Anti-circ, pro-piercing? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 64 Old 05-10-2010, 05:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I suspect there's a certain amount of selection bias posting this here, but I'm interested in hearing opinions. Another thread revealed to me the passion with which many parents (and parents-to-be) oppose circumcision--some to the point of disowning friends.

I am anti-circ, both female and male. I think it's rooted in superstitious nonsense and questionable from a perspective of human rights. Lots of parents around me agree with me. But...these same people have pierced their children's ears, an equally permanent alteration. I think this reeks of hypocrisy (but most of us--myself included--are hypocrites about something). Some of these parents still spank their kids, which may or may not have just as severe, long-lasting, and societal effects as either of the body-altering procedures in the thread title. And yet many people--even some anti-spankers--believe it's still up to each individual parent to make that kind of decision.

Public condemnation and shunning of people based on their parenting decisions seems to me a boomerang that will likely come back on us (I've already felt it, being anti-vax & anti-spank).

So my question is threefold:

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?

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#2 of 64 Old 05-10-2010, 05:52 PM
 
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I wouldn't break up a friendship over circing and I don't know anyone outside of MDC who would. I could care less if someone pierces their kid's ear or eats meat. As for smoking, I don't know anyone who does it anymore. And spanking - how would I even know?
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#3 of 64 Old 05-10-2010, 05:54 PM
 
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I would not pierce my children either, for me it is the same idea-they cannot give consent. I would not break off a friendship for circ or piercing though. I want others to respect my right to make decisions for my children so I will respect theirs even if i disagree. I will though try my hardest to educate them. As for spanking I do keep myself and my children away from parents who do. 1) parents who spank their children may consider it OK to spank mine(I once saw someone hit another's child IN FRONT OF THE MOTHER.) 2) I don't want my children to be around it.
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#4 of 64 Old 05-10-2010, 05:55 PM
 
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I am anti-circ and anti-infant-piercing. But I feel that circ is a human rights violation. Ear piercing, on the other hand, I think is rather ridiculous - why would I put an infant through a painful experience so that they look "cute"?

I can't see breaking off an existing strong friendship over either though. I would have a really hard time with circ and would do my best to talk them out of it.

I did stop pursuing a friendship after a lady I knew pierced her six month old's ears. We had met at a local baby playgroup and she had invited me out a few times, but I was already getting the feeling that we weren't very well matched as friends, and the ear piercing was more the straw that broke the camel's back so to speak. But I still saw her around from time to time as we are in a smaller community and was friendly to her.

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#5 of 64 Old 05-10-2010, 06:00 PM
 
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***I am anti-circ and anti-infant-piercing. But I feel that circ is a human rights violation. Ear piercing, on the other hand, I think is rather ridiculous - why would I put an infant through a painful experience so that they look "cute"? ***


I'm against it as well however
piercing could be considered a human rights violation too it can leave a permanent scar or hole in the body part...some people circ because of looks some people pierce for looks...all just depends on your perspective. I've seen things other cultures do that would be considered human rights violations by me as well but other people accept it.I think that was the whole point for this post is how far are we willing to take this whole situation about disagreeing as parents and shunning eachother. I could get really upset over all of these matters all of which I pretty much disagree with but I know people who do them and even when I give them the info and they dont take it to heart I just have to learn to accept I cant change everyones minds and go on with my life comfortable and happy with my own family and our choices

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#6 of 64 Old 05-10-2010, 06:27 PM
 
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I wouldn't break off a friendship over circ or piercing. Circ does change how I feel about a parent though, and I definitely feel I have more in common value-wise with parents who leave their sons intact. I feel the same kind of disconnect with ear-piercing parents, but to a much lesser extent.

I haven't ended any friendship over one parenting issue, but have backed away from moms who have made lots of choices that are not only different from mine but, in my view, harmful to children. At some point I just end up feeling like our values are so different that there's not enough to sustain the friendship; plus, I don't want my kids exposed to certain things.

