What made you become an intactivist? - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-31-2007, 12:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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When did it hit home that circing is wrong? Was it a post on a DDC? Did you read a book or an article? Perhaps if we share our experiences, we may learn how to gently educate others. I'll share mine:

I was born and raised in the US so I always assumed circing was just what we did here. I never really thought about it. When I was 17 I took classes to become a CNA (nurse aide) and witnessed infant circing first hand at a large inner city hospital during an internship rotation. It certainly made an impression that something was just not right with the whole situation. I really didn't give it much thought again though until I was heavily immersed in the *consented* body modification scene and also had an intact lover at the same time. It drove home the message that bodies belong to their owners and normal penises are a VERRRRY beautiful thing. I often had to fight for my rights to modify MY body how I deemed fit. Maybe that wont make sense to some people but it made me realize that there was no way in heck I would have my daughter's ears pierced or tattoo my son so why on earth would I consent for my son to be modified against his will?

Sorry for the novel.

Mama to 5 busy bees (12, 9, 7, 3, 2) and expecting #6 June/2014

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Old 03-31-2007, 01:53 PM
 
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Reading in baby books (crappy ones at that) that is was optional made me think I wouldn't do it w/ I was preg w/ my first (my dd, she was born in '97). Plus my nephew was intact eventhough all my sister ever said to me was "that I should look into it". Then we got the internet in I believe 2000 and I started reading about it, I was going to college at the time and wrote a paper on it. After reading about circ I went from thinking it was best not to circ to knowing it was horrible and completely wrong. Then in 2001 I had my first son and I became even more against it after seeing how perfect he was and first hand knowing what it would be like if his foreskin that was so tightly fused (as it should be) was ripped from his glans, just imagining it makes my soul hurt . It was definitely the "more you know the worst it gets" for me.

OUR DAUGHTERS ARE PROTECTED SHOULDN'T OUR SONS BE TOO! :
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Old 03-31-2007, 02:54 PM
 
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Like the OP, I first witnessed RIC as a CNA. I really had no idea what I-or, that baby-were in for. I didn't know much about circumcision and I assumed there must be a good reason for it if it was done so frequently. I didn't know *anything* about the anatomy of a normal penis or the functions of the foreskin. To say witnessing one with my own eyes was enlightening is an understatement, but really becoming informed about the issue took more research and soul-searching.

I became an intactivist when I stopped viewing it as an acceptable parental choice, when I started feeling resentful of the parents who chose it, when parents wanted to videotape the procedure or lightheartedly take 'before and after' photos for the baby book, and when a set of parents asked me whether or not they should retract and clean beneath their newborn's foreskin before he was circumcised the following day and were surprised and confused to learn the foreskin was fused to the glans and asked me, after they'd already signed the consent forms, "Well, then, how do they circumcise him?". It was blatantly clear that informed choice in the hospital was non-existant.

You know that bumpersticker, "If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention?" I started paying attention. It wasn't long before I felt a sense of obligation to share what I'd learned with others, to become part of the movement to protect male and female children equally.

Jen
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Old 03-31-2007, 03:04 PM
 
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When I started researching during my pregnancy with DS. I saw a circ video and knew then it was horribly wrong.
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Old 03-31-2007, 03:05 PM
 
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Lack of knowledge.

People know about most human rights issues but baby boys are not protected at all.
Circumcision is a direct violation of human rights. While I think that every baby should be breastfed and that every baby deserves a drug free birth both of those things involve the mother and her needs and feelings. However, circumcision should not be anyone else's decision and I do not think parents have a right to do that surgery on a child.

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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Old 03-31-2007, 03:08 PM
 
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When I fell in love with an American man, who clearly didn't have all the penis he was supposed to have.

Then he told me just about all men over there were missing part of their penises.

I did some research to find out how they did it and why. Horrified wasn't the word to describe how I felt - I couldn't and still can't believe that someone would do that to a beautiful little baby, it's sick and barbaric, for the most stupid and shallow of reasons too.

The more I learn about this appalling cultural habit, the less I understand how a supposedly "civilised" nation could inflict this on their children.
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Old 03-31-2007, 03:39 PM
 
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When I fell in love with an American man, who clearly didn't have all the penis he was supposed to have.

Then he told me just about all men over there were missing part of their penises.

I did some research to find out how they did it and why. Horrified wasn't the word to describe how I felt - I couldn't and still can't believe that someone would do that to a beautiful little baby, it's sick and barbaric, for the most stupid and shallow of reasons too.

