Do boys ask? - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-09-2003, 05:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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How many moms/dads out there have had a son ask about the state of his penis, be it intact or cut? What sparked the boy's question (i.e. did he see his brother's?)? How did you respond?

I had this evil thought... the friends who very knowingly had their son cut when a friend, a doula, and 2 peds told them not to... will their son ever ask? And what could they possibly say? My evil mind wanted to see them stumble through their explination.

Then I wondered if my DS would ever ask why he's intact. And the responses I have for him, although very true, make any mom who chose circ seem like a horrible person. "I loved you the way you were" implies other moms don't love their sons; "God gave it to you and I didn't feel I had the right to take it away" implies other moms didn't care what God did and did feel the right to take it away...

Just my ramblings when I should be asleep. Thanks for your thought.
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Old 09-09-2003, 03:55 PM
 
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I'll tell ya, I've had those evil thoughts as well, out of frustration at the fact that eventhough there is oodles and oodles of information out there that this is not only unnecessary but harmful, friends of mine still chose to do it because "It was important to Daddy".:Puke

While I would never hesitate to speak up in front of the parents, children are a different matter. It isn't their fault that their parents did this to them. But on the other hand, I would never lie to my son either. I haven't had to explain this yet but I was thinking something along the lines of explaining why we didn't do it ie painful, no reason to and if he asks why Johnny down the street has it done then say something like "I don't know, he will have to ask his parents why." This way it takes the responsibility off your shoulders and puts it square where it should be, on the parents who cut their sons. It should be up to them to justify to their children the choice they made on their behalf.

Here are a couple of articles that might help you in the future,
http://www.tornwing.com/peacefulbegi...letforboys.htm
http://www.tornwing.com/peacefulbegi...ersforboys.htm

Take care,
Tara

Tara Momma to Callum and Gavin
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Old 09-09-2003, 04:35 PM
 
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My first will be five in November, and my second is 17 months. Ds1 is circ'd, ds2 is not. Ds1 asked why ds2's penis looked different from his, but he's never asked WHY he is missing the foreskin, or why we had him cut and not ds2.

When the time comes, though, we'll be honest and deal with his anger, frustration, fury, acceptance--whatever. We will explain why we had him circ'd, our ambivalence at the time, why we had it done, and how we learned from it and chose to keep ds2 intact. I would pay for foreskin restoration if he would so desire it.

For those who want a nonjudgmental response for their intact boys, my thought is: "We thought that it was your body and that if you ever wanted to be circumcised in the future, *you* could make that decision when you were older." I really, really wish someone had framed the issue to me this way when we were "educating" : ourselves about circumcision with ds1 and asking drs, nurses, etc.

A little T

On the education front--and I know this has been heavily discussed here--DH and I are highly educated professionals who lived in a major urban area (Boston) with a very liberal population. We thought we were getting progressive, medically appropriate information when we read "What to Expect When You're Expecting" and attending hospital-led childbirth, breastfeeding, and baby care classes. I had no idea that there was an entirely alternate way of viewing pregnancy, childbirth, babies and parenthood until AFTER I made mistakes or found myself dissatisfied with the way things were going.

Just because we find ourselves ensconced in an AP way of thinking, and have ready access to information about bfing, intactness, family bed, etc. doesn't mean that it's culturally on the radar screen for everyone. It's hard for me to describe this, but basically we asked for childbirth/parenting advice from doctors and nurses because that's who we thought were the "experts". I stopped nursing at 10 months with ds1 because I had already passed 6 months, which was longer than anyone I knew had ever breastfed, and because the constant biting was killling me. It wasn't even on my radar screen to consider exclusive pumping to continue supplying him with breastmilk, to call LLL, etc. Just like I assumed "WTEWYE" was the be-all-end-all (oh, yeah--the other main book was Vicki Iovine's "Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy").

So when drs told me they used anesthesia, that penile cancer rates DOUBLE for men who are left intact (yeah, from 2 in a million to 4 in a million : ), that ds1 could have been psychologically harmed by being "different" from Daddy, and when the receptionist at the OB/GYN told us a horrible story about a 28 yo friend who was circ'd and his pain and misery and his wish it had been done at infancy--well, at those moments, those WERE our cultural guides through the morass of circumcision.

