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How do I discuss male genital integrity without hurting friends who have circ'd? - Page 2

post #21 of 46
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for the encouragement and advice. I begged off the lunch this morning, but I did agree to a get-together on Tuesday. :sigh: Don't these women do anything else? I feel a lot better and less alien after gong to a babywearing group in the area. It's a longer drive, but hooray for breastfeeding, breastfeeding toddlers (first time seeing that IRL, YAY!!), babywearing, cloth diapering and that wholesome whole grain crunch! The women were very open and friendly, definitely worth the hour's drive.

And guess what? I was brave too! I had invited a pg friend from church to meet me there (she was asking me about my wrap) and she took a lot of notes and seemed to have a good time. Afterward we went to lunch and had a good talk. And guess what? We talked about circ! : I was really open with her about it, and encouraged her to do her research. She doesn't know what she's having (except a :h20hb:!) and I don't know what they had decided about circ, I just ploughed right in and told her about the fallacies of social pressures, cleanliness, disease and etc. She said nurses had told her to do it "to save trouble" but I told her about my DH (uncirc) and DS never having a problem, along with the vast majority of the rest of the world. Also I told her that retraction causes problems and to NEVER retract, not for cath or anything. I guess I got carried away but she was really interested. Anyways it made me feel almost like I was making up for my silence Monday.
post #22 of 46
Perhaps somethign to keep on the back for a comeback....
"I'd never question our decision to leave our son intact. He's perfect.

I've been in several mainstream playgroups and I only have the energy to stay and put myself out there if I feel there is some mutual respect. Some of the moms you have seem awful opinionated... you are going to have to find a way to even out the group dynamics so that everyone's voices are able to be heard. They seem to me like they are putting out the most extreme view in a way that say..." so there, now you are going to be afraid to say anything to contradict that!" And that may just be a smokescreen to stop anyone from presenting a different pov.

Even if the other happen to have chosen circ, I doubt they are all as opinionated. I'd be very shocked if none of them hadn't had some of the same concerns you had. But after those women brought out those pics, who's going to say something?

Luckily I've always seen that the other moms are open-minded.... So I have always felt good about voicing a different view and I WANT to because I think a lot of people will take the easier way and just agree with what others say, even if they disagree or the info doesn't feel right. If I speak up it might help them say some thigntoo, it plants a seed.... and it is likely that it might resonate to someone.
I guess I feel that was how I ended up being AP-minded because people on my expecting club opened by eyes to practices that were different... and even if at first I was skeptical, I had the tools I needed to take the steps, had the support, and had the confidence.

As for circumcision... I do think it is fair game if you have an intact child yourself to be a bit more blunt about people's view points being insulting or upsetting to you. But how one goes about that is quite individual.
You said you are not very confrontational (neither am I!) so you are going to have to think ahead of a plan and stick to somethign VERY short *much* shorter than what you had suggested above (I think you gave an example of something you might say for cio... I'd just say somethign quick like, "you know when my babe cries every fiber of my body reacts and I go. I couldn't ignore it if I wanted to".
I just think in the thick of it all I wouldn't remember a long thought and I'd likely just chicken out...
Something I just thought of was simple like, 'you know my dh and I didn't trivialize circumcision and came to a strong conclusion that leaving our son intact was the right thing to do.'
Other suggestions:
I'm just really puzzled by your experience with your son's circumcision, we were advised by our dr/midwife that circ's not done and consider his foreskin a normal functional useful body part."
"I think based on our differences this is a subject we should all just pass on".
"I'd never question our decision to leave our son intact. I think he's perfect."
(perhaps if someone has mentioned dirty or gross) then say, I hope you understand that saying that is very insulting can you explain exactly what is 'dirty' 'gross' or whatever it was they said....

Good luck
Jessica
post #23 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by nerdymom View Post
I feel a lot better and less alien after gong to a babywearing group in the area. It's a longer drive, but hooray for breastfeeding, breastfeeding toddlers (first time seeing that IRL, YAY!!), babywearing, cloth diapering and that wholesome whole grain crunch! The women were very open and friendly, definitely worth the hour's drive.