I don't feel that circ should be a parental choice, so I guess that makes it different in my mind than other issues. But around here it is so incredibly common, even amongst the crunchier crowds, that I'd have few friends left if I cut out everyone who circed. I try to look at the mom as a whole, look at where her heart is, and go from there.

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#7 of 64 Old 05-10-2010, 06:46 PM
 
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I would never set out to end a relationship because of circumcision. But, I think it has happened anyway. I couldn't help it. I can't be around my friend or her sons without thinking about what she did to them. I really do try to let it go but it nags at me. It has changed how I see her and I have lost respect for her. It stings a little when people here condemn some of us who have lost friendships over this...

I am not being recalcitrant or punitive. I am not trying to punish her for what she did. I have just learned, through the decision that she made, that we are not as compatible as I thought. I don't enjoy her company as much anymore or trust her advice.
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#8 of 64 Old 05-10-2010, 06:57 PM
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I am anti-circ and anti-infant piercing. However, piercing doesn't alter function or destroy body parts, and circ does. I see piercing more as a presumptuous imposition than a human rights violation.

I have not and would not end a friendship over circumcision, though. It's a legal and promoted procedure in this country, and most parents do what they think is in the best interest of their babies. And really....there are lots of little boys in my extended family and at least half of them are circed. I can't imagine shunning my kids' aunts, uncles, and cousins over it.

I don't think I've lost any friendships because of differing parenting choices.
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#9 of 64 Old 05-10-2010, 07:03 PM
 
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I am very anti-both. I don't consider them equal, but both are wrong. I wouldn't say I would break off a friendship for circ'ing (that implies I have friends, lol). But I was raised Jewish and circ'ed my son and deeply regret it. I am now anti-circ. I think if I had a friend who was very outspokenly PRO-circ, then we probably had enough other differences that I can't see us being friends to begin with. I have lost one friendship (a childhood friend I remained close to for years) for parenting/lifestyle differences, but it was extreme-abusive relationships, beating the children, drug use, CIO to an extreme, etc.

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#10 of 64 Old 05-10-2010, 07:11 PM
 
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I do look down (very much so) on people who circ-- esp this day in age where information is so readily accessible.

I would not pierce my baby girls ears (in my culture, much more against the grain than leaving my son intact) but...

Removing the foreskin is more like removing your babies little toe, than piercing ears. Ear piercing many times is reversible, and does not compromise function of the ears. It also is a much less risk procedure.

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#11 of 64 Old 05-10-2010, 07:19 PM
 
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I just want to point out that piercing can def cause malformations too in accidents etc earrings getting caught on things and ripped out its more common than you think too .

 Jess mom to 5!!! 3 boys 2 girls and another girl on the way edd jan 31st! I have a Disabled veteran husband
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#12 of 64 Old 05-10-2010, 07:27 PM
 
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I wouldn't lose a friend b/c they circ'd, and I wouldn't lose a friend if they pierced their kid's ears, spanked, smoked in front of them, or didn't allow them to eat meat.

I think an infant with pierced ears looks funny, and spanking is detrimental - and I might even voice those opinions if it was a close enough friend but I wouldn't cut them out of my life for any of the examples listed.

ETA: I also don't know anyone IRL who would lose a friend over circumcision. As I said in the other thread, it's not a common thing to even know what a friend's DS's genitals look like - or even their stance on it. It's just not something that comes up in everyday conversion, for most of the population.

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#13 of 64 Old 05-10-2010, 07:45 PM
 
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I am anti-circ and anti-infant piercing. However, piercing doesn't alter function or destroy body parts, and circ does.
Agreed. It's a much lesser evil, so my feelings about it are much less strong. That isn't hypocritical.... it's rational. If you wouldn't end a friendship over circ, does that mean you'd be hypocritical to end a friendship with someone who cut her baby's arms off? No, it means you decide what level of wrongness outweighs the friendship. Same thing here.