It took being a parent and being my son's advocate to realize how full of sh!t so many of these "experts" were. It's like realizing your parents aren't perfect, or understanding that teachers aren't god. It took going through it to come out of it searching for better information.

I don't have any answers--I just wish I could think back to myself as a first time pregnant woman and come up with something that would have broken through that whole web of cultural information, referral, and expectation.

And I think of this when I imagine Ben asking me why we told a doctor to cut off part of his penis for absolutely no good reason.

Mel
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Old 09-09-2003, 06:45 PM
 
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Mel, I think your post should be required reading on this board. I see so much judgmentalism (is that a word?) on this board, and I will confess I am guilty of being judgmental myself, about this and other issues, such as breastfeeding.

Yet I read your post and I think, there but for the grace of God go I...my dad was circed, my dh is circed, every man I slept with before dh was circed, I think I've seen an intact penis in the flesh maybe once in my life. I always assumed a circed penis was cleaner, etc. and so forth. I don't think it was until I got pregnant with ds and came across Mothering's book on natural parenting (and happened on these boards and this forum) that I became educated about the tragedy of RIC in this country. And I'd known about FGM in Africa and other places for years, and hadn't made the connection! Had it been a few months later that I discovered Mothering, my son might have been circed.

I know for a fact one SIL has circed her son and I'm guessing the other SIL with a son has too; when I brought it up at Thanksgiving to the third (as yet childless) SIL she gave me this incredulous look as if to wonder how I could be so uncouth and crass to mention the subject. So I don't have high hopes for any sons she has, either. And these are all educated, professional families (in Boston). I am so used to the AP world here at MDC that I forget what it's really like out there in the mainstream.

Anyway, this is all pretty T but I do think we need to remember to have compassion in the midst of our passion.

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Old 09-09-2003, 08:06 PM
 
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I don't think it matters whether they are intact or circumcised, they are going to ask. The simple fact that there are some that are different than the way your son is brings the question from both. The question will be there whether it is verbalized or kept rolling around in his mind and never getting out. I think I would much rather explain why another boy has had part of his penis cut off than try to explain to my own son why I cut off part of his.

This is a subject that is getting a lot of media time and tremendous play on the internet. There is no possible way that you are going to be able to prevent a son from learning about it. With all of the publicity and research showing sexual damage so easily available, I think you would have to be a lunatic to circumcise a son in this day and age. It is almost a certainty that he is going to question that decision.


Jane:

The reason circumcision has survived all of these years is because it was a taboo subject in "polite" conversation, just as your SIL has indicated. By keeping it under cover and secretive, parents aren't signaled to question it and men are not allowed to talk about it. It's a dirty little secret we keep carefully hidden from public view. I'm glad it is finally seeing the bright and shinning light of truth.




Frank
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Old 09-09-2003, 08:26 PM
 
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It's an interesting question if boys ask, I remember asking the mom when I was a teen when I saw my first intact little boy. Just a question out of curiosity, so it makes sense that boys would ask too.

If it was my child that was asking why they were intact and another child wasn't I would be honest ( in an age appropriate way). I probably would say that I feel that our bodies are born perfect the way they are. If that implys in a round about way that someone who circed didn't feel that way so be it. I personally think that circumcision is wrong in all cases except some freak "medical need" (whatever that could be). I want my children to know that they are born perfect, and just as those who believe in circing want to perpetuate it, I want to perpetuate intactness.

I will not compromise the future intactness of my grandchildren ect by acting like circing is a "personal choice" or that it is ok if the reason is good enough.
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Old 09-09-2003, 09:11 PM
 
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circumcision is wrong in all cases except some freak "medical need" (whatever that could be)
You can always tell your intact son you left it incase he ever needed a new eye lid

My son, 5, has never asked, but has not had much opportunity to see other penii. My daughter, 7, has asked on occasion, after seeing a cousin's diaper changed. I am still not comfortable talking to her about it, for fear of offending the parent who circumcised (though there are those who SHOULD be offended & forced to think). I always frame my answers in why *WE* made the decisions we made, other families decide for themselves. I don't hedge on the pain involved (I've used the term *mutilation*) and the lengths some governments go to to make sure this doesn't happen to *girls.*

I'd love to hear the boys' talk after asking their parents about their penii! I knew a man once who showed me his circ scar and told me *look what my mother did to me* and I bet she would have told him it was his father's decision or that it was important for him to look like his father ~ she still gets the blame for not protecting him.