And guess what? I was brave too! I had invited a pg friend from church to meet me there (she was asking me about my wrap) and she took a lot of notes and seemed to have a good time. Afterward we went to lunch and had a good talk. And guess what? We talked about circ! : I was really open with her about it, and encouraged her to do her research. She doesn't know what she's having (except a :h20hb:!) and I don't know what they had decided about circ, I just ploughed right in and told her about the fallacies of social pressures, cleanliness, disease and etc. She said nurses had told her to do it "to save trouble" but I told her about my DH (uncirc) and DS never having a problem, along with the vast majority of the rest of the world. Also I told her that retraction causes problems and to NEVER retract, not for cath or anything. I guess I got carried away but she was really interested. Anyways it made me feel almost like I was making up for my silence Monday.
That's an awesome update! I missed it while writing my prvious response.

Hey, your dh is intact, too! Gee, I'd really be blunt to anyone who you can.. You really have a iron-clad case (I hope that's the right phrase).

The best thing after becoming a new mom was all the validation I got for leaving my son intact. I met moms at a meeting and one of the moms brought up that circ was her biggest regret and her friend (both did this for religious reasons, which was even more relevant to my personal situation) had both decided that any more boys were going to be left intact. Most of the moms I met had chosen to leave their sons intact.
But you know the one that finally really made me see the issue in a bigger picture was my Irish friend who mentioned that her dh was intact and they just never understood circ... she also simply said that she was glad dh was intact. She was honestly horrified when the midwives mentioned circ... and that honest horror/revulsion is just something most American just don't get. She blurted out something like- There's no way we would EVER do that.
Her honest reaction, unfiltered, not worried about offending someone, etc.... it is just what more people need to hear.

Jessica
post #24 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by nerdymom View Post
are they just going to band together against me and my opinions?
Chances are high that they'll do just that... sorry, I have been in a very similar situation and that's pretty much what happened to me... And in my experience you can't win - you feel like crap if you don't say anything and continue to hang out w/ them and you feel like crap for speaking up & then being ostracized... it stinks all around
post #25 of 46
There was a point at which I needed to surround myself with friends who had similar parenting styles to my own, because I just couldn't put up with the mainstream stuff. Now, my circles are a little broader, but I still don't put up with listening to babies CIO and I've become comfortable telling people they can't spank in my house.
post #26 of 46
I do agree with what others have said but there is also something you have to realize (I mean you in a general sense not specifically you lol) In their minds they did what was right and a good thing for their sons, as a mother of one who was circed and one who is not I used to think that circing was the right and only choice to make. I remember one of my friends was pregnant wiht a boy and she was asking us all about it and her only reason for not wanting to circ was b.c it causes pain to the newborn. I remember telling her but the dr's say its cleaner and healthier and all that stuff b/c back THEN I truly believed that, However now I now much more and obviously my thoughts have changed which is why I have an intact son. I think a good way to get across your thoughts is to do it in a way that is not going to make them feel bad for what they have done b.c well its done but to educate for future children or if not future children just so they can learn and educate others. I know if someone came to me full throttle in a domineering way that would make me close up and not want to listen. Just something to think about for everyone, you get more flies with honey than vinegar.

Also I know it makes you uncomfortable to have friends who are mainstreem but when you do that sometimes it also helps you to bring them on to the more natural side. Again I was totally mainstream mama with my first son. I gave up bfeeding by 3 months (but in my defense I had severe PPD) let him CIO and listened to EVERY word the Dr''s said as the truth! Once I became friends with more AP people and more natural ways of doing things it started to rub off on me and I have changed soo much from the mom I used to be. I now BF, BW, cosleep, used to cloth diaper but the laundry is to much for me to keep up and lal that stuff, so basically it doesnt always hurt to have some mainstream friends so that maybe it will help them learn new things too
post #27 of 46
I just tend to say "I don't believe in having cosmetic surgery done to people who cannot consent."
post #28 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlessedMommy2006 View Post
That is very creepy and weird. They TOOK PICTURES of their baby getting cut up? That is sadistic. Where is their mother's heart? I honestly don't understand how people can stomach that.

