How do I discuss male genital integrity without hurting friends who have circ'd? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 46 Old 05-25-2009, 11:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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At an informal mommy play date (six moms, six babies under 8 months, a frozen lasagna and a cheesecake ) the topic of circ came up. I only really knew one of the women there, and she's a bff that I convinced not to circ her son. Turns out, the other two moms took pictures of their babies on the cutting table and treated it like it was completely normal. I felt absolutely sick and did not dare comment. I was afraid to open my mouth. What do I say??? And to make it worse, my very mainstream friend was fishing for info about who did the circs for them, like she was considering it for her 5 month old.

I changed my DS's diaper and saw atleast one mom take a gander at DS's intact penis. She just looked at it like it was wierd. :

After all that I just wanted to go home. I felt I had nothing in common with these women. I bf, I wear my baby, I don't CIO. My friend said "Sorry, I can't be that mom. I can't just be holding my baby any time he wants me to." and she looked at me as she said it. They were laughing about a mom who was letting her baby CIO in the next room. I did leave when that happened.

So do I try to hang out with them? Do I try to casually bring up circ? Is it pointless now? I mean, they took freakin' pictures of their baby splayed out on the table... :Puke:

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#2 of 46 Old 05-26-2009, 12:29 AM
 
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If it happened again where they were discussing circs, you could say something like "Oh, you had him circumcised? We didn't circ our son and I know the AAP no longer recommends it. Did you research it before you had your son circed or did you do it for (cultural, etc.) reasons"? If they say they circed for religion, I'd probably not say anything honestly. But if they said something like "my doc said to circ for uti's, hygiene,etc", you could politely make a point or two to shatter those myths without seeming too preachy.

It doesn't sound like those women were very kind or made you feel comfortable. I'm not too sure I'd try very hard to have another get together with them though. But regarding your best friend w/ the intact son, you might let her know you were a bit bothered by her asking about doctor recommendations as to who circs, and ask her if she's having any doubts about keeping her son intact. It's possible her pedi tells her to retract w/ each changing (which isn't good or needed). Maybe you can reassure her she did a good thing keeping him intact and offer her moral support.

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#3 of 46 Old 05-26-2009, 12:36 AM
 
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Unfortunately, there is not much you can say that won't be taken as a direct criticism. Which might be deserved, but it won't make things very pleasant.
I would stick to statements like "we could never make that choice for our son" or "we believe it is his right to stay intact" that show you didn't do it, because it's his body, but hopefully doesn't put them on the defensive.

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#4 of 46 Old 05-26-2009, 01:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Night_Nurse View Post
If it happened again where they were discussing circs, you could say something like "Oh, you had him circumcised? We didn't circ our son and I know the AAP no longer recommends it. Did you research it before you had your son circed or did you do it for (cultural, etc.) reasons"? If they say they circed for religion, I'd probably not say anything honestly. But if they said something like "my doc said to circ for uti's, hygiene,etc", you could politely make a point or two to shatter those myths without seeming too preachy.

It doesn't sound like those women were very kind or made you feel comfortable. I'm not too sure I'd try very hard to have another get together with them though. But regarding your best friend w/ the intact son, you might let her know you were a bit bothered by her asking about doctor recommendations as to who circs, and ask her if she's having any doubts about keeping her son intact. It's possible her pedi tells her to retract w/ each changing (which isn't good or needed). Maybe you can reassure her she did a good thing keeping him intact and offer her moral support.
Thank you for the ideas. I know they didn't circ for religious reasons, since they both stated that they were non-practicing Catholics. It was quite obvious from the way they spoke about the issue that they circ'd because they find an intact penis "gross". It was teh first time I was in this situation, and I felt pretty crappy, like my son's penis is not gross how can you say that about your own dear son?! I suppose I could bring up the AAP, even though I do plenty of things (like cosleep) that the AAP demonizes.

I should have a conversation with my friend when I can. She does not retract his penios, and the last time we talked she was pretty adamant about reminding every HCP who touched her son NOT to retract him. I know she likes to feel like she fits in. She has been really lonely and is finally making some friends and maybe she feels pressured because now her new friends think her sons penis is gross? I will remind her that I think an undamaged child is a beautiful child and how sad she would have been to see her son in pain like on that video.

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Unfortunately, there is not much you can say that won't be taken as a direct criticism. Which might be deserved, but it won't make things very pleasant.
I would stick to statements like "we could never make that choice for our son" or "we believe it is his right to stay intact" that show you didn't do it, because it's his body, but hopefully doesn't put them on the defensive.
I like that. I felt like I wanted to stand up for my choice but I also felt like I'd been backed into a corner and had to defend myself. For lack of something nice to say I kept my mouth shut. I guess I should practice something non-confrontational that is also unapologetic. Yikes I hate this. I don't like walking on eggshells but I feel like I have to around these ladies...