~diana

~diana google me: hahamommy. Unschooling Supermama to Hayden :Super Cool Girlfriend to Scotty . Former wife to Mitch & former mama to Hannahbear
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Old 09-09-2003, 10:33 PM
 
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I come from a very bnt /crude family on my Mom's side, not surprisingly, they are mostly VERY ignorant people in many ways. So if DD ever asks why a baby's penis lloks diff. from her brothers (note isaid baby) and they were in my presence, I'd respond in their language "The ychopped part of it off". (Hey, at least I left the D word they'd use out!! I mean, my Aunt screamed in horror when she saw 2 month old DS naked-because he was/is *GASP* intact!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How could I?!?!

Anyway, IRL I have explained circ. to 6yo DD, she was freaked out that people do that. Dh is too intact so her lil eyes have only seen that...peeing. Poor thing...lol
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Old 09-09-2003, 10:48 PM
 
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Okay. I Just Gotta Ask. What is "bnt/crude"?
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Old 09-10-2003, 01:18 AM
 
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i think she might hav a funky keyboard lik mine that skips letters and bunt is BLUNT... just my guess.

I recently saw a book on puberty for boys, something like "What is happening to my body?" but I don't rememebr the title right now- I might have evn written about this here already. I checked what they said about circumcision... they had a very basic diagram showing intact and circumcised and some very basic explanation, "The foreskinis a fold of skin that covers the..."

Anyway- the text was not the AMAZING part of the book... it was what came next... about ten blank lines!!!

It suggested that if you don't know if you are circumcised you can ask your parents and even if you DO know, you can ask them about why you were circumcised and write about it here....

OMG... they are telling boys to ask their parents and think about their feelings about the part of their penis which is gone!!!



Lastly- gurumama- I loved reading your post, it saddns me to think that you were not getting more alternative info in that region of the country- I went to HS in western MA, and I had my first experience in AP parenting with a homebirthing/ co sleeping/ breastfeeding neighbor...she was such an influence for me and the future of my parenting... that was back in the mid 80s... and I still think that everyone up there is crunchy and in the know... I guess I had a very skewed idea of what parenting was because she was such a shining star filling up my worldview. I wish that every woman had a relative or friend in their life who could do such a great job of teaching by example as that lady did for me.

Anyway... your reply you configured for an intact boy... it might be difficult to see it this way- but I would like to urge you to keep thinking about it- the quote you came up with "We thought that it was your body and that if you ever wanted to be circumcised in the future, *you* could make that decision when you were older." is actually very pro-circ, anti-man comment. i know that it was not intended that way, but even in subtle hues, the message is- "This part of your body is garbage, it is disposable and it is normal to cut it off yourself, we just didn't think we should shoulder the responsibility of doing it for you... it's your job."

there are other ways to communicate the respect you are intending without an imbedded suggestion that self mutilation is reasonable or acceptable in your family values. You can communicate a different level of respect by saying how much you value his genital integrity and that his body is PERFECT AND BEAUTIFUL JUST THE WAY IT IS. And then just leave it at that. You don't have to offer him the option that his own genital mutiltion is an expected decision he needs to mull over. If he wants to go down that road, he can walk there alone... you don't have to pave the path for him.

How would you have felt if your father had told you that you have your clitoris becuse he thought that you deserved to have the option to cut it off yourself if you wanted to when you were older. What does that say about what your father thinks about your clitoris?