The more I learn about this appalling cultural habit, the less I understand how a supposedly "civilised" nation could inflict this on their children.
It makes my stomach turn when I think about how the world views us. What hypocrites we are to criticize other cultures for mutilating little girls when we do the same thing to our boys! I want it ALL to just STOP...NOW!!!
I became an intactivist when preg. with Dd#1. My mother told me, when I asked her, that if she knew she would not have had my brother cut, and were I a boy I'd have been intact. I had an Italian anatomically correct boy doll growing up that was intact. Dh looked odd to me when we married (he's my only) and I started to think about it and read about it. I think I've always been an intactivist.

Just your typical non-theistic, liberal, blended family.

Thank you, Mothering, for the past twelve years of support and community. I look forward to many more.
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Old 03-31-2007, 04:15 PM
 
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It I want it ALL to just STOP...NOW!!!
Me too!!!!

P.S. your family is beautiful. That picture of your baby George made me giggle, so so cute!!!

OUR DAUGHTERS ARE PROTECTED SHOULDN'T OUR SONS BE TOO! :
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Old 03-31-2007, 04:31 PM
 
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An acquaintance of mine told me that circ'ing her son was the greatest regret of her life. That really influenced me. So let that be a lesson---never be afraid to speak out.
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Old 03-31-2007, 04:49 PM
 
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Before I got pregnant I did not know much about the subject...except "everyone" was circed...little did I know. Well when I got pregnant DH told me that he did not want our son to be circed (he somehow knew we were having a boy the entire time). I was against it at first, but I started to do research to back up why I wanted my little boy circed...could not find much that really justified my decision...but found a lot on why not too. I also watched a video that brought me to tears. So now I have a beautiful intact little boy and could not be happier with the decision we made. So there...I am an intactivist and proud of it!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 03-31-2007, 04:52 PM
 
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I remember being 6 years old when my newborn brother came home from the hospital with what appeared to be a bloody stump. I asked my parents what was wrong, and got the basics. The way it was explained to me was that it was just necessary (like it would just rot and fall off if not done), but I was still horrified.
I think I've been skeptical of modern medicine my whole life. Long story.

Anyway, in my late teens I had an older friend who had a boy and left him intact. Talking to her, and my husband (boyfriend at the time) talking to her DH convinced us not to do it. But honestly, I was an easy sell. My brother's "bloody stump" memory has always stuck with me. *shudder*

But I still didn't really totally "get it" till I saw a video of one, after ds was born. That was what threw me all the way over the edge.
Along with learning that basically no one in Europe, or most of the rest of the world for that matter, does this.

I think knowing that some countries have banned it as a human rights violation would have had an effect on me, too, had I known sooner.
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Old 03-31-2007, 05:47 PM
 
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Honestly, at first, I didn't really know much about it. I just figured that it was unnecesary pain that I would not put my son through. I had to research it and see a video in order to convince dh, and that made it even worse, but I really was not against it, completely, until I lived with my boys for a while. After seeing how wonderfully whole and natural they are, I wonder how anyone could choose to cut them. Also, in coming here to MDC, and learning how much is taken from them long-term when they are circumcised, I have become even more convinced that it is something that should not even exist. I think it was said best in somebody's siggy - the more you know, the worse it is. That seems to be my experience with circumcision.

Homeschooling mom of 2 rambunctious, loving, spectacular boys, wife to an incredible man who has been my best friend on this journey <3

 

 

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Old 03-31-2007, 06:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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When I fell in love with an American man, who clearly didn't have all the penis he was supposed to have.

Then he told me just about all men over there were missing part of their penises.

I did some research to find out how they did it and why. Horrified wasn't the word to describe how I felt - I couldn't and still can't believe that someone would do that to a beautiful little baby, it's sick and barbaric, for the most stupid and shallow of reasons too.

The more I learn about this appalling cultural habit, the less I understand how a supposedly "civilised" nation could inflict this on their children.

I've often wondered how men and women from other countries feel about Americans and RIC. I'd imagine it must be very insulting and upsetting to always read/hear about how "dirty" intact penises are.

Mama to 5 busy bees (12, 9, 7, 3, 2) and expecting #6 June/2014

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Old 03-31-2007, 06:24 PM
 
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I kind of "forgot" that US men are circumcised, since I never saw one who wasn't. It wasn't on my radar screen until my friend didn't circ her son and told me to look into it. She said it wasn't medically recommended and that rates had been dropping for decades. I had just discovered I was pregnant with a boy and knew within about 1 minute of looking into it (internet research - really just "the facts" and not even extremely hardcore mutilation-type websites or videos) that we wouldn't be doing it. I told DH I didn't want it done and asked if he could give me a good reason to do it, but he surprised me by saying he also didn't want it done. It was as simple as that.

