links to articles that don't say dads need counseling? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 02-13-2004, 02:29 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm looking for a good, informative article about reasons not to circ for my dh to read. I've just looked over the 2 Fleiss articles and both of them have sections at the bottom that talk about dads needing counseling to get over their anxieties about normal anatomy. I don't necessarily agree with that and imagine dh would find that recommendation pretty offensive. Does anyone know of any other in-depth articles describing circumcision and reasons not to do it that are more respectful to fathers?
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#2 of 7 Old 02-13-2004, 03:22 PM
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I'm confused... oh let me see if I can bring this thought around into a concise statement.

You have two options, circumcise or not...

either of these options has various arguments.

one of the arguments available against circumcision contains a statement that you think a man might find offensive...

and yet the entire opposing argument contains a sentiment that male humans are born flawed and need to be surgicly modified at the genitals immediatly in order to be healthy and culturally integrated.

And you are not confident that your husband will be struck with the horrid offensive sexism of that other position. You are well aware that no such repulsion exists in him and as such, you feel a compelling case to the other side must be made (without offending him).

Sorry... but if he does not find the pro-circumcision argument to be infuriatingly offensive... I think that maybe he needs to get some counseling- because it IS offensive- and if he is NUMB to that sexism and cruelty- he IS broken and is not in a position to be making judgements about other people's genitals.

You are in a little bit of denial yourself for the way that you chose to misread the words of Paul Fleiss... he said

"A circumcised father who has mixed feelings about his intact newborn son may require gentle, compassionate psychological counseling to help him come to terms with his loss and to overcome his anxieties about normal male genitalia. In such cases, the mother should steadfastly protect her child, inviting her husband to share this protective role and helping him diffuse his negative feelings. Most parents want what is best for their baby. Wise parents listen to their hearts and trust their instinct to protect their baby from harm. The experience of the ages has shown that babies thrive best in a trusting atmosphere of love, gentleness, respect, acceptance, nurturing, and intimacy. Cutting off a baby's foreskin shatters this trust.

Circumcision wounds and harms the baby and the person the baby will become. Parents who respect their son's wholeness are bequeathing to him his birthright -- his body, perfect and beautiful in its entirety. "

Nowhere in there does it say that every circumcised man needs some counseling... it says, if he is circumcised and that circumcision has rendered him fearful and unwilling to accept other people's normal anatomy- he should get some help- that the problem is not in the child, but in the head of the person who is afraid of human sex organs.

I kind of wonder why you think that you husband needs to be handled and managed... like you are your own family spinmeister... don't you trust that your husband can read or look into this for himself? So what if he is offended by what Paul Fleiss writes- that could start some conversation... or do you thnk it would just END it. Why are you doing all this filtering for him? Do you somehow deep inside know that he DOES have a crack in there in terms of his defensiveness ovr what was done... and that he needs to be handled with kid gloves because the circumcision has put him in such a fragile and vulnerable state? Does he have objectivity and reason? or is it gone? Was it cut off with his foreskin when he, by no choice of his own, had to grow into a lifelong position of either liking or hating that scar on his penis.

What's so wrong with the idea that a man might need some loving help to come to terms with what was done to his sex organ?

maybe your husband is such a strong together guy he doesn't need help- but lot's of guys DO. All over the place there are panicked women posting about their adamant husbands who CAN'T (not won't... but literally CAN'T begin to look at the question of not circumcising... they are emotionally UNABLE to accept that as even a POSSIBILITY) they are everywhere... maybe your husband isn't one of them... but they exist, and Paul Fleiss acknowledging the painful and confused emotions that not circumcising their son leaves in them is not an INSULT... it's the reality of the damage that mucking with people genitals with knives does.

