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My friends new baby boy, advice?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
My friend just had her baby boy on Sunday. I had talked to her friday and she brought up the fact that my DS is intact, perfect opportunity I thought. I told her the facts about leaving the DS intact and about how traumatic the circumcision is on a baby, not to mention that I don't think it is something I should decide for my son. I thought I had really made an impact.

She circed him, AHHHHHHHHH, the poor baby. And she even went on to say she thought it was harder on them than it was on him and that he is doing fine with it. She obviously was not in the room during the procedure.

How do you all react when people you know do this. I don't want to say what the he** were you thinking, of course it hurts him! But that is what I am thinking. I am sopposed to go see the baby this week and it will be hard to hide my feeling. Any advice?


Landon 10-23-02
post #2 of 9
I probably would simply ask why.I think the reason why she did it was because everyone else is.Most people are ignorant to the purpose of the foreskin and the fact that circumcision is unnecessary.
post #3 of 9
Hurt her more than the baby? No one is really that stupid. It does not even deserve an explanation.

Megan, why would you hide your feelings? What if she had any other part of her son amputated just because she wanted to? What if she had done the same thing to a daughter? Would you not show your moral outrage and indignation? What if she had her son tattooed instead of circumcised? Would you remain smilingly silent as if there was absolutely nothing remiss?

Failing to speak out is to lie by omission. You are lying about your true feelings by hiding them leading others to believe your feelings are the opposite of what they actually are. To pass off a circumcision without comment leaves the impression that you agree with the genital surgical amputation. This violation of men's bodies has survived and thrived through the secrecy and political correctness as well as people's reticence to talk about anything sexual. There is also the status quo that is being disturbed. Many people have been afraid to speak out because it would upset the status quo. However, in less than a month, the status quo will change. Next year will be the first year in more than 50 years that the circumcision rate will be 50% or less. There will be a new status quo. That is the status quo of the intact man with his rights intact. As the status quo changes, there will be a lot of parents explaining their actions as well as a lot of embarassment. I can't imagine the embarassment to have a son come to me to ask why I had cut off part of his penis.

Take the momentary embarassment to speak out and let your feelings be known. Then take stock of your ethics and decide if this is really the kind of person you would like to call "friend."

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Frank, Thank you, you have really made me think about my actions involving this friend. It is so tragic what has occured, and her lack of ability to stand up to her husband because he wanted his son to look the same is inexcusible. As I was reading your post it really made me think or think twice rather whether or not I really can be friends with a mother like this who would mutilate her son for selfish reasons.

That is awesome that the rate of circumcision is going down. Thank you for pointing that out. I appreciate your words of wisdom and making me take a good look at this situation because unfortunately I doubt it will be the last time I am faced with it.

post #5 of 9
Megan, a very similar thing happened to me recently. A once good friend of mine circed her new baby boy after I had tried more than once to convince her it wasn't good or necessary. I went to visit her when he was about a week and a half old and believe it or not she and her stupid (excuse me, I'm angry) husband couldn't figure out why the poor kid screamed bloody murder everytime they tried to change his diaper. It was a horrible visit. I wanted to help her out with him but the one thing she wanted me to do, I just could not bring myself to do...change his diaper.

Since I got home I've gone over this in my head many times...did I not send the right articles? Did I just not approach them right? Or was there anything I could have said that would have had any impact on them? In the end, I believe the truth is that they simply did not want to hear anything that would interfere with what they had already for whatever selfish reasons decided to do. The bottom line is, even when I get over being angry I have to admit to myself that she and I are very different people, very different parents. I really don't want to continue our friendship. That sounds harsh, I know, but I really don't want to surround myself with people like this.

I'm not trying to tell you what to do, just relating my own similar experience.
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
kayjayjay, thank you for writing your experience. It is good to know that I am not the only one going through this and having such emotions. I wasn't sure how much it would effect me, but I just keep going over it. If only I would have emailed her the info and kept talking to her about it. I know it is to late now, but every time I look at my intact son it just breaks my heart for that little baby.

I am concerned about going to meet him this week. Like you said about your experience, I almost want to avoid the situation alltogether. Not sure what I will do. This isn't the only issue I am having about her decisions and her DS is only a week old so I am sure it is only going to get worse. It has just come out how clearly uneducated she is about circumcision and other issues. Hard to deal with.

post #7 of 9
I'm as anti-circ as anyone, but there's something about this type of post which disturbs me. (Not to invalidate your feelings at all, Megan - I can tell how upset you are!)

The thing is, you tried. You did what you could, and they circ'd anyway, for whatever reason. So now let's look at the situation. A child has been born. A child has been circ'd. What is the most important thing here? To my mind, what really matters is that a child has been born, a new life is in the world. Yes, your friends made the wrong decision concerning his penis, we'd all agree. But that does not invalidate the joy they (and their friends, you among them) are (or should be) feeling over the fact that they have a new baby.

I don't think it's in any way productive when visiting them for the first time to even mention circumcision. If they hadn't done it and were still debating it, then of course you should state your mind. But in this situation, where you gave them info and they still did it, what would be served by saying anything?

New parents need support and encouragement in those early days more than anything, as I think we all know. If you want to remain this woman's friend - and it sounds like she needs one, with a husband like that - the non-judgemental example you can set by your own mothering wrt other aspects of parenting may make a big difference and influence how she raises her son.
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Zinemama I totally understand where you are coming from, but I wanted to point out that I never stated and do not intend on bringing up the circumcision to my friend at all, she has brought it up and if she does I respond respectively towards her. Just as she has responded respectively towards my decision and views. I am simply trying to express my frustration and sympathy towards this helpless little baby to a board that I feel understands where I am coming from. I do not have many people outside of this board that I can discuss this issue with if any. Getting it off my chest so to speak will help me work through my frustration in order to move on in our relationship. I am so happy for her they have tried very hard to have this baby, there is a much bigger picture to this one issue I am commenting on. Sorry if I offended you that was not my intention.

post #9 of 9
No, no, you didn't offend me! I interpreted your post as wondering what you should say about it to her, and since I've seen that same question asked before here in a similar situations, I guess I read into your words something that wasn't there. I hope your visit goes well!
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