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#5 of 46 Old 05-26-2009, 09:03 AM
 
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I don't bring it up with my friends but if someone else broaches the subject then it's fair game.

You've gotten some great ideas here about shattering myths. You might also add if someone said it was gross how would they feel if someone said their daughters were gross because they weren't circ'd? They'll shudder in horror because you've tried to compare female circ to male and then you follow up that the big excuse in cultures that circ females is "cleanliness" and "hygiene" and that we all know, because we are intact, that those excuses are loads of crap. Just as it is for boys but we've been brainwashed into thinking that an intact penis is gross. God/nature created the foreskin for a reason, it provides great pleasure for both a man and woman during sex, etc. And, end with the fact that it really should be their son's choice to have cosmetic surgery and the parent's responsibility to protect his body until he is old enough to make the choice for himself.

Then offer to send them more info to think about so if they have any other boys they should consider all the facts and not just listen to myths and brainwashing. Oh, and circ rates are falling so if it's the locker room argument very soon circ'd boys will be in the minority (may or may not be true where you live but at least make them stop and think). Also, remind them that your son is the way he was meant to be and not wounded and un-natural. If anyone actually had the nerve to say my son's penis was "gross" I'd have to say that their boys are the ones that have been mutilated and run around looking like erect grown men - not like the boys that they are.

At least they'll know you've thought it out a lot more than they did and you have excellent reasons for your decision.
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#6 of 46 Old 05-26-2009, 03:25 PM
 
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To answer your title question, it is almost never painless to have an ignorance pointed out.

When a person first learns about their unearned privilege, or they are first introduced to the horrors of industrial farming techniques and the way it ravages our environment and what role they have played in the perpetuation of that, it is rarely a painless realization. Imagine how painful it will be to realize you have done something that has changed who their sons are forever, completely unnecessarily...a tiny part of them will die inside if they ever open their hearts to the truth.

But these are GROWING pains. The pain will be temporary and from the pain they will realize a greater truth.

I would continue to hang out with this group of women and continue to bring them information about the barbarity and cruelty of circumcision. I would show them what damage it can do to the penis, and explain why you didn't do it and why you advocate for others not to either. There is obviously something in their minds that notes the inappropriate nature of this, otherwise, WHY would they take photos?!

Sadly, by not saying anything you are ipso facto implying to them that you are secretly ashamed of not having circumcised your son, and that you would if you could. That is the unspoken conclusion they are likely to jump to.

I for one would set them straight.

My BFF has had two sons, and she has had them both circumcised. She doesn't like what I have to say about circumcision, but that doesn't stop me from saying what I think. She needs to hear the truth.

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#7 of 46 Old 05-26-2009, 03:40 PM
 
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Bumper stickers. Intactivist onesies/tshirts. If you don't feel comfortable sticking up, then let some passive communication work for you. If anyone says something, look down and say, "Oh! This shirt! Yeah, we feel really strongly about protecting/maintaining our child's bodily integrity."

(And I won't put up with CIO at playgroup/mom's group. I let everyone know that someone's baby is crying and needs to be picked up. There's no reason my child needs to be exposed to something like that.)

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#8 of 46 Old 05-26-2009, 06:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't bring it up with my friends but if someone else broaches the subject then it's fair game.

You've gotten some great ideas here about shattering myths. You might also add if someone said it was gross how would they feel if someone said their daughters were gross because they weren't circ'd? They'll shudder in horror because you've tried to compare female circ to male and then you follow up that the big excuse in cultures that circ females is "cleanliness" and "hygiene" and that we all know, because we are intact, that those excuses are loads of crap. Just as it is for boys but we've been brainwashed into thinking that an intact penis is gross. God/nature created the foreskin for a reason, it provides great pleasure for both a man and woman during sex, etc. And, end with the fact that it really should be their son's choice to have cosmetic surgery and the parent's responsibility to protect his body until he is old enough to make the choice for himself.

Then offer to send them more info to think about so if they have any other boys they should consider all the facts and not just listen to myths and brainwashing. Oh, and circ rates are falling so if it's the locker room argument very soon circ'd boys will be in the minority (may or may not be true where you live but at least make them stop and think). Also, remind them that your son is the way he was meant to be and not wounded and un-natural. If anyone actually had the nerve to say my son's penis was "gross" I'd have to say that their boys are the ones that have been mutilated and run around looking like erect grown men - not like the boys that they are.

