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What made you become an intactivist? - Page 2

post #21 of 51
When I was a teenager my mom was in nursing school. One day she came home upset. She was doing a rotation of the OB floor. When I asked her what was wrong she said that she had watched a circ and that it was horrible and that if she had known how it was done she never would have let them do it to my brother. So I knew then that I would never circ if I had a boy. But until I came to MDC I never knew how horrible it really was. I knew that it was an unnecessary painful procedure, but I didn't think it had any lasting effects. I had no idea that the foreskin had any type of function. I never really saw it as genital mutilation until I came to MDC.
post #22 of 51
Years ago, before dh and I were married, he brought up how he was angry he had been circumcised. I'd never even thought twice about it. Everyone in my family was circumcised. After that I started to pay attention, and at some point, I realized just how crazy circumcision is.
post #23 of 51
I never really knew what circumcision was. I vaguely knew that people in certain religions did it. I lasted throughout my entire young adult life not really knowing what it was exactly (nobody really talked about it) and every penis I had seen looked the same.

When I was older, married and pregnant the first time I found out more...I learned what a normal human penis was meant to be like. I learned that a lot of the sensations I experienced, and sexual tendencies that DH had were a direct result of circ.

I knew that NOBODY should have had a right to cut off the most sensitive parts of my DH's penis. Both of us wish that his penis was left as it was when he was born. It was insane that our country gave parents the right to cut off parts of their childrens' genitals. It doesn't make sense. : No logical person can say that it makes sense when you know the facts. No bioethicist can say that it is ethical. Because it isn't. Parents and doctors do not have the right to modify infant genitals.

Honestly, this whole topic is incredibly painful for me. I suppose I passed the point a long time ago where "the more you know, the worse it is." Some days I fear that I may never get to a point where I am OK with looking at my DH's penis. I hate even writing this. I see things...see the bad scars (and his are bad) and I feel sad. So sad that it feels like my soul is being stabbed. I really hope that I can get past it. I definitely want to, but it's not something you can just "talk about" to just anyone because honestly most people wouldn't understand my feelings at all...: .

Anyhow, the pain that I feel and that I have seen other men and women feel...I never want another man or woman to know that pain. To lack "something" that you can't even put into words because you can't comprehend it.
post #24 of 51
My son was about 3-4 months old when I ventured on a circ debate board. I was pro-circ at the time, never really thought of the other side despite having an intact adopted brother. Anyway, spent a couple days on the board and left because I didn't understand it all....I "knew" being intact was just bad. So when he was about 9 months old I finally looked it up and was saddened and disgusted on what I found...the TRUTH! So I've been an intactivist since.
post #25 of 51
For me, I started questioning it when I was pg with my oldest (who turned out to be a girl). During the birth class at the hospital, they should pics of a circ during the newborn care section (I think the hospital was trying to discourage circ....the nurse said if you were going to do a circ, you should watch one first ). It really bothered me. It just looked so awful for the baby. But I ended up with a dd so I didnt think much more about it.

I was pregnant with ds a few years later and when we were doing admission paperwork, we were asked if we planned to circ if we had a boy. I asked the doctor if there were any pros and she shrugged and said some people thought it was cleaner and reduced the chance of problems later. I told dh I thought it was stupid to do surgery on a baby because he 'might' have problems, so we left ds intact.

It was only after that I did research and I was really, really glad we made the decision we did. The more I read about circ, the more it bugs me.
post #26 of 51
It was a simple process for me that starts with the fact thatmy dad being european is intact. I had an intact anatomically correct baby boy doll as a child. I studied art an saw lots of intact sculptures. Intact has always been the normal way a penis should look to me.

Then there was dad's story about the guy in his squadron who decided to take the airforce up on the offer of a free circ.

The first time I saw a circ'd penis it was quite a shock. The first time I saw a newly circ'd baby was an even bigger shock.

Then the Dr at the hospital kept pushing it.

Finally I came here, and it really has moved me the extra bit from "I would never do that to my baby" to "no one should do that to any baby."
post #27 of 51
My first exposure was when my little brother was born. I was nine, he was cut. My mom said it used to be done becuase of Biblical references, but not necessary any more - but she still had him cut. I distinctly remember having the thought, "Wow, I'm glad I'm a girl!"

Later, before babies, but as an adult, I was talking to a friend who had 2 girls, 1 boy, and was pregnant again. She commented on when her DS was new, she was changing a diaper and concernced about an infection from his circ and asked a friend. The friend said the part she was worried about was fine, but some other part that she thought looked OK was in fact a problem. Her son had an infection. But I didn't think too much on it.

