I had a discussion with an old friend today who is 26-weeks pregnant with her first. We don't talk very frequently but she did let me know that she was having a boy. After pleasantries, I brought up circumcision and simply mentioned to her that circ is a. unnecessary and b. very painful, mainly because I believe she has probably not ever encountered an anti-circ opinion in her life. I guess the intactivist in me couldn't let a conversation like that pass by without at least planting the seed of doubt.
Cultural conditioning is a strong current to swim against though!! Her response was that no way would she leave him with an "anteater head" and that an uncircumcised penis could get dirty, infected and desensitized. I know, I know. It is very hard to hear such comments, esp considering that my own son is intact but she never bothered asking if I've had any trouble caring for his penis (no, never). And I'm fairly certain she has never researched this topic whatsoever, judging by the bizarre myths used as a defense of her position. I did follow up lightly with rebuttal but I just find these conversation to be very difficult. First of all, is it unseemly to even mention such things to pregnant friends? How do you respond when faced with such incredible ignorance and inflexible mindsets? I find it depressing overall. I am convinced by now that the only way to eradicate RIC is through legislation and ending medical coverage, because working on the individual level frankly feels futile and impossible.
I can't help myself from bringing it up on occasion but how can I do so and successfully plant that seed without creating a standoff of positions and alienating people? It is very hard to speak moderately when one feels that the topic at hand is literally the sexual assault and mutilation of infants, while the other feels it is a casual "snip-snip" hardly worth discussing except for a laugh.