Personally I wouldn't consider ear piercing a definite dealbreaker, but it'd be a red flag and I'd certainly encourage a friend not to do it (like circ, it's not common here). I don't putit on the same level as genital cutting, but that doesn't mean I'm a fan.

As the thread you're referring to shows, ending a friendship over circ isn't necessarily a dispassionate decision but one based on moral revulsion and sadness in a circumstance in which the intactivist friend knew for a fact that the parent was aware of what she/he was doing to the baby. Nobody was talking about a circumstance where two people had been friends for twenty years, when one party suddenly broke off the friendship upon finding the other let her son be circed 15 years ago without knowing anything about intactivism.

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#14 of 64 Old 05-10-2010, 08:01 PM
 
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Originally Posted by beru View Post
I would never set out to end a relationship because of circumcision. But, I think it has happened anyway. I couldn't help it. I can't be around my friend or her sons without thinking about what she did to them. I really do try to let it go but it nags at me. It has changed how I see her and I have lost respect for her. It stings a little when people here condemn some of us who have lost friendships over this...

I am not being recalcitrant or punitive. I am not trying to punish her for what she did. I have just learned, through the decision that she made, that we are not as compatible as I thought. I don't enjoy her company as much anymore or trust her advice.
I know exactly what you mean. I feel the same way when someone circs. I hope my post didn't make you feel condemned. It's such a personal thing and so complicated. More laterl baby fussy.

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#15 of 64 Old 05-10-2010, 08:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Smokering View Post
Agreed. It's a much lesser evil, so my feelings about it are much less strong. That isn't hypocritical.... it's rational.
But I think a lot of people would say their opposition to:
- piercing
- veil-wearing
- meat-eating
- vaccination
- smoking
are all based just as solidly in rational thought. Certainly the last 3 are significant health issues, and in three others to some degree, community/government already transgress on parents' ability to make decisions. I know lots of people who are just as zealous about their support/opposition for the above issues as some of us are about circumcision. I don't think we can write off their concerns, lest they write off ours the same way.

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#16 of 64 Old 05-10-2010, 09:32 PM
 
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Circ and piercing are similar in that they both cause injury and both are human rights abuses.

Its a question of degree though, circ is 1000 times worse than having ears pierced. Mentioning together tends to trivialize circ.
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#17 of 64 Old 05-10-2010, 10:19 PM
 
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But I think a lot of people would say their opposition to:
- piercing
- veil-wearing
- meat-eating
- vaccination
- smoking
are all based just as solidly in rational thought. Certainly the last 3 are significant health issues, and in three others to some degree, community/government already transgress on parents' ability to make decisions. I know lots of people who are just as zealous about their support/opposition for the above issues as some of us are about circumcision. I don't think we can write off their concerns, lest they write off ours the same way.
OK, but... so? Obviously every parent has issues she feels so strongly about that she would break off a friendship over them. That's fine. I eat meat, but if someone found that so morally repellent she couldn't be around me... well, fair enough.

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#18 of 64 Old 05-11-2010, 12:08 AM
 
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I would not break off a friendship either over circumcision or ear piercing, no matter how I feel about each one. My personal feeling is that any non-medically necessary body alterations should only be done with the consent of the person involved at an age and maturity level befitting the procedure being considered. With that said, I will likely allow my DD9 to get her ears pierced within the next year or two if she keeps asking to have them done. I would not allow my son to be circumsized if he asked at the same age simply because one IS worse than the other as far as long term effects on the body. Ear piercing is a small hole and does not affect bodily or sexual function. Something more analogous would be if my DD wanted to cut off her earlobes in which case she'd have to wait until she's 18, as would my son if he wanted to be circumsized. Piercings and tattoos don't bother me so much because they are literally only skin deep and don't change function of the body, but I would never force them on my children either.

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#19 of 64 Old 05-11-2010, 01:32 AM
 
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This thread has got me thinking...

Ear-piercing and circ make me very, very sad, but I would not end a friendship over it.

However, I would, and have, end a friendship with someone who spanks their children.

