Originally Posted by perspective
Wow, thats all I can say at first. I dont want you to take this the wrong way, but I dont think you have been handling your circ discussions very well at all. From how you describe you come on waaaaaay too strong. If you walk up to anyone (male or female, cut or intact) and start rattling off on all the ways their genitals are defective (if the info is true or not) people are automatically going to react with anger, and be defensive. Also if you go into a circ discussion with the perspective "o', all circed men act in this way and get defensive." then your not going to have a good discussion with them. I am a circed guy and am aware of the negatives of circ, I was aware that something was altered in my penis long before most of my female peers even heard the word "circ". I think if you have a perspective that all circ guys are one way your never going to have a good discussion.
There is nothing magical about having a good circ talk with parents too be. You need to start out slow, and use different types of arguments as you go, the last of being talking about sensitivity and penis alteration.
If you want someone to listen you, you have to show that you respect their point of view, even if you disagree. If you dont respect their views, why would they stop and listen to yours?
I would start by saying your sorry if you offended them, and then start slowly from there.
Well, perspective, since I have offended you, I'd like to take the opportunity to apologize for that. I read that again, and I realize it comes off strong, so I would like to do some clarification.
1) I never told anybody that they had a defective penis. Please re-read my post - no where in it will you find me calling a circumcised penis defective. You will also find that my husband is circumcised, and I don't think he is defective. I do, however, think it is sad that he had part of his penis taken from him before he was old enough to understand the issue and consent or decline. I do not feel I have to apologize for this view.
2) I've never "walked up to anyone and start[ed] rattling off on all the ways their genitals are defective". The first time I brought this up with this friend was very casual and in an in-passing type of manner. Yes, this is the time that her fiancée went off the handle on me. Circumcision got brought up (I don't think it was me, but I don't remember - either way I know I wasn't belligerent about it) while we were both sitting around talking (and her fiancée was in the room). I knew at that point that I was having a little girl and even if I wasn't I've known since a rather early age that I could never circumcise any male children if I were to have any. As such I had not been reading up much on the issue, as I had more pressing things to do. I brought up the sensitivity issue in this discussion because it was the only "talking point" I had a clear memory of - I had looked up this issue before because I had a self-conscious, intact boyfriend in high school (and in trying to boost his ego, I shared the information about sensitivity with him). When her fiancée starting telling me that what I was saying was BS and that he didn't want to hear this crap, I shrugged my shoulders and dropped/changed the subject.
3) I don't have a perspective that all circ'ed guys are all one way. I do think, however, that anyone who has any kind of permanent body modification or has experience some kind of traumatic event in his/her lifetime is going to have some strong feelings about it. I do suspect, too, that anyone who was circumcised in childhood (male or female) would be more likely than not to be angry/upset/shocked/whatever when they learn more about the anatomy they lost and that the support for the procedure is weak. Personally, I would be (rightly) upset if I were in that position. In my experience, circumcised men act defensively when one argues against circumcision with them. I hadn't even suspected them to be one way or the other until they were so vehemently defending circumcision and getting quite agitated that none of their support reasons were going un-refuted (or were un-refutable). Yes, I focused too much on this in my post. It is just my opinion, and I could be wrong and perhaps almost all circumcised men are happy to be without their foreskin. I know some are and some aren't, I was just saying that I suspect that at least some are displeased that their bodies were altered without their consent (as I think anyone could be, especially in such a private area) but that a good coping mechanism is to deny it since it cannot be changed. Either way, I don't think any two people are exactly alike, and of course that would go for circumcised men.
