What to say to friends? - Mothering Forums
The Case Against Circumcision > What to say to friends?
quirkylayne's Avatar quirkylayne 11:50 AM 09-23-2005
Most of our friends and my family are pro circ. I'm already anticipating them asking me why we aren't going to, don't we know it is "bad" for baby's health if we don't, etc. My completely honest answer would be, "I think circumcision is genital mutilation" but I'm trying not to alienate my friends.

I'm not judging them for what they have done. Have people been open to your views on circ? What kind of responses have you given?

Minky's Avatar Minky 11:57 AM 09-23-2005
You may get some suprises!
I found out my half sister left her son intact! I have talkd to a couple other friends and my first response when they say something like "Your son will have all sorts of problems" is that the newest research says circ is unnecessary, can cause problems, and besides only 50 percent of boys are getting circed these days and the number is dropping .

So far everyone but my half sister has just kind of smiled and nodded. I hope they will have the good sense to look it up later online. I plan to offer information on not circing to them if they want it but I also think you have to be gentle with people or they will shut down and not be o pen to new information.
Stevie's Avatar Stevie 12:05 PM 09-23-2005
I think I was surprised at how few people have even mentioned his intact state; I certainly didn't have anyone (but his doc ) ask if/when we were circing. (every visit till his 18 mo. checkwhen she stopped checking under his dipe at all) Even in the hospital, it was a question of do we want to and when the answer was no, they were fine.
Only one friend commented on his intact status and she was very defensive because she is a mutilator and feels it necessary for me to "respect" that. Which I don't.
Minky's Avatar Minky 12:08 PM 09-23-2005
In my case people know that DH and I were arguing about circ because I asked for opinion's, and are now gradually beginning to ask what we decided.
quirkylayne's Avatar quirkylayne 12:31 PM 09-23-2005
Thanks! I guess this will (hopefully) be a non issue. I am going to have to do some reading up because I do want to be prepared if I get questions or objections.
Frankly Speaking's Avatar Frankly Speaking 12:51 PM 09-23-2005
I think a very forceful and quick "Absoutely not!" will end all discussion before it even gets started. :

Of course that generally closes the door to an educational opportunity too




Frank
Velvet005's Avatar Velvet005 01:28 PM 09-23-2005
We told the few people who asked that we felt it was an uneccessary procedure, and why "fix" it if it isn't broke.
njeb's Avatar njeb 02:41 PM 09-23-2005
You could tell your friends, "It's his penis, not ours. Therefore, he should make the decision whether or not to be circ'ed when he becomes an adult." It's the whole freedom of choice issue.

I agree with Stevie. In my experience, very few people asked me or even cared whether or not my sons were circ'ed.
MAMom's Avatar MAMom 03:51 PM 09-23-2005
This question/debate didn't come up a lot with DS #1, and we don't know the gender of baby #2 yet (I'm hoping for another boy

The approach I'm think of taking is instead of defending our position to start with, is asking people what they know about the function of the foreskin and about why circumcision is done (and maybe even "what percentage of men worldwide do you think are circ'ed?"). Then letting them talk and then being able to correct their misconceptions.

I don't, however, EVER let MIL change DS's diaper, b/c I don't want to have a lot of penis discussion with her, and I'm sure she wouldn't know what to do/not do with an intact one!
___________________________________
SAHM to a spectacular little boy, born 5/2003 :bf Feb 2006!
"When you teach your son, you teach your son's son." ~ The Talmud
nd_deadhead's Avatar nd_deadhead 05:08 PM 09-23-2005
A quick answer is "There was nothing wrong with Junior's penis when he was born - thank goodness he didn't need an operation!"
Velvet005's Avatar Velvet005 05:46 PM 09-23-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by nd_deadhead
A quick answer is "There was nothing wrong with Junior's penis when he was born - thank goodness he didn't need an operation!"
: I love that reply!!!! I will remember that for sure if anyone asks - which they typically don't so I have noticed.
Paddington's Avatar Paddington 05:50 PM 09-23-2005
i think because most of the world that circs doesn't give it a thought, it really doesn't come up. generally people who don't are a lot more aware than people who do. and truly, if it is someone who did do the research, they won't truly argue with you because either 1. they found out too late and understand why you didn't; 2. they are able to acknowledge that you made "a choice for your child, they made a choice for theirs" (which you won't agree with but they don't generally want to argue about it). you will have more trouble not saying anything yourself because the little baby circed penis will start to look strange to you.

but, if it comes up, the best way i've had not to close those doors is to keep it casual and stick with the "well, we did a lot of research on it before baby came and the aap does not recommend it, so we did not do it." now, if they are open to a discussion (which i find, most are not) then you can ask why they decided to do it and go from there.

now, there are those people that frank talks about occassionally who don't want their child to be the only one circed and who will try and brow beat you but hopefully you won't have friends like that.....
LoveChild421's Avatar LoveChild421 05:58 PM 09-23-2005
I just say "pediatricians don't recommend it anymore- research shows it just isn't necessary and it can be harmful- even Men's Health magazine did a story about how circ can impair sexual function"

I say it in a real matter-of-fact tone and have gotten positive "i'll have to read more on it then" responses (except for my family : )
onlyboys's Avatar onlyboys 06:04 PM 09-23-2005
I guess I'm just rude.

