Hi Surprised Mommy:
What a GREAT posting! I, too, tried to watch a circ video just to see what it was all about, and I couldn't make it through either. It made me literally sick and just completely depressed and sad. I honestly can't understand how doctors can do this procedure on a regular basis!
I also had to comment about what happened to your daughter. Something similar happened to me when I was a baby. The doctor told my mom that something was "growing closed," then proceeded to take a scalpel and cut my genitals without any pain medicine. My mom said the doctor had a nurse hold my legs down while I screamed and cried.
There is this attitude that some doctors have that they are "in charge" and you must go along with everything they have in mind. I know my mom has been really scarred by several medical procedures that were done to me as a child that seemed really violent and painful (another included them holding me upside down, again with multiple people involved, trying to get blood out of my neck because they were having a hard time drawing it elsewhere), and she felt like she had no ability to say no or go against the doctor's wishes. I also had an experience during childbirth of the doctor forcing me to have an episiotomy even though I was saying "No! I don't want one!" She just said, "I am DOING
I know not all doctors have this mindset, but what's up with them thinking that they know better and we are just a bunch of uninformed idiots who don't know what's good for ourselves? We should be able to make decisions about our bodies and our children's bodies (as far as protecting
them from unnecessary pain and procedures, not vice versa!).
Back to the topic of circumcision, it's always SOOOO exciting to see that another parent has chosen NOT to circumcise.
What a wonderful choice you've made for your son!
I also agree with you that it does seem completely odd that so many men are the ones fighting for this to continue, in many cases. A man once gave me an interesting explanation for this though, saying it was too painful for men to admit that something so horrific and unfair was done to them as babies, so they just push that back in their minds, almost subconsciously, and try to justify it by the explanations we've all heard. (It looks weird. It is gross. It's unclean. People will make fun of them. They will get cancer/STDS. Etc.)
FYI, it sounds like you probably already know this since you are doing research, but you DON'T have to clean your intact son's penis under the foreskin. The skin doesn't even retract naturally until they are older. My son is almost five, and his foreskin hasn't retracted yet, and when it does, he will be plenty old enough to take care of any cleaning on his own.
It's totally healthy, and once you're used to it, there isn't anything "weird" looking about it. One day, hopefully soon, normal penises will actually look just that: NORMAL, the way nature intended!!!!!!!
Yay for people reading this thread and having it help them make the decision NOT to circ!
I agree that all parents should have to read this information and/or watch that video before consenting to circ their sons!!!!!
Originally Posted by surprisedmommy
I have to say, I am happy to have found this thread. I am 7 months pregnant with my first boy. I never really thought about circumcision before, since I never needed to. My sisters circumcised all their sons, 3 sons each. I never questioned. It was just something mothers chose to do. I always felt deep inside that it seemed cruel, even with the thinking that it was just a piece of extra skin.
Now that I am having a boy, the fear of circumcision has been haunting me. I somehow, even without real background information felt that it was wrong. A girlfriend asked me if I would circumcise, I said that I didn't know. She told me that her husband was circumcised and he was adament that they would NOT do that to their son. That he was very angry that it was done to him. This made me wonder... why would he feel that way? I told her that my hubby would probably want to have our son done because he was done. She said that although it was a choice, albeit one that we shouldnt have, she respected mine but would not do it and did not do it to her son.
This led to my need to educate myself on just what this procedure entailed... and not just that.... what the foreskin was all about. It couldn't just be "extra skin".
I have to say that after reading this thread, I was convinced that I would not do that to our son. I had a talk with hubby before I read this site. He said all the things circumcised men are trained to think. He asked me how I would put up with "cleaning" it and how I would explain to our son why he was different. He said he was fine and didn't miss his foreskin. I let him talk. I told him that these things were all myths. This much I knew.
On easter, we were at my in-laws. Funny enough, my father in law gave me an article he saved out of the paper. It was on circumcision... against it. I was a little confused at first. I thought he would be for it, they chose that for their son. He said he didnt know any of that stuff when they had their son. He told me to think about it. I gave it to hubby to read, he said, well... whatever you decide baby I will support you. What a wonderful husband I have.
Still I needed more info even though I was pretty sure I wasnt going to do that to my baby. Then I found this site and was convinced. I sent the info over to hubby to read. Then I asked him... "do you miss your foreskin yet?" He said "yes I do.. I had no idea that foreskin was so important" We both agreed that we are not going to mutilate our baby.
Today I decided against my better judgment to watch the video. Not good. I could only get through 50 seconds of it and then I began to sob uncontrollably to the point of almost vomitting. Ignorance in this case may be bliss!!!
I have never been so traumatized and I have seen many things. I can not believe that all of my nephews and my husband have gone through that procedure. I am shocked and deeply saddened. I am having a very difficult time getting even that 50 seconds out of my head. If I had to watch that video after I made that decision I would be forever regretful and a part of me would die inside. I am not sure that I would ever be able to forgive myself. I believe our society should stop hiding behind ignorance and be forced to be accountable for our actions. We should make it a mandatory requirment that all mothers and fathers watch that video with full sound before they are allowed to elect to circumcise. They will stop using the pretty euphamatic word circumcision and start calling it what it really is "elective mutilation" which really hardly conveys the torture these tiny innocent beautiful babies are forced to endure.
The irony I can't get over is that in a predominately patriarchal society such as our own, men would consent to such things being done to THEM, and would allow this to occur through generations? Even more ironic is that women are trying to stop this and are forced to fight their more dominant male counterpart to end the barbaric treatment and suffering of themselves!!!
I am so happy that I was strong enough to question the status quo. Lucky for me I have never been much of a follower.
I feel very...very sorry for all the mothers out there who were bullied and misguided. To have to live with that decision is a very tough thing to deal with.
When my daughter was 10 months old, I brought her to the paeditrician for a routine checkup. I had no complaints at that time, my daughter was perfect and healthy. The doc looked her over and checked this and that. Then she looked into her diaper. She looked for all of about 3 seconds then said, stand here I will be right back. When she came back into the room she had something in her hand. She motioned me out of the way and proceeded to stick this utensil into my daughters vagina. I had no idea what she was doing. My baby girl cried for about 4 seconds, but I was shocked. I looked at her in horror. She tried to tell me that my daughters vaginal opening was closing and she needed to reopen it before it sealed shut!!!!!
WHAT????? What was she talking about. I am perfectly familiar with the female anatomy and there is no way in hell that my daughters vagina was adhering to itself. I am aware that this does occur on occasion with little girls but this was definitely not that case with my daughter. What this woman did was take a crochet like hook and cut my daughers hymen!!! It all happened so fast and she didnt even get permission!!!! I was shocked and bewildered. It took months for me to get over what had happened that day. I felt so much that she had violated my daughter. It sickened me that I now had to inform the daycare of what she did because I was afraid that they might think something far worse had occured in my home!!!
I understand what it feels like to have the medical profession feel like they are entitled to perform things without consent!!! They dont even think twice about it.
We need to stand up for ourselves, our children and our bodies!!! To do this we must learn to question the status quo and educate ourselves, even when we respect the source of popular information!
I want to thank every single person who posted on this website. You ARE making a difference!!!!!