Advice for swaying DH - Update in post #42 & #48 - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 53 Old 05-07-2007, 04:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So my DH and I have a dilemma. The last two pregnancies, my DH said if the baby was a boy, we wouldn't circ....so I assumed with this pregnancy, he'd feel the same way. It was never really an issue though since both were girls.

Well, we were talking last night and it turns out that he's been thinking a lot, and with this one for sure being a boy, he's changed his mind. I feel very strongly about wanting an intact son, but he's adamant that the social pressures on our son as a teen are potentially more life altering. He said I can never understand what it's like in a high school boy's locker room, and he doesn't want our son to stick out as different from the other kids. (We live in a very conservative, non-cruchy area so the kids will already have a "few strikes against them" considering our lifestyle. Even our mid-wife last week balked at me for mentioning that we might not want our son circumcised as "all her clients" have it done. : )

I'm due in six weeks, and I had just assumed this whole time that everyone was on the same page, but now I feel ambushed on a subject I feel strongly about.

How do I argue against the whole social pressure when a teen thing? He has a point, I'm not a boy, so I don't know. I really think if it weren't for that, we'd be on the same page. He agrees that there is no medical necessity and that it is basically cosmetic surgery (though we disagree on the cruelty of the procedure.)
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#2 of 53 Old 05-07-2007, 04:50 PM
 
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Even if you're not in a crunchy area, there should be quite a few intact boys your son's age. I live in central Ohio, and the circumcision rate here was 78% two years ago. That still means that my sons are not likely to be the only intact ones in their classes or sports teams. Plus, I don't think kids get naked and shower together in the locker room these days.

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#3 of 53 Old 05-07-2007, 05:00 PM
 
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Has he seen the video? I would work with him to try and get him to understand the horror of circ. But if that dosnt work then you must stand up and say no. If your son is having issues later on he can always choose to have it done then. But I firmly believe that if you take the time to explain to him and make him happy he is intact he will never consider cutting off such a important part of his penis.

 
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#4 of 53 Old 05-07-2007, 05:11 PM
 
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what cosmetic surgery will he want your son to have if he needs glasses? or has a big nose? if his ears stick out? what if the trend in your area is to amputate the pinky finger?
i think that rather than subject your newborn to cosmetic surgery for something that is just a hypothetical (after all, you don't know if your son will have to shower in gym, or play sports, or anything like that) to bend to supposed "peer pressure" you should teach him that all bodies look different just like all faces look different. and if your dh isn't confident enough in himself to teach that, then HE needs to work on his parenting skills rather than having an important part of your son amputated.
besides, ask him what the reaction would have been toward the guy who was doing the "checking out" of other guys' parts in the locker room -- i bet (sadly) that the scenario he describes never actually happens because boys are so afraid of being perceived as "gay". kwim?
good luck mama, stand your ground!

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#5 of 53 Old 05-07-2007, 05:14 PM
 
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My husband once said that if the locker room myth actually came true for our son he would say to him:

"Let me get this straight. Boys were making fun of you because you didn't have a piece of your dick cut off?"

"Parents are simply trustees; they do not own the bodies of their children"-Norm Cohen  Martial arts instructor intactlact.gifhomebirth.jpgnak.gif and mom to 4: DD1 (1/05) DS (7/06) DD2 (5/08) DD3 (2/11)
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#6 of 53 Old 05-07-2007, 05:15 PM
 
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I'm a guy and I grew up in the conservative midwest with about a 97% circ. rate. Nobody said a word about anyone else's penis. And the usefulness of an intact penis will stay with your son well beyond a few school years. I'm not even sure how mandatory public showering is anymore. If you raise your son with a bit of self-confidence it won't be a problem at all.
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#7 of 53 Old 05-07-2007, 05:19 PM
 
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Do you know anyone who's intact that can talk to him? There was a guy who posted on this forum a while back that had rated sexual enjoyment. I think he said something like "10 - intact, 3 - circ'd, 7 - restored". I would think that would convince anyone not to circ!!! You may not know what it's like to be a boy in the locker room, but you DO know what it's like to have intact genitials (I hope anyways).

I also live in a circ-happy place, but have found other parents who've left their sons' penis' alone through Mothering and other natural parenting groups.

Stick to your guns! My dh wasn't convinced, but he did come around.

The first time my doctor saw my son I swear he looked at him and said, "oh, good, you didn't circ him" but my husband didn't hear the word "good". :

Expecting a boy? Be sure to check out MDC's Case Against Circumcision!
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#8 of 53 Old 05-07-2007, 05:19 PM
 
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He doesn't know what it is to have intact genitals. You do.