Then I got pregnant, took a Bradley class, and my teacher recommended that we really really really look into it. She said she used to get up on her soapbox, but she offended a UK couple (so now I'm kinda confused as to what she was teaching, but I really don't see her circ'ing!) so now she just advised parents to research it. Well, I did. I decided I didn't want it done. I told DH why I didn't want it done, but left the decision up to him. I didn't even know what he decided until the PA asked him at our visit - our baby was going to stay intact. Then I really looked into it and realized how much of a human rights issue this is. I'm so glad he was reasonable; I would have lost it if my baby was hurt. I wouldn't now take that chance! I'm a Bradley teacher, and I do get up on a soapbox, scientifically founded of course! But the idea to have a natural birth then turn around and cut the baby...
post #28 of 51
I'm crying reading all of these beautiful posts. I'm so proud to be a part of this group.

My story: I live in Canada where the circ rate has been (thankfully) lower. It never made sense to me to cut a boy after he has been born gently. I always told my midwifery clients to stay away from it and it was an easy sell to all but the religious circ people. I have 3 daughters and a gr. daughter so my "intactivism" doesn't come out of personal regret.

About 2 years ago, a student mw dropped off a box of handouts to me because she was leaving town (I needed more paper junk like a hole in the head!) and in that box were lots of NOCIRC brochures, and the "Men's Health" article. I began reading them. Then, I got a vision of a world free from this crap. Then, I came to this forum and got lots of education from Jen, Frank and the rest of you. Now, you can't shut me up and I'm speaking in front of big groups, writing articles and working (playing) every day at the game of genital integrity. I love it.
post #29 of 51
When my mother started gleefully planning a bris for my brother's child when A. She was only 2 months pregnant and B. They weren't going to find out the sex till the birth. I thought it was all rather twisted...she even joked about serving cocktail franks...I thought this was all pretty sick. I informed her that I wouldn't come to this "celebration" because I thought that there was nothing about it that was worth celebrating and it started a family feud. I have been a screaming intactavist ever since.
post #30 of 51
Originally Posted by Daisyuk View Post
The more I learn about this appalling cultural habit, the less I understand how a supposedly "civilised" nation could inflict this on their children.
I posted this Gandhi quote last week, but the thread got pulled. I think it is appropriate to post it again here in response to the wise DaisyUK. When Gandhi was asked what he thought of Western Civilization, he said "I think it is a good idea."

My seed was planted when I was working in a daycare center in the 1990's and saw lots and lots of little boys who were left natural. I always thought their parents must be progressive and "extra kind."

Got further in knowing something was terrible about it when I heard of a baby having his penis amputated during a circ.

During pregnancy I found out we were having a boy. I knew I did not want circ, the thought of inflicting pain on my baby was unbearable. I felt I needed to convince my family (duh, I did not need to). I was in a stupid mainstream DDC and they had a support thread for "problems with circ." : Googled circ and found the study about the babies hooked up to heart rate machines and blood pressure machines and who had their "stress levels-Cortisol?" monitored. They reported that the levels were "off the chart!" : All those doctors layed down their scalpels and made statements against circ. This was all I needed to say to dh and he was totally against the idea of circ. My brother confirmed that it was an ancient and barbaric. All this searching and I did not know the true function of the foreskin until months after Ivan was born. It needs to be in the mainstream more.
post #31 of 51
I'd never really thought about circ at all until after my ds was born. I'm American, but fortunate enough to be married to a Brit and live in Scotland - so no one ever asked me if I was going to cut off part of my child's penis.

It's just a given (duh!) that you leave your healthy children and their healthy body parts alone!

But when ds was 1-2 weeks old, I was talking to a good friend from the States, and she asked if we'd had ds circumcised (she had 2 circed boys at the time). My immediate reaction was, 'No - why in the world would we do that?'

She talked about how lucky I was to live in the UK and not be faced with that decision, etc. That she'd talked about it with our other American friends who had circed boys, and all of the moms had hated having it done, but felt they'd not had a lot of choice, etc.

Which made me research it.

I'd actually been at MDC for about 2 years at that point, but had never really read in CAC.