Love Sarah

Has everyone seen the Lisa Bisque essay on Raising Intactivsts?

http://www.sexuallymutilatedchild.org/bisque.htm
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Old 09-10-2003, 04:21 AM
 
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Oh that sounds like a great book!
I'm so angry at not being able to find childrens books that only show whole, intact, natural genitals.
I'd even accapt it if they did show circumcised, but with an accurate description of circumcision and it's effects.
"It's Perfectly Normal" showed both side by side, but then said, "Both are completely normal."
Circumcision may be the 'norm' in some circles but there's nothing 'complete' about that penis!
And then to refer to it as 'removing a flap of skin' makes it sound like a manicure.
I figure I'll have to go to some other country to get some good, appropriate books that won't give my husband and son 'chills' when read.
DD is 5 and has never seen a circumcised penis, either.
DS will be mortified in another 10 years to learn how she helps at diaper changes and admires his "cute little penis"!
The question is, how to empathically explain it all if she ever does see a circumcised child.
I think we'll handle it like Santa Claus--we'll discuss it truthfully, but explain that some families like to pretend and those children would be very sad if we told them.
We'll cross that bridge when. . .
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Old 09-10-2003, 04:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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This is a subject that is getting a lot of media time and tremendous play on the internet. There is no possible way that you are going to be able to prevent a son from learning about it. With all of the publicity and research showing sexual damage so easily available, I think you would have to be a lunatic to circumcise a son in this day and age. It is almost a certainty that he is going to question that decision.
I don't think it's getting enough time though. If I hadn't actually gone to the effort, I would have never know. And the sad fact is many people believe their doctors to be gods and don't think ... well, I could just leave it at that.. don't think that they have the right to question the white coat. I assure you my doctor didn't give a flying frog's fanny about my son's foreskin. And I wouldn't want my son to remain ignorant of the battle at hand here. I want him to know that I left him as he was because it was the right thing to do and I expect him to do the same to my grandchildren.

Quote:
I think we'll handle it like Santa Claus--we'll discuss it truthfully, but explain that some families like to pretend and those children would be very sad if we told them.
That's an interesting idea. I like that. In the instance I started with (my evil brain being what it is), they *are* pretending. "Sons *do* care about looking like fathers; penis's *are* dirty; I *do* have the right to chop off his foreskin." They have to know in their heart of hearts that none of that is true.
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Old 09-10-2003, 08:49 AM
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Anyone looking for 'normal' books with uncircs being the norm, head over to www.amazon.co.uk, circing is totally not the norm in Britain, I am 22 and have NEVER seen a circed penis. Any biology book therefore would have intact penises.

I really couldn't believe my eyes when I stumbled on this board, I had NO idea that it was so normal in America, I actually think (and I'm sure almost all of my friends agree) that unless for religious reasons then parents who just get their kids circed for no apparent reason are the freaks, not the ones who leave their little boys intact!

Lil

PS I still have no idea whatsoever either what a circed penis looks like, or how it works or anything, what bit they cut off, anything like that (Just can't imagine it...seems so strange!). And I think I would like to stay that way.
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Old 09-10-2003, 09:37 AM
 
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Lil:

Circumcision was and still is so pervasive here that most people can not understand your moral outrage. However, the message is becoming more apparent all of the time. We appreciate your message from "accross the pond" showing how the rest of the world thinks about our dirty little secret.

You must also realize that infant circumcision was once quite common in your country as well and a majority of men 50 and older in Britian are circumcised. I congratulate the Brits for wising up long before us. Please help us by registering your moral outrage at what is happening here at every opportunity.



Thanks,
Frank
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Old 09-10-2003, 10:21 AM
 
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I have an intact son and 2 intact dds. Ds was my third child. I shudder to think what would have happened to his penis if he would've been my first.

I also lived in Boston during the pregnancy and birth of my first dd. Almost 18 yrs ago, if that is any excuse. I knew I was going to breastfeed and that's about it. I didn't want any ultrasounds, but carried high so "they" thought one was medically neddessary. I went along. I didn't want them to use the doptone, but my ("good" )OB didn't know how to listen with a fetoscope, so I went along.

I took hospital birthing classes, with theri emphasis on all the interventions to expect. After I got too big for regular aerobics classes (3rd trimester), I started taking pregnancy exercise classes at Elizabeth Noble's Mother and Child Health Center, just down Mass Ave. I started to get an inkling that there was a different way to approach birth than I knew about, but it was too late to change, or so I thought.

I ended up with an unneccessary surgical birth.

I also made an effort to make Dr Ferber's CIO techniques work for us. It was horrible.

