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The moment I have dreaded has come: My pro-circ brother is expecting a boy. None of the usual... - Page 2

post #21 of 36

To the OP... some people respond to information in different ways?  Have you ever thought of just writing your SIL a letter stating your views on the matter plus a few more facts?  This might be more effective and less confrontational than a face-to-face discussion.

post #22 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Backroads View Post
But on your first, I never said to not feel sad or bad about it. 
This is what I said:
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama24-7 View Post
These two replies, IMO, show just how much of a circ'ing culture we are.  Not only can a person not express their sadness over what they know or think will happen a child against their will, but then others tell the person that they have done all they can & back off.  Would this happen if someone came here to say they were sad a girl was going to be cut?  Would anyone say "People make their own choices," w/ respect to FGM?

 

There's no way to tell from what was posted what will or will not happen between these two siblings.  Predicting the future on the relationship is not helpful to helping this individual deal w/ what she's going through.

<snip>

 

Best wishes,

Sus

 
Where did I say you said that?
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Backroads View Post
BUT whining and pouting about it is not going to get anything done.  As it stands, circumcision is legal.  And, as much as I am against it, I do not consider circing the worst thing that can happen to a baby by any stretch of the imagination.  In fact, if it were a girl, I would also say the same thing:  you said what you said, that's all you can do.    SOmeone earlier in this thread mentioned how far we go?  How far do we go?  At one point does our activism get to trump parental rights and family privacy? 

 

I have a close friend who is very orthodox in her religion where circing is part of the faith.  She was THREATENED by some other mothers, had her tires slashed, and her older child hit in the face by one of these mothers when they found out her faith involved circumcision.  Say what you will against faith/culture-based circing, but that poor mom was scared for her life and the lives of her children because a few woman couldn't find a way to draw a respectful line.

 

What advice do you think should be given?  While I also agree that a bit of bribery may be a great idea, what if that doesn't work?  Fight for custody?  Kidnap the baby from the place of birth?

 

Until circing is made illegal, there's not a whole heck of a lot one can do.  I may be an unfortunate victim of a circing culture, but I am also a big believer in family privacy and personal choice.

 

 

How is telling someone they are whining & pouting going to help?  How does comparing what you consider to not be the worst thing to something someone considers to be very, very bad & possibly the worst. thing. ever, help the OP?  How far do we go?  Don't know but I imagine it's different for each situation.

 

I'm sorry that that woman was terrorized.  Wonder if something like that would have happened had the individuals who perpetrated the crimes had a place where they could go & vent?  Sounds like those people believe in an eye for an eye.  I'm a voluntaryist so I don't.  No person has the right to alter the body of another no matter what the reason/s.  Period.

 

What advice do I think should be given?  Not sure if you mean to the OP or to those who want to cut their children.  Either way, I think the best MO is to inform people that circumcision is declining among all of those who typically circumcise, intact genitals is the normal human condition & the harms, both immediate & long term, of elective prepuce amputation.  To the OP, empathy.  Not much more than that.  Would you tell a child not to whine & pout if they were upset about something?  How does that help anyone to work through what they are feeling?  Adults & children alike whine when they don't feel heard.  I hear the OP loud & clear & have chosen to *try* to help her deal w/ her feelings vs. tell her to just stop.

 

"Family privacy," is part of what perpetuates the cycle of circumcision.  Just the same that a family doesn't have the right to keep private that they want to amputate the parts of female children, so too it is not a right that families what to keep private that they're electing to cut off parts of baby boys.  I 100% agree w/ personal choice.  When talking about infant/child circumcision, the only person who's choice matters is the individual.  No.  One.  Else's.  Any adult can choose to have their person altered however they choose.  It is not the family penis.  It is an individuals body.  As Dr. Christopher Guest says, ""If you don't own your own body, what do you own?"

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Backroads View Post
 

To the OP... some people respond to information in different ways?  Have you ever thought of just writing your SIL a letter stating your views on the matter plus a few more facts?  This might be more effective and less confrontational than a face-to-face discussion.

Why not make this be your reply instead of telling someone how they should feel?

