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#1 of 20 Old 02-28-2013, 12:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a friend who's pregnant with a boy.. yet I am not sure whether to message her and ask/discuss the circumcision topic, or perhaps indirectly influence her by posting anti-circ videos on my facebook page... What say you all? =\ I admit the indirect option is partially an option only because I am a coward.. she has those raging pregnancy hormones and has ragged on anyone that's made her feel like they were judging her ability as a parent-to-be. I don't want to be grouped like that, over something that should be so simple.

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#2 of 20 Old 02-28-2013, 12:51 PM
 
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First start with the basics of how 80% of the worlds human male population is intact and every other species of land mammals have their equivalents to the foreskin and do not experience problems with it. I would recommend sitting down and speaking with her on the issue and showing her some of these links., I will copy some from a previous post.

 

Many women in the United States are not aware of the difference between an intact penis and a circumcised penis, so this should be the first thing you show her. http://www.drmomma.org/2011/08/intact-or-circumcised-significant.html

 

Short term and long term psychological effects, effect on bonding and infant pain response to circumcision. http://www.cirp.org/library/psych/goldman1/

 

More on pain and the effects of circumcision. http://www.circumcision.org/response.htm

 

Soraya Mire describes her view of male and female forced genital alterations. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ggqa6CCTR-4

 

The organization clitoraids position on male circumcision. http://clitoraid.org/news.php?extend.110.2

 

Does she know that female circumcision was also formerly recommended  by some physicians? Author Patricia Robinette describes her experience of being circumcised. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50BaM7H2GLI

 

These videos provide an overview of physician recommended female circumcision in the United States. I believe that learning about this may change many minds on the issue of circumcision.

 

Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvX5J7lAv4g

 

Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aS1inzYWa0Q

 

This page describes the function of the foreskin. http://www.coloradonocirc.org/foreskin.php

 

A man describes his experience of having a full circumcision for non medical reasons as an adult. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAHGFx95D80

 

Guide to the intact penis. http://www.doctorsopposingcircumcision.org/info/physiciansguide.html

 

The German Pediatric Associations stance on circumcision.http://www.intactamerica.org/german_pediatrics_statement

 

Circumcision decision maker. http://circumcisiondecisionmaker.com/

 

Where the myth of the obsession with hygene came from. Read more about not retracting and the natural male anatomy here.http://www.doctorsopposingcircumcision.org/info/info-forcedretraction.html

 

Quote:
FORCIBLE RETRACTION AND CIRCUMCISION
The attentive reader will have already sensed the connection between the historical marketing of circumcision and forcible foreskin retraction. Teaching youthful and trusting parents that their boy needs aggressive hygiene at each bath helped to market circumcision as it implied amputation might free the parents of this yucky task, unpleasant for them; painful for their son. Better, goes the argument, the immediate acute pain of circumcision rather than periodic pain inflicted by parents over the years. And when the forcible retraction by parents did cause UTI, or scar tissue, or adhesions, phimosis, or other infection, it was easy to blame the parents for inadequate hygiene or failing to choose circumcision, the ‘sensible’ option, to begin with.

Indeed, there is much anecdotal evidence that forcible retraction in the 20th century became a sort of punishment for non-compliant parents who declined circumcision at birth. The two, circumcision and forced retraction, have always been closely allied, and both create work for medical professionals while leaving the intact boy alone to develop normally holds no economic benefit whatsoever. The false binary choice presented to North American parents for over 140 years has always been retraction and cleaning — or circumcision. The easy European or Asian solution –leaving the child’s genitals entirely alone – has almost never been recommended in English-language medical practice.

 

I would like to add that you should show her the if you regret being circumcised thread. Talk to her about how there are tens of millions of men around the world that regret being circumcised and that approximately 200,00-500,000 men are using stretching techniques to regain coverage of the glans. http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1368471/if-you-regret-being-circumcised-post-here

 

And finally you should show her a video of a circumcision being performed. When I first saw one I was horrified and absolutely infuriated! Here is one that deeply disturbs me to even look up. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDuDhkiDdns

 

Overall, the best thing for you to do is to sit her down and show her this page with all of the links and information that it contains. 

