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#1 of 79 Old 11-14-2006, 04:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm pregnant and I know DH wants to circ. (I'm here after reading an thread w/ a big circ argument in another MDC forum.)

Here's the deal. DH says *he* has a penis, *he* is circ'd, and *he* has NO PROBLEMS whatsoever with that. He's glad that he's circ'd, and wants the same for our child if we have a boy. I'm personally convinced that it's unneccesary, but don't consider myself any sort of activist on the topic.

No amount of information I provide him with will change DH's mind.

I'll be honest with you... every man that I know that is circ'd seems to be TOTALLY fine with it. So... don't flame me now... I'm starting to wonder if I've gotten myself up worked up about circ'ing for nothing.

I guess my question is, why is this issue such a big deal to us women at MDC, if men who have actually been circumcised seem to be okay with it?
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#2 of 79 Old 11-14-2006, 04:50 PM
 
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Most circ'd women are fine with it too.
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#3 of 79 Old 11-14-2006, 04:54 PM
 
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Imagine, if you will, an entire society of colorblind people. They'd never believe it when a small handful of folks told them about the vivid colors they could see, and how much this majority was missing out on.
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#4 of 79 Old 11-14-2006, 04:55 PM
 
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Well, I'm not so sure that most circ'd men are fine with it. My DH certainly isnt happy that he was circ'd, and neither is my brother (the only two circ'd men I'm close enough to to ask how they feel about it....).

My thing is - why not let your future son make the decision for himself? If HE wants to do it, then fine, do it. But to do it on a new baby, when he has absolutely no choice in the matter..... not exactly the warmest "welcome to the world"...

Melanie
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#5 of 79 Old 11-14-2006, 04:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Most circ'd women are fine with it too.
I'm not asking for snark.

If people are going to just jump all over me with snotty comments, I guess I'll just leave this board and go along with my husband's wishes. It will certainly be easier for me to do that.

I was hoping, however, that somebody else had been in my shoes and could help me get from "meh, maybe it's not such a big deal" to "oh, THAT makes sense".

This is the conversation that is going on in my home right now. This is where I am coming from.

If you would rather be lofty than help me learn, I can't help that.
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#6 of 79 Old 11-14-2006, 04:59 PM
 
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I'd say there are a couple of things to consider. First, men who are circumcised and don't have any apparent problems might not be considering that their penises would likely have a lot more sensitivity had they not been circumcised. It isn't to say that the circumcised men are numb or don't enjoy sexual activity, but they don't know any differently. My husband is this way - no apparent problems, but curious to know what life would be like as nature intended.

Also, plenty of men do have problems from their circumcision, and some don't even realize it. For example, the only person ever to make a semi-nasty comment about my sons not being circumcised is my husband's friend, who himself complains about how haired skin from his scrotum is pulled up his penile shaft (sorry about the TMI) and that his penis gets irritated from "too much contact" - KWIM? These are common circumcision problems, but he has no clue about it. Even men without specific problems dodged a bullet in that plenty of others have adhesions or had immediate post-op problems like infection.

Lastly, even if all babies were perfectly comfortable during circumcision and healed perfectly well, it doesn't change the fact that their parents made a permanent decision about their penises rather than just letting men decide for themselves. Most men who are not circumcised as infants are happy that way and don't choose circumcision later on in life. However, there are men who really resent having been circumcised as infants and have no real choice other than trying to do foreskin restoration.

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#7 of 79 Old 11-14-2006, 05:00 PM
 
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I don't think she was being snarky. It's true. In cultures where women are commonly circumcised, they are happy with it, push and encourage it for their daughters, wouldn't dream of being intact. I think she's trying to give you that perspective. What seems normal to a society of circumcised people seems downright weird to a society that doesn't circumcise.
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#8 of 79 Old 11-14-2006, 05:00 PM
 
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I care, because as the woman who is the mother to my son, I feel it it my responsibility to protect him. And that includes protecting his human right to a complete body, until he decides to change it.

He becomes an adult and says, "Hey, mom, you know, I'm going to get circumcized." Then that's his choice, not mine. Or my husband's. Or the society's choice.