Now I need to do some thinking to figure out why I feel this way and what the difference is...
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#20 of 64 Old 05-11-2010, 01:52 AM
 
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I am anti-circ, and anti-ear-piercing of a young child.

However, to compare these two is ridiculous. Leaving a small scar on the earlobe? A more apt comparison would be if the piercing was instead the removal of the outer ear, which woud affect hearing, and be irreparable mutilation.

I mean, c'mon! Circ-ing kills, as often as SIDS . Can you really put that on the same level as a small hole or scar on the earlobe?

And of course hitting another human being in your care is wrong, but can you really compare it to genital mutilation and possible death?

As far as friendships go, I am friends with many people whose decisions I do not agree with, and whose beliefs I do not share (even those who might compare meat consumption to maiming newborns). But I do believe there is potential for a deeper friendship with those whose values I share.
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#21 of 64 Old 05-11-2010, 03:28 AM
 
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If you are anti-circ, are you also anti-pierce? If not, why not?
I am not anti-piercing. If I ever have a daughter, I'd get her ears pierced sometime around 4-6 months, by a needle with proper jewelry, none of this gun business. To me, the difference between the two is astounding. With circ, a sizable part of the body is removed that forever alters the way the genitals work. With piercing, the pain isn't comparable and no function is lost. I think it's cute (not a valid reason to most MDC moms, but I think it is, and if she hates it when she gets older (unlikely) she can take them out. A lot also comes from my own experience...a bad reason? To a lot of people, probably, but part of parenting is pulling from your own experience and that's one area in which I intend to do so.

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?
Well, since I will be one of those ear piercing parents, obviously not. What other body part would possibly be pierced on an infant or child (realistically)? No idea how I feel about spanking. Not something I'd do, after the psychology classes I'd take, and I hope my friends are smart enough to realize the downsides to corporal punishment. I'm a strict vegetarian and will raise my kids as such, so once again, it would actually be awesome if I had friends who also raised their kids strict veg. Smoking in front of their kids would be a huge issue with my, but none of my close friends smoke, and I can't picture myself ever being friends with someone who would do something so damaging and stupid.

How much of a village does it take: where do we draw the line on what parents must be permitted to decide for themselves?
To be honest, there are many things that shouldn't be parental decisions, but are. Where do you draw the line? We can't exactly say when it interferes with the child's autonomy, because that's not a precise line. Not breastfeeding alters the child's body from the way it's supposed to. Not allowing a child to wean themselves alters their body. Vaccinating alters them. Not co-sleeping is unnatural, and could have consequences. Pushing them in a stroller is unnatural, what if it causes psychological problems?

I'm sure that 99% of MDCers agree that natural birth, long-term (1 year or more) breastfeeding, intactness, etc. are the ideal for a child. I happen to be one of them. However, it is entirely my decision to go that route. My opposition to circ has little to do with the issue of my future son's choice (because yes, it is a legal parental decision and has been a societal parental decision ever since circ originated), and everything to do with me choosing intactness for him, which is what I believe to be the best choice. If he has an issue with that as an adult, I'll believe I made the best choice in his interest. Therefore, it's not hard for me to justify being an anti-circer who will pierce DD's ears...as it stands in society, it is my decision. Just like in society, it is my decision to choose my DS's circ status. Ethically, should it be? That's a different debate. There are all sorts of intactivists.

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#22 of 64 Old 05-11-2010, 11:27 AM
 
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Anti-circ and if I had a daughter . I would leave it up to her to say I want my ears pierced but for "her wants" not just because her friends have them & she wants to be like them.

I used to wear earring but oh they were such a pain for me it turned out I was actually allergic to a metal that had my earring hole continue to get infected that I hated wearing earrings.

Plus my sil whose the mother of my niece I think my sil may have her ears pierced but I'm unsure . So far everytime I take a peek at makayla ears to see if they are pierced and they are not.