 

Best wishes,

Sus

post #23 of 36
Whining carries the connotation that the OP is acting childishly, or that the OP is repeatedly complaining about a trivial matter. I think it's being an idealist, not a child. The world needs idealists and activists to bring about change. And there is nothing trivial about amputation. If someone wants to come here and express whatever emotion they have about circumcision, I think that's fair.

And pouting? Really? Isn't that like when you don't get your favorite ice cream flavor and you get upset about it?

I think the how far do you go question is a good one to contemplate. As well as the question of what methods are most effective to convince people not to circ.

It is legal for a parent to have a healthy, useful, functional part their boy's body cut off. Plenty of people still think it's a good or OK thing to do. But when someone has all of the information about circumcision, and also a passion for ethics and human rights, it means that they might step on some toes because of their passion. Each person should decide what their role is- do I want to tell it from the rooftops and be that weird person with an 'obsession'? Do I want to present information with no emotion? Cry? Bribe? Target my methods for each person? Do what I think is ethical? Be understanding? Change relationships?

Unfortunately, it's complicated.
post #24 of 36

All right, whining and pouting were loaded words.  I did not think of coming here as a place to vent, so the context is more appropriate.  I did mean them in reference to not leaving people eventually make their own decisions.  My advice to the  op was no less helpful than tactics that aren't guaranteed to work.  I suppose I see little point in beating a dead horse when someone has made their decision. 

 

Quote:
 

I think the how far do you go question is a good one to contemplate. As well as the question of what methods are most effective to convince people not to circ.

It is legal for a parent to have a healthy, useful, functional part their boy's body cut off. Plenty of people still think it's a good or OK thing to do. But when someone has all of the information about circumcision, and also a passion for ethics and human rights, it means that they might step on some toes because of their passion. Each person should decide what their role is- do I want to tell it from the rooftops and be that weird person with an 'obsession'? Do I want to present information with no emotion? Cry? Bribe? Target my methods for each person? Do what I think is ethical? Be understanding? Change relationships?

Unfortunately, it's complicated.

 

It is complicated, but I do think we all should consider just how far to go in championing intactivism.  I do feel strongly about what my aforementioned friend went through, that it was very, very wrong that she and her family should be attacked.  I think most people think that's going too far, but clearly some people think it's okay behavior. 

 

My level:  Say my piece and be done with it because I truly believe I can't make the decision for anyone else. 

 

As for "be understanding", that's simply not allowed in the intactivism community.  And that is something that does indeed bother me.  We are not allowed to be understanding.  We are repeated told by the natural living culture to cut off all ties with anyone and everyone who has ever participated in circumcision.

 

I am against circumcision, but I am against this alienation that is constantly prescribed.

post #25 of 36

My son is not circumcised. The night he was born, my father came in to my room after the birth and questioned me on whether or not DS was to be circumcised. I told him we were not doing it. He turned irate and began screaming at me because we weren't circumcising OUR son. He accused DH of brainwashing me. He went down the whole list of why we should do it and that we were setting DS up for lifelong agony and lifelong medical problems. I sat in my hospital bed in shock. I was 6 hours out of major surgery. I had a C-section and had my tubes tied. More importantly, my son was in the NICU. He had a medical emergency two minutes after his birth and got whisked away to the NICU. At that point in time, I had no idea what was wrong with him. So, there was my dad screaming at me for not circumcising my son while I lay in my hospital bed recovering from major surgery, and scared to death about my son and not knowing what was wrong with him. What an asshole, right? The irony is that my father is a doctor and is not circumcised!!!! Anyway, I got enough energy to tell him to back off, DS is not HIS child, and DH and I make the decisions, not him. END OF STORY. I will never forget that and will never forgive him for that. I almost cut him out of my life over that. I know the OP was much gentler in her approach and our situations are complete opposites, but the idea is the same. You have to know where to draw the line with people, especially family. Honestly, it is not her business what her brother and SIL decide to do about their son's penis. I don't agree with it either, but it's THEIR decision. OP, I don't think there is anything more you should do. If your brother and SIL wanted you to be part of the decision-making process, you would have been. Unsolicited advice, preaching, whatever you want to call it does not come across well, and usually makes people want to get away from those folks who do that kind of thing. I don't like that or those types of people, and I'm sure I'm not the only one.

post #26 of 36
There's a lot of talk about "making the decision." I believe that it is not their (parents) decision to make.