(I won't lie, I'd be sad if he did that and I'd try to talk him out of it.) :

Anyway, that's why I care and I'm a woman. I told my ex-husband when we were dating that I would never circ my son if I had one.

Mom, wife, full-time student.  And tired.  DH, DS#1 (9/99) and DS#2 (9/09), and 2 dogs.

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#9 of 79 Old 11-14-2006, 05:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Imagine, if you will, an entire society of colorblind people. They'd never believe it when a small handful of folks told them about the vivid colors they could see, and how much this majority was missing out on.
I hear what you are saying.

But on the flip side of your analogy, how about the deaf community? Many deaf people hope for deaf children, and opt not to have cochleal implants or whathaveyou to restore hearing. If they are *fine* with the way that they are, who am I (as a member of the hearing community) to tell them that they are "missing out"?

Just being devil's advocate here, not trying to troll.
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#10 of 79 Old 11-14-2006, 05:01 PM
 
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It's not your DH's penis. And *you* are the one with the foreskin, so you know what it means to be intact - your husband doesn't.
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#11 of 79 Old 11-14-2006, 05:01 PM
 
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That's not snark, snottiness, or loftiness. It's true, hard as it is for a society of people taught everything they know about genital mutilation from Oprah to believe. Why would you think it is snarky? Most women in societies where FGM is common promote it, like it, think it is cleaner, & will have it done to their daughters. Tha's not even analogous, it's the same thing.
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#12 of 79 Old 11-14-2006, 05:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by buckeyedoc View Post

Also, plenty of men do have problems from their circumcision, and some don't even realize it. For example, the only person ever to make a semi-nasty comment about my sons not being circumcised is my husband's friend, who himself complains about how haired skin from his scrotum is pulled up his penile shaft (sorry about the TMI) and that his penis gets irritated from "too much contact" - KWIM? These are common circumcision problems, but he has no clue about it. Even men without specific problems dodged a bullet in that plenty of others have adhesions or had immediate post-op problems like infection. .
OK, so can we talk percentages here? How common *are* these sort of problems? Do men consider them (preventable as they may be) as sort of a general inconvenience of being male (like a woman might see a yeast infection or a UTI)? Or are these things considered more "serious".

I know that, for most men, their penises are VERY important to them. You'd think they'd talk about this stuff! But, while I'd wager that most guys have heard of a yeast infection, I'm not sure I've ever heard about adhesions or other circ problems.
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#13 of 79 Old 11-14-2006, 05:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That's not snark, snottiness, or loftiness. It's true, hard as it is for a society of people taught everything they know about genital mutilation from Oprah to believe. Why would you think it is snarky? Most women in societies where FGM is common promote it, like it, think it is cleaner, & will have it done to their daughters. Tha's not even analogous, it's the same thing.
Well, then say it like that, please, instead of tossing off a one liner.

I didn't feel any love with your initial response, I have to say.

I'm just trying to learn here. Don't chase people like me away!

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#14 of 79 Old 11-14-2006, 05:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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And *you* are the one with the foreskin, so you know what it means to be intact - your husband doesn't.
This is the biggest argument my husband won't buy.

I don't have a PENIS, so my foreskin experience doesn't count!
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#15 of 79 Old 11-14-2006, 05:08 PM
 
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The likelyhood of any of those problems is much lower than in women. Do you see women lining up to have their labia cut off a little? No- it's absurd. (and no snark here- honest!)

It's not your penis to alter. If he wants it altered, then he can decide at 18.

-Angela
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#16 of 79 Old 11-14-2006, 05:09 PM
 
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I guess my question is, why is this issue such a big deal to us women at MDC, if men who have actually been circumcised seem to be okay with it?
The operative word there is "seem". We are taught from early on never to admit to inability or incapacity or even just wounding -- particularly when it comes to our sexual function.

This is accomplished through routinely and reliably punishing for doing so, usually by means of verbal abuse, rejection, the withdrawal of emotional support and intimacy, ostracization, and our general decharacterization as possessing qualities such as masculinity and basic human value.

By adulthood, most of us are so well-programmed into this pattern that we do not even allow ourselves to question its operation, let alone actually go on to admit even just to ourselves that we might have suffered permanent harm and detriment.