I weaned that poor baby at 2 1/2 yrs, even tho she cried to nurse until she was 7 yo. (After I weaned her, we finally started co-sleeping!)

Long-winded to story to say, I try not to judge anyone for their parenting mistakes, b/c goddess knows, I have made a bunch.

Luckily, I found LLL when dd was 3 months old. I got a subscription to Mothering magazine, ironically, from the same friend who reced the (not so) good OB and Dr Ferber's book and LLL.

One way or another I ended up with 2 VBACs and no vaxes and no circ for my ds. But it took a while. I guess I was stubborn. I sure was ignorant. Mothering is a journey. When we know better, we do better.
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Old 09-10-2003, 10:40 AM
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Originally posted by Frankly Speaking
Lil:

You must also realize that infant circumcision was once quite common in your country as well and a majority of men 50 and older in Britian are circumcised. I congratulate the Brits for wising up long before us. Please help us by registering your moral outrage at what is happening here at every opportunity.

Thanks,
Frank
Wow!! I did not know this! This has shocked me. It just seems so unbelievable. For me aswell even religious circing is seen as weird and barbaric by the majority of people, and I just didn't know that this was new for us. Glad people have seen sense though!

I would certainly have a LOT to say if ever any of my friends even contemplated it. I just can't get over how so many people see it as 'normal', we regularly hear about how cruel, barbaric and disgusting it is that female ciring is practised in some parts of Africa, so it goes with it that male circing is just as cruel for me, I can't believe anyone else sees it any differently!

Lil
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Old 09-10-2003, 01:54 PM
 
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Lil:

The fact is, circumcision was common in all of the English speaking countries. That also includes Australia, New Zealand and Canada. The current rates are less than 10% in Australia, less than 5% in New Zealand, 17% in Canada and less than 2% in GB. All of them were majority circumcising countries at one time and there are several generations of men who bear the scars. It seemed to have started in the US around the 1870's and was quickly exported. Luckily, it didn't catch on as well overseas and the devastation of WWII was instrumental in ending it in GB. We are using your example and learning from it. Unfortunately, the learning process is slow and painful.




Frank
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Old 09-10-2003, 09:17 PM
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Originally posted by gurumama


For those who want a nonjudgmental response for their intact boys, my thought is: "We thought that it was your body and that if you ever wanted to be circumcised in the future, *you* could make that decision when you were older."


As the mother of an intact son, this answer just isn't satisfying to me. First of all, after I've saved his foreskin, there's no way in h*ll I'm letting him cut it off!!! I don't even want to present it to him as a choice. (Parents shouldn't have the "choice" to circ, either, but that's sort of OT).


If/when my son asks why he is intact, I will say one of the two following things (I'm still deciding which one).

"I left you just the way you were--perfect."

OR.......... "No one has a right to cut any part of your body for no medical reason. "

I live in a state with a high circ rate and I want him to KNOW why he looks different (in case that dreaded "locker room" scenario ever does happen.) I'm also planning on taking him to Washington D.C. when he is older for "Genital Integrity Week." I want him to grow up being an intactivist. (And yes, Sarah, the article you recommended helped shape my thinking on that.)
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Old 09-10-2003, 11:54 PM
 
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I am glad you found out about the English history of circumcision. The history is very interesting, I don' know if you can get the book over there- but "The History of Circumcision" by David Gollaher is really fascinating. Also there is an article on CIRP that will help out.
http://www.cirp.org/library/history/gollaher/

I guess I just want to encourage you to spread the word among your peers... I have encountered some attitudes online from overseas that took a really arrogant attitude of "That is so disgusting and barbaric, I don't know what is wrong with you people." Well, although I kind of feel the same way- I wish that Americans could get a more compassionate and helpful encouragemnt from the Brits.

Info like... "My dad was intact and his dad was circumcised and there were no isues at all with them not looking alike... it's non issue, don't worry about it."

or

"My circumcised grandpa didn't have any trouble raising an intact boy, he didn't need to "teach" him anything."

or

"Our culture went from embracing circumcision to totally rejecting it and FORGETING that we ever had embraced it- within a single generation... circumcision does not have a very deep hold on culture. Your culture is your culture, and when you stop cutting a baby's penis- it is gone out of the next generation. Circumcision is not culture."