Katie (36)
 
Married mom to Patrick (2004), Noah (2006) and Liam (2010) VBAC!!
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Old 03-31-2007, 06:26 PM
 
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Once I started dating dh there was never a question in my mind that any sons I had would NOT be circumcised (since dh isn't and he has never had any problems), but I didn't realise what circumcision really entailed or what the difference was between circumcised and intact until I found MDC by searching for information on Elimination Communication. I read a lot on the EC board (and was totally sold on the concept! still am!) and then checked out the rest of MDC and started reading CAC.

I was appalled at what I learned! My two brothers were circumcised (I was born and raised in the US), but both my ex-boyfriend and dh were intact (they were both born and raised in the US as well...) so I haven't ever seen a circumcised adult penis in person.

I pretty much became an instant intactivist. I didn't have any circumcised sons to feel guilty about, or a circumcised husband whose feelings I had to be careful of... So there was nothing at all holding me back. I know that my mom just didn't know there was any other option when my brothers were born and she is totally supportive of us leaving her grandsons intact. I'm the oldest in my family by a LOT (I have an almost 19 year old brother - who doesn't even know girls exist yet, a 14 year old sister - who has no interest in dating, and a 12 year old brother - who thinks girls have cooties) so I have plenty of time to have a son or two and show my siblings that the foreskin is not something to be afraid of before they have children of their own And of course the cousins should "match" right?

love and peace.

mama to two girls and due in November!
: Circumcision can never be undone :
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Old 03-31-2007, 08:23 PM
 
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when i was pregnant with Pman, i started doing research...had made the decision to not circ...then i saw an episode of Queer As Folk, where Brian walks in on the bris that is being done to his bioson...his statements to the les parents sealed the deal for me...

basically it was "we as glbt have to fight every day to be accepted for who we are...and you are telling me that an 8 day old baby is not perfect how he was born? you are already deciding that he is not perfect and trying to change him...how is this ok?"

it just made so much sense to me...my babies are born perfect...theres no reason to change them...

peace...

Homeschooling Ama to boys (ages 10 and 6) and my SoldierGirl who is serving in the US Army, StepMom to three crazy teens. I'm married to the love of my life. 

 

Love is an action word. 

Words have power...use them wisely.

Who you are is just enough.

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Old 03-31-2007, 08:42 PM
 
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I'd imagine it must be very insulting and upsetting to always read/hear about how "dirty" intact penises are.
Actually no, it doesn't even cross my mind, because I know that the people saying those things haven't got a clue what they're talking about. I've been around and enjoyed intact penises all my life, there's nothing dirty about a man who bathes regularly, the dirt is in their imagination.

To me, all they are doing is displaying ignorance.
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Old 03-31-2007, 08:46 PM
 
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i was being my stubborn self...said i wanna think about it when it was messed up at the hospital(paperwork) (the doctor scared me she was so cold) then we looked into prices...i said that is alotta money for a "snip" happened upon a video of one...this website...and yelled "no freaking way" are we doing that...all learned in a few weeks that i didn't have to do alotta things to my ds i didn't like...circ/vax/cio etc...who says being stubborn is a bad thing? it kept my son intact lol...now off to educate other friends who are preggers!
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Old 03-31-2007, 08:56 PM
 
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i guess i became an intactivist when i was pregnant and faced with making such a decision. wait, actually i guess it really began years before when friends were choosing to cut their sons and i remember immediately saying, "why?!!!!" i knew back then that it seemed violent and unnecessary.
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Old 03-31-2007, 08:59 PM
 
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After I was married I used to say I would let my dh decide (b/c he had a penis), this is what my sister did and at the time it made sense to me. Thankfully my nephews are intact, btw.

When I was pg I had seen some debates online and it became clear to me that circ. was not desirable. Also my dh is intact and would leave me rather than allow one of his ds's to be circ'd. So we were both onboard with leaving our sons as nature intended them to be. As each of my sons has been born I've become quite passionate about intactivism, and esp. since visiting this forum. I knew circ. was wrong, but to be honest I really didn't realize just how much is stolen from baby boys when they are circ'd, and I didn't know how many complications there could be either. Also working in medical malpractice has been enlightening in terms of seeing complications including death from cosmetic circs.