When I was at Brendan's dr appt two weeks ago I saw a wee little baby proably about 8 wks old she had pierced ears said that the mall place did that so I was like oh wow speechless feeling.
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#23 of 64 Old 05-11-2010, 12:46 PM
 
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If you are anti-circ, are you also anti-pierce? If not, why not?

No, all of my kids can have their ear pierced when ever they ask for it (thus far, only Janelle, she asked every day for a year before we said yes though...actually we said "as soon as your potty trained you can have them pierced" without even thinking about it since we hadn't even TRIED to potty train her or even offer it as an option yet at that point...and she right then took off her diaper and said "ok I'm potty trained" and she was, not a single accident, even overnight, in over 6 months, and even then, it was wetting the bed post-op while on codeine)...if they want something other than their ears pierced they have to wait till 16 (at least, that's what we told Janelle when she asked for her eyebrow to be pierced when she was 3...), and if they want something more dangerous, like clit, tongue, labia, penile piercings, they are going to have to wait till they are old enough that I legally have no say in it. But if my sons want to be circ'd and ask us to have them circ'd and they are old enough to have researched and understand it we will allow that as well, it is their body and their choice, which is one of the biggest reasons we didn't do it at birth.

For what it's worth though, I hate ear rings for myself...haven't worn them since my wedding in 2001, and before that it was prom 1996.

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?

no, maybe...I don't see spanking as harmful the way most parents do it, I just see it as a very ineffective form of discipline that I completely disagree with., no, maybe, it's never come up, none of our friends with kids smoke... but I do not break off friendships over circumcision either.

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#24 of 64 Old 05-11-2010, 02:06 PM
 
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I agree with some of the PP's. I would not end a friendship over ear piercing, even though I would not do it to my own child until s/he was old enough to consent to it. But, I would seriously question a friendship if said friend had her child's earlobes surgically removed at birth (and likely without sufficient anesthesia) because she thought normal earlobes looked gross.

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#25 of 64 Old 05-11-2010, 03:08 PM
 
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I don't know what I'd do if one of my friend's circ'd after knowing my feelings on it. I'm very lucky that all of my close friends with children have had girls so I haven't had to cross that bridge yet. I hope that I wouldn't cut them off over it, but I really don't know. I might distance myself, though. Because I know that if a friend of mine was having a boy, I'd be talking to them about leaving their sons intact. If a friend could still do it after having info....I just don't know.

Piercing is a whole other ball of wax. I agree with a PP who said that comparing the two trivializes circumcision. I wouldn't do either, but I think that circing is a million times worse. I think I'm pregnant with a girl right now and she would have to wait to have her ears pierced until she could ask for it and I could trust her to take care of them on her own.

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piercing ones ears may be a permanent alteration but it does not affect the normal functioning of the ear the way that circumcision affects the sexual function of the penis. No tissue is removed or cut away, no anesthetic needs to be used, the child does not need to be forcefully restrained since it literally takes just a few seconds; it is not a major surgery in the way that circumcision is and in my opinion there is NO comparison whatsoever between the two.

Having said that, I have a son, but IF I had a girl I would NOT pierce her ears until if/when she was a teenager and expressed a strong desire to do so. I think I would wait until at least age 12 or 13 when she would be old enough to make that decision herself, and we could discuss the pros and cons. Since its not a major surgery I feel that would be an appropriate age. Maybe even as early as 10 if I felt she was really mature for her age. If it were a boy who wanted circumcised I would probably say not until you are an adult and can make this decision for yourself (and do not need parental consent)

I would not break off relationships for any of the reasons you mention. Although it would be nice if everyone had the same values as me, I don't want to live in a world of robots where we all dress the same way, eat the same way, and all do the same exact things at the same time. We're all different and we need to respect that. I do not believe in being prejudiced and what you are describing (breaking off friendships if you don't agree with the parents choices) is a form of prejudice. However if it affected me personally in such a way so that my own health was affected (worrying about the child for example) I would feel the need to limit contact as much as possible without actually ending the relationship because the other parent was "different" than me. I would hope before that point however that I gave my best try to educate the other parent if I truly felt the child was in harms way (breathing in 2nd hand smoke on a daily basis for example)