The British people were very lucky in that they had a national health care system that basicly took the reins and aid, "Our nation will not be circumcising anymore unless absolutley needed."

This 1949 article was the one that did it.
http://www.cirp.org/library/general/gairdner/

If that hadn't happened, or worse- if the system had decided to implement universal circumcision (something that both of our countries have gotten dangerously close to)... you would probably have the same or higher circumcision rate that we have here.

Jonathan Hutchinson was the PRESIDENT of the Royal College of Surgeons... well

"Hutchinson is hard to beat when it comes to presidencies: president of the Pathological Society 1879-1880, president of the Ophthalmological Society of Great Britain 1884-1885, president of the Royal College of Surgeons 1889, president of the Neurological Society 1887, president of the Medical Society of London 1892, President of the Royal Medical and Chirurgical Society 1894-1896, and president of the International Dermatological Congress 1896. He was knighted for distinguished service to medicine when aged 80 years, in 1908."

Want to know what he said?

1891"Measures more radical than circumcision would, if public opinion permitted their adoption, be a true kindness to patients of both sexes."
Jonathan Hutchinson, On Circumcision as Preventative of Masturbation, Archives of Surgery, vol. 2 (1891): pp. 267-268.




Since there is no national health care system in our (US)immediate future- we could really use all the help we could get.

Really the "one" moment of my life more than anything else that made me an intactivist was once with a British lover I made a complimentary comment and he looked at me blankly not really understanding what I meant. I tried to clarify- "All my American boyfriends were circumcised." "WHAT ARE THEY ALL JEWS?" was his horrified reaction blood draining form his face reply... being a Jew was the only reason why he could imagine a man would be circumcised... "No, they just do it to all the babies here." He was horrified. It was the first time I saw a "normal" reaction to the horror of what we were doing here... not the reaction of a culture in shock, denial and helpless acceptance, I saw the real reaction of a person who had no reason to accept or pretend that it was OK. I knew about sex, I knew about art history, I knew about respecting a man... but I didn't know about the cultural trap we are in because we can not see ourselves for what we are doing. We need help. When I saw what a normal reaction looks like, I understood what a state of shock we are in.

How could an adult man not know about the situation facing the male babies in the USA? How could he also no know about how close he came (within 15 years) to being on the other side of the trend ended with the Gairdner paper.

Someone has got to tell the world that our babies need help because our parents are in shock. We need help to show us that we can get out of it. British guys have to speak up, say they don't have "problems" and "infections" and that they can get blow jobs and dates, and wear rubbers, and do any of the things a circumcised guy can do- and MORE. Liz Hurley has to open her sexy well paid mouth and say, "I don't think that cutting baby is a sexy thing to do."

(lol... so will you tell Liz the next time you see her!!!)

Someone over there should *out* the circumfetishist club from London who promotes circumcision to American Parents- "The Gilgal Society" Someone has got to find out about who is running their group and WHY. In the wake of the terrible tragedy of the boy in Ireland... how about some public outcry to expose these pedophile freaks who parade as medical advisors who make erotica out of the manipulation of parents and the cutting of heir children?

How about the Dutch manufacturer of diposable circumcision clamps "smartklamp" marketed to third world and muslim nations... Why does the Dutch website feature only smiling faces of children with dark skin? Where are the Dutch children? Why do Dutch people tolerate this?

How come the people of non-circumcising nations are not more helpful? Mostly, it's because i think they don't know. so let's speak up.

My mom was in Costa Rica and met a woman, from England, married to a German, she mentioned to the woman I was an anti-circumcision activist and the woman replied, "Oh yes, in Africa, the women, that's terrible." and my mother said... "No, in the USA, for our boys."

What about skin creams made with human foreskin? Are they approved in the UK yet? Have they gotten any press? Do British men know that this is going on?
http://westorg.org/nl/featured_artic...lN_042203.html

I know thatt there are a lot of animal rights activists in England. Do they know that the "PC" alternative to animal testing is to test on skin product of engineered skin made from human foreskins? That the suffering of rabbits has been replaced with the byproduct of unanesthatized mutiltion of human beings?