Oh, and FIRE your midwife.
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#9 of 53 Old 05-07-2007, 05:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by cristina63303 View Post
He doesn't know what it is to have intact genitals. You do.

Oh, and FIRE your midwife.
seconded...

talk about logical fallacies, following the herd, disrespecting patients wishes (by "balking" at them) all rolled into one!

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#10 of 53 Old 05-07-2007, 05:23 PM
 
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Just put your foot down and say no. Thats what I had to do with my boyfriend because he was adamant that our baby be done. He was even telling the nurses to bring the consent form back to my room when I was induced. And guess what, he doesnt have a problem with it what so ever now, and it sounds like he was pushing it even more than your dh. Good luck!

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#11 of 53 Old 05-07-2007, 05:25 PM
 
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I know it might not mean much to you husband since we're on the internet but I can attest that the locker room thing is a FALLACY.

I am intact and was born and raised in the US my whole life and I went through phys ed with NO problems. We didn't take off our underwear and no one showered.
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#12 of 53 Old 05-07-2007, 05:26 PM
 
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I also agree with other posters. FIRE YOUR MIDWIFE. She sounds like a UA violation.
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#13 of 53 Old 05-07-2007, 05:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by sophiekat View Post
what cosmetic surgery will he want your son to have if he needs glasses? or has a big nose? if his ears stick out? what if the trend in your area is to amputate the pinky finger?
i think that rather than subject your newborn to cosmetic surgery for something that is just a hypothetical (after all, you don't know if your son will have to shower in gym, or play sports, or anything like that) to bend to supposed "peer pressure" you should teach him that all bodies look different just like all faces look different. and if your dh isn't confident enough in himself to teach that, then HE needs to work on his parenting skills rather than having an important part of your son amputated.
besides, ask him what the reaction would have been toward the guy who was doing the "checking out" of other guys' parts in the locker room -- i bet (sadly) that the scenario he describes never actually happens because boys are so afraid of being perceived as "gay". kwim?
good luck mama, stand your ground!
The first two of your arguments were mine as well last night (only I used the example of Botox since he's really against that). I also brought up how ridiculous it was that we'd be loping off part of one of the baby's organs just because he *might* take a shower with some other boys at some stage in life. My DH just kept saying, "well, if everybody else is doing it..." ARG we just went around and around in circles!

I'll try your last argument though, and some of the others that people have been suggesting (keep them coming - I need all the support and ideas I can get).

Just the thought of the surgery makes me tear up and cry. I can't believe how emotional the whole thing has become for me. I just never expected to need to have this fight! :
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#14 of 53 Old 05-07-2007, 05:33 PM
 
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HUGS for you momma. I cant imagine how frustrating it must be to have him pull a 180 so close to birth.

Is he the kind of guy who might like the Penn and Teller video? (lots of sarcasm and jokes but also nudity and some language)

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#15 of 53 Old 05-07-2007, 05:35 PM
 
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: mama, hang in there.

turn the argument onto your dh. HE wants the surgery done, HE needs to find a *compelling* reason (not just "he might get teased") to have it done. tell us what he says and we'll help you find the facts to refute it.

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#16 of 53 Old 05-07-2007, 05:36 PM
 
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high school matters this much: .
I mean, you don't even use it (much) in high school so of course you might be worried about how it looks(like everyone elses) at the expense of functionality... But for the rest of your life after High School, you are gonna care how it functions.

It is the worst time of most people's lives, and the best time for a few(I pitty the few), intactness doesn't make any difference in your high school experience. It was my experience that circ'd guys(of which I am one) had no idea their status or even a real idea what circumcision was.

I am very confused and sad for people who think high school is important in the grand scheme of things. If high school had any bearing on real life we would all work at the mall and 5% of the population would be professional athletes.
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#17 of 53 Old 05-07-2007, 05:38 PM
 
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ITA with the other posters, fire your midwife and clearly he is not intact I think he locker room argument is full of crap and a rationalization that he doesn't want to face his own issues about his own circ.

I'd flat out tell him NO, it's not going to happen. PERIOD.


you could always yes fine we will homeschool then, problem solved
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#18 of 53 Old 05-07-2007, 05:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cristina63303 View Post
Oh, and FIRE your midwife.
Don't even get me started there!!!

She also told us that "nobody" uses anesthetic at our hospital because the topical stuff "doesn't work" and the other anesthetic has to be injected into the "head of the penis with needles, etc." (she was trying to scare us by going into how awful the injection procedure was and that "it caused more trauma" than the circumcision did.)