In short, we're only okay with it because we almost involuntarily refuse to consider even just the existence of other possibilities, due to our gender role indoctrination.
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#17 of 79 Old 11-14-2006, 05:09 PM
 
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It's a simply matter of "he doesn't know what he's missing". Many circed men AREN'T happy with it, and have whole loads of problems (as do their spouses). Just do a google search for "foreskin restoration" and look at the number of lists, sites, and groups that come up. Remember, circumcision originated to PURPOSEFULLY desensitize the penis, curbing masturbation and making sex less pleasurable. That was the whole point of circumcision. So, obviously, it takes something away sexually. Why take the risk that your son will be the one that has all the problems normally associated with circing (curved, too tight erections, hair on the shaft, chafing with sex/masturbation, keritinized glans...all these things we think are just "normal" penis things are not - they are normal for a *cut* penis).

If you ask an intact man if they'd want to part with their foreskin, you'll likely get a vehement no. Circed men have never had anything to compare it too, you know? Of course it makes sense for him to like his penis, it's been that way his entire life. He's used to it. An intact man would feel the same way about his.

And I agree with TigerTail, it's not snarkiness, many circumcised women think they are just fine, too. Intact women, how ever, know exactly what they are missing. If I had been born without my clitoris, I might say that I can enjoy sex and everything is just fine, but that's just because I never was able to experience it.

Your son deserves to experience sex and his body as he was intended to. And I'm not being snarky, I firmly believe that every human being, male or female, has the basic right to every normal, healthy, functioning part of his/her body.
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#18 of 79 Old 11-14-2006, 05:11 PM
 
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Hi ChinaKat

My dh was the same way. He's circed and wanted our ds done as well.
I asked him why... "so it looks the same, less chance of getting std's, easier to clean" etc etc.
I then sent him email on everything I could find on the pro's and con's of circing, including video's of the procedure.
Asked him to read all the info I sent before he made up his mind.

It worked! Ds is not circumcised and dh feels great about his decision.
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#19 of 79 Old 11-14-2006, 05:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The operative word there is "seem". We are taught from early on never to admit to inability or incapacity or even just wounding -- particularly when it comes to our sexual function.

This is accomplished through routinely and reliably punishing for doing so, usually by means of verbal abuse, rejection, the withdrawal of emotional support and intimacy, ostracization, and our general decharacterization as possessing qualities such as masculinity and basic human value.

By adulthood, most of us are so well-programmed into this pattern that we do not even allow ourselves to question its operation, let alone actually go on to admit even just to ourselves that we might have suffered permanent harm and detriment.

In short, we're only okay with it because we almost involuntarily refuse to consider even just the existence of other possibilities, due to our gender role indoctrination.
Thank you for answering my question. This is very good food for thought.
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#20 of 79 Old 11-14-2006, 05:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It's a simply matter of "he doesn't know what he's missing". Many circed men AREN'T happy with it, and have whole loads of problems (as do their spouses). Just do a google search for "foreskin restoration" and look at the number of lists, sites, and groups that come up. Remember, circumcision originated to PURPOSEFULLY desensitize the penis, curbing masturbation and making sex less pleasurable. That was the whole point of circumcision. So, obviously, it takes something away sexually. Why take the risk that your son will be the one that has all the problems normally associated with circing (curved, too tight erections, hair on the shaft, chafing with sex/masturbation, keritinized glans...all these things we think are just "normal" penis things are not - they are normal for a *cut* penis).

If you ask an intact man if they'd want to part with their foreskin, you'll likely get a vehement no. Circed men have never had anything to compare it too, you know? Of course it makes sense for him to like his penis, it's been that way his entire life. He's used to it. An intact man would feel the same way about his.

And I agree with TigerTail, it's not snarkiness, many circumcised women think they are just fine, too. Intact women, how ever, know exactly what they are missing. If I had been born without my clitoris, I might say that I can enjoy sex and everything is just fine, but that's just because I never was able to experience it.

Your son deserves to experience sex and his body as he was intended to. And I'm not being snarky, I firmly believe that every human being, male or female, has the basic right to every normal, healthy, functioning part of his/her body.
I appreciate this. What you are saying makes sense to me.