I say that it is mutilation. That's also a conversation stopper.
LoveChild421's Avatar LoveChild421 06:25 PM 09-23-2005
I just say "pediatricians don't recommend it anymore- research shows it just isn't necessary and it can be harmful- even Men's Health magazine did a story about how circ can impair sexual function"

I say it in a real matter-of-fact tone and have gotten positive "i'll have to read more on it then" responses (except for my family : )
Paddington's Avatar Paddington 06:32 PM 09-23-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by onlyboys
I guess I'm just rude.

I say that it is mutilation. That's also a conversation stopper.
i don't think your rude, just honest. but a lot of intactivist want to stop other kids from having to go through it as well--just the thought of all those other babies suffering makes you feel sick. so when you are trying to make someone listen to you, you have to try to tone it down... or if you are trying to maintain a friendship.....
virgoat's Avatar virgoat 06:57 PM 09-23-2005
It depends on my mood. On my activist days I say "Because it is genital mutilation.". If it is a pregnant woman, then I enjoy an educational chat with her about how unecessary it is. If it's family I say that there is nothing wrong with the "natural male genitalia" and that most of the world (including medically advanced countries like australia, switzerland, etc.) does NOT circ, with great sucess of penises NOT falling off as a result. If I'm just totally NOT in *the mood*, then I fix them with a look that clearly says "Excuse me? That is a very uncouth inquiry about MY SON's PRIVATES. I suggest you rethink your place."
jyurina's Avatar jyurina 07:30 PM 09-23-2005
I just had this issue this month with my family! There are so many answers. The first is that pysiologically speaking it is the same as cutting off a little girls clitoris. That usually gets silence, I mean what can you say to that? From there I bring up the fact that there are more complications from circ than from not having it done, the medical profession does not support it anymore, it is unnessesary, etc. Then I end with"But the reason we chose not to is because we respect that our children have the right to a whole intact body and that altering it without their consent whether by removing our sons foreskins or puching holes in our daughters ears is disrespectful.
Fi.'s Avatar Fi. 07:57 PM 09-23-2005
When someone asks I just get a horrified look on and go "Oh my god...people still DO THAT? Wow..."
Paddington's Avatar Paddington 08:04 PM 09-23-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fi.
When someone asks I just get a horrified look on and go "Oh my god...people still DO THAT? Wow..."
hee hee hee. that's good..... :LOL
quirkylayne's Avatar quirkylayne 11:06 PM 09-23-2005
All very helpful! I'm going to have to find that Men's Health article.
calngavinsmom's Avatar calngavinsmom 01:00 AM 09-24-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by quirkylayne
All very helpful! I'm going to have to find that Men's Health article.
http://www.noharmm.org/separated.htm
http://www.infocirc.org/MensHlth.htm


MAMom's Avatar MAMom 08:30 AM 09-24-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by quirkylayne
All very helpful! I'm going to have to find that Men's Health article.
This is the PDF version of the article - prints out nicely...

Separated at Birth
Doodlebugsmom's Avatar Doodlebugsmom 05:17 PM 09-24-2005
I've said this before, but I just don't understand why anyone would bring up the topic of a baby's genitals. Nobody asked us about circ when we found out we were having a boy. Nobody has mentioned his intactness, and many family members have seen his diaper changed or changed it themselves. Of course, if anyone were to ask, I'd do as some pps mentioned and say, "Oh my goodness, absolutely not! Do people still do that?!". All of that would be said with a look of horror on my face. :LOL
melissa_honeybee's Avatar melissa_honeybee 11:07 PM 09-24-2005
yeah- what do I say? Nothing usually, because it hardly ever comes up. When it does I just say we didn't circ because it isn't medically necessary.
mightymoo's Avatar mightymoo 02:15 PM 09-25-2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doodlebugsmom
I've said this before, but I just don't understand why anyone would bring up the topic of a baby's genitals. Nobody asked us about circ when we found out we were having a boy. Nobody has mentioned his intactness, and many family members have seen his diaper changed or changed it themselves.
For us too - I was all worried about this, but not a single person has brought it up, and his grandmothers have both changed his diaper. I do get nervous about the conversation coming up with my SIL or a friend of mine, both who had boys years before I did and both who had them circed - I just don't want to get into a discussion with them that leaves them feeling judged and criticized for their past decision, especially since neither will be making that decision again.
TigerTail's Avatar TigerTail 02:35 PM 09-25-2005
moo said: 'I just don't want to get into a discussion with them that leaves them feeling judged and criticized for their past decision, especially since neither will be making that decision again.'

ah, but if no one had changed my biomom's mind long after she circ'd her son, she would not have been able to influence her dd not to circ her grandson. (she tried to tell me politely, of course, taking into account that i married into a jewish family, with the gentle 'they don't think it's necessary anymore' tack, to hear my 'what?! sexually mutilate my kids? not bloody likely!' vehemence on the subject, lol.)

anyway, that's one less boy circ'd in the world, because she educated herself decades after it was too late for her son. it's never too late to learn better, if you are a courageous soul.

susan
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