At least they'll know you've thought it out a lot more than they did and you have excellent reasons for your decision.
Good points, thanks.

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To answer your title question, it is almost never painless to have an ignorance pointed out.

When a person first learns about their unearned privilege, or they are first introduced to the horrors of industrial farming techniques and the way it ravages our environment and what role they have played in the perpetuation of that, it is rarely a painless realization. Imagine how painful it will be to realize you have done something that has changed who their sons are forever, completely unnecessarily...a tiny part of them will die inside if they ever open their hearts to the truth.

But these are GROWING pains. The pain will be temporary and from the pain they will realize a greater truth.

I would continue to hang out with this group of women and continue to bring them information about the barbarity and cruelty of circumcision. I would show them what damage it can do to the penis, and explain why you didn't do it and why you advocate for others not to either. There is obviously something in their minds that notes the inappropriate nature of this, otherwise, WHY would they take photos?!

Sadly, by not saying anything you are ipso facto implying to them that you are secretly ashamed of not having circumcised your son, and that you would if you could. That is the unspoken conclusion they are likely to jump to.

I for one would set them straight.

My BFF has had two sons, and she has had them both circumcised. She doesn't like what I have to say about circumcision, but that doesn't stop me from saying what I think. She needs to hear the truth.
You are right, it is never easy to find out something that you are doing is harmful to someone else, especially if that someone else is your child. But these are all first time mothers. We are all struggling with feelings of inadequacy and some of us, with depression. I wanted to say something so badly, but I was not prepared to say something when the subject came up. I hate the fact that they may feel like I'm ashamed of my son. I was afraid of them thinking that. I was so caught off guard...nothing nice was coming to mind so I remained silent.

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Bumper stickers. Intactivist onesies/tshirts. If you don't feel comfortable sticking up, then let some passive communication work for you. If anyone says something, look down and say, "Oh! This shirt! Yeah, we feel really strongly about protecting/maintaining our child's bodily integrity."

(And I won't put up with CIO at playgroup/mom's group. I let everyone know that someone's baby is crying and needs to be picked up. There's no reason my child needs to be exposed to something like that.)
The thing is, another mom said several times "your baby is crying, do you know that?" (it was noisy and there were several conversations going on) and my friend just ignored her!

I just don't know if I can be around this kind of parenting. I thought it wasn't a big deal, but when they were taling about taking pictures of their sons strapped down like that...well it really opened my eyes to how different we are. Do you think I can be a positive influence, or are they just going to band together against me and my opinions?

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#9 of 46 Old 05-26-2009, 06:31 PM
 
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Good points, thanks.



You are right, it is never easy to find out something that you are doing is harmful to someone else, especially if that someone else is your child. But these are all first time mothers. We are all struggling with feelings of inadequacy and some of us, with depression. I wanted to say something so badly, but I was not prepared to say something when the subject came up. I hate the fact that they may feel like I'm ashamed of my son. I was afraid of them thinking that. I was so caught off guard...nothing nice was coming to mind so I remained silent.



The thing is, another mom said several times "your baby is crying, do you know that?" (it was noisy and there were several conversations going on) and my friend just ignored her!

I just don't know if I can be around this kind of parenting. I thought it wasn't a big deal, but when they were taling about taking pictures of their sons strapped down like that...well it really opened my eyes to how different we are. Do you think I can be a positive influence, or are they just going to band together against me and my opinions?

I know I would have said/done something about the CIO for sure as I am very soft hearted AND hormonal. If someone was doing CIO in front of me I would probably have left in a crying, semi-ranting mess and slammed the door on the way out. And that would be after I tried to comfort the child myself, if possible.

As for the issues on bringing up intactivist info post-circ, I understand your difficulties. Personally, I have learned from past burnings to bite my lip whenever someone is in the "post" stage. Growing pains, well I'll just agree to disagree with that term. More like raging mental illness ready to strike you to death at any moment. But that's my previous experience.

Of course, if they had been passing photos around I would have said something like "wow, how disgusting and cruel"

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#10 of 46 Old 05-26-2009, 07:06 PM
 
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You are right, it is never easy to find out something that you are doing is harmful to someone else, especially if that someone else is your child. But these are all first time mothers. We are all struggling with feelings of inadequacy and some of us, with depression. I wanted to say something so badly, but I was not prepared to say something when the subject came up. I hate the fact that they may feel like I'm ashamed of my son. I was afraid of them thinking that. I was so caught off guard...nothing nice was coming to mind so I remained silent.
Ahhhh the old adage...if you don't have anything nice to say...