I shudder now when I think of circ. and it hurts my heart to think how it still goes on.

SAHM mom of 3 beautiful boys - Aug/02, Jan/05, Mar/07.
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Old 03-31-2007, 09:00 PM
 
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When I was a teenager my mom was in nursing school. One day she came home upset. She was doing a rotation of the OB floor. When I asked her what was wrong she said that she had watched a circ and that it was horrible and that if she had known how it was done she never would have let them do it to my brother. So I knew then that I would never circ if I had a boy. But until I came to MDC I never knew how horrible it really was. I knew that it was an unnecessary painful procedure, but I didn't think it had any lasting effects. I had no idea that the foreskin had any type of function. I never really saw it as genital mutilation until I came to MDC.
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Old 03-31-2007, 09:20 PM
 
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Years ago, before dh and I were married, he brought up how he was angry he had been circumcised. I'd never even thought twice about it. Everyone in my family was circumcised. After that I started to pay attention, and at some point, I realized just how crazy circumcision is.

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Old 03-31-2007, 11:34 PM
 
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I never really knew what circumcision was. I vaguely knew that people in certain religions did it. I lasted throughout my entire young adult life not really knowing what it was exactly (nobody really talked about it) and every penis I had seen looked the same.

When I was older, married and pregnant the first time I found out more...I learned what a normal human penis was meant to be like. I learned that a lot of the sensations I experienced, and sexual tendencies that DH had were a direct result of circ.

I knew that NOBODY should have had a right to cut off the most sensitive parts of my DH's penis. Both of us wish that his penis was left as it was when he was born. It was insane that our country gave parents the right to cut off parts of their childrens' genitals. It doesn't make sense. : No logical person can say that it makes sense when you know the facts. No bioethicist can say that it is ethical. Because it isn't. Parents and doctors do not have the right to modify infant genitals.

Honestly, this whole topic is incredibly painful for me. I suppose I passed the point a long time ago where "the more you know, the worse it is." Some days I fear that I may never get to a point where I am OK with looking at my DH's penis. I hate even writing this. I see things...see the bad scars (and his are bad) and I feel sad. So sad that it feels like my soul is being stabbed. I really hope that I can get past it. I definitely want to, but it's not something you can just "talk about" to just anyone because honestly most people wouldn't understand my feelings at all...: .

Anyhow, the pain that I feel and that I have seen other men and women feel...I never want another man or woman to know that pain. To lack "something" that you can't even put into words because you can't comprehend it.

Perpetually breastfeeding or pregnant ENFP mom to a lot of kids...wife to a midwestern nice guy...living in tropical paradise...pink cats and homebirths rock!

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Old 04-01-2007, 12:00 AM
 
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My son was about 3-4 months old when I ventured on a circ debate board. I was pro-circ at the time, never really thought of the other side despite having an intact adopted brother. Anyway, spent a couple days on the board and left because I didn't understand it all....I "knew" being intact was just bad. So when he was about 9 months old I finally looked it up and was saddened and disgusted on what I found...the TRUTH! So I've been an intactivist since.

Me Hubby
Colin 1/13/04 Elena 1/18/07
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Old 04-01-2007, 01:16 AM
 
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For me, I started questioning it when I was pg with my oldest (who turned out to be a girl). During the birth class at the hospital, they should pics of a circ during the newborn care section (I think the hospital was trying to discourage circ....the nurse said if you were going to do a circ, you should watch one first ). It really bothered me. It just looked so awful for the baby. But I ended up with a dd so I didnt think much more about it.

I was pregnant with ds a few years later and when we were doing admission paperwork, we were asked if we planned to circ if we had a boy. I asked the doctor if there were any pros and she shrugged and said some people thought it was cleaner and reduced the chance of problems later. I told dh I thought it was stupid to do surgery on a baby because he 'might' have problems, so we left ds intact.

It was only after that I did research and I was really, really glad we made the decision we did. The more I read about circ, the more it bugs me.
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Old 04-01-2007, 04:25 AM
 
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It was a simple process for me that starts with the fact thatmy dad being european is intact. I had an intact anatomically correct baby boy doll as a child. I studied art an saw lots of intact sculptures. Intact has always been the normal way a penis should look to me.

Then there was dad's story about the guy in his squadron who decided to take the airforce up on the offer of a free circ.

The first time I saw a circ'd penis it was quite a shock. The first time I saw a newly circ'd baby was an even bigger shock.

Then the Dr at the hospital kept pushing it.