Maybe there are people around that you could hang with that have more in common with you?
yes it is awful. i actual quit reading a pretty famous blog because i went back a few entries and she posted pictures of her youngest kid during his bris/circ/cut whatever you want to call it. i was so shocked and disgusted that i haven't been back to her blog. really now-posting a picture of your kid suffering. :Puke
post #29 of 46
Wow, that is a tough situation. It's not just that those women circed out of ignorance which is totally understandable as it is so prevalent in this culture (cause the docs say it is standard, better, God knows what), but they took pictures of it? How sadist. They also practice CIO and find it amusing... There seem to be too many differences.
I'm not a person who can speak up in such groups at all, and with so many differences I personally wouldn't go there again. I'm just not confrontational IRL and pick and choose only mamas who parent like I do (or mostly like I do, and who are open to discussion either way). It is too stressful for me to be with parents who CIO, circ, give their infants soda and McDonalds and so on. I have only experienced it this way, either total MDC mom or totally not, I have yet to meet a mama in between.
post #30 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by nia82 View Post
Wow, that is a tough situation. It's not just that those women circed out of ignorance which is totally understandable as it is so prevalent in this culture (cause the docs say it is standard, better, God knows what), but they took pictures of it? How sadist. They also practice CIO and find it amusing... There seem to be too many differences.
I'm not a person who can speak up in such groups at all, and with so many differences I personally wouldn't go there again. I'm just not confrontational IRL and pick and choose only mamas who parent like I do (or mostly like I do, and who are open to discussion either way). It is too stressful for me to be with parents who CIO, circ, give their infants soda and McDonalds and so on. I have only experienced it this way, either total MDC mom or totally not, I have yet to meet a mama in between.
I have seen you post this for the second time now. I don't know if it's my playgroup or what but we're a fairly crunchy bunch of AP mamas and some of us (me included...you know that though ) have circed their sons for different reasons. Others decided NOT to circ. It's totally fine with everybody, why shouldn't it be? Some of the babies are vaxed, some only partially, some not at all. Most of the babies are being worn, breastfed, cosleep, cloth diapered etc.

As for me. Yes DS is circed. Am I happy now looking back at having it done? No. Would I do it agian? No. I'm sorry for what my son had to go through but I don't think he'll ever question me about it. He never had to cio, he was breastfed until he didn't want anymore, never got soda from a bottle, still sleeps in our bed (at 3 1/2 years old), was worn until I couldn't take it no more (due to pregnancy), was cloth diapered etc. I'm sure there are more moms who are still 'good moms' even though they have circed their sons.

I'm sorry for all the moms who stay away from other great women just because their sons are not intact. Who knows how the mom feels about it? I had my husband talk me into it back then. I didn't question it, it's just how things were done. Now I know better...I know better about a lot of things now but back then...I didn't. I still like to meet other crunchy mommas and talk about other stuff instead of being judged for a wrong decision I made a few years back.
post #31 of 46
Honestly between the circing and the CIO, I would've had to leave. I would've been sad and angry about the circing, but what's done is done...however, sitting there while a baby is crying and being ignored? Nope, I'm out, and I would not be able to keep my moth shut, either.
A mom's group, IMO, is supposed to be supportive. If you're that far removed from their style of parenting, support is going to be pretty hard to come by, and each meeting will probably be stressful. Why bother?
post #32 of 46
I think I'd have had to leave the particular playgroup. Between the circ, the CIO and the way they seem to have been seeing/treating you (OP) as a bit of a freak, I'd just be too uncomfortable to stick around.