I can definitely use the argument about the intact man and his foreskin with DH!
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#21 of 79 Old 11-14-2006, 05:15 PM
 
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I'm not asking for snark.

If people are going to just jump all over me with snotty comments, I guess I'll just leave this board and go along with my husband's wishes. It will certainly be easier for me to do that.

I was hoping, however, that somebody else had been in my shoes and could help me get from "meh, maybe it's not such a big deal" to "oh, THAT makes sense".

This is the conversation that is going on in my home right now. This is where I am coming from.

If you would rather be lofty than help me learn, I can't help that.
Have you watched a video? Have you read any literature about it? I just find it super hard to believe anyone would think "meh, maybe it's not such a big deal" after actually researching it.

Forget the purpose of the foreskin for a moment and realize the pain and trauma a newborn goes through when he is strapped down without any form pain relief (usually) and has a part of his penis cut off for no reason at all. His parents are his world and they allow him to be tormented like this. It's cruel, and totally avoidable.

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#22 of 79 Old 11-14-2006, 05:18 PM
 
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Well, then say it like that, please, instead of tossing off a one liner.

I didn't feel any love with your initial response, I have to say.

I'm just trying to learn here. Don't chase people like me away!

Sorry, we both have kids signed up to be penpals together (bad TT, putting things off!); the last thing that was intended was snark, just the succinct idea that came quickest to mind.

It really is just that simple. Circ'd guys have nothing to compare it to. A great deal of men's egos are wrapped up in their penises, & it takes a lot of courage (or watching foreign porn ) to examine your penis & find it wanting.
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#23 of 79 Old 11-14-2006, 05:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Have you watched a video? Have you read any literature about it? I just find it super hard to believe anyone would think "meh, maybe it's not such a big deal" after actually researching it.

Forget the purpose of the foreskin for a moment and realize the pain and trauma a newborn goes through when he is strapped down without any form pain relief (usually) and has a part of his penis cut off for no reason at all. His parents are his world and they allow him to be tormented like this. It's cruel, and totally avoidable.
Honestly, no, I haven't watched a video. I do know that it's not always done with restraints and certainly not always done without painkillers, but that's neither here nor there -- I'm not going to argue in favor of circ'ing.

Like I said, I'm not convinced it's necessary and I'm not wanting to do it, but I know plenty of people (including lots of Jews, if I can bring that into the mix) that don't have a problem with it -- and these are all kind, caring, awesome AP parents.

Basically, every single person in my life thinks circ'ing is fine. Everybody at MDC thinks it's barbaric. So, you can understand why I'm getting mixed messages on the process. I'm just trying to sort that out.
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#24 of 79 Old 11-14-2006, 05:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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A great deal of men's egos are wrapped up in their penises, & it takes a lot of courage (or watching foreign porn ) to examine your penis & find it wanting.
Hah! That's a great way of putting it... I may need to rephrase slightly for DH, though.
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#25 of 79 Old 11-14-2006, 05:26 PM
 
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I have to add one more thing. When your baby is born, you have a powerful instinct to protect him/her. The last thing you want is for this sweet thing to experience anything painful. Seriously, you would rather cut off your arm than allow someone to hurt your baby. This intinct helped solidify my decision not to circ my son. It IS painful, no matter how they do it. And it hurts afterward, too, A LOT. You just won't want someone to cause your baby pain, trust me. And your husband will likely feel the same way.

I think most people circ because they havent given it thought, and therefore do not even realize how painful it is. You KNOW, and that is going to guide your instinct to protect your future son.

Melanie
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#26 of 79 Old 11-14-2006, 05:27 PM
 
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I hear what you are saying.

But on the flip side of your analogy, how about the deaf community? Many deaf people hope for deaf children, and opt not to have cochleal implants or whathaveyou to restore hearing. If they are *fine* with the way that they are, who am I (as a member of the hearing community) to tell them that they are "missing out"?

Just being devil's advocate here, not trying to troll.
And plenty of deaf children want the implants because they want to hear. (There's a documentary out there about this exact same thing. The daughter wants the implant, the parents are resistent. I saw something about it on TV.) Well, my point is, that child wants something different than what her parents want.