Whether this is true or not is not the point. She was actually advocating NOT using any method of pain relief! And the whole time, she was saying that the babies aren't bothered by the circumcision, etc. I was FURIOUS when we left, wondering exactly what type of midwife she was, but of course my husband took in all of it...especially the part about "everyone" does it. It was actually that appointment last week that started our conversation.

(And by the way, she will NOT be at my delivery. I have already started looking into other options this week.)
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#19 of 53 Old 05-07-2007, 05:42 PM
 
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Oh my...can that hospital be reported or something?????

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#20 of 53 Old 05-07-2007, 05:45 PM
 
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Hi,

I'm 32 years old and I'm intact. I was never teased in the locker room in middle school or high school. Guys have this rule: Don't look, Don't talk.

Quote:
"Let me get this straight. Boys were making fun of you because you didn't have a piece of your dick cut off?"
Great comeback. Your son can change it to:

"Let me get this straight. You are making fun of me because I didn't have a piece of my dick cut off?"
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#21 of 53 Old 05-07-2007, 05:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kkar View Post
Don't even get me started there!!!

She also told us that "nobody" uses anesthetic at our hospital because the topical stuff "doesn't work" and the other anesthetic has to be injected into the "head of the penis with needles, etc." (she was trying to scare us by going into how awful the injection procedure was and that "it caused more trauma" than the circumcision did.)

Whether this is true or not is not the point. She was actually advocating NOT using any method of pain relief! And the whole time, she was saying that the babies aren't bothered by the circumcision, etc. I was FURIOUS when we left, wondering exactly what type of midwife she was, but of course my husband took in all of it...especially the part about "everyone" does it. It was actually that appointment last week that started our conversation.

(And by the way, she will NOT be at my delivery. I have already started looking into other options this week.)
Oh damn. Are you sure that woman is a midwife? She sounds like she could be a nurse masquerading as one.

Where do you live, if you don't mind my asking. I want to know so that I never move there!
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#22 of 53 Old 05-07-2007, 05:58 PM
 
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I'm intact, 31-years-old and no problems. I also was not teased once. I grew up with a pretty high circ rate (felt like 70%) in the '80s and early-to-mid-'90s. I wasn't teased in the locker room of swimming pools. In public school (grades 1-8) and high school (grades 9-13), we never had to to take showers... not once. Even today, I don't hear ANY teasing of today's generation of boys in the locker room in the locker rooms of swimming pools. I personally think it's idiotic to circumcise even if he _was_ teased. The benefits of the foreskin are a lifelong sexual advantage that would outweigh the possible teasing, even it was for a short time. You don't have your child go without glasses to avoid teasing. Good luck to you! You sound like a very caring, logical parent.
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#23 of 53 Old 05-07-2007, 05:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by BigC View Post
Hi,

I'm 32 years old and I'm intact. I was never teased in the locker room in middle school or high school. Guys have this rule: Don't look, Don't talk.



Great comeback. Your son can change it to:

"Let me get this straight. You are making fun of me because I didn't have a piece of my dick cut off?"

Another comeback:

"What are you doing looking down there? Are you some sort of sicko?"

If he says it loud enough (and uses the guy's name), then other people will hear that name and know what he did. Plus the person looking will hopefully feel embarrased.

Yeah, public showers these days really aren't done with a few exceptions:

1) After swimming in a public pool. If this is the case, then they may even want to shower with swim suits on.

2) Summer camp. Once again, the staff may allow swimsuits to be worn during the shower, or the camp may even have individual stalls, with or without privacy curtains and doors.

3) After some team practices. Not all coaches require this, but i'm sure a few do. Once again, kids don't TRY to look, and if they do, they quickly look away and certainly don't say anything.

Plus, once the kid is around 5, you can teach him how to remove his underwear while wearing a towel wrapped around his waist.

If he's in a locker room, you can also tell him to face the locker, or to use a changing stall, or a toilet stall... Personally, I don't like when they use toilet stalls to change, since someone may actually need the toilet, but you may see things differently.