I started reading, and immediately became in intactivist. As others have said, it's been a case of, 'The more you know, the worse circumcision is'

My friend who asked the question that made me start researching has since had a 3rd boy - I sent her info about circ when she was pregnant, and he's intact!
post #32 of 51
When I had my first son, I was 18. My dr asked me about it, and I of course asked him what he thought. He thank goodness was from S Africa! He said he did not preform them, nor would he help anyone find someone who did. He then told me of some of the horrors. I looked into it some more, and decided I couldnt hurt my babies like that. Then I found MDC after my 3rd son was born, and after learning even more, I became an intactivist, saving penis's one at a time! Another case of the more ya know the worse it is. The work that is done on this board I am sure is bound to save many penis's from being mutilated. Good work guys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
post #33 of 51
my point was when i was 16 i didn't even know about cut and natrual i was not taught about it one of my best friends had her #2 son had him cut and i was there at her house when they got back i cried and cried that baby was in so much pain i couldnt stand it was there trying to change his diaper and even starting to take off his clothes would set him off it would just get louder harder and he would get red from screeming in pain it was so bad and not a thing i could do to help him from that point on i knew it was wrong and no baby deserved to be in pain when it was forced on him not needed i still think it shouldnt be a choice i tell everyone not to do it seems no one listens to me tho they just do it cause it is the thing to do it kills me everytime but atleast i am protecting my own i know that it took years to get this world this way we cant fix it quickly it also will take time and it is one baby one man at a time every single one counts but you all know this already
post #34 of 51
I became an intactivist when I was 12 or so and my mom and I were going through all my baby pictures and documents. We came across my birth paperwork, and on it it said Circ - NO. And I asked my mom why I wasn't cut and she told me it wasn't necessary. I didn't think much of it until I was 15.
It came up at lunch in HS and people made fun of my bestfriend for being intact. So I decided to do some research to defend him, and I shut that table up the next time it came up. Everyone comes to me with parenting questions now, lol.

So ever since I was 15 I've been researching Circ. My girlfriend isn't an intactivist quite yet, but she's getting there too. Once she meets Little Eric, I'm sure she'll be convinced, lol. But she's not pro-circ anymore thx to this site!
post #35 of 51
It all started for me when I ar around 9 or 10. My whole family went to visit my new cousin and aunt and uncle. The baby was only about 3 or 4 days old and my mom was changing his diaper when I noticed his penis, it was all red and swollen and there was some blood in his diaper. I asked my mom what was wrong with him and she said something along the lines of "nothing, they do some surgery on little boys when they are born so they don't get infections" I asked why they would do that and she said "Tara go play in the other room please"

So I did, but the whole time I thought, wow isn't it kindof crazy that this baby has an open wound sitting in a dirty diaper to prevent an infection? something can't be right. It all seemed very cruel and barbaric to me, even at that young age. I thought to myself, I would never do that to a son of my own. It looked so painful and horrible, and I wondered why would anyone do that to their baby?

I brought it up a few times with my mom after that but she was a firm believer in circ and kept telling me if a baby wasnt circumcised he would get lots of infections....I didn't believe her and said I wouldn't do that to my baby (and LOL one day I found this doll in a magazine, it was anatomically correct and was uncirced. I bought it just out of spite at first, but when I got it I was facinated by it, and was proud someday my sons would look like that instead of cut up.)

So I guess to some degree I started young, the real intactivist in me didnt awake until I was about 18, I was in nursing school and we were doing the OB rotation. My teacher wanted to talk to me and pulled me aside, while we were talking a nurse and doctor took a baby behind us and closed a curtian. I asked what they were doing, and she said a circumcision. I felt sick and tried to hurry the conversation so I could leave before it happened. But I didn't make it, I heard the most horrible scream I have ever heard in my life come from behind that curtian, and I left the room. I thought I was going to throw up....

I can still hear that scream echo in my mind whenever I think back on it *shudder* so horrible.

It was then that I became an intactivist, I promised myself then and there I would NEVER do that to a child of mine. I didn't care what the consequences would be and who would think me weird. I didn't know alot about it then but I thought heck an infection would sure be easier to deal with than cutting my baby apart like that.

So I began to research...and when I found out what circ really was, a barbaric procedure that has no proven reason. I was horrified.

I began to talk to people about it every chance I got after that.
post #36 of 51
About 18 weeks into my pregnancy, I started to really think about it. I had originally wanted to have it done since it was the "normal" thing to do (Ironic, considering I"m usually the outcast!). ANyway, I had been on a pregnancy board for quite some time and was looking around to see what other boards there were on there (Other than the due date one lol), and found Have Your Say- CIrcumcision Discussion. I though, oooh goodie, heated debate with the "weirdos" that didn't circ... well I read the research, and sure did change my mind pretty quickly!

