letting circ views overwhelm your view of people/groups - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 47 Old 10-19-2007, 06:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I found myself feeling bad last night and I am not quite sure why. Basically when I think of a culture that circs, e.g. mainstream America, I feel like this issue is clouding positive views I might have on that culture or person in general. I don't want to be a prejudice person so this bothers me.

For example I work with a lot of Philipinos. I haven't met one of them at my job that isn't great to work with, friendly, and kind. But then I remember their circ traditions and I am horrified. I think 'how can such nice people do something so barbaric.'

It also clouds how I feel about friends, making me think their must be something wrong underneath all that if they could do that to a baby.

I guess I don't want to be accused of anti-(insert /nation/culture/here) because I think circ. is barbaric.

And the irony that a person who feels male circ. is ok would happily judge an entire culture as disgusting if they circ. their females isn't lost on my by the way!
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#2 of 47 Old 10-19-2007, 07:18 PM
 
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I know how you feel. It's the same way with me. I find I look at mothers a lot differently if they circ'd. And I know it's not fair, because I don't really know if maybe they regret it, or what not. But the sad fact is that most women don't regret it, so, y'know?

At any rate, I understand.
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#3 of 47 Old 10-20-2007, 01:25 AM
 
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That's just prejudice. A lot of the posters on this board are American, yet would never mutilate their baby simply because he's a boy.

You need to take each person as an individual and give them a chance to show they're a good human before condemning them for what their ancestors, family or society do/did.
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#4 of 47 Old 10-20-2007, 02:11 AM
 
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I sometimes get creeped out thinking about this, too. I think about friends that I have that have circed, or relatives, or random people. And some of them are exceptional parents, some are just, well normal average parents (like me)-so I can't 'judge' them all or dismiss them all as 'worse' or different parents.

For me, it has helped to think about why and how these normal, smart, gentle, intelligent, caring people have been deceived. I guess all of the people that I'm referring to are also NOT anti-intact. I don't know anyone like that, and if I did THAT would change my view of them.

For most of them, if they find out the truth they will be regretful-- and I find that incredibaly sad.

Jessica

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#5 of 47 Old 10-20-2007, 12:01 PM
 
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Sometimes it helps to just remind yourself that choosing whether or not to circumcise is a one-time decision, made at a very vulnerable time, that is heavily influenced by the culture. It's something that's taboo, so most people don't even want to think about it. Remembering that helps me not judge parents around me who have done it.

As for feeling prejudiced against certain groups...If that happens, maybe it's a good time to send a check to NOCIRC and take a break from internet intactivism for a while. That's what I have done in the past when I felt myself headed in that direction.
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#6 of 47 Old 10-20-2007, 04:07 PM
 
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when I am thinking about this, I try to do this as a coping mechanism:

There are 2 groups of people in America, those w/ their head up their arss, and those who are more educated on the subjct of male genital cutting/torture.

I don't care how many degrees you have, or how friggin popular you are, or how sweet you are, if 'you' subjected "your kid" to genital cutting as an infant (without serious regrets) I can only get so close to you.

I can lightly socialize with, exchange pleasantries, be civil/cordial, and even "tolerate" 'you' to some degree, BUT if you elected to cut your baby up, without serious remorse, I WILL NEVER be your good buddy!

it works for me.
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#7 of 47 Old 10-20-2007, 10:24 PM
 
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This is a great thread because this has been on my mind lately too. I have some people I work for (i am a nanny) that have circ'd and I have become really good friends with. I think they are great parents but now I am haunted about the fact that they circ'd their child. It's hard because its not really a "polite" thing to talk about. KWIM?

Jenna in love with my DH Jon, loving our 2.5 year old, Caroline Tulip, and expecting another little one in August!
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#8 of 47 Old 10-20-2007, 10:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kldliam View Post
when I am thinking about this, I try to do this as a coping mechanism:

There are 2 groups of people in America, those w/ their head up their arss, and those who are more educated on the subjct of male genital cutting/torture.

I don't care how many degrees you have, or how friggin popular you are, or how sweet you are, if 'you' subjected "your kid" to genital cutting as an infant (without serious regrets) I can only get so close to you.