I have long ago realized that this adage has been a very effective social mechanism for keeping people in their place and stopping them from saying the truth when it comes to oppressive and abusive behaviors. If you don't have anything nice to say?

Sometimes there is nothing nice to say.

The truth is they might not want you in their club after you tell them the truth, but if you don't say something to them, If you don't plant a tiny seed of dissidence in their world of social conformity and never questioning the doctor's norms or where they come from, you will kick yourself forever.

They might band against you...but either way you WILL be a positive influence on them because they will know that in fact, NO, not EVERYBODY does it and in fact SOME mothers have the courage to stand up for their children's bodies. Maybe they will hate you at first (for being different, questioning their mothering, being a maverick, rocking the boat, pointing out uncomfortable truths), but in the long run you might give them courage to question more, research more, and follow their OWN instincts more.

That's got to be worth a little bit of abuse to know you've been true to your principles!

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#11 of 46 Old 05-27-2009, 12:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I know I would have said/done something about the CIO for sure as I am very soft hearted AND hormonal. If someone was doing CIO in front of me I would probably have left in a crying, semi-ranting mess and slammed the door on the way out. And that would be after I tried to comfort the child myself, if possible.

As for the issues on bringing up intactivist info post-circ, I understand your difficulties. Personally, I have learned from past burnings to bite my lip whenever someone is in the "post" stage. Growing pains, well I'll just agree to disagree with that term. More like raging mental illness ready to strike you to death at any moment. But that's my previous experience.

Of course, if they had been passing photos around I would have said something like "wow, how disgusting and cruel"
Oh no if they had passed the photos around I would have thrown up. As it was I felt like it with just the talking. And DH and I were talking about how to handle the CIO if they talk about it again. I am going to say "how would you feel if you only spoke English, you were stranded in a remote place in China where no one spoke your language, and you were paralyzed and afraid. But instead of offering you comfort, they laid you flat on your back and left you in a dark room for hours and hours."

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Ahhhh the old adage...if you don't have anything nice to say...

I have long ago realized that this adage has been a very effective social mechanism for keeping people in their place and stopping them from saying the truth when it comes to oppressive and abusive behaviors. If you don't have anything nice to say?

Sometimes there is nothing nice to say.

The truth is they might not want you in their club after you tell them the truth, but if you don't say something to them, If you don't plant a tiny seed of dissidence in their world of social conformity and never questioning the doctor's norms or where they come from, you will kick yourself forever.

They might band against you...but either way you WILL be a positive influence on them because they will know that in fact, NO, not EVERYBODY does it and in fact SOME mothers have the courage to stand up for their children's bodies. Maybe they will hate you at first (for being different, questioning their mothering, being a maverick, rocking the boat, pointing out uncomfortable truths), but in the long run you might give them courage to question more, research more, and follow their OWN instincts more.

That's got to be worth a little bit of abuse to know you've been true to your principles!
Ahh...that would require me to stand up to someone and risk confrontation. I am working on that...it's a personal issue that I am trying to overcome. I know this is a worthwhile cause, but I always try to be nonconfrontational. Which is probably why some people don't know how deep into the granola closet I am...

I actually wimped out of another "mommy group" this morning because I was feeling anxious. I BELIEVE in the intactivist cause, but I don't know if I'm brave enough to be a warrior. They've invited me to a lunch on Thursday... I still don't know if I should go or not.

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#12 of 46 Old 05-27-2009, 02:04 AM
 
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I actually wimped out of another "mommy group" this morning because I was feeling anxious. I BELIEVE in the intactivist cause, but I don't know if I'm brave enough to be a warrior. They've invited me to a lunch on Thursday... I still don't know if I should go or not.
You know, some people can be very vocal and even confrontational, some are comfortable only saying stuff online, others never speak a word of the issue unless asked a direct question about it. Do whatever you feel is comfortable. There isn't a right or wrong answer, just whatever feels right to you for your situation. If you choose to be around these women again and they bring it up, please at least say something like "oh, we didn't circumcise our son and we're happy with our decision", or something along those lines. You don't have to elaborate unless they ask further questions. But that way they'll know not all people circ and maybe your friend will even chime in that her son is intact too. Even if nothing else is said, it might help if there is one mom there who circed and secretly regrets it. She might have the courage to refuse to circ the next time she delivers.

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#13 of 46 Old 05-27-2009, 06:38 PM
 
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I'm still trying to wrap my head around the idea of keeping pictures of a circumcision. I'm pretty unflappable but that just seems really creepy and bizarre to me. Very inappropriate to say the least.