Oh, and the Central Ohio rate is 78%??? Any links?? I'm not doubting, but a link would be nice. And is it just RIC, or religious?
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#24 of 53 Old 05-07-2007, 06:16 PM
 
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i told my dh straight up... Over. My. Dead. Cold. Body. it seemed to clear the air so to speak... he did realise how important it was to me tho... i told him that if we did circ ds i was going to take a knife to his leg and pee and poop on it and throw a diaper on it until ds healed (scare tactics at this point) he kinda went yeah i guess it gross to do that huh? i was floored and relieved we had fought for FIVE LONG MONTHS and this won the debate...nothing else worked
i refuted every "stereo type" about an intact penis...
made him watch the video...
made him look at pics of botched circ...
pics of tools used to do circ...
reminded him it was our sons penis and it was HIS choice what to do w/it...
and wow i can't rember what else now...

hang in there momma, it will be tough but stand your ground you owe it to your ds... i know this is rough and it's a shame it was the elephant in the room for this long ykwim? and good for you for getting a new midwife! keep me updated!
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#25 of 53 Old 05-07-2007, 06:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by sophiekat View Post
tell us what he says and we'll help you find the facts to refute it.
I will. I'll give him a few days to think over what I said, and I'll bring it up again probably on Wednesday or Thursday night. If I pressure him, it will make it worse - he's soooo stubborn! He really needs to change his mind on his own, if you know what I mean... I'll post with an update after our next conversation later this week.

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Where do you live, if you don't mind my asking. I want to know so that I never move there!
Ha, ha! I live in Illinois..the conservative midwest...no surprise I guess.
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#26 of 53 Old 05-07-2007, 06:47 PM
 
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Most places in Europe, Canada, etc have intact men. Circumcised males will be at a disadvantage in "dating" women from Europe, Canada, India, South America, and most of the rest of the world.
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#27 of 53 Old 05-07-2007, 06:53 PM
 
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My bf wanted to circ when we found out I was having a boy. It blew my mind because it completely went against our value (vegan, compassionate living, etc). It was a hot button issue, he was stubborn and convinced it would be cleaner, healthier, etc. and supposedly everyone was telling him the same thing. I wasn't going to budge either. We tried discussing it and it didn't work. I told him to at least consider holding off until a few weeks after he was born so I could establish a healthy breastfeeding relationship. Well, weeks turned into months and my ds was never circed. (not that I would have actually done it and he knew that). He never came around and refuses to discuss it to this day. I think someday he will finally see my side but for now this is the way it is. All I'm saying is try to delay it as much as possible if you can't come to an agreement. The longer you wait, the harder it will be for your guy to want to do this to his little boy. Well, hopefully anyway. Good luck!

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#28 of 53 Old 05-07-2007, 07:00 PM
 
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Do you think you will be in Illinois for your son's whole life? Even in Illinois there are intact boys....nationwide the rate is about 60% cut 40% whole, and your son will definitely not be alone in the locker room. But what if you move to Washington or Seattle? Or say your dh gets a fab job in the UK? What if your son is teased because he's cut?

I'd much rather be in a position to say "honey, it was too important to us that you make your own choice about your own penis and so we left you whole" than say "honey, we cut the most sensitive part of your penis off so that you maybe possibly theoretically might avoid being bullied by insecure circed guys."

But the whole locker room argument is such a red herring. My dh (who is circed, sadly : ) was on the swim team from middle school through college, and worked out/worked at gyms for years after that, and he says NEVER NOT ONCE did he hear anyone getting teased for being intact. That would have been a sure-fire way to get the TEASER labeled for looking and talking about someone else's penis.

Sure, guys may look, and they may notice -- but they won't tease in 99.9% of cases.

You may want to read this article -- just for you, not for your dh -- to understand that he's not worried so much about his son's penis as he is about his own. You need to be gentle -- you love him and his body the way he is -- but firm -- our son will not. be. circed.

http://www.udonet.com/circumcision/vincent/index.html

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#29 of 53 Old 05-07-2007, 07:42 PM
 
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This is one of the silliest arguments for circ there is. As others have said, it just doesn't happen. And if it did, it would just be one of many ways kids get teased by thier peers. My son got teased about his underwear in grade school. So we better make everyone wear the exact same underwear i guess...

What about beards? Waht about being overweight? Having voice that cracks sooner than others? Wearing glasses?

Far more important to teach kids how to deal with the inevitable, than try and make them the same as everyone else. You can't make them the same, and it won't stop the teasing.

Just a trivial issue that gets blown WAY out of proportion.
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#30 of 53 Old 05-07-2007, 07:53 PM
 
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What other body parts is he willing to cut off his son for conformity? I think this kind of thing bites parents in the ass when they later are trying so hard to teach their kids not to cave to peer pressure. I might make that argument with him if you know he doesn't want his son to follow the crowd when it comes to other things.

OUR DAUGHTERS ARE PROTECTED SHOULDN'T OUR SONS BE TOO! :
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