I can lightly socialize with, exchange pleasantries, be civil/cordial, and even "tolerate" 'you' to some degree, BUT if you elected to cut your baby up, without serious remorse, I WILL NEVER be your good buddy!

it works for me.
:
Totally agree. I find that as I get older (I'm 41) I just don't tolerate stupidity as well - and I don't care as much if someone doesn't like me! I will not compromise my core values to fit in, and I get to choose who shares my life!
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#9 of 47 Old 10-20-2007, 11:47 PM
 
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I have those feelings at times too- same thing for crying it out and not breastfeeding-just-because-i-don't-want-to. I try to remember that many people just truly do not know better. They may have received poor information from their parents or their doctors or other people that they respect. Many people do not understand what actual circumsicion is.
Very few people are actually evil or don't care if their baby feels pain. I really think they just don't understand the reality.
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#10 of 47 Old 10-21-2007, 01:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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That's just prejudice. A lot of the posters on this board are American, yet would never mutilate their baby simply because he's a boy.
Trust me I am intimately aquainted with the people making assumptions about Americans. I am American by birth but lived overseas for a long time. Most people met me and treated me without prejudice as a person, not a nationality, but some people made great assumptions about who I was, what my thoughts were, and what I'd done.

But since I didn't really know what circ. was until I moved back I guess I never got the cultural blinders to accept it as ok. I feel ok judging a person as an indivdual but hate to paint a whole culture with an the same brush.

I guess it does help me a bit to think that within even the most hardcore circ'ing groups there are some who refuse. I guess it would just help if I met one in my own life. In the meantime I will just hope those who I know will circ their boys get pregnant with girls!
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#11 of 47 Old 10-21-2007, 01:50 AM
 
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I guess it does help me a bit to think that within even the most hardcore circ'ing groups there are some who refuse. I guess it would just help if I met one in my own life. In the meantime I will just hope those who I know will circ their boys get pregnant with girls!
I hear you! The most hardcore anti-circ person I know IRL (as opposed to the rest who just think its freakish and cruel, and one who couldn't find a doc to cut ) is one who had her son circed for religious reasons and regards it as her biggest regret in life. She restores my faith in human nature.
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#12 of 47 Old 10-21-2007, 03:12 AM
 
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I don't care how many degrees you have, or how friggin popular you are, or how sweet you are, if 'you' subjected "your kid" to genital cutting as an infant (without serious regrets) I can only get so close to you.
Since RIC was almost universal thirty or forty years ago, does that mean giving the cold shoulder to all senior citizens who ever had children?
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#13 of 47 Old 10-21-2007, 10:15 AM
 
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Since RIC was almost universal thirty or forty years ago, does that mean giving the cold shoulder to all senior citizens who ever had children?

It might help to think that many of the circumcisions done 30, 40, 50 years ago were done without parental consent. They truly didn't know what they were doing.
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#14 of 47 Old 10-21-2007, 04:48 PM
 
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True. My mom is 82 and a nurse. There was no consent then. Plus she was taught that it was medically necessary and that infants don't feel pain! So she didn't do it to shape her sons' penises the way she wanted, she allowed it because she felt it was necessary for them to have a healthy life. BUT, my father is intact. He allowed it as well, though he has always believed the purpose of circ is to dampen a man's libido. But he allowed it. On the other hand, the circ rate when my brothers were born was 95%, so they might have had a hard time with a foreskin, I just don't know. The point is, my mom had good intentions then. She deeply regrets it now and is a vocal intactivist.
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#15 of 47 Old 10-21-2007, 05:40 PM
 
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It bugs me that lots of people don't get educated about *anything* and turn off their brains when critical thinking is required of them. It's so much easier to just find an authority that already agrees with your world view, right? I'm sad that some people are surrounded by so much cruelty and so little respect for other human beings and they choose to perpetuate that culture rather than be kind and gentle. But I guess I don't feel a lot of anger at people who circumcised out of ignorance. The people who defend it, or talk it up, well, they can all go ... away.