OP, I want to tell you that you should stay with these women and do whatever you can to educate them and bring them around to a less...brutal? Yes, that's the word I want. A less brutal style of mothering. But in reality I'd probably openly express my disgust at both the circ pics and CIO and then just leave. And I doubt I'd spend time with that group ever again (except maybe your friend who kept her boy intact and wasn't nasty to you) because this is a big planet with lots of other people on it and life is too short to hang out with those who go out of their way to make you feel bad, KWIM? It'd be different if they were supportive and respectful of your differences, but the gloating laughter would have been wayyyyy too much for me to handle graciously.

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#14 of 46 Old 05-27-2009, 08:00 PM
 
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Oh no if they had passed the photos around I would have thrown up. As it was I felt like it with just the talking. And DH and I were talking about how to handle the CIO if they talk about it again. I am going to say "how would you feel if you only spoke English, you were stranded in a remote place in China where no one spoke your language, and you were paralyzed and afraid. But instead of offering you comfort, they laid you flat on your back and left you in a dark room for hours and hours."



Ahh...that would require me to stand up to someone and risk confrontation. I am working on that...it's a personal issue that I am trying to overcome. I know this is a worthwhile cause, but I always try to be nonconfrontational. Which is probably why some people don't know how deep into the granola closet I am...

I actually wimped out of another "mommy group" this morning because I was feeling anxious. I BELIEVE in the intactivist cause, but I don't know if I'm brave enough to be a warrior. They've invited me to a lunch on Thursday... I still don't know if I should go or not.
Go!

And wear a T-shirt advertising your beliefs. Bring some Literature to share with them...after all every group needs a wacky hippie!:

Besides, what's the worst that can happen? They tell you to get stuffed? They look at you weird? They tell you a bunch of lies they have been telling themselves for years? Most likely they will just sit around and say that they did it for asthetics, for social belonging, because their doctors told them too..

You are armed with the truth! They can't fight against that.

Most likely they will just sit around and say that they did it for aesthetics, for social belonging, because their doctors told them too...yadda yadda yadda.

But if they are mean you can come back and log on here and tell us all about it and we will hug you and remind you you are doing the right thing.

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#15 of 46 Old 05-27-2009, 10:19 PM
 
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I mean, they took freakin' pictures of their baby splayed out on the table... :Puke:
That is very creepy and weird. They TOOK PICTURES of their baby getting cut up? That is sadistic. Where is their mother's heart? I honestly don't understand how people can stomach that.

Maybe there are people around that you could hang with that have more in common with you?
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#16 of 46 Old 05-28-2009, 09:09 AM
 
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Haven't read the other responses...

But I think a simple comment about how there is no reason to cut off a piece of a baby's body would be perfectly appropriate. You wouldn't want to go too extreme on them out of nowhere, because they would probably just get offended and ignore you, and cling even tighter to their ignorant beliefs on the topic. But keep in mind that it's entirely possible that they've never known anyone to leave their baby boy intact before. The one who looked at your DS during diaper change was probably just curious. I had never seen an intact penis before having my son. I was ignorant like those women.

But really, the damage is already done. However, planting a seed by just portraying intact as "normal", as you probably did, might be the start of someday shifting the way people like them think about it.

Amanda , mama to my two boys: N (10/06) and : A (7/09)
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#17 of 46 Old 05-28-2009, 01:21 PM
 
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Haven't read the other responses...

But I think a simple comment about how there is no reason to cut off a piece of a baby's body would be perfectly appropriate. You wouldn't want to go too extreme on them out of nowhere, because they would probably just get offended and ignore you, and cling even tighter to their ignorant beliefs on the topic. But keep in mind that it's entirely possible that they've never known anyone to leave their baby boy intact before. The one who looked at your DS during diaper change was probably just curious. I had never seen an intact penis before having my son. I was ignorant like those women.

But really, the damage is already done. However, planting a seed by just portraying intact as "normal", as you probably did, might be the start of someday shifting the way people like them think about it.
Yes, you can "teach by example" without really ever saying much of anything. Just do what you do and let them see it's normal. I am very non-confrontational too so I would have a really hard time saying anything.

But I guess I was influenced by people talking about circumcision. Both my doctor and one of my friends said they really regretted circumcizing their sons. So talking can work too!
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#18 of 46 Old 05-28-2009, 09:49 PM
 
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I think I wouldn't be hanging out with them anymore if it was me. I can handle disagreeing about 1 or 2 topics, but not the entire way I'm raising my kid!

