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I was just interviewed for an article about Circ! - Page 3

post #41 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by onlyboys View Post
But, truthfully, I do think that parents should get to choose on lots of things: abortion, birth control, cesarean birth, circumcision, ear piercing, nose jobs, orthodontia, human growth hormones, etc. I realize that it removes the choice from the person who SHOULD make it--the precious boy child.
-abortion=directly affects the pregnant woman's body
-birth control=affects the person's body who's taking/using it
-cesarean birth=affects the woman's body
-nose jobs=only affect the person undergoing the surgery; not typically done to newborns, certainly not unless there was a birth injury or birth defect to be corrected
-orthodontia/human growth hormones=may be medically indicated and can include the involvement of the child
-earpiercing=cosmetic, unnecessary trauma -but- unlike circumcision doesn't effect sensory function and holes *may* heal closed or at least be minimally noticable if the child decides not to wear earings as an adult (still not something I agree with or support being a parental choice, however)
-circumcision=elective, medically unnecessary cosmetic surgery on a healthy, normal child; in the case of circumcision it results in the permanent loss of sexual tissue. Have you seen this study yet?
http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi...X.2006.06685.x

I really don't mean to criticize you and I'm very very very proud of you for being willing to be interviewed and photographed, for sharing your story, for reaching out to parents and encouraging leaving baby boys intact. You did a great job and a wonderful thing. I do understand where you're coming from but I hope you consider the ethical implications of respecting the genital mutilation of a baby boy as a parental choice, especially if you (presumably) support the laws against female genital cutting/mutilation of little girls.

Genital integrity is a genderless birthright. Boys too. None of the other parenting decisions you mention come close to circumcision with regard to body autonomy and permanent, life-long, guarenteed damage.

Jen
post #42 of 106
Thread Starter 
Jen, I see your passion, I really do. I respect it fully. I'm glad you are speaking out unilaterally against circumcision. For me, it crosses boundaries religiously that I am not comfortable crossing. Maybe I'll be there eventually, but for now, I'm not comfortable taking circumcision away from Jewish parents. I'm against circumcision, and I know that for some here I'm not intactivist enough. That's okay with me. I'm comfortable where I am.

post #43 of 106
Great interview!! Hopefully some expectant parents will read that and reconsider circ!!!
post #44 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by onlyboys View Post
Thanks everyone!

Obviously, I think that people who are informed about most of things listed above will make the choice that is safest and most logical and kind.

Also, I do not believe that ostracizing a mother for bad choices helps anyone, and that EDUCATION is the key.
I can't find the Yeah That smilie, but YEAH THAT.

I need to go read the article, but I'm already so impressed with what you've done / are doing!

ETA: OK, read the article, it's *brilliant*!!! I love that you were given so much more "time" and focus of the story than the other views. I think you come across as a wonderful, positive, pro-intact role model for other parents!

I think the reporter did an overall bang up job. Now, how can we get the AP to syndicate the story?

P.S. You look great!
post #45 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdx.mothernurture View Post
I really don't mean to criticize you and I'm very very very proud of you for being willing to be interviewed and photographed, for sharing your story, for reaching out to parents and encouraging leaving baby boys intact. You did a great job and a wonderful thing. I do understand where you're coming from but I hope you consider the ethical implications of respecting the genital mutilation of a baby boy as a parental choice, especially if you (presumably) support the laws against female genital cutting/mutilation of little girls.

Genital integrity is a genderless birthright. Boys too. None of the other parenting decisions you mention come close to circumcision with regard to body autonomy and permanent, life-long, guarenteed damage.

Jen
post #46 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by onlyboys View Post
Maybe I'll be there eventually, but for now, I'm not comfortable...
...I'm comfortable where I am.

You know, I do appreciate as well you speaking out about the education factor, and I think sharing what happened with your first son and how you went on to keep your other sons whole in itself is a very powerful message.

It sounds like there is a part of you that does agree that every human being has a right to an intact body....regardless of what their parents think. Is it that you are concerned that you man offend some clients, so you don't speak as outwardly as you truly feel? I don't know how things have changed at LOL (I've had three kiddos there) but they were always outspokenly against circ, BOTH Charlynn's daughters spoke out against it. As did all the birth assistants I worked with. Even sharing personal experience and asking that I take out the book "say NO to circumcision" that was in their lending library.