Mom to DD ('06) and DS ('08)
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#16 of 47 Old 10-22-2007, 04:00 PM
 
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Thank you for posting this. I have found myself from time to time also making gross generalizations about certain cultures based on their circumcising traditions. I appreciate all the suggestions pp's have made. The one that hits home the hardest, however, is remembering the "ugly American" stereotype. I don't want anyone to presume things about me just because of my nationality, so I need to be careful to extend the same courtesy.

Thanks again for the gentle reminder!
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#17 of 47 Old 10-22-2007, 04:02 PM
 
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I think some people defend it because they had it done to their sons. Imagine finding out what RIC was really like (for the baby, that is) many years after your own DS's were circed, with or without your consent, and it was too late to do anything about it. A lot of denial and defensiveness might be understandable.
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#18 of 47 Old 10-22-2007, 06:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kldliam View Post
when I am thinking about this, I try to do this as a coping mechanism:

There are 2 groups of people in America, those w/ their head up their arss, and those who are more educated on the subjct of male genital cutting/torture.

I don't care how many degrees you have, or how friggin popular you are, or how sweet you are, if 'you' subjected "your kid" to genital cutting as an infant (without serious regrets) I can only get so close to you.

I can lightly socialize with, exchange pleasantries, be civil/cordial, and even "tolerate" 'you' to some degree, BUT if you elected to cut your baby up, without serious remorse, I WILL NEVER be your good buddy!

it works for me.
I lean towards this way as well. I do think cultures that cut babies/children(perform RIC) are lacking something and that aspect of our/their culture needs to be harshly judged and discussed with the horror and disgust it deserves (then maybe this sh!t will end).

OUR DAUGHTERS ARE PROTECTED SHOULDN'T OUR SONS BE TOO! :
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#19 of 47 Old 10-22-2007, 06:26 PM
 
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Judging cultures that circumcise their daughters is always ok, but judging cultures that circumcise their boys isn't. *sigh*......
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#20 of 47 Old 10-22-2007, 06:32 PM
 
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Judging cultures that circumcise their daughters is always ok, but judging cultures that circumcise their boys isn't. *sigh*......

Yeah, I know and it makes me sick. I can only imagine the reaction parents would get here (US) if they said they were going to circ their daughter, I'm almost certain they would be openely judged and the reactions would be ones of disgust. Oh and then of course the police and/or DSS would be called.

It does make it easier to judge though when you or those you know haven't actually done the said atrocity.

OUR DAUGHTERS ARE PROTECTED SHOULDN'T OUR SONS BE TOO! :
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#21 of 47 Old 10-22-2007, 10:50 PM
 
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Judging cultures that circumcise their daughters is always ok, but judging cultures that circumcise their boys isn't. *sigh*......
No, Papai, it's NEVER OK to judge a person based on your assumption that they do what their culture traditionally does. Or can I condemn you for being rabidly pro-circ and cutting baby boys so their penis looks erect 100% of the time, simply because you're American?
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#22 of 47 Old 10-22-2007, 11:09 PM
 
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This is such a stressful topic. : I try to give people in general the benefit of the doubt. I was talking to this woman recently whose husband is intact and they decided to circumcise because the dad had lots of locker room troubles when he was younger. I was so hoping she didn't circumcise because I like her. She seems informed but talked about the whole "up to the parents" excuse that I just don't understand. It's hard not to expect it out of everyone around me because I don't know anyone whose little boy isn't circed. I don't know, I feel like I had a point I was going to make but I am pooped. I am going to hug my kids and put them to bed and think about it all.
When my husband told my MIL we weren't going to circ she went off and started arguing with my husband. When he obviously wouldn't budge she then followed me into the house and in my bedroom and started yelling at me as if she was going to convince me to circ that way. : Ridiculous.
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#23 of 47 Old 10-23-2007, 02:10 AM
 
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No, Papai, it's NEVER OK to judge a person based on your assumption that they do what their culture traditionally does. Or can I condemn you for being rabidly pro-circ and cutting baby boys so their penis looks erect 100% of the time, simply because you're American?
:
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#24 of 47 Old 10-23-2007, 02:13 AM
 
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No, Papai, it's NEVER OK to judge a person based on your assumption that they do what their culture traditionally does. Or can I condemn you for being rabidly pro-circ and cutting baby boys so their penis looks erect 100% of the time, simply because you're American?
Tell that to all the people who call female circ grotesque and barbaric but claim male circ is a perfectly valid parental choice.

