In 2014, Rosie O’Donnell made an appearance at the iconic Zanies in Nashville to perform her stand-up comedy routine. I went with my husband and a group of our friends to enjoy what I thought would be a fun-filled evening. And for the most part, it was. Rosie was hilarious as she always is, sharing her brand of sharp political commentary along with everyday stories about her life.
To my surprise, and disappointment, there is one topic we drastically differ on: circumcision. During her comedy routine that night, she shared a detailed story about the day she brought her son home and the unfortunate “mistake” her doctor made when he didn’t circumcise her son. The audience roared with laughter as she described her panic. She needed to have her son’s foreskin removed immediately. The way she described it, you’d think her son had leprosy.
She went on to explain how she called up her Jewish celebrity friends and they put together an emergency bris to get rid of her son’s foreskin as quickly as possible. Everyone gathered at Rosie’s home, food and drinks were served, and everyone had a good laugh about it while her son provided the entertainment as a vital part of his sex organ was cut away.
I was horrified as I sat there in the audience, red faced and sick to my stomach listening to Rosie’s story. Rosie has always been a pioneer for women’s rights, fighting for equality and fair treatment.
Why—why Rosie—would you hypocritically promote and laugh about the act of making a permanent alteration to your son’s body without his consent when I’m certain you would protest if the subject was female circumcision? It doesn’t make sense.
That evening, I posted about it on Twitter. I was not rude or confrontational. I asked a legitimate question in hopes it would open up a healthy and mature dialogue with her. She did not respond, and actually there wasn’t much activity surrounding the post. Six people retweeted it and a handful more actually saw it. That’s not a surprise, of course. I am by no means a Twitter celebrity. This is the tweet:
— Foreskin Facts (@ForeskinFacts) March 1, 2014
I figured, oh well, I tried reaching out.
Fast forward nearly three years later. There’s been a lot of talk this week about Rosie appearing on Saturday Night Live. I think that would be excellent and I was planning to go to Twitter to post my support. That’s when I realized she had blocked me.
— Foreskin Facts (@ForeskinFacts) February 10, 2017
To my knowledge, nobody has ever blocked me on Twitter, especially not a celebrity. I guess I should be honored just to be recognized by Rosie…?
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t truly disappointed by it. Aside from the circumcision subject, Rosie is someone I’ve always admired and respected. It would be nice if she had at least considered having a thoughtful conversation with me and who knows, maybe I could have showed her a different perspective?
Rosie, I hope by some strange twist of fate, you’ll see this blog post. Every human deserves to have their body respected. It’s that simple.
Thankfully female circumcision has been banned in the United States and women here will never have to know what it’s like to have their sex organs modified for cosmetic purposes, as they are in some other countries. Unfortunately men are not offered this same protection.
If you really look at the subject thoughtfully, I think you can see that these arguments are one in the same. Baby boys should not be modified, just as baby girls should not be modified. You could become our most vocal advocate if you’d just open your heart to our cause.