S.O.S.

tell your friends about the British history.

tell the men to speak out.

communicate with all the Americans you know.

Thanks for listening! I'm glad you know now.

Love Sarah
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Old 09-17-2003, 10:17 AM
 
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Originally posted by MelissaEvans
How many moms/dads out there have had a son ask about the state of his penis, be it intact or cut? What sparked the boy's question (i.e. did he see his brother's?)? How did you respond?

My oldest asked what circ was when I was pregnant with his brother. We were watching a video of a birth and circ was mentioned. Interestingly, ds was 9 at the time and while he'd noticed that he looked different from his dad and his male cousin, he never questioned it--just took it as a matter of fact.

When I told him what circ was, he was horrified and told me how glad he was that we hadn't had that done to him. He did ask why circ is done--I thought of saying that some people believe it's cleaner, or that some believe it looks better, but I didn't want to put the thought into his head that an intact penis might not be clean or that it's inferior to a circ'd penis, so I didn't phrase it that way. I was also hesitant to say anything too negative about the parents, as his aunt/uncle/grandparents all circ'd their boys.

(He came to his own opinion about parents who circ.)

I ended up telling him it was a "custom" but that it's harmful and there is no need to do it.

I wouldn't suggest it as a choice for him to make, any more than I'd suggest he has the choice to cut off his nose.

Single Mom to 3 (12, 17 & 21)  luxlove.gif and dog2.gif.

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Old 09-17-2003, 02:32 PM
 
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Let me clarify my earlier statement about how I'd explain circumcision to an intact son. I said:

"For those who want a nonjudgmental response for their intact boys, my thought is: "We thought that it was your body and that if you ever wanted to be circumcised in the future, *you* could make that decision when you were older."

And Sarah has given me some very thoughtful ideas about how this could been viewed, by the intact boy, as a backhanded way of implying that something's wrong with an intact penis. Thank you! I'd never thought of it that way.

But also, I'm coming from the perspective of having one circ'd son and one intact son, and in the back of my head I'm imagining this future conversation with both present, where I explain why circumcision isn't necessary (and explain why we did it to ds1) and try to explain how my ideas about bodily integrity changed over time. The IDEA I was fumbling to express above (but didn't do well, obviously) is the idea that it's the CHILD's body, and it's HIS choice to do (or not do) whatever he chooses with it.

But my phrasing was wrong and I see that now.

But mamajulie, you said:

"First of all, after I've saved his foreskin, there's no way in h*ll I'm letting him cut it off!!! "

That's his choice, isn't it? Isn't that what body integrity is about? Of COURSE you'll raise him with ideas about the naturalness of his body in intact form, and hopefully instill a sense of pride and love for who he is, as he is. But long-term, as an adult, he can make whatever choices he wishes--to pierce, to vasectomize, to whatever--to his body.

My regret with DS1 is that I robbed him of that choice.
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Old 09-17-2003, 04:52 PM
 
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In my experience YES they will ask. My son did, he is 14. My oldest 2 are circ'd, only because at that time there was no question do you want it, only being told when it would be done. MY last two, which includes a 15 mo old that the 14 y/o helps take care of he asked, why are Nick and Jake not circd.
I told him the truth, Josh(10) had problems, Nick was preemie and would have had to wait until 2-3 months then go under general anesthesia to do it. I had already decided no for him, because I learned more about it and my husband and I agreed no circ for him. The doctor even KNOWING we didnt want him done made sure he came to us and told us WHEN he could be done. I dont get why there is such a push for it, even when it includes general anesthesia!
My baby, after experience with Nick no way he was getting done NO QUESTION! The sad thing was he had to spend some time in the nursery, I was sitting with him and behind a curtain arms length behind me a baby was getting circ'd right there. I cried for the sweet thing.
OK I went way off topic didnt I sorry. My oldest asked after I explained why his brothers werent done, and I quote
"Then why did you do it to me? How you could have them cut me"
My only answer is I was young and didnt know better. I found it very sad!
I think the more boys who are circ'd are exposed to more who arent the questions will come more often!
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Old 09-19-2003, 02:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I dont get why there is such a push for it, even when it includes general anesthesia!
My guess: $$$ =(
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