It's not me who makes that distinction.

I was just pointing out that the majority of people have no problem condeming cultures, like Egypt, that circ their girls.
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#25 of 47 Old 10-23-2007, 02:32 AM
 
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Tell that all the people who call female circ grotesque and barbaric but claim male circ is a perfectly valid parental choice.

It's not me who makes that distinction.

I was just pointing out that the majority of people have no problem condeming cultures, like Egypt, that circ their girls.
I think we all agree here.

Plenty of people will harshly judge FGM cultures and not MGM cultures.

ALL cultures that mutilate should be judged harshly, but individuals from those cultures should not be judged based on that aspect of their culture alone. People are not stereotypes. Just because a person is American (a culture that practices MGM) does not mean that they themselves practice it.
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#26 of 47 Old 10-23-2007, 06:46 AM
 
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I think we all agree here.

Plenty of people will harshly judge FGM cultures and not MGM cultures.

ALL cultures that mutilate should be judged harshly, but individuals from those cultures should not be judged based on that aspect of their culture alone. People are not stereotypes. Just because a person is American (a culture that practices MGM) does not mean that they themselves practice it.
I know that.

Doesn't stop me thinking that they do though. I just cannot look at an American any more without feeling pity for the men and contempt for the women, thinking that either they are circ'd or are going to do it to a cute, innocent little baby. I know that's unfair, but that's how I feel. I hear an American accent and it makes me feel slightly sick, I guess that's a learned response from the debate boards, sorry, I can't help it. :
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#27 of 47 Old 10-23-2007, 08:49 AM
 
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I know that.

Doesn't stop me thinking that they do though. I just cannot look at an American any more without feeling pity for the men and contempt for the women, thinking that either they are circ'd or are going to do it to a cute, innocent little baby. I know that's unfair, but that's how I feel. I hear an American accent and it makes me feel slightly sick, I guess that's a learned response from the debate boards, sorry, I can't help it. :
:
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#28 of 47 Old 10-23-2007, 12:19 PM
 
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I know that.

Doesn't stop me thinking that they do though. I just cannot look at an American any more without feeling pity for the men and contempt for the women, thinking that either they are circ'd or are going to do it to a cute, innocent little baby. I know that's unfair, but that's how I feel. I hear an American accent and it makes me feel slightly sick, I guess that's a learned response from the debate boards, sorry, I can't help it. :
I feel that way too, and I'm American.
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#29 of 47 Old 10-23-2007, 01:17 PM
 
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The thought has crossed my mind as well, that our culture as a whole accepts circumcision and has their "blinders" on so to speak, though I don't judge individuals becuase it is likely that are simply uninformed. There was a time I didn't see what the big deal with circumcision was either. I finally came to a place in my life where I was able to "see" the truth of it. Everyone gets to that "place" at different times in their life. I try to practice patience and compassion. Still, as with circumcision, I try to practice patience and compassion even on this issue. Most folks, even when making horrific decisions are not inherently evil or cruel. They are uninformed, under pressure, scared, etc, but typically not willfully cruel. I just pray and try to remain compassionate.

:
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#30 of 47 Old 10-23-2007, 01:20 PM
 
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The thought has crossed my mind as well, that our culture as a whole accepts circumcision and has their "blinders" on so to speak, though I don't judge individuals becuase it is likely that are simply uninformed. There was a time I didn't see what the big deal with circumcision was either. I finally came to a place in my life where I was able to "see" the truth of it. Everyone gets to that "place" at different times in their life. I try to practice patience and compassion. I have the same issues with abortion in this country. It is amazing to me that our government allows us to legally kill our own children while they are still in the womb. If you think circumcision hurts, can you imagine how it feels to be aborted! Still, as with circumcision, I try to practice patience and compassion even on this issue. Most folks, even when making horrific decisions are not inherently evil or cruel. They are uninformed, under pressure, scared, etc, but typically not willfully cruel. I just pray and try to remain compassionate.
*applauds*
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