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#19 of 46 Old 05-28-2009, 10:04 PM
 
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"When you have a child, you realize that being a parent is the most important activism you will ever do." -Peggy O'Mara

I think this is a very important fact to remember. There are times in our lives that being a good parent is a form of activism, and possibly the only time or energy we have to devote to activism. The fact that you didn't circ your son is a form of activism in and of itself. Maybe right now, you aren't ready to stand up in a group and state your views, but just by having left your son intact, you are sending a message.

Someday, you may be able to say, "Well, my son is intact, and he's never had a problem. I made the right decision." It may be something that you practice over and over to yourself to be able to say it outloud, but if you aren't at that place yet, don't beat yourself up. Your son is intact!! :

 
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#20 of 46 Old 05-28-2009, 10:57 PM
 
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Yes, you can "teach by example" without really ever saying much of anything. Just do what you do and let them see it's normal. I am very non-confrontational too so I would have a really hard time saying anything.

But I guess I was influenced by people talking about circumcision. Both my doctor and one of my friends said they really regretted circumcizing their sons. So talking can work too!
Yep - I would just do what I do and be normal about it and be honest about the fact that an intact penis is totally natural and normal. In a situation where the other mothers weren't saying things like, "I took pics of my son's circumcision." I would be more likely to speak up, but if they're that proud of their decision then they'll probably just get defensive if you say much at first.

I've definitely talked to my mom about circumcision and about why we won't be having it done to any sons if we have any. My brothers are circumcised and I went slowly. She never got defensive or offended. I explained that there's more information that's more readily available nowadays and acknowledged that she made the best decision she knew to make when she had my brothers. I think it was easier for her to accept my info since her decision was so long ago and before the internet was popular... but being respectful and patient along with showing them in person how normal a foreskin is would be the way I would go if I could still manage to be around them

I'm also not incredibly confrontational so you should take the advice that best fits your personality!

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: Circumcision can never be undone :
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#21 of 46 Old 05-28-2009, 11:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all for the encouragement and advice. I begged off the lunch this morning, but I did agree to a get-together on Tuesday. :sigh: Don't these women do anything else? I feel a lot better and less alien after gong to a babywearing group in the area. It's a longer drive, but hooray for breastfeeding, breastfeeding toddlers (first time seeing that IRL, YAY!!), babywearing, cloth diapering and that wholesome whole grain crunch! The women were very open and friendly, definitely worth the hour's drive.

And guess what? I was brave too! I had invited a pg friend from church to meet me there (she was asking me about my wrap) and she took a lot of notes and seemed to have a good time. Afterward we went to lunch and had a good talk. And guess what? We talked about circ! : I was really open with her about it, and encouraged her to do her research. She doesn't know what she's having (except a :h20hb:!) and I don't know what they had decided about circ, I just ploughed right in and told her about the fallacies of social pressures, cleanliness, disease and etc. She said nurses had told her to do it "to save trouble" but I told her about my DH (uncirc) and DS never having a problem, along with the vast majority of the rest of the world. Also I told her that retraction causes problems and to NEVER retract, not for cath or anything. I guess I got carried away but she was really interested. Anyways it made me feel almost like I was making up for my silence Monday.

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#22 of 46 Old 05-28-2009, 11:08 PM
 
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Perhaps somethign to keep on the back for a comeback....
"I'd never question our decision to leave our son intact. He's perfect.

I've been in several mainstream playgroups and I only have the energy to stay and put myself out there if I feel there is some mutual respect. Some of the moms you have seem awful opinionated... you are going to have to find a way to even out the group dynamics so that everyone's voices are able to be heard. They seem to me like they are putting out the most extreme view in a way that say..." so there, now you are going to be afraid to say anything to contradict that!" And that may just be a smokescreen to stop anyone from presenting a different pov.

Even if the other happen to have chosen circ, I doubt they are all as opinionated. I'd be very shocked if none of them hadn't had some of the same concerns you had. But after those women brought out those pics, who's going to say something?

Luckily I've always seen that the other moms are open-minded.... So I have always felt good about voicing a different view and I WANT to because I think a lot of people will take the easier way and just agree with what others say, even if they disagree or the info doesn't feel right. If I speak up it might help them say some thigntoo, it plants a seed.... and it is likely that it might resonate to someone.
I guess I feel that was how I ended up being AP-minded because people on my expecting club opened by eyes to practices that were different... and even if at first I was skeptical, I had the tools I needed to take the steps, had the support, and had the confidence.