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#3 of 20 Old 02-28-2013, 02:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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See, I don't know her in person.. I only know her online. And she isn't a best friend of mine or anything.. I mean, we really only started chatting every day when she found out she was pregnant because we had that in common, and she'd come to me asking me questions.. which is why I'm not sure if indirectly would be better than directly, because she isn't a a best friend..

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#4 of 20 Old 02-28-2013, 06:25 PM
 
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In the past, in awkward-ish situations, I've simply asked something like, "what have you found when you researched circumcision?"  I can only think of two times now that I used that.  Both times I think the boys were cut so not sure how good of an idea it is :-/.  The first time, I left it at the answer, which was something like, I found it's not medically necessary.  I think that child is circ'd likely because dad is (I'm sure) and well, the child was named after the father so I'm sure they had to have matching penises too :-/.  I think if you are prepared to deal w/ the answer & take it from there, then it can be a good opener.  I didn't follow up & I think that's why he is still cut even though the mom-to-be said it's not necessary.

 

If she jumps on the your questioning my parenting bandwagon, you could discuss how it's actually not a parenting decision in most of the world & nor should it be here.  What other body part can parents cut off as a parenting decision?

 

This kind of thing is very hard for me, especially since I had to deal w/ SIL who was pregnant w/ twin boys the same time I was pregant w/ my youngest.  Longish, unhappy story that ended in her poor babies being cut.

 

Lastly, you could always say something along the lines of, "I'd rather tell you this now & have you be upset w/ me than tell me down the road you wish I'd told you." Then share the regret thread here.

 

Best wishes,

Sus


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#5 of 20 Old 02-28-2013, 06:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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*sighs* She pretty much said thanks but no thanks.. Thanked me for thinking of it, but said they've already decided.. She said it'll just make things easier.. I told her intact was easy, if not easier, and told her my son was intact and has never had any of the issues people talk about it. ...Now what? Leave it alone. I don't want to push my boundaries...

 

I'm slowly pushing it.. she says she was with someone intact and didn't like it, and a lot of girls don't, and she's thinking about hygiene and him being with "those types of girls", and I said the penis is self-cleansing and very hygienic..

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I think I would be direct, but don't ask her what she knows about circumcision, instead ask her what she knows about foreskin. What was wrong with that guy? And how could that be enough for her to make the choice to remove the majority of the erogenous tissue from her son (without his consent)?

 

If that doesn't work, this is kind of touchy but completely true, does she think she's "saving him pain" by doing it to him as an infant? Because she's not. Even before birth, male and female fetuses get erections. Erection of the erogenous tissue is a normal and common part of sleep. According to adults, the worst pain of anesthetized circumcision isn't the crushing and cutting, it's the erections pulling at the new wound afterward. How could she justify making that one of her newborn's first experiences? Infants' nervous systems are brand new. I think it's clear that if anything, they should feel tremendously much more pain than adults do.

 

The many risks are their own long, long topic. And there are many risks from infant cutting that are negligible for adult cutting. And besides those, how does she justify choosing (or allowing whatever doctor to choose) the style of cut that her son will live with forever after? What if he were to have an opinion? Or about having been cut at all? What would she say to her son if someday he told her that he had sexual difficulties that would appear to have resulted from circumcision?

 

There's so much blithe hubris in the circumcising parent's logic, sometimes it's difficult not to get preachy about it, but you'll be a lot more convincing if you remain more compassionate to her desire to cut. 

 

And I might address her problem with "that guy's foreskin" specifically if you relayed what it was. It's extremely unlikely she knows anything about healthy functional foreskin. She'd never consider having a son cut if she'd had a better experience. 

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#7 of 20 Old 02-28-2013, 09:56 PM
 
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*sighs* She pretty much said thanks but no thanks.. Thanked me for thinking of it, but said they've already decided.. She said it'll just make things easier.. I told her intact was easy, if not easier, and told her my son was intact and has never had any of the issues people talk about it. ...Now what? Leave it alone. I don't want to push my boundaries...