I honestly do think that it is still possible to express your feelings as well from a human rights standpoint without offending/ostracizing others. You can express it as your opinion and beliefs.

I don't know how they asked you the question, but if you believe that every human being has a right to an intact body I think it could have been said without offending anyone. If someone had said that to me even before I knew anything about circ at all, I would have agreed...probably thought to myself, isn't that obvious? Because, hey, I wouldn't have wanted anyone to cut off parts of me when I was a child and couldn't speak out and be heard!

Anyhow, just some thoughts, I'm just trying to understand your standpoint more clearly. It sounds like you are very adamantly opposed to circumcision...but maybe are feeling uncomfortable with saying anything that isn't PC...but you don't think that this (keeping a child whole) is the best choice ONLY for your sons, right?
post #47 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdx.mothernurture View Post
-abortion=directly affects the pregnant woman's body......
.................None of the other parenting decisions you mention come close to circumcision with regard to body autonomy and permanent, life-long, guarenteed damage.

Jen
I'm stating the obvious, but not everyone views abortion in the context you've described, Jen. Some people believe it is permanent, life-ending damage.

That's a digression, but I think it's worth clarifying.

Back to the excellent article!!!
post #48 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by onlyboys View Post
Jen, I see your passion, I really do. I respect it fully. I'm glad you are speaking out unilaterally against circumcision. For me, it crosses boundaries religiously that I am not comfortable crossing. Maybe I'll be there eventually, but for now, I'm not comfortable taking circumcision away from Jewish parents. I'm against circumcision, and I know that for some here I'm not intactivist enough. That's okay with me. I'm comfortable where I am. And that more parents know that there might be alternatives to consider.


(Great job on the article!!)

I just wanted to echo you here and agree with you. My dh is Jewish and this is one of the issues I struggle with..

I do think circumcision is unethical, but I don't always agree in the same way to counter this when we talk about cultural verses regious circumcision. I think that a 'review' (internally/within those that practice this) of the practice is inevitable when circumcision declines/becomes illegal/goes out of favor/ becomes unethical in the eyes of the majority. And I do hope that at the very least due to the intactivism movement there will be (and is) more knowledge and education about the rituals, history, changes, and meaning so that those who are circumcising for religious reasons don't confuse cultural reasons/myths for what is actually intended/commanded.

I'd say more, and typed a bunch but I don't want to walk the line on the constraints on this board.

Jessica
post #49 of 106
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by phatchristy View Post
It sounds like there is a part of you that does agree that every human being has a right to an intact body....regardless of what their parents think. Is it that you are concerned that you man offend some clients, so you don't speak as outwardly as you truly feel? I don't know how things have changed at LOL (I've had three kiddos there) but they were always outspokenly against circ, BOTH Charlynn's daughters spoke out against it. As did all the birth assistants I worked with. Even sharing personal experience and asking that I take out the book "say NO to circumcision" that was in their lending library.

I don't know how they asked you the question, but if you believe that every human being has a right to an intact body I think it could have been said without offending anyone. If someone had said that to me even before I knew anything about circ at all, I would have agreed...probably thought to myself, isn't that obvious? Because, hey, I wouldn't have wanted anyone to cut off parts of me when I was a child and couldn't speak out and be heard!
Actually, the LOL I work for is very "parents choose" though both are adamantly against circumcision. I am trying my hardest to help. There is now a laminated copy ready to go to post on the bulletin board. Since I am doing the CBE classes there, I address it, and previously it wasn't addressed at all in the CBE classes. It was truly an ignored issue unless the client brought it up. If they were having a boy, then the midwife would ask, and say her opinion about it. The birth assistants are not anti-circ, unfortunately. And the way I present it is fairly one sided. I say there is no medical reason, that's it's cosmetic, etc. Standard party line stuff.

But, I've had Muslim mamas and Jewish mamas in my classes, too. Rather than totally make them feel defensive and hurt, I choose to tone some things down--for example, I show them opportunities for choice, even within these religious mandates. I have pamphlets for every conceivable religion. (For the record, one of the Muslim families decided not to circ. I was so very happy.)

Quote:
Anyhow, just some thoughts, I'm just trying to understand your standpoint more clearly. It sounds like you are very adamantly opposed to circumcision...but maybe are feeling uncomfortable with saying anything that isn't PC...but you don't think that this (keeping a child whole) is the best choice ONLY for your sons, right?
I am very, very, very adamantly opposed to circumcision. I am very opposed not just for my children, but for everyone's children. But, I do think that Jewish and Muslim mamas who are making their choice from a different perspective than mine (and a different worldview at points) are drawing from very different places to make this choice.