Love Sarah

PS- To answer your original question- I recomend the book by David Gollaher- to be read cover to cover on his own time with privacy... and I recomend to you to tell him that there will be no circumcision period, it's not an option, and that if he would like to TRY to convince you... he can be your guest... you are all ears... but you will not sign the consent form, and without your consent, there is no circumcision. You can turn the tables and let HIM do the convincing... your son's foreskin is there by default- it's no less "fair" that you have to try to talk someone OUT of circumcision than it is for you to put him on the spot and try to talk you INTO it... after all- the boy comes with a penis which comes with a foreskin... if sex al anatomy is going to be removed... there better be a really sound justification... because I would not want to look a man in the eye with such a lame excuse as to why I had allowed him to be violated and say, "Your father wanted it, I didn't. " If you know better... you know better. You are the one who has the ability to be objective. Circumcised people are robbed of that ability- it's not a weakness, it's a curse. Circumcision makes circumcisers. You have to put your hand out and stop the cycle.
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#3 of 7 Old 02-13-2004, 03:40 PM
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Originally posted by arizonawillow
I don't necessarily agree with that and imagine dh would find that recommendation pretty offensive.
Why not let him read the article and let him decide for himself whether he finds it offfensive or not? I would personally be annoyed if I found out my DH (or friends or family) were filtering information for me (whatever the topic). If I say I can handle it, I can handle it.

My son is circ'd. I didn't want it done, but trying to talk to DH about it while I was pg was like trying to talk to a brick wall - he wouldn't budge. I did not research it and I (with great regret) consented. (Had I researched it, ***I *** would have been the brick wall.)

I had my DH read it 6 months later, when I found it at the local library. He refused to at first... and scoffed that it came from a natural parenting magazine and tossed it aside. Well, he read it on his own and afterwards he said, "uh, OK, maybe it was a mistake to do this."

He wasn't "offended" by any implications... and he still doesn't feel that he has been "mutilated." And that's fine by me, because I don't want him to feel horrible. It would have been ridiculous for me to keep the article from him, for fear of hurting his feelings or "making him feel bad." The article simply states the facts.... and it's only meant to EDUCATE parents on the reality, so that they don't mindlessly consent to an unecessary and painful cosmetic procedure.

The good news is that we are now on the same page of this issue... any future sons will not be circumcized.

10 - boy
5.5 - girl
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#4 of 7 Old 02-13-2004, 04:12 PM
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ArizonaWillow, it sounds to me like you are just trying to avoid alienating your dh at the outset, so that he will remain open to the points in the articles that *might* actually sway him against circumcision. If that's the case, I'm sure that we can all support you in that!

Sometimes you just have to meet people where they are right now in order for them to keep an open mind.


I just happen to like apples, and I am not afraid of snakes. ~Ani d.
These dolls and toys confuse me so; Confound it all, I love it, though!~J. Skellington
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#5 of 7 Old 02-13-2004, 09:53 PM
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Hi ArizonaWillow!
I know where you are coming from. I used the Natural Parenting book by Peggy (Mothering) on my DH who used all the typical reasons -don't want him to look different, don't want him to be made fun of in the locker room, etc.

The section her book that describes the act of circumcision left my husband holding his groin and saying that we would not do that to our son. Don't just get an article that talks about pros and cons, as that just looks like a list. Get the graphic detail that Natural Parenting uses or get a video on it. I know that that was going to be my next step if I didn't convince him with the NP section on Circ.

And then again, Sarah has a point. I would try Natural Parenting description and then a video to educate him, but if that isn't enought, just hold your ground and do what you can to protect your son and let DH do the convincing if he so chooses. Let him do the hours of research. He will get over it eventually. (Probably a lot sooner than you think- considering men don't usually hold grudges for long, they just move on).

You on the other hand will blame yourself for eternity if you give in.

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#6 of 7 Old 02-13-2004, 09:58 PM
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I would love to get a copy of that book. Where can we pick one up?
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#7 of 7 Old 02-14-2004, 10:44 AM
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I purchased mine online here, but I think you could check any of the bookstores online or maybe even your library.

It is a short section - brief but very very persuasive!

You may want to check your library if all you are interested in is that section.

Hope this helps!
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