DH took much longer to convince. I finally had to say that NO, our son is staying intact, and I will NOT sign the consent form. He finally begrudginly agreed, saying that when something went wrong it would be my fault, yada yada... well when he was born, new Daddy couldn't imagine ever hurting his baby... he wasn't an intactivist until I found a more religious-geared article, which really hit home to him... and this was just a few days ago, and DS is 6mo!

So, piece by piece I've become more and more of an intactivist, and more and more of a parenting "outcast"... but that's fine, because I'm not afraid to do what's best for my child.
post #37 of 51
My best friend is circ'ed & hates it. He asked me to consider not circ'ing DS (months before I ever found this board). A bit of research confirmed his opinion as the best way to go.

Now MDC has radicalized me on the issue!
post #38 of 51
I can't say that I have been an intactivist for years and years, but I have been anti circumcision for most of my life.

My Dad and brother were circumcised , and that is just how I thought a penis was. So it was a real shock on the first night in the communal shower room of boarding school to discover that a lot of the boys had a different kind of penis to my own. It was readily apparent that something was missing. I intuitively felt that this was not a good thing, and secretly wished that I had not been "modified". I was too shy to ask my mother, and the subject did not come up until I was 13 when my little bro was born. He would have been a bit over a month old when I came home from school and watched my mum bathing him. She must have felt that an explanation was in order, and told me that we had been circumcised on the advice of her father (by then deceased). Apparently his "foreskin got so tight that he could not pee, and he had to be circumcised at 12", and thought it better done in infancy. That explanation never made any sense, and I can only assume that e suffered a paraphimosis.

I never discussed circ with anyone except a few girlfriends until DS was born. There was no question that he would not be circ'd. I have since found it easier to speak out, and I have been surprised to find that most (prospective) mothers quite willing to talk about it. I am now at the point of writing letters etc as well. What is a little embarrassment if it saves a foreskin ??
post #39 of 51
Originally Posted by Daisyuk View Post
Actually no, it doesn't even cross my mind, because I know that the people saying those things haven't got a clue what they're talking about. I've been around and enjoyed intact penises all my life, there's nothing dirty about a man who bathes regularly, the dirt is in their imagination.

To me, all they are doing is displaying ignorance.
post #40 of 51

My story

The males in my immediate family are intact (including myself).

We lived nextdoor to 3 boys all the exact same ages as my brothers and I, only a few months older in each case. One day the oldest boy and I were playing doctor (I was 8 and he was 8 years and a few months) and when I had to "fix" him, I saw his exposed glans. I vaguely remember being retractable so my logical conclusion was his "skin" (I didn't know the word foreskin back then, nor the absurd concept of circumcision!) was pulled back. So while manipulating it, I couldn't get the skin over the end. Here's where it gets funny/cute: I came to the immediate conclusion that your "skin falls off" at 8 years and so many months. I remember being in the bathtub pulling my foreskin back and forth wondering "When will it happen to me???". It wasn't until later that I played doctor w/ the youngest boy, about 4 or so, that I realized something had happened to them that didn't happen to myself or my brothers! Then my mom and dad were talking about Prince William and Harry and how Diana refused to circ her and Charlie's sons, despite it being a "Royal thing" and added she was sooooooo glad she didn't have us done! She said how "stupid" they looked (meaning circ'd penises). Just this head on the end exposed. Well, I guess she thinks penises in general look pretty dumb.

Well, I was 17 or so, my aunt gave birth to a son, her and her DP's first and I remember my mom and my grandmother talking on the phone that DP was done and that he wanted their son done, even though my aunt is a VERY strong-willed person (very!). My grandfather had "complications" sometime during his adulthood and had to get circ'd, but my grandparents told my mom and her sisters NOT to circ their (future-) sons! Well, my oldest aunt didn't to her two sons. My mom didn't to us three. But my aunt, who "wears the pants in the family" did. I have to admit I kind of lost respect for her after that and still have.

After that I became an intactivist where I thought it was a human rights violation. This was in 1992. No Internet back then. I still thought it was wrong and felt it. It wasn't until the late-'90s that I researched it on the Internet and could go more in-depth than parenting books had gone that I became a powerful, life-long intactivist (even registered a dot-com name ). My goodness... w/ the Internet, there's no reason NOT to educate yourself about this vital issue and still claim ignorance!!!!!!
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