    Intact/natural/whole for men who have not been circumcised,
    and for those who have, unnatural, cut, mutilated.
     
  19. jjsjr

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    Original/ Modified?
     
  20. matelalique

    matelalique Active Member

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    Wow - I had forgotten about this post. It was originally written in response to some unintentional offense I caused using the word "whole" in a post, and a whole slew of posts from around that time attacking other posters about their supposedly biased terminology.

    It seems that cut/uncut seem the most neutral and acceptable.
     
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