I think I've regressed. Softened, somehow, with time on this issue. After Zain was circed, I was hardcore anti-circ. Then, I listened to a tearful Jewish mother who told me how very important it was for her son to have a bris milah. Listening to her heartfelt words, hearing her utter obedience to a God's edict, watching her sacrifice her son's foreskin for her faith, it changed me somehow. This is a very important rite for Jewish mothers, and when I didn't know or care for any Jewish mothers, I much more toed the intactivist line.

Do I wish that circumcision wasn't part of Judaism? Yes, I think so. Do I think I could be obedient? No, I couldn't.

Quote:
I honestly do think that it is still possible to express your feelings as well from a human rights standpoint without offending/ostracizing others. You can express it as your opinion and beliefs.
If I say in a newspaper that I think that circumcision should be made illegal, which is what his question was, then I automatically ostracize the Muslim and Jewish mothers who choose this act as obedience. Can you tell me a kind enough way to answer that question? What I said was "No, I do not think circumcision should be illegal because that would make the procedure illegal for Jewish and Muslim mothers. I'm not at all comfortable with the US making rulings about religious rites." If that makes me not intactivist enough, then so be it.

I guess I am a contradiction. I know I'm an anomaly here at MDC, and perhaps in my own life as well. But, as WW says, "I am large, I contain multitudes."
post #50 of 106
I loved the article...like others, I was upset at the "harder to keep clean" BS but I thought the OPs quotes were awesome.

I didnt like the "militant "intactivists"" bit- but he didnt put that in your quotes so I assume he made that phrase up. It makes me think about how people call lactivists "breastfeeding nazis" or "militant LLL members." I think spreading myths and widening the divide between people within the inactivist movement is wrong and damages the goals of our movement. (note it was the line 'militant inactivists' that made me feel this way, and I realize it may not have been a quote from the OP but, rather, the reporter.)
post #51 of 106
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by carriebft View Post
I loved the article...like others, I was upset at the "harder to keep clean" BS but I thought the OPs quotes were awesome.

I didnt like the "militant "intactivists"" bit- but he didnt put that in your quotes so I assume he made that phrase up. It makes me think about how people call lactivists "breastfeeding nazis" or "militant LLL members." I think spreading myths and widening the divide between people within the inactivist movement is wrong and damages the goals of our movement. (note it was the line 'militant inactivists' that made me feel this way, and I realize it may not have been a quote from the OP but, rather, the reporter.)
I did not say "militant intactivists." In fact, at some point, I defined the word intactivist and called myself one. That remark irritated me as well. : But, overall, I'm happy with the tone. I would love for him to have left out the opposition entirely, but, eh, it's a terrific start!

By the way, being a pacifist calling anything military, be it intactivist or breastfeeder pisses me off.
post #52 of 106
Yeah i dont get why he slipped that in there; I fear it might be kinda linked to the way people say stuff like "breastfeeding nazi", ya know? It's kinda just ingrained now...he seemed so anti circ in the writing (esp the title with the word "loathe") then he threw that in there...it could be that he is just ingrained, too..kinda thinking that being against the grain is ok but trying to actively DO something about a wrong is "militant."
post #53 of 106
Thread Starter 
I second everyone sending him an email. He was a very nice man.

gary.white@theledger.com
post #54 of 106
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by carriebft View Post
Yeah i dont get why he slipped that in there; I fear it might be kinda linked to the way people say stuff like "breastfeeding nazi", ya know? It's kinda just ingrained now...he seemed so anti circ in the writing (esp the title with the word "loathe") then he threw that in there...it could be that he is just ingrained, too..kinda thinking that being against the grain is ok but trying to actively DO something about a wrong is "militant."
Do you think maybe he was trying hard to present the other side? And, perhaps trying hard to normalize what I was saying? Perhaps as painting me not as one who would outlaw such a common procedure was his way of stating that I was "normal" and not some fringe element, you know?