I don't get the hygiene thing. I don't get the "uncirc'd is gross" thing. We're talking about deliberately creating an open wound in a diaper. I just don't get it.
post #33 of 46
please keep in mind that discusion of or reference to religion is against the forum guidelines.
post #34 of 46
I'm having a hard time getting past the taking pictures of the circ, honestly. Wow. I can understand circing because you think it's cleaner or whatever, but what the hell kind of person takes pictures of it??

I'm usually pretty live and let live, most of my friends circed, but good Lord. I couldn't be friends with people who took pictures of it.
post #35 of 46
The picture taking is just sadistic to me. Yuck. I'm sure I couldn't have stopped myself from looking at that mom like she had 2 heads.
post #36 of 46
when I was preggers with DS (and I knew I was having a boy)...the circ issue came up with a friend who was helping me register. Her little boy is 7 months older than DS... and he is circed.

I don't see any value in trying to put guilt on a mama for a decision that can't be undone... so I said something like, "I was researching it and found pictures of the prodecure being done on a baby, and it just hit me in my gut, and my mama bear came out. I can't knowingly let anyone do that to DS." Her response was, "ooh... don't tell me, I don't want to know." I just left it at that and hope that a seed was planted.

I think that in that group of moms I would probably want to say something like, "yeah, I've seen pictures of circs being done, and that's why I decided I couldnt let anyone do that to DS." Of course, I don't know if I'd actually have the guts to say that, as I'm pretty nonconfrontational... I would probably bow out of that group, to be honest.

And since the topic of circ is open between you and bff, you could have a side convo with her.... something to the effect of "I was really uncomfortable at that playgroup. I felt like they were saying my son's penis is gross... and I felt like they were completely judging me for my parenting style." And just see where the conersation goes.
post #37 of 46
Oh this is such a hard situation

A couple of weeks ago I posted here about the same thing...my moms group all be pro circ and me feeling so sick and sad about it.

What I've come to think is this...not one of these women wanted to circ. Every one of them had a husband that insisted on it. Each woman had sorrow of their son's pain. So I made it my place to change Ds's diaper in front of them. When circ is talked about I'm sure to say that my Dh is cut and that it was HIM who chose to keep Ds intact (and I say intact not uncut). That Dh chose this because he saw that there is no reason beyond 'matching' and then I keep it light by adding that unless ds added pubic hair and several inches they don't match anyways! In the future I'm thinking of slipping in 'and over 100 babies die each year from circumcision...matching isn't worth the risk.'

I decided that I can be friends with these women.

Now, CIO on the other hand. A mom was questioning her Dh's desire to let their son CIO. I stated flatly that it harms the baby's brain development and was 'soooo 1990's!' i quoted Sears Baby Sleep Book. The next time I saw the mama she say she had just ordered Sears' book and was sure she did not want to CIO.

I have decided with Dh that our home is not supportive of CIO and spanking No child is
to CIO or be spanked at our home. We do not permit talk supporting either to happen in our home.

Again, I found I could be good friends with these women. Circ, so far, is the only issue that divided us.
post #38 of 46
The problem with not challenging those that have already circed before is that they are the most likely to do it again, especially if no one says anything to them about it. Personally I think it's imperative to get the word out to those that have already circ'd because hopefully we can spare any future sons they might have. Giving them a pass is the equivelant of abandoning their future sons.
post #39 of 46
This thread was started long ago, so I don't know if the OP is still following or still having her decision to circ questioned in any cases, but if you have an intact DH, you have the best response possible!

"My husband is intact, and he would not consider circumcision for his son under any circumstances." You might add, "Not because he is concerned about looking different, but because he knows how much he would miss his own foreskin if it were gone."

This is almost guaranteed to elicit more questions, which would be an invitation to talk not only about "studies" and statistics, but about a real person's experience. We who are married to intact men know that the foreskin adds much to a man's "quality of life"!