 

I'm slowly pushing it.. she says she was with someone intact and didn't like it, and a lot of girls don't, and she's thinking about hygiene and him being with "those types of girls", and I said the penis is self-cleansing and very hygienic..

 

The idea that all infant boys must be strapped down to a cutting board and tortured because she doesn't like being with men that have not been surgically altered is absurdly ridiculous and self centered, representing the "world revolves around me" philosophy. What does her son have to do with her own personal sexual preferences?

 

Sexual preferences override logic to many individuals it seems, even when they are staring at a newborn it is the only thing they can think about.

 

She had the privilege of being born outside of regions where men prefer surgically altered genitals on women, it is unfortunate that her son will not have the fortune of being born outside of a region where women prefer surgically altered genitals on men.

 

This practice will only come to an end when it can be truly undone, because it is conducted on an individual wile they are defenseless on the basis of being permanent. With the technology now and in the future it is very highly likely that this technology will become available and deployed within the next several years. Read more about this here if you are interested. http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1365640/undoing-what-was-done#post_17246089

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#8 of 20 Old 02-28-2013, 11:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm just so lost on how to approach this from here... if you push a person too hard, their natural response is to push back. If I push too hard, there's going to be zero chance.

 

I opened with asking her if her and her boyfriend knew if they were going to circumcise their son or not. She said yes. I said I had several links about the pros of keeping him intact if she was interested.

 

That led to, "it's just easier this way", "'those' types of girls and hygiene".. etc etc.. and then she moved very smoothly into talking about her cravings.

 

I just... don't know what to do at this point without being too in her face about it. I've NEVER, EVER been good at convincing someone about something. Words have never been my strong suit. I just...had to tell her, to know I at least tried, because in the end that's what matters... But I finally watched an infant being circumcised today and... whereas before I could separate myself from it even though I had read what it involved, seeing it just tears at my heart strings. I know if her baby boy is cut it won't be on my shoulders, but perhaps I'll feel like if I didn't try hard enough, but then again..if I tried too hard, we'll probably wind up with nothing else but a "no, we've already decided" anyway. I'm just really lost.

 

What I might do is bounce back to my original idea of indirectly influencing her.. post a video about it. Maybe, just maybe, she'll feel enticed to click on it and come to her own realizations. I don't know...just really confused.

 

Edit: I understand all your anger towards her. I really, really, do. But I remember being pregnant 2 years ago and debating this very topic. I had NO idea what circumcision was about until I decided to look into it. Because that's just what I do. A lot of realizations don't happen until it's brought on by your self. If someone had mentioned to me in early stages of pregnancy that circumcision was barbaric,  ..I probably would have laughed and said I doubted it was that bad. But then, I'm the type of individual that is compelled to do her own research when someone brings up a topic with a bunch of question marks... not everyone is. My friend, apparently, is not.

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#9 of 20 Old 03-01-2013, 12:14 AM
 
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These situations are difficult if she has already been with intact men and says that she didn't like it. I had watched a video of a circumcision for the fist time in a long time in order to provide it for these threads, so it is difficult to know that people are doing this to their children for vanity. I am not sure what Facebooks policy is, if you can,put up the video of the circumcision being performed that I provided, if not put up the one of Soraya mire discussing her view on it, followed by patricia robinette, a man describing his experience of being circumcised as an adult, the infant pain response and psychological effects of circumcision, resource, the Coloradonocirc resource, the guide to the intact penis and finally and most importantly this link to the devastating effects circumcision can have. http://www.cirp.org/library/complications/ This link is likely your best and most convincing resource. Here is another very useful and graphic one as well http://www.circumcisionquotes.com/complications.html

 

Although what I have come across is sometimes no matter what information they are provided with they will still do it. I do not know if this represents her or not, but if she can view the images on those sites and still be able to separate herself enough from her from unborn son to do this to him, that likely means a more separate relationship between them later on in life.