I think it's just as much a person's business what is done to her nephew's penis as it is the parents' business.

That being said, I recognize that it is legal for them to decide to do this. I recognize that sometimes a soft approach or just letting it go and giving up is the thing that I feel is best.

It's really important to have a place to vent because giving up on one child is hard. Even if it means relationships will exist or be better because of it. I don't think it's my place to decide the best kind of activism for each person. But I do know that having voices out there that seem calm and respectful is important. I used to not be able to do that at all.

When a girl's parents decide to have her clitoral hood removed, how far should people go to try to convince them otherwise?
post #27 of 36
Quote:

Originally Posted by MoonJelly View Post

 

  He is quite fixated on looks and being made fun of.  

 

Have you any idea why this is such an issue for him? I mean, obviously any parent is going to be concerned about the possibility of their child being the victim of teasing, but what makes him so convinced that his son will be teased for having a foreskin? Has he heard of cases where this happened? Has he himself been the victim of bullying as a child - could that be why it's a particular sore spot? If you want to get any further at all in this debabe, it'll be really important to have a good idea of where he's coming from on this, and to acknowledge the validity of his concerns.

 

Wanting to spare your child the experience of teasing is absolutely valid and important. Wanting to cut part of your child's body off to spare them this experience is more questionable - will the child really grow up to agree that it was worthwhile? It's important to separate the two points and acknowledge/agree with the concern before you can get onto a discussion of whether his suggested solution is really the best one.

 

So, I would take that approach - find out more about why this is such a hot button for him and acknowledge the validity of his concern over the possibility of teasing. Then query whether circumcision is really the best approach. How sure is he that this will be a problem (especially given that you say there are now about as many non-circed as circed boys around)? Is this the only way to deal with it? Given that many men do wish they hadn't been circed, what are the chances that his son will feel that losing this part of his body may end up being too high a price to pay to avoid some possible teasing?

 

It is extremely important to keep all of this respectful in your approach, with full regard to your brother's feelings on the matter. Be alert for signs that they may have had enough of the discussion for the time being - if they have, don't try to push it further at that point or it will backfire. And finally, as others have said, do accept that it's ultimately their choice and that this discussion may well hit a point where they just aren't going to change their minds and further attempts won't do anything except create a rift between you.

post #28 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alenushka View Post
 

He is your bother but he is a parent to his child and you are not. I do not like everything my brother and SIL do, but I do not like when someone tells me what to do with my kids, so I email info and shut up on the topic.  People make their own choices.

 

IF you keep obsessing with the state of the penis of your future nephew, the only thing you will achieve is estrangement from your brother and his family.

OMG seriously??  Is this not an anti-circ community?  

 

I guess it's the way I write but people are really reading into things.  I was simply looking for some conversational ideas that I hadn't thought of if I should have another chance to bring up the topic.  I am hardly banging their door down about this.  

 

What I know about my brother's views is based on several conversations we have had spread out over the course of several years and based on some other comments which I have not shared here.  

 

I don't plan to run their lives or push decisions on them.  I don't even plan for it to get ugly in any way.  Having said that, he avoids confrontation whereas I will speak my views with him all I want and he knows my personality is more confrontational.  

 

Nuances are really hard to gather from internet threads.  However, as this is an anti-circ forum I would like to think I can come on here and feel like I can be honest about my feelings, as in not the same things as actions.  People come on here all the time and ask how to convince others not to circ.  I really don't understand why this is any different. 

 

Geesh. 

post #29 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Backroads View Post
 

 

On the second point, you are right on.  My prediction of what will happen between family members is impossible.

 

But on your first, I never said to not feel sad or bad about it. 

 

BUT whining and pouting about it is not going to get anything done.  As it stands, circumcision is legal.  And, as much as I am against it, I do not consider circing the worst thing that can happen to a baby by any stretch of the imagination.  In fact, if it were a girl, I would also say the same thing:  you said what you said, that's all you can do.    SOmeone earlier in this thread mentioned how far we go?  How far do we go?  At one point does our activism get to trump parental rights and family privacy? 

