Anti-circ, pro-piercing? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 64 Old 05-28-2010, 11:19 AM
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For children, I'm 100% completely anti-circ. If for some reason they feel the desire to be circumcised, I don't feel it should be allowed until they can fully understand the procedure and how it will affect them for life.

I'm also completely anti-pierce, but only until the child asks for it and is capable of caring for them on their own.

The bottom line is that I don't feel that parents should be allowed to alter their childrens' bodies until that child voices their wishes.

I was in Walmart a few months ago (don't shoot me, I was there with DH!) and as we were walking near the jewelry counter, heard a shriek from a baby and then hard crying.. I know that shriek.. it means sudden pain. I turned my head to see what on earth on happened. There was a mom holding her little screaming baby girl's head still while the worker held the gun to her other ear. I had to walk away immediately.. like, basically run away. My heart was pounding, my face turned bright red and hot, I was shaky and sweating, and felt sick.

It was the exact same passionate response my body had when I first watched a video of circumcision. It was the same shriek.

The procedures may not be the same in severity, not by a long shot, but they both cause pain, they both alter their bodies, and they're both done before the child gives consent. It's just not ok with me.

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#62 of 64 Old 06-01-2010, 04:45 PM
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When I was referring to "parental decisions" I was referring to those decisions which inherently rest with the parents, such as how best to feed, clothe, and educate their children.
Other "decisions" which parents may have been getting away with doing for centuries are actually decisions which they have stolen from their children and have no inherent right to make. For instance, parents have been cutting children's genitals, sticking metal through certain body parts, and selling their children into slavery for thousands of years. Doesn't mean it is a parent's right to make those decisions. It just means they have been getting away with violating the human rights of their children. Getting away with it, or having a government that ignores it, does not make it right and does make it the parent's "right" to choose.
I make this distinction because many parents, who would never circumcise their own children, nevertheless feel that it is none of their business to interfere in any other parent's "choice," lest they themselves lose their freedom to, for instance, choose a vegetarian diet for their child or to homeschool. I say the two are unrelated. We as parents are obligated to provide food, medical care, and education for our children, and therefore we inherently have the right to choose for them (until they are old enough to choose otherwise for themselves) what will be the best food, medical care, and education for them. Because these decisions are inherently the parents' to make, there should be no interference from outside forces (except in cases of gross neglect or abuse.) On the other hand, the right to bodily integrity belongs to each of us as human beings and interference with that right, even by our parents, is a violation of our human rights. I just don't see how standing up for human rights of all persons, regardless of age or gender, can be interpreted as wanting to take away parents' rights. Nobody has a right to violate another person's human rights in the first place, so stopping infant circumcision actually does not take away anyone's rights, it only restores the rights to where they really belong (the person whose body it is.)
Really, the rules for proxy consent of medical procedures are very clear, and if doctors actually followed them there would be no routine infant circumcisions by doctors anyway. According to the rules for medical ethics, parents do NOT have the right to choose amputative surgery for a child when no medical condition requiring such surgery exists. So people who have been ignoring these rules have been simply violating medical ethics and human rights, NOT exercising their own "parental rights," because no such right to do harm to a healthy child ever existed, anyway.
I hope that clears up my point.

As for piercing, I do believe it is a violation of the child's rights, but it is so much less harmful that I don't put any energy to fighting it. Circumcision is really much more important. Nonetheless, for me, seeing an infant with pierced ears is like it is wearing a t-shirt that says, "My mom and dad don't care about my human rights."
Last week a friend of mine was at the mall and witnessed a mom with two young boys forcing them to get their ears pierced. The mom and the piercer told them it would not hurt at all. They did the first one. He cried and protested that it did indeed hurt, badly. Now the second son did not want to be done. He was physically forced to by his mother who insisted that since she paid, he was getting it done. (It seems that at some point in time the boys had asked for pierced ears, but when they saw the pain involved changed their minds, but were not allowed to back out.) I see no difference between forcing an unwilling school-age child to have his ears pierced and forcing an infant to have it done.

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#63 of 64 Old 06-01-2010, 11:57 PM
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Originally Posted by tommynomad View Post

If you are anti-circ, are you also anti-pierce? If not, why not?
Would you break off a friendship if the other parent pierced their child's ears (or other body part)? What about spanking? What about not letting their kids eat meat? Or smoking in front of their kids?
How much of a village does it take: where do we draw the line on what parents must be permitted to decide for themselves?
I am anti-circ. I am also anti-piercing until the child is capable of giving consent. I gave in to my daughter's pleas to get her ears pierced at the age of four and, looking back, that was pretty young. I'm pretty sure I'd wait a few years if I could go back and redo it.

I would not break off a friendship with someone because they had different beliefs than I did. If I did, I wouldn't have many friends left.

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#64 of 64 Old 06-02-2010, 01:29 AM
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