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#10 of 20 Old 03-03-2013, 07:46 AM
 
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*sighs* She pretty much said thanks but no thanks.. Thanked me for thinking of it, but said they've already decided.. She said it'll just make things easier.. I told her intact was easy, if not easier, and told her my son was intact and has never had any of the issues people talk about it. ...Now what? Leave it alone. I don't want to push my boundaries...

 

I'm slowly pushing it.. she says she was with someone intact and didn't like it, and a lot of girls don't, and she's thinking about hygiene and him being with "those types of girls", and I said the penis is self-cleansing and very hygienic..

 

You could try sending her these, to give her more info to ponder.  The first is written by doctors, so if she is one who likes authoritative materials, it could work:

 

http://www.doctorsopposingcircumcision.org/pdf/DOC_trifold_brochure.pdf

 

This next is an on-line decision support tool that she can browse:

 

http://circumcisiondecisionmaker.com/

 

And the last is a well done video on the subject by someone with some credentials:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ceht-3xu84I&feature=player_embedded

 

Best

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#11 of 20 Old 03-03-2013, 01:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have no idea if she likes authoritative materials.. like I said, she isn't a "best" friend of mine. She's a good friend, but I don't know as much about her as I probably should.

 

I figure I'll post a video tonight. She might be more inclined to watch something, than read stuff she doesn't care to know right now. You know?

 

I'll give her the rest of the links if she shows curiosity... thank you.

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How did it go?

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#13 of 20 Old 03-07-2013, 12:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I actually haven't done it yet.. I wanted to wait until after I was able to watch the Elephant in the Hospital to see for myself if it'd be a better pick.. Now that I've watched it, I'll be doing it tonight.

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#14 of 20 Old 03-12-2013, 02:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So instead of posting anything publically on my facebook(I feared FB staff would take it down and make my post moot), or contacting her again about it(I feared it would push her too far and I'd lose my chance completely), instead I decided to "like" the Intact page for my state, and another one, and post petitions against RIC or infant genital mutilation(since Genital Integrity Awareness Week is coming up.. I figured it's perfect timing). Hopefully the impact will be the same, and prompt her to either come to me with questions, or do her own research. Here's to hoping...

 

Edit: Should've known that wasn't going to go over well... one of my friends already responded(she vocally objected the fact we don't vaccinate, either): "I'm glad you want to stand up for that...but this isn't a government decision...this is parent decision. We give the government a chance to tell us what we can and can't do and sooner or later you may find yourself being FORCED to give your son vaccines because other parents feel as strongly as you do about this." I responded: "This isn't up here to begin a debate. It's up here because it's important, and to spread awareness. I don't agree with you that it's a parent's decision, it is the child's decision. Government has no hold on whether our children are vaccinated or not either.. I respect your opinion, but I've done my research."

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#15 of 20 Old 05-08-2013, 05:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Update:

 

I failed... She gave birth May 7th, and their son was circumcised today. After everything I did.. she's so selfish >_< She's saying he's been a "fussy butt" since his circumcision and I feel just awful... I was hoping so much that I had planted a seed of thought to make her think, just for a SECOND, when they asked if he was going to be circumcised, for her to rethink their decision. I realize my efforts may save a baby in the future, but for right now, I feel terrible.

 

And since he got circumcised, he's been refusing to nurse, big surprise there... She had such high hopes of being a breastfeeding mom, and I warned her that circumcision interferes. She's ecstatic they made great progress with nursing today, and seems to think the refusal to nurse is going to go away and they'll continue to make progress. My heart hurts. =\

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#16 of 20 Old 05-08-2013, 05:56 PM
 
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I'm so sorry!  That is heartbreaking, but at least you tried.  


 
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#17 of 20 Old 05-08-2013, 07:37 PM
 
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Update:

 

I failed... She gave birth May 7th, and their son was circumcised today. After everything I did.. she's so selfish >_< She's saying he's been a "fussy butt" since his circumcision and I feel just awful... I was hoping so much that I had planted a seed of thought to make her think, just for a SECOND, when they asked if he was going to be circumcised, for her to rethink their decision. I realize my efforts may save a baby in the future, but for right now, I feel terrible.

