What led you to the decision not to circ. - Page 6
Oh, some people are definitely pro-circumcision, and label themselves as such. I agree that most people are just defending themselves, but pro-circers do exist.
As it turned out, it was a moot point, but I can honestly say that squeamishness had nothing to do with my leaving DS intact. And I *know* I did the right thing.
From the time I learned what circumcision was, I have been against it. I just didn't understand why one would remove a natural part of the body. It didn't make sense.
It wasn't until I decided to have children that I really looked into the issue and became informed on the the anatomy of the foreskin and the procedure of circumcision. But before I had the facts, I had an instinctual sense that it was wrong.
Babina's Mommy, I am also someone completly comfortable with going against the tide when I know that I am right.
The feelling I get knowing that I've saved my son from this harm is one of deep compassion and peace. I truly believe it's a humanitarian act and that this act of protection for my son radiates out into the universe. I hope he's a gentler more peaceful soul for not having to experience this pain and have it a part of himself to carry for life. Much as violence begets violence - the child spanked grows up to be a spanker with their own children - I hope that gentleness begets gentleness.
The point I am making is that I see it as a much bigger isue than just my own specific son. How we treat the young and the elderly speaks volumns about our society. I think we have a long way to go but I am eased to know that I have contributed kindly to the shaping of a new person.
I love your post. I couldn't have stated it better myself.
I changed my brother as a newborn and thought what they'd done was pretty horrific. I never really noticed my would be husband was intact at first but once he mentioned it, well it wasn't a big deal. His mom was paying for his birth and everything out of pocket and saw no need for opting for that procedure. So I started out thinking at best it's a neutral thing, at worse it's harming them to do it. I'm of the opinion of if choice of do something and do nothing are equal then do nothing.
I came to the conclusion when I was probably around 16ish. I remember walking down the street, lost in thoughts. And I got to thinking about it. I didn't know much. Probably about all I knew was: its pretty common, it allegedly reduced risks of infections, but it was controversial and some people didn't believe that, or didn't think that was good justification, its a Jewish commandment, and not a commandment for my religion. I also had two nephews, one intact one not. So, with just that information, I got to thinking. Everyone is born with a foreskin. So, its normal. And probably there for a reason. So were we improving god's/nature's design by altering the normal state of the body, or were we messing it up? And I came to the conclusion that it makes the most sense to leave it alone. Anyway.. seemed like pretty common sense logic. Then of course, the more I learned the more firm I was in my position!
I never thought of it until I was pregnant with my first. Then, she turned out to be a girl.
Second time around, the subject came up again and poof! A boy!! DH and I had talks about it. Our #1 reason for not circ'ing our son was because it is mutilation. Males are born with foreskin for a reason. Nature knows what it's doing. Not gonna mess with nature.
In early 2004 I was pregnant with my first and was online reading about natural birth and breastfeeding. That led me here but I didn't join as a member until some time afterward. It was so early in my pregnancy that we didn't even know the sex of the baby. (I had a natural birth in the hospital the first time.) Matt looked up from his computer, across from where I was sitting at my computer and asked my opinion on getting the baby circumcised if it was a boy. I replied, "I've heard the word a few times but I have no idea what it is." He told me that it's when a boy has part of his penis cut off. I scoffed and said, "Well yeah, if it's horribly diseased or he's going to die or something." He told me that, nope they just do it. I didn't believe him at first. How could I be an adult woman and have no idea that all around me almost every man I had ever met had part of his penis chopped off as a baby? It completely blew my mind. I was against it immediately. Matt was happy I felt that way. He has actually been against circumcision longer than he's known me. I know often it's the mom who introduces the dad to the information. In our case it was the other way around.
I just pulled up a picture on the internet!
Many things over time but the initial spark was that one night early in our marriage, the subject came up and my (circ'd) husband stated, rather emphatically, that he would never, ever do that to a child and that he had always been upset that he was cut ever since he realized that this was done to him. I retorted with some typical culturally conditioned response (like "ew, gross" or something ignorant lol!).
DH wandered off but I immediately went to the computer and Googled to find pictures of intact penises! I figured if this was something my husband felt strongly about, then at the very least I needed to see what one looked like lol! I thought, well, it is a bit different but not really bad different or good different. Just different than what I was used to. And really that was the beginning of my journey. Of course now I realize it doesn't matter what my personal views are on the appearance because it is not my body to decide. However, if this is what helps get some mothers over the initial fear or whatever, so be it. I think more women should see what they look like up close and that it really isn't that big of a deal.
Full disclosure: I am embarrassed to say that on reflection, I realized that I had indeed had sex with an intact man in college. I just didn't know it because they look very similar when aroused. More proof that it's all in our heads!
In the 90s or maybe as late as 2001, I saw a display by a student group against circumcision. I didn't really have any opinion of it at the time or even much interest. I was just curious. I looked at their material and thought it all sounded like common sense. I had fortgotten about that exposure by the time I got pregnant. I think, however, it took root in my psyche.
By the time I got pregnant, I was naive. I read through an informational binder of prenatal care and birth choices provided by my midwives. There was a page on circumcision which started with a noncommittal paragraph about how it is not medically necessary but some parents have it done and it's no big deal. I just thought, "people still do that?" and "why, if it's not necessary, would anyone cut off a bodypart from their baby?"
The naive part was that I assumed circumcision was rare, especially among educated parents. Then my friends and peers all started having babies and circumcising their sons! I was dumbfounded. Most of them had advanced degrees and yet they were consenting to pointless surgery. That's when I got outraged and found out more about it. It was more than pointless, it was harmful too.
I happen to think piercing a baby's ears is mutilation, so it's surprising it took me so long to decide against circumcision. I thought there would be all this cleaning involved with an intact penis, but then I read something online about how you don't need to clean under the foreskin, the first person who should retract it would be my son, and it all clicked.
I also looked up botched circumcisions. There's all sorts of things that can go wrong even when everything looks okay, like little adhesions. My fiance is fine now, but he almost lost his penis as a baby because his mom forgot to change his circumcision dressing.
I can't pinpoint an exact moment, but my second sexual partner wasn't circumcised and I was kind of like, hmm, this is sort of cool to play with, why do people cut it off? So I think after that, I didn't really see the point. I don't recall spending a ton of time on the decision, but it seemed fairly self-evident that there wasn't a really good reason to do surgery on a tiny baby. Any further reading I did only solidified my feelings on the matter. Some time before DH and I had kids I laid down the law that any future sons wouldn't be circumcised. He is circed and doesn't seem bothered about it, but he didn't have a problem with going along with my position on the matter.