192. The War Against Boys: Ending The Torture Of Circumcision In America

Brendon Marotta

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Brendon Marotta is the director of the award-winning feature-length documentary American Circumcision.

Brendon Marotta first became interested in filmmaking at age fourteen, after watching a film critic break down the original Star Wars trilogy shot by shot. In high school, he began working as a P.A. on low-budget horror films and directed and edited over thirty short video projects. 

Brendon graduated from the University of the North Carolina School of the Arts in 2010 with a B.F.A. in film editing & sound, where he worked in every major role on a film set. In 2013, he completed a year long Meisner Acting program at the Waterfront Playhouse & Conservatory. In 2014, a feature he edited was selected to premiere at the Austin Film Festival and won the Narrative Feature Audience Award there. In 2017, he completed his first feature-length documentary as director, which won Best Documentary at the Lone Star Film festival. Brendon currently lives in Austin, TX.

DISCLAIMER: This podcast is presented for educational and exploratory purposes only. Published content is not intended to be used for diagnosing or treating any illness. Those responsible for this show disclaim responsibility for any possible adverse effects from the use of information presented by Luke or his guests. Please consult with your healthcare provider before using any products referenced. This podcast may contain paid endorsements for products or services.

Some people call it circumcision. I call it male genital mutilation.

In the name of being “normal, under the guise of dubious health claims, America has been waging a war on young men's bodies for decades now – but a new documentary is starting a conversation about why we’re mutilating babies, and I've been waiting for this to happen for years.

Today our guest is Brendon Marotta, the director of American Circumcision.

Like a lot of us, Brendon never really thought about circumcision for most of his life. It already happened and there’s nothing you can do about that, so why bother thinking about it? But this is the most common surgery in America, so it affects people on such a scale and in such a personal way that it’s crazy we aren’t thinking and talking more about it.

If there was another issue that affected, in some way, almost every single person in the country – whether you’re a circumcised man, a partner, or a parent – wouldn’t we be talking about it all the time?

We’re afraid to talk about it because it’s such a taboo subject – but today, we break that taboo and have a much-needed conversation about male genital mutilation.

Topics Discussed In This Episode:

  • Why Brendon first started investigating circumcision
  • What inspired him to start making the film
  • The process of foreskin restoration that some men are undergoing today, which allows them to partially restore that part of their body + other ways men are reclaiming sensation
  • Giving people permission to talk about this deeply personal subject
  • How “red pill” moments inspire us to investigate the truth
  • How society turns men into “success objects” and diminishes anything viewed as complaining
  • The incredible bravery of standing up to your tribe
  • How circumcision deprives men of multiple orgasms and a lot of pleasure
  • Soraya Mire, the heroic female genital mutilation survivor who helped pass the Federal law against FGM in 1996 (which has since been overturned, unfortunately)
  • The medical and religious history of circumcision
  • The kind of circumcision described in the Old Testament isn’t even the same kind of circumcision performed today – and in the New Testament, it’s called an abomination
  • Circumcision began as a cure for masturbation, meant to hinder future sexual development and pleasure
  • The fake AIDS testing done to prove this surgery’s necessity 
  • What the procedure is like for baby boys (spoiler: it’s horrifying)
  • The PTSD and trauma that many men likely experience due to going through this painful procedure
  • Breaking down masculinity and toxic masculinity, and the role of empathy in masculinity
  • The backlash against American Circumcision and other similar films (like The Red Pill)

More about this episode.

Watch it on YouTube

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