I consider myself fortunate to take Gender Studies as my English literature class during my final semester of high school. Our first reading was a thesis Night to his Day: The Social Construction of Gender by Judith Lorber. As can probably be inferred by the clever title, the piece is about the feminine being defined in terms of the masculine rather than in its own separate language and the subsequent skewing of the gender binary.
Seeing as I am constantly looking for new assaults to/praises for Jewish feminism to blog about, I was thrilled when Lorber referenced circumcision in the context of Judaism. She wrote, Many cultures go beyond clothing, gestures, and demeanor in gendering children. They inscribe gender directly into bodies.Jewish fathers circumcise their infant sons to show their covenant with God. Needless to say, I eagerly annotated these sentences with post on circumcision!!!
A brit milah (bris) is exactly what Lorber defines it as: covenant of circumcision. It is a supposed covenant with God, marking the baby boy as not only holy, but as a possible messiah. The baby boy is blessed through sacred ritual (that may or may not be medically important), but what about a baby girl?