4) In person, I am not someone who happily starts a discussion about penises. I find the topic, at best, awkward, and at worst down right embarrassing to be discussing. I am only comfortable talking about anything to do with penises with a select few people (or anonymously online), and as a general rule do not bring up the subject. Then how have I had these discussions? Well, my husband has brought it up in the presence of both his male friends and myself. Though I do not particularly like to talk about the subject face-to-face, if it is brought up I will defend my anti-circumcision stance and try to refute all the cleanliness and std-preventative arguments used. Usually the subject does not catch on, and I do not pursue it. Online is a different story, though. It is not face-to-face, it is not personal (unless you get in a flame war with someone), and one is not on the spot and in a position to feel awkward. Ah, the beauty of the written (typed) word. Why did I say they were unfortunate to get into the discussion with me? Well, to close the topic (since my husbands friends like to argue, and dismissed most of what I said), I have shown them a video of a baby being circumcised. Eeesh, I feel bad for anybody watching that. But it makes it a case closed as far as whether or not the procedure is "just a little snip" or really ethical to do (as most doctors do not use any kind of anesthetic). Please note, I have only done this once when the discussion got really heated (on both sides). Please don't now take this as evidence that I "run around showing people graphic circumcision videos" and as a consequence of course they will be mad/disgusted/whatever.
5) I do not respect the point of view that is okay to cut normal, healthy, functional parts off of a child without some urgent medical necessity (really the only good case I've heard to circumcise a baby is when that baby's urethral opening is misplaced and that tissue is necessary for reconstruction). Think negatively of me for it if you want, but I will not respect that view. However, just because I do not respect something does not mean that I act disrespectful towards those who hold that view. I realize I've come off that way, but the reason I came off so strong was because we are on the internet, which I find to be a good place to vent anonymously and I did just that with this post. I was looking for answers, don't get me wrong, but I allowed my strong views on the subject to come through in it because it frustrates me in real life and I would not express that frustration in a real life situation. I also believed that people here held views similar to my own, so I didn't think I would cause too much upset with the post. I have never called circumcision "mutilation" to my friend (regardless of how I may feel about it), nor have I said it is abusive and should be illegal, or any other things that people readily put up their defenses to. (And yes, I would put up my defenses too if I had a circumcised boy.) Additionally, please note that in my post I stated that I think she is a good mother. I absolutely stand by this. I just think that she is willfully blind to this issue.
6) The time I believed there was potential that I stepped over the line, I stated such in my post. I don't remember if I stated it or not, but I did apologize for offending her and told her that is not what I meant to do. I did mean to have an emotionally detached discussion about circumcision as an ethical/moral issue, and the shaky ground that it is on. When I brought it up, I felt that she might be receptive to this argument. Yeah, in retrospect I shouldn't have personalized it, but I was intending to talk about it in general, but phrased it as relevant to her. Sorry, I'm human and make mistakes.
7) I have brought up the subject of infant circumcision a total of 3 times with my friend. The first was before her first son was born, and the other two were after I found out she was pregnant but before I knew she was having another boy. I feel that if I was being truly belligerent, I would have started ranting about circumcision when she announced that she was having another boy - instead I congratulated her (and haven't brought up the topic in months or since her announcement). I also feel that if I was bringing up circumcision to cause a rift and/or be upsetting, I would have said more about the subject after they circ'ed their first son. I did not, because what would have been the point? What's done is done, and I don't feel it'd be right of me to bring up something that could only be upsetting and no good could come of it.
8) I don't think there is anything magical, but when ears are closed and something is so important to one, it can be difficult to fully see the issue. I was hoping that someone knew of a way to help people see the issue without getting emotional and defensive. Hypocritical? Yeah, and I can admit it. But I don't ignore facts, and I think that is an important distinction.
Anyways, please forgive me for another really long post. I hope I've conveyed that I'm not a whacko. I do get emotional/passionate/angry about this subject, as I do with other subjects about which I feel strongly - again, sorry if this offends. I take a staunch view on certain ethical and political issues, and I realize that this can rub people the wrong way. I apologize if I've upset anyone or was the cause of hurt feelings.
To the other poster (sorry I don't remember your s/n), I don't think she watched her first be circumcised, but I'm not sure. I would show her a video of an infant being circumcised, but I've refrained from doing this because I think it would upset her too much. Also, I don't think that this is the best way to dissuade someone from circumcision, because then they can just feel good about requesting pain meds. I feel like it doesn't take the whole issue into account, though it definitively makes an impression!