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." -Edmund Burke (1729-1797)
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#27 of 64 Old 05-12-2010, 03:20 AM
 
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After I came to extremely painful realization what I've done to my son by allowing to circumsize him, I will let my daughter to make her own choice whether to pierce her ears (belly-button...e.t.c.) or not, when she will be like 13, or so and be able to make such decisions...
The reason for that is - I want her to realize and internalize the whole idea "my body - my choice".
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#28 of 64 Old 05-16-2010, 06:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by newmum35 View Post
piercing ones ears may be a permanent alteration but it does not affect the normal functioning of the ear the way that circumcision affects the sexual function of the penis.
This is one of the anti-circ arguments that--as an intactivist myself--drives me batty, for several reasons.
1. There is no real way to measure this.
2. It makes the penis way more important than it really is in terms of sexual satisfaction: brains are way more vital to good sex than penises, but no one's suggesting that not giving kids Omega 3s is interfereing with their sexual happiness.
3. My personal experience as a proud slut (and that of like-minded libertines) does not support this. Indeed, among my friends who are the...recipients of penises, there is a strong preference for cut.

None of the above is an argument for circumcision, but I cannot see how sexual function can be an argument against it, since there's no way to know either way. I think we do our cause a disservice when we use such arguments, which I think are easily refuted.

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I would not break off relationships for any of the reasons you mention. Although it would be nice if everyone had the same values as me, I don't want to live in a world of robots where we all dress the same way, eat the same way, and all do the same exact things at the same time. We're all different and we need to respect that. I do not believe in being prejudiced and what you are describing (breaking off friendships if you don't agree with the parents choices) is a form of prejudice. However if it affected me personally in such a way so that my own health was affected (worrying about the child for example) I would feel the need to limit contact as much as possible without actually ending the relationship because the other parent was "different" than me. I would hope before that point however that I gave my best try to educate the other parent if I truly felt the child was in harms way (breathing in 2nd hand smoke on a daily basis for example)
QFT.

Dad to toddler, dad-to-be to another.

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#29 of 64 Old 05-16-2010, 07:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by tommynomad View Post
This is one of the anti-circ arguments that--as an intactivist myself--drives me batty, for several reasons.
1. There is no real way to measure this.
2. It makes the penis way more important than it really is in terms of sexual satisfaction: brains are way more vital to good sex than penises, but no one's suggesting that not giving kids Omega 3s is interfereing with their sexual happiness.
3. My personal experience as a proud slut (and that of like-minded libertines) does not support this. Indeed, among my friends who are the...recipients of penises, there is a strong preference for cut.

None of the above is an argument for circumcision, but I cannot see how sexual function can be an argument against it, since there's no way to know either way. I think we do our cause a disservice when we use such arguments, which I think are easily refuted.
okay, at the risk of being snarky, how could it function normally when it is no longer normal? to me, it's just a given that it doesn't function normally. and if it was normal, why do so many need extra lubrication so many men need erectile dysfunction meds? and, yes, there is a way to test it, although i don't think intact men will necessarily sign up for this kind of testing.

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QFT.
what is this?

sus

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#30 of 64 Old 05-16-2010, 09:53 PM
 
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Circumcision does in fact change the way a penis functions, and circumcision does in fact have a sexual affect. The intact penis has moving parts. Circumcision removes thousands of nerve endings, the ridged band, in many cases the frenulum and much of the mucous membrane, and what mucosa is left becomes keratinized and dry. basically what is left is a rod with a ball end - No gliding action. When this gliding action of the penis in and out of its own skin shaft is taken away, it loses it's own self-lubricating effect.

In my experiences, sex with circumcised partners became very uncomfortable and abrasive after awhile. There was more of a need for lubricant.

Mama to DS 2/23/2009 and DD 7/22/2014
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