As for circumcision... I do think it is fair game if you have an intact child yourself to be a bit more blunt about people's view points being insulting or upsetting to you. But how one goes about that is quite individual.
You said you are not very confrontational (neither am I!) so you are going to have to think ahead of a plan and stick to somethign VERY short *much* shorter than what you had suggested above (I think you gave an example of something you might say for cio... I'd just say somethign quick like, "you know when my babe cries every fiber of my body reacts and I go. I couldn't ignore it if I wanted to".
I just think in the thick of it all I wouldn't remember a long thought and I'd likely just chicken out...
Something I just thought of was simple like, 'you know my dh and I didn't trivialize circumcision and came to a strong conclusion that leaving our son intact was the right thing to do.'
Other suggestions:
I'm just really puzzled by your experience with your son's circumcision, we were advised by our dr/midwife that circ's not done and consider his foreskin a normal functional useful body part."
"I think based on our differences this is a subject we should all just pass on".
"I'd never question our decision to leave our son intact. I think he's perfect."
(perhaps if someone has mentioned dirty or gross) then say, I hope you understand that saying that is very insulting can you explain exactly what is 'dirty' 'gross' or whatever it was they said....

Good luck
Jessica

Jessica..lady.gifintactlact.gif Falling in love all over again..... 
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#23 of 46 Old 05-28-2009, 11:20 PM
 
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I feel a lot better and less alien after gong to a babywearing group in the area. It's a longer drive, but hooray for breastfeeding, breastfeeding toddlers (first time seeing that IRL, YAY!!), babywearing, cloth diapering and that wholesome whole grain crunch! The women were very open and friendly, definitely worth the hour's drive.

And guess what? I was brave too! I had invited a pg friend from church to meet me there (she was asking me about my wrap) and she took a lot of notes and seemed to have a good time. Afterward we went to lunch and had a good talk. And guess what? We talked about circ! : I was really open with her about it, and encouraged her to do her research. She doesn't know what she's having (except a :h20hb:!) and I don't know what they had decided about circ, I just ploughed right in and told her about the fallacies of social pressures, cleanliness, disease and etc. She said nurses had told her to do it "to save trouble" but I told her about my DH (uncirc) and DS never having a problem, along with the vast majority of the rest of the world. Also I told her that retraction causes problems and to NEVER retract, not for cath or anything. I guess I got carried away but she was really interested. Anyways it made me feel almost like I was making up for my silence Monday.
That's an awesome update! I missed it while writing my prvious response.

Hey, your dh is intact, too! Gee, I'd really be blunt to anyone who you can.. You really have a iron-clad case (I hope that's the right phrase).

The best thing after becoming a new mom was all the validation I got for leaving my son intact. I met moms at a meeting and one of the moms brought up that circ was her biggest regret and her friend (both did this for religious reasons, which was even more relevant to my personal situation) had both decided that any more boys were going to be left intact. Most of the moms I met had chosen to leave their sons intact.
But you know the one that finally really made me see the issue in a bigger picture was my Irish friend who mentioned that her dh was intact and they just never understood circ... she also simply said that she was glad dh was intact. She was honestly horrified when the midwives mentioned circ... and that honest horror/revulsion is just something most American just don't get. She blurted out something like- There's no way we would EVER do that.
Her honest reaction, unfiltered, not worried about offending someone, etc.... it is just what more people need to hear.

Jessica

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#24 of 46 Old 05-31-2009, 04:23 PM
 
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are they just going to band together against me and my opinions?
Chances are high that they'll do just that... sorry, I have been in a very similar situation and that's pretty much what happened to me... And in my experience you can't win - you feel like crap if you don't say anything and continue to hang out w/ them and you feel like crap for speaking up & then being ostracized... it stinks all around
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#25 of 46 Old 05-31-2009, 06:01 PM
 
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There was a point at which I needed to surround myself with friends who had similar parenting styles to my own, because I just couldn't put up with the mainstream stuff. Now, my circles are a little broader, but I still don't put up with listening to babies CIO and I've become comfortable telling people they can't spank in my house.

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#26 of 46 Old 06-01-2009, 02:01 AM
 
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I do agree with what others have said but there is also something you have to realize (I mean you in a general sense not specifically you lol) In their minds they did what was right and a good thing for their sons, as a mother of one who was circed and one who is not I used to think that circing was the right and only choice to make. I remember one of my friends was pregnant wiht a boy and she was asking us all about it and her only reason for not wanting to circ was b.c it causes pain to the newborn. I remember telling her but the dr's say its cleaner and healthier and all that stuff b/c back THEN I truly believed that, However now I now much more and obviously my thoughts have changed which is why I have an intact son. I think a good way to get across your thoughts is to do it in a way that is not going to make them feel bad for what they have done b.c well its done but to educate for future children or if not future children just so they can learn and educate others. I know if someone came to me full throttle in a domineering way that would make me close up and not want to listen. Just something to think about for everyone, you get more flies with honey than vinegar.