I think I'll ask him why he included that. Is that too critical of him?
post #55 of 106
Hmm, I didnt think of that...even in this thread we talked about "normalizing" and looking mainstream. I guess that is like how, despite the fact that many lactivists hate the term 'breastfeeding nazi', they are still quick to point out they are not one (thereby giving the term some credit- if that makes sense)
post #56 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by onlyboys View Post
I guess I am a contradiction. I know I'm an anomaly here at MDC, and perhaps in my own life as well. But, as WW says, "I am large, I contain multitudes."
I don't think you are a contradiction... and well, I'm in the same boat, as I recently posted. In anycase, we are not allowed to cross the line here on discussing religious circumcision... and although many may not like that rule, it does set a tone here.

Jessica
post #57 of 106
Thread Starter 
MODS--if I've crossed that line, let me know. I'm happy to edit in order to keep this thread from the place threads go to die.
post #58 of 106
You didn't mention in the article that you think there should be exceptions made for religious circumcisions. You basically said, "It's ok, as long as the parents have thought about it." (If the reporter quoted you correctly.) So, there will be some parents educated by this article, and other parents will say to themselves, "yeah, we've thought about it. We're going to do it. No problem."

Saying that it isn't ok for any parent to do routine infant circumcision isn't automatically the same as saying you think it should be illegal.
post #59 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by onlyboys View Post

I guess I am a contradiction. I know I'm an anomaly here at MDC, and perhaps in my own life as well. But, as WW says, "I am large, I contain multitudes."
I think being sensitive to another culture, and approaching discussion/education taking that into account is reasonable. I think, when I have spoken accross cultural barriers that is what I do. But, the education on it's own is VERY powerful. And, I don't withold information for fear that becoming educated may make someone feel bad. Information and science is just that. You present the information and facts, then logical people will draw logical conclusions from those facts.

Would you feel any different if you were dealing with a mother who was from a culture where it was very normal and even demanded of that their girl be circumcised? I once spoke to a Egyptian woman who was taken (as a child) to egypt to receive a sunna circumcision. It was such a deep part of her culture, every woman had it done, and her mother claimed fear that her family would be shunned and that she wouldn't be married off as the reason why she had it done. Do I think her mother was evil? Of course not. Uneducated, ignorant, misinformed, culturally biased...yes. It's been horrific for this woman, the feelings that the woman experienced growing up, and living here in the US what normal intact genetilia are like...well, it was so similar to the men who have come to this board. They have honestly been devistated beyond words. It is so difficult to love someone experiencing that pain (I know as my DH is circ'd and he knows so much information), and know it was completely preventable. I think about, what if his mom had gone to a different OB. What if, just one person had spoken out and told her "I have an intact penis, and it's great...why not keep his like that?" I think now too, of the women I know who have circumcised who have expressed such regret as well. Some have told me, if someone had just put themselves in an awkward position to educate, to not worry about offending someone, they likely would researched and made a different choice...know what I mean?

I do think the key IS information. Knowledge is power. These parents need to have all the information. To present factual, specific, scientific information...it's rather clear that having a natural human penis is normal and healthy. To share that multiple studies show that to circumcise is to cause permanent sexual losses...that stuff is serious, and should be shared. It can be painful...of course. It's painful to know what I know about circ even, though I am lucky to be an intact woman, I am married to a circumcised man, and my brother was circumcised without consent at the hospital after his birth. My parents, not wanting my brother to "feel bad", decided to never tell him the circumstances about his circumcision nor share the fact that our father was intact. Guess, what happened...what that silence caused...I now have two circumcised nephews. Sadly, my brother is a decade older than I am, and I didn't know what I know now about circ. I wish I could have been that person to share the information.
post #60 of 106
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A View Post
You didn't mention in the article that you think there should be exceptions made for religious circumcisions. You basically said, "It's ok, as long as the parents have thought about it." (If the reporter quoted you correctly.) So, there will be some parents educated by this article, and other parents will say to themselves, "yeah, we've thought about it. We're going to do it. No problem."

Saying that it isn't ok for any parent to do routine infant circumcision isn't automatically the same as saying you think it should be illegal.
Actually, I didn't write the article.

I didn't get to include those things that *I* think are pertinent, Gary White got to pick those things. And, whatever I said to him, it won't be enough of a hardline against circ for some here. That's okay.

Parents say "I'm educated, we're doing it anyway" all the time. I'm not going to change *their* minds in my CBE classes. I'm certainly not going to change their minds in an article in Sunday's paper. I've had people sitting in my classes who literally almost threw up (or pretended to) at the thought of their son remaining intact. Some cases are just lost. And, if I feel, as I do, that the procedure shouldn't be banned, then what is my recourse?
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