I am going to visit my newborn nephew (my sister's first child) this weekend. He was just born yesterday. I tried with all of the information and pleading that I could to convince them that circumcision is not right to do to a baby, but my sister deferred to her husband who seems uptight about body/body shame/elimination, etc. and he really wanted to do it. Their reasoning she says is so that he will 'look like his dad'. They are first time parents and I believe this is a big mistake. It's hard to see someone you love making a painful mistake. I'm sad that my sister could not advocate for her son and just went along with her husband's decision.
So now I am going up to visit and help out...but honestly it makes me so sad to see this actually has happened. I think it is happening today actually. I have two intact boys of my own and have worked as a nurse practitioner in the hospital-so I've seen this brutal procedure done. I just hate the thought of it. I have told my sister that I am choosing not to help with changing of any diapers because the sight of the mutilation would upset me too much. I am pregnant with my 4th right now, so kind of emotional!
The other thing is (and I'll post this on the EC forum) my sister wants to EC and wants me to help her with that because I did it with all 3 of my kids. I am thinking that a freshly wounded genitalia and EC are not going to be compatible-this situation would naturally alter the important bond of communication. But at least she wants to try..maybe there is some hope for the future.
Feeling sad about all this..
This is exactly why I refused to visit my sister in the hospital after she had my nephew and why I'll do the same for any future nephew births. I've also never changed his diaper and never will.
I almost cancelled my visit...but I already bought the plane ticket and my 9 yo dd really wants to go. But I feel better knowing I'm not the only one who feels strongly about it. I did say I'm not changing any diapers-couldn't bear the sight and don't want to expose my dd to that.
I am totally on board with you up to the point that you don't think EC and circ'ing are compatible. I disagree completely. While I am horrified and saddened by circumcision of baby boys, I would think that it would be much less painful to pee in a little potty rather than in the diaper where is will irritate the wound. I believe EC would be even *more* appropriate for a circ victim in that it would potentially cause less pain. That being said, I wouldn't be able to help with it for the same reasons you describe. :-(
That's true-I hadn't thought about getting the wounded penis out of the diaper-definitely a good idea. I just remember with my ds's that I had to aim them and I thought that positioning/touching the penis would be painful...but still better than a diaper. I hadn't even considered that discomfort! The horrors of it...I shudder. Circ victim-never heard that term before, but it's so true. I haven't experienced anyone close to me doing this before and it is very sad.
It is very sad. I wonder if you have asked her what she will say to him when he comes to her and asks why she had this done to him. I think far too many people don't connect a baby with the adult he will become. We are not raising children, we are raising adults. I don't think many parents would consider having surgical amputation of their child's genitals when they are 16 or 17. They see the absurdity of it at that age yet don't while they are helpless infants.
I see this issue between parents and children every year when I go to the Genital Integrity Awareness Week demonstration in Washington DC. So many parents and children walking by and parents rushing them past the signs. One of my favorite ones is "Whose Body? Whose Penis? Whose Rights" It's obvious the discomfort of parents who do not want to have this conversation with their boys but those kids have internet access. They have access to all the information and parents need to recognize that there will come a day when they will be asked and they will need to explain themselves to their son.
I am sorry your sister and her husband cannot see the truth now and that your nephew has been harmed. I understand your feelings exactly and I think your upset is perfectly normal.
Thanks for the comment and understanding PuppyFluffer. It's funny-we had that exact conversation-I asked what she would tell him when he was old enough to understand and asked why they allowed that to happen and she just didn't want to discuss that future aspect of it. I guess some people are really in denial when it comes to this issue. I sense that she is very uncomfortable with discussing male genitalia and the ramifications of such a procedure.
I had no idea there was a Genital Integrity Awareness Week! I totally want to go! All of my children know about the importance of maintaining integrity. I took this opportunity of my nephew being born to explain it to my 9 year old daughter because I want her to know about it and understand the human rights she and every child have to protect and value their own bodies. I can't imagine parents try hide the issue from their kids....guess they are just uncomfortable or ashamed. My 5 year old son knows about it too-he was the first to ask when he noticed why some of his friends look different and was relieved to know that he is 'whole'.
Will there be an announcement when the next Genital Integrity Awareness week is?
David Wilson, from Cocoa Beach, Florida has come to the national Capitol in Washington DC for the past 18 years. He is there standing in the cold right now as I type this as the demonstration started this morning. I will be joining him Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Here is a link to the event schedule: http://www.stopinfantcircumcision.org/2011events.html
He is there this week every year for two reasons. April is the start of National Child Abuse Prevention month and Washington DC is the place where the federal law was signed that protects any minor female child from ANY and ALL form of genital cutting with no exception for religious or cultural reasons. It is also the peak of the Cherry Blossom Festival and the Capitol is visited by bus load after bus load of high sschool students. There are people from all parts of the globe who visit Washington and their responses to our signs and info is really interesting. Many think we are being outlandish because we have freedom of speech so we are picking an outlandish thing to speak about. When they learn that this is a real issue and how prevalent circumcision of male infants is in the US, they are shocked and most make some comment about the hypocritical nature of this in the "land of the free".
David comes back to the west lawn of the Capitol in the summer, bringing the circumcision issue back to Washington in honor of National Men's Health Week.
We now have an Intactivism forum here. You can see it at the top of this page, right above TCAC forum. There are so many ways to educate others.
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