Even women whose husbands are not intact might be able to use a variant of this line -- if your circ'd DH was against it for his own son because he regrets that he was circumcised without his consent, you can say that. Or you can just say, "Most [or all] couples I know where the husband is intact choose to keep their sons intact because the dad values the fact that he is uncut." (Even if you've only read posts like this and don't know any intact men personally, it's still true. ) I think appealing to personal experience is more persuasive than facts and figures, which are easily dismissed. (Consider how many on this board dismiss -- and even feel offended by -- friends and family members who try to use facts and figures to persuade us to be more conventional in our parenting.)
post #40 of 46
Thread Starter 
I am enjoying this thread's revival, as an oldie but a goodie. For those interested, I will bring you up to speed. It's been a year and a half since this little drama unfolded and as I became a more confident mother of a happy "lap baby", then a healthy and adventurous toddler. I became more outspoken about my convictions on circ, CIO, extended bfing, and other things. Most of the women are fine with me and my "nutty" opinions. I continue to see some of the women from the group. Unfortunately my friend with the intact son lashed out at me in anger, I don't think it was about me but rather related to some personal issues. She told me that she wasn't comfortable having my unvaccinated son around her children (she just had a baby a few months ago). She's refused to see me for almost a year, and while I still hold out a hand in friendship, she continues to rebuff me. I am determined to "kill with kindness", as I know she is having a rough time. She struggled after the birth of her first child, and having two so close together must be doubly difficult.

I moved and have been able to make more friends, most mainstream but a few are soggy. I consider myself a granola ambassador, afterall, as one person in this thread mentioned, "everyone needs a crazy hippy friend!"

Quote:
Originally Posted by nia82 View Post
Wow, that is a tough situation. It's not just that those women circed out of ignorance which is totally understandable as it is so prevalent in this culture (cause the docs say it is standard, better, God knows what), but they took pictures of it? How sadist. They also practice CIO and find it amusing... There seem to be too many differences.
I'm not a person who can speak up in such groups at all, and with so many differences I personally wouldn't go there again. I'm just not confrontational IRL and pick and choose only mamas who parent like I do (or mostly like I do, and who are open to discussion either way). It is too stressful for me to be with parents who CIO, circ, give their infants soda and McDonalds and so on. I have only experienced it this way, either total MDC mom or totally not, I have yet to meet a mama in between.

I consider myself of a bit of an in-betweener myself, and I have some friends who I am slowly "corrupting" with BWing, CDing, and NIPing!


Quote:
Originally Posted by luv my 2 sweeties View Post
This thread was started long ago, so I don't know if the OP is still following or still having her decision to circ questioned in any cases, but if you have an intact DH, you have the best response possible!

"My husband is intact, and he would not consider circumcision for his son under any circumstances." You might add, "Not because he is concerned about looking different, but because he knows how much he would miss his own foreskin if it were gone."

This is almost guaranteed to elicit more questions, which would be an invitation to talk not only about "studies" and statistics, but about a real person's experience. We who are married to intact men know that the foreskin adds much to a man's "quality of life"!

Even women whose husbands are not intact might be able to use a variant of this line -- if your circ'd DH was against it for his own son because he regrets that he was circumcised without his consent, you can say that. Or you can just say, "Most [or all] couples I know where the husband is intact choose to keep their sons intact because the dad values the fact that he is uncut." (Even if you've only read posts like this and don't know any intact men personally, it's still true. ) I think appealing to personal experience is more persuasive than facts and figures, which are easily dismissed. (Consider how many on this board dismiss -- and even feel offended by -- friends and family members who try to use facts and figures to persuade us to be more conventional in our parenting.)
You make an excellent point about mentioning DH's intact status. And it's true, his biggest objection to circ is his own foreskin. He just gets a pained expression on his face. DH is very protective of his son! We had a pediatrician try to tell us our son's rectal abscess was caused by an infection in the foreskin. You should have heard the shout my husband gave when that guy tried to retract DS! The whole ER stopped dead. But DS was saved from retraction. And later we found out that the doc was the head of peds and a high ranking officer (military hospital) who was there on a special consult. oops!
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