 

And since he got circumcised, he's been refusing to nurse, big surprise there... She had such high hopes of being a breastfeeding mom, and I warned her that circumcision interferes. She's ecstatic they made great progress with nursing today, and seems to think the refusal to nurse is going to go away and they'll continue to make progress. My heart hurts. =\

I'm so sorry.  It is so hard to deal w/ this.  Yesterday was my birthday too.

 

Yeah, that's a risk w/ circ.  How could a baby concentrate & learn to nurse when he's in pain & it hurts worse every time he pees, which is a lot in newborns?!?!?!  Poor baby.

 

Honestly, my self preservation tactic is to not know when babies are born.  Then I don't know when they'll be circ'd.  There was a woman who was friends w/ my dh (thye'd worked together).  She was pregnant w/ a son, I shared the info, she did it anyway.  She wanted to come over to hang out while she was on mat leave.  I told her not to, that all I'd be able to think about was what was taken from her son.  Never heard from her again.  

 

It's sad really.  Sad for the babies.  But I like to think that when these babies become men in a few short years, they'll sue the socks off of the doctors & hospitals & maybe even their parents (& if they can get a hold of the internet wackos who espouse circ, sharing bad info left & right).  No, it can not bring back their foreskin, but maybe, just maybe, the thought of being sued will curb some of the appeal for the cutters.

 

Best wishes,

Sus


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#18 of 20 Old 05-08-2013, 09:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm so sorry!  That is heartbreaking, but at least you tried.  

Thanks =\

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I'm so sorry.  It is so hard to deal w/ this.  Yesterday was my birthday too.

 

Yeah, that's a risk w/ circ.  How could a baby concentrate & learn to nurse when he's in pain & it hurts worse every time he pees, which is a lot in newborns?!?!?!  Poor baby.

 

Honestly, my self preservation tactic is to not know when babies are born.  Then I don't know when they'll be circ'd.  There was a woman who was friends w/ my dh (thye'd worked together).  She was pregnant w/ a son, I shared the info, she did it anyway.  She wanted to come over to hang out while she was on mat leave.  I told her not to, that all I'd be able to think about was what was taken from her son.  Never heard from her again.  

 

It's sad really.  Sad for the babies.  But I like to think that when these babies become men in a few short years, they'll sue the socks off of the doctors & hospitals & maybe even their parents (& if they can get a hold of the internet wackos who espouse circ, sharing bad info left & right).  No, it can not bring back their foreskin, but maybe, just maybe, the thought of being sued will curb some of the appeal for the cutters.

 

Best wishes,

Sus

What irritates me is she wanted to breastfeed -so- bad. And I told her this might put a stop to it.

 

Usually I try and give moms as much credit as possible. Because honestly, in the end, it's a winding road of manipulation and lies that not all parents are fortunate to step off of. And it could've been me letting someone do that to my son. But I had internal conflict about it, and researched the hell out of the topic. In this friend's case, he was genitally mutilated because she was with an intact guy years ago and didn't like it. And just in case her son wound up with one of "those types of girls" in the future, it would be safer. She said it would just be easier this way. But she refused to read or watch anything I sent her. In this case, I'm *so* angry at her for being so selfish.

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Echo,  Good for you for trying.  Don't give up - maybe next time you will succeed in getting them to actualy think about what they propose to do to their son, and the consequences of making the wrong decision.  We win some, we loose some (although the losses are heartbreaking).  Be proud of yourself.

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#20 of 20 Old 05-18-2013, 08:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Echo,  Good for you for trying.  Don't give up - maybe next time you will succeed in getting them to actualy think about what they propose to do to their son, and the consequences of making the wrong decision.  We win some, we loose some (although the losses are heartbreaking).  Be proud of yourself.


Thank you. I know my efforts have reached a few of my friends who've been supporting me.

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