 

I have a close friend who is very orthodox in her religion where circing is part of the faith.  She was THREATENED by some other mothers, had her tires slashed, and her older child hit in the face by one of these mothers when they found out her faith involved circumcision.  Say what you will against faith/culture-based circing, but that poor mom was scared for her life and the lives of her children because a few woman couldn't find a way to draw a respectful line.

 

What advice do you think should be given?  While I also agree that a bit of bribery may be a great idea, what if that doesn't work?  Fight for custody?  Kidnap the baby from the place of birth?

 

Until circing is made illegal, there's not a whole heck of a lot one can do.  I may be an unfortunate victim of a circing culture, but I am also a big believer in family privacy and personal choice.

 

I am sorry but I have to ask why you are here and why you felt the need to post a reply to me in this thread.  

 

This forum is ANTI-CIRC.  Where else am I supposed to discuss my frustrations about this practice?  People have different degrees of how strongly they feel about the issue, and that is OK, but that doesn't mean you have to come in here simply for the purpose of saying that while you have appropriate level of anti-circ, mine is too much.  

 

This just makes you seem as if either 1) you actually support the practice, or 2) you don't care about circ one way or the other, you just want to go around and stop discussion and debate about things. 

 

If you actually want to debate whether circ is OK or not, this is a strange way of going about it.  

post #30 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by salr View Post


I think the how far do you go question is a good one to contemplate. As well as the question of what methods are most effective to convince people not to circ.

It is legal for a parent to have a healthy, useful, functional part their boy's body cut off. Plenty of people still think it's a good or OK thing to do. But when someone has all of the information about circumcision, and also a passion for ethics and human rights, it means that they might step on some toes because of their passion. Each person should decide what their role is- do I want to tell it from the rooftops and be that weird person with an 'obsession'? Do I want to present information with no emotion? Cry? Bribe? Target my methods for each person? Do what I think is ethical? Be understanding? Change relationships?

Unfortunately, it's complicated.

 

Yes this x1000.  So wonderfully said.  Thank you.  :)  

 

And yes, these questions I wrestle with all the time.  

post #31 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by erinmattsmom88 View Post
 

My son is not circumcised. The night he was born, my father came in to my room after the birth and questioned me on whether or not DS was to be circumcised. I told him we were not doing it. He turned irate and began screaming at me because we weren't circumcising OUR son. He accused DH of brainwashing me. He went down the whole list of why we should do it and that we were setting DS up for lifelong agony and lifelong medical problems. I sat in my hospital bed in shock. I was 6 hours out of major surgery. I had a C-section and had my tubes tied. More importantly, my son was in the NICU. He had a medical emergency two minutes after his birth and got whisked away to the NICU. At that point in time, I had no idea what was wrong with him. So, there was my dad screaming at me for not circumcising my son while I lay in my hospital bed recovering from major surgery, and scared to death about my son and not knowing what was wrong with him. What an asshole, right? The irony is that my father is a doctor and is not circumcised!!!! Anyway, I got enough energy to tell him to back off, DS is not HIS child, and DH and I make the decisions, not him. END OF STORY. I will never forget that and will never forgive him for that. I almost cut him out of my life over that. I know the OP was much gentler in her approach and our situations are complete opposites, but the idea is the same. You have to know where to draw the line with people, especially family. Honestly, it is not her business what her brother and SIL decide to do about their son's penis. I don't agree with it either, but it's THEIR decision. OP, I don't think there is anything more you should do. If your brother and SIL wanted you to be part of the decision-making process, you would have been. Unsolicited advice, preaching, whatever you want to call it does not come across well, and usually makes people want to get away from those folks who do that kind of thing. I don't like that or those types of people, and I'm sure I'm not the only one.

 

I am sorry for what you went through.   

 

However, normal rational debate does happen between individuals all the time and nothing like that happens.  

post #32 of 36

Sometime binging the same topic over and over again with a relative achieves an opposite effect. I am speaking from my own experience.

post #33 of 36
Thread Starter 

That's not what I am trying to do, nor have I been doing that.  In the past this was all a random series of hypothetical conversations and sometimes among groups.  I was now trying to get creative about one conversation now that they are actually having a boy. One that has a shred of a chance of being effective because it will be the only time I bring it up.  

post #34 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg B View Post

If his primary issue is the looks and how that will affect his son, here are a few ways to apporach it:

If RIC having a difference is so much of a problem, how in the world did it ever become common? The first few circumcised men must have had an awful time back when the norm was intact...