Finally I came here, and it really has moved me the extra bit from "I would never do that to my baby" to "no one should do that to any baby."

Timmy's Mommy WARNINGyslexic typing with help of preschooler, beware of typos
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Old 04-01-2007, 10:02 AM
 
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My first exposure was when my little brother was born. I was nine, he was cut. My mom said it used to be done becuase of Biblical references, but not necessary any more - but she still had him cut. I distinctly remember having the thought, "Wow, I'm glad I'm a girl!"

Later, before babies, but as an adult, I was talking to a friend who had 2 girls, 1 boy, and was pregnant again. She commented on when her DS was new, she was changing a diaper and concernced about an infection from his circ and asked a friend. The friend said the part she was worried about was fine, but some other part that she thought looked OK was in fact a problem. Her son had an infection. But I didn't think too much on it.

Then I got pregnant, took a Bradley class, and my teacher recommended that we really really really look into it. She said she used to get up on her soapbox, but she offended a UK couple (so now I'm kinda confused as to what she was teaching, but I really don't see her circ'ing!) so now she just advised parents to research it. Well, I did. I decided I didn't want it done. I told DH why I didn't want it done, but left the decision up to him. I didn't even know what he decided until the PA asked him at our visit - our baby was going to stay intact. Then I really looked into it and realized how much of a human rights issue this is. I'm so glad he was reasonable; I would have lost it if my baby was hurt. I wouldn't now take that chance! I'm a Bradley teacher, and I do get up on a soapbox, scientifically founded of course! But the idea to have a natural birth then turn around and cut the baby...
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Old 04-01-2007, 02:01 PM
 
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I'm crying reading all of these beautiful posts. I'm so proud to be a part of this group.

My story: I live in Canada where the circ rate has been (thankfully) lower. It never made sense to me to cut a boy after he has been born gently. I always told my midwifery clients to stay away from it and it was an easy sell to all but the religious circ people. I have 3 daughters and a gr. daughter so my "intactivism" doesn't come out of personal regret.

About 2 years ago, a student mw dropped off a box of handouts to me because she was leaving town (I needed more paper junk like a hole in the head!) and in that box were lots of NOCIRC brochures, and the "Men's Health" article. I began reading them. Then, I got a vision of a world free from this crap. Then, I came to this forum and got lots of education from Jen, Frank and the rest of you. Now, you can't shut me up and I'm speaking in front of big groups, writing articles and working (playing) every day at the game of genital integrity. I love it.
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Old 04-01-2007, 02:10 PM
 
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When my mother started gleefully planning a bris for my brother's child when A. She was only 2 months pregnant and B. They weren't going to find out the sex till the birth. I thought it was all rather twisted...she even joked about serving cocktail franks...I thought this was all pretty sick. I informed her that I wouldn't come to this "celebration" because I thought that there was nothing about it that was worth celebrating and it started a family feud. I have been a screaming intactavist ever since.

Victim of Birth Rape & Coerced ribboncesarean.gifUnnecesareanribboncesarean.gif What makes people think they can cut up someone else's genitals? nocirc.gif
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Old 04-02-2007, 02:41 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daisyuk View Post
The more I learn about this appalling cultural habit, the less I understand how a supposedly "civilised" nation could inflict this on their children.
I posted this Gandhi quote last week, but the thread got pulled. I think it is appropriate to post it again here in response to the wise DaisyUK. When Gandhi was asked what he thought of Western Civilization, he said "I think it is a good idea."

My seed was planted when I was working in a daycare center in the 1990's and saw lots and lots of little boys who were left natural. I always thought their parents must be progressive and "extra kind."

Got further in knowing something was terrible about it when I heard of a baby having his penis amputated during a circ.

During pregnancy I found out we were having a boy. I knew I did not want circ, the thought of inflicting pain on my baby was unbearable. I felt I needed to convince my family (duh, I did not need to). I was in a stupid mainstream DDC and they had a support thread for "problems with circ." : Googled circ and found the study about the babies hooked up to heart rate machines and blood pressure machines and who had their "stress levels-Cortisol?" monitored. They reported that the levels were "off the chart!" : All those doctors layed down their scalpels and made statements against circ. This was all I needed to say to dh and he was totally against the idea of circ. My brother confirmed that it was an ancient and barbaric. All this searching and I did not know the true function of the foreskin until months after Ivan was born. It needs to be in the mainstream more.

SAHM to Ivan 6/10/05 who says  signcirc1.gifand Matilda 1/31/08 who says saynovax.gif:::

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