You're looking at it like "Who am I to tell my husband he is missing out?" But I look at it like "Who are we (as both his parents) to tell our son what to do with his body?" Because if I circ'd him, it can't be undone so that would be a permanent decision made by us. Your DH may be happy with his own body, but that doesn't have anything to do with your son. What the father wants may be totally different than what the child wants. And what could the child do once it's too late and the deed is done? Even foreskin restoration is misleading; it can restore the coverage but not the sensativity.

Single mom of 2 boys
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#27 of 79 Old 11-14-2006, 05:28 PM
 
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Seriously. A picture is worth a thousand words. A twenty second internet clip can make that light bulb pop up above your head: "OH, is that how it's supposed to work!"
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#28 of 79 Old 11-14-2006, 05:28 PM
 
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My dh initially wanted to circ. Then, our first child was a girl and we fell head-over-heels for her. He was like a papa bear, "No one will ever harm my child!" When I got pg again, I started researching circ. As soon as I saw pictures and learned that the foreskin is NOT just a flap of skin, I knew that was never going to happen to any baby of mine. A baby is as fully human as you and I are. If it's wrong to strap me down against my will and cut off a normal, healthy part of me, it's wrong to do it to a newborn baby.

Dh still didn't see it my way. I stayed calm and slowly showed him info. like the AAP statement, Dr. Sears' website, and the scar on his own penis. He is an MD, and was well indoctrinated, so it took some time. I drew parallels to many other procedures that medicine used to think were positive--women giving birth on their backs, episiotomy, certain knee surgeries ect. Slowly, he began to realize that there is no evidence that circ. solves any problems, and there is evidence that it causes problems.

The final convincing factor was a circ video. All dh had to do was picture his child's perfect little body defenseless and bleeding for no reason and he became an intactivist. He now belongs to Doctors Oppossing Circumcision.

Our second child turned out to be a girl, anyway, but the third is an intact boy. Dh says that his penis doesn't look weird at all--it looks like a normal human penis (and kind of like a mini-rocket ). Anyway, the bottom line is that it is ds's body and we have no right to take parts away from him.

Congratulations on your pregnancy : ! Let us know whenever you have more questions.
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#29 of 79 Old 11-14-2006, 05:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You're looking at it like "Who am I to tell my husband he is missing out?" But I look at it like "Who are we (as both his parents) to tell our son what to do with his body?" Because if I circ'd him, it can't be undone so that would be a permanent decision made by us. Your DH may be happy with his own body, but that doesn't have anything to do with your son. What the father wants may be totally different than what the child wants. And what could the child do once it's too late and the deed is done? Even foreskin restoration is misleading; it can restore the coverage but not the sensativity.
Very good points.

I'm getting some great ammunition in this thread!
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#30 of 79 Old 11-14-2006, 05:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by chinaKat View Post
Honestly, no, I haven't watched a video. I do know that it's not always done with restraints and certainly not always done without painkillers, but that's neither here nor there -- I'm not going to argue in favor of circ'ing.

Like I said, I'm not convinced it's necessary and I'm not wanting to do it, but I know plenty of people (including lots of Jews, if I can bring that into the mix) that don't have a problem with it -- and these are all kind, caring, awesome AP parents.

Basically, every single person in my life thinks circ'ing is fine. Everybody at MDC thinks it's barbaric. So, you can understand why I'm getting mixed messages on the process. I'm just trying to sort that out.
I understand. I too was the first in my family and group of friends to question circumsision. Everyone else thought it was fine too, but when questioning those people they really had no knowledge of circumsision other than what they have heard from other peole. They didn't research it. They had no idea what actually went into it. I know lots of kind, caring, awesome AP parents that choose to circ but again a lot of them really didn't look into to it. Not saying that all parents that choose to do it didn't look into it, just most of the ones I know. Also, I know a lot of parents that regret it. Like really really regret it. I have never ONCE met someone who regretted leaving their son intact.

Carol
Momma to Patrick (8) Corey (7) Lilah- My UBA2C (11 months)
carolhagan is offline  
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