Also I know it makes you uncomfortable to have friends who are mainstreem but when you do that sometimes it also helps you to bring them on to the more natural side. Again I was totally mainstream mama with my first son. I gave up bfeeding by 3 months (but in my defense I had severe PPD) let him CIO and listened to EVERY word the Dr''s said as the truth! Once I became friends with more AP people and more natural ways of doing things it started to rub off on me and I have changed soo much from the mom I used to be. I now BF, BW, cosleep, used to cloth diaper but the laundry is to much for me to keep up and lal that stuff, so basically it doesnt always hurt to have some mainstream friends so that maybe it will help them learn new things too
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#27 of 46 Old 06-01-2009, 04:25 PM
 
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I just tend to say "I don't believe in having cosmetic surgery done to people who cannot consent."

Melissa, wife to Brian, mommy to my home born, breastfeeding, sling-riding, sleep sharing, cloth diapered, intact kiddos Adam 11/09 and Leah 8/12.

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#28 of 46 Old 10-22-2010, 05:41 PM
 
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That is very creepy and weird. They TOOK PICTURES of their baby getting cut up? That is sadistic. Where is their mother's heart? I honestly don't understand how people can stomach that.

Maybe there are people around that you could hang with that have more in common with you?
yes it is awful. i actual quit reading a pretty famous blog because i went back a few entries and she posted pictures of her youngest kid during his bris/circ/cut whatever you want to call it. i was so shocked and disgusted that i haven't been back to her blog. really now-posting a picture of your kid suffering. :Puke

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#29 of 46 Old 10-22-2010, 08:43 PM
 
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Wow, that is a tough situation. It's not just that those women circed out of ignorance which is totally understandable as it is so prevalent in this culture (cause the docs say it is standard, better, God knows what), but they took pictures of it? How sadist. They also practice CIO and find it amusing... There seem to be too many differences.
I'm not a person who can speak up in such groups at all, and with so many differences I personally wouldn't go there again. I'm just not confrontational IRL and pick and choose only mamas who parent like I do (or mostly like I do, and who are open to discussion either way). It is too stressful for me to be with parents who CIO, circ, give their infants soda and McDonalds and so on. I have only experienced it this way, either total MDC mom or totally not, I have yet to meet a mama in between.
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#30 of 46 Old 10-22-2010, 10:01 PM
 
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Wow, that is a tough situation. It's not just that those women circed out of ignorance which is totally understandable as it is so prevalent in this culture (cause the docs say it is standard, better, God knows what), but they took pictures of it? How sadist. They also practice CIO and find it amusing... There seem to be too many differences.
I'm not a person who can speak up in such groups at all, and with so many differences I personally wouldn't go there again. I'm just not confrontational IRL and pick and choose only mamas who parent like I do (or mostly like I do, and who are open to discussion either way). It is too stressful for me to be with parents who CIO, circ, give their infants soda and McDonalds and so on. I have only experienced it this way, either total MDC mom or totally not, I have yet to meet a mama in between.
I have seen you post this for the second time now. I don't know if it's my playgroup or what but we're a fairly crunchy bunch of AP mamas and some of us (me included...you know that though ) have circed their sons for different reasons. Others decided NOT to circ. It's totally fine with everybody, why shouldn't it be? Some of the babies are vaxed, some only partially, some not at all. Most of the babies are being worn, breastfed, cosleep, cloth diapered etc.

As for me. Yes DS is circed. Am I happy now looking back at having it done? No. Would I do it agian? No. I'm sorry for what my son had to go through but I don't think he'll ever question me about it. He never had to cio, he was breastfed until he didn't want anymore, never got soda from a bottle, still sleeps in our bed (at 3 1/2 years old), was worn until I couldn't take it no more (due to pregnancy), was cloth diapered etc. I'm sure there are more moms who are still 'good moms' even though they have circed their sons.

I'm sorry for all the moms who stay away from other great women just because their sons are not intact. Who knows how the mom feels about it? I had my husband talk me into it back then. I didn't question it, it's just how things were done. Now I know better...I know better about a lot of things now but back then...I didn't. I still like to meet other crunchy mommas and talk about other stuff instead of being judged for a wrong decision I made a few years back.

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