RIC is not that common these days, so his son will have many intact and circumcised peers...

Does he think violating his son's human rights is outweighed by what he specualtes his son will want when he is a man?

If he pulls the silly but I am circumcised so heneeds to be argument, then you might point out that your brother is taller, has more pubic hair, has a large penis, etc, yest he is not suggesting that he shave his pubes or glue hair on his sons pubes, is he? Further, suppose your brother had lost an arm...would he propose to amputate his son's arm to save him from whatever he is worried about?

If being the same is important to your brother, suggest that he has another, better alternative that will not violate his son's human rights...your brother can restore his foreskin.

This is very telling:
As you say he is not willing to discuss this rationally and you have a tough job. to help with that tough job, a great set of tools can be found in the book, Crucial Conversations. I highly recommend it.

Best wishes

 

Thank you for your thoughts.  Yes, it is a how far does one go kind of question.  I am only going to go so far.  I have tried with other relatives.  It seems my entire extended family are pretty unsympathetic to human rights.  :(  

 

So if the chances are high that it is not going to work, is it worth my stress to even bother at this point...  Ah well.  

post #35 of 36

Moon Jelly, I'm sorry you are going through this. It's so hard when people we love have children and make decisions we feel personally are not in the best interests of their child. I don't have any advice, just empathy for you and for the baby. 

 

I don't know if my brother's kids are circed or not (he kind of checked out of the family when he was married to his now ex wife and we didn't see them much as babies) but I know she didn't breastfeed. I got, "My kids are all lactose intolerant." And as a lactivist and LC, this was very difficult for me to see those poor babies (two of whom where eventually put on predigested formula because they were puking up all their regular formula and not gaining weight, loaded with body wide eczema and sick all the time) being given this brown stuff in a bottle. I did talk to my SIL gently and briefly before the first of their children were born, and she shrugged and said, "I couldn't with my first kid, I probably won't be able to with them." When I offered her free lactation consults, no limit any time she needed me, if she wanted, she never took me up on it, and the next time I saw the first baby, I got the "The kid's lactose intolerant, I can't breastfeed." (Even though I wasn't going to ask, as I had already been told by my mother, who was also upset by the decision.) It's hard to see. I can empathize. (My brother's kids now all drink cow milk and eat cheese like its going out of style (isn't it?) and lactose intolerance from birth is not only always lifelong, but is still not a reason not to breastfeed. I just wish my SIL had owned her decision.) Your brother can't give an excuse, though, if he circs that baby. He'll have to own the decision. It's still so sad to see.

 

I wish I had advice, but I don't. I just know how hard it is. :Hug

post #36 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoonJelly View Post
 

 

I am sorry but I have to ask why you are here and why you felt the need to post a reply to me in this thread.  

 

This forum is ANTI-CIRC.  Where else am I supposed to discuss my frustrations about this practice?  People have different degrees of how strongly they feel about the issue, and that is OK, but that doesn't mean you have to come in here simply for the purpose of saying that while you have appropriate level of anti-circ, mine is too much.  

 

This just makes you seem as if either 1) you actually support the practice, or 2) you don't care about circ one way or the other, you just want to go around and stop discussion and debate about things. 

 

If you actually want to debate whether circ is OK or not, this is a strange way of going about it.  

 

I am here because I wanted to offer you advice that tended to be towards saying your piece and washing your hands of it.  The rest of my posts wound up being in reply to another poster's response to me.  I sincerely apologize for a derailing of your thread.

 

Now, if you would look at the other posts from me in this thread, I did give you advice.  The first was, yes, a call to consider backing off now that you had said all you had to say to your brother and sister-in-law.  Later I was humbled and tried to be more helpful.

 

So, your claim that I came here SIMPLY to argue is extremely far off and suggests you didn't bother reading any of my other posts but the one you quoted here.

 

And... your situation has been on my mind.  The idea of bribery has come up many a time in this thread.

 

I think, if you have enough money you can part with, you should.  If they have no real moral/emotional commitment to circing and are just going with the flow, bribery really ought to do the trick.  Maybe won't immediately change mindsets, but it will make sure the basic goal here is reached.

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