Was I being petty? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
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The Case Against Circumcision > Was I being petty?
Microsoap's Avatar Microsoap 11:28 PM 05-17-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by jwhispers View Post
When I think about it, is it any different from no longer supporting charities that might try to start mutilating children in Africa with donations? There are charities I don't think I would be giving money too because they intend to direct the money to circumcision. Is that being petty?

I understand how people feel this is directed at the child but I am not sure I can call it petty. I might consider the parents of the child selfish since they wasted what little money they had on something the child didn't need. Something that perhaps the father wanted done to the child so that he looked like him.

I can see this from both perspectives but at the end of the day I think I would come down on the side of the OP.
I came across this situation this evening. I was at the Dell.ca website and at the add-ons section, a list of printers. One printer choice said that $5 goes towards the fight for AIDS in Africa. It gave me pause for thought on how they're fighting AIDS. If it's to help execute a highly flawed study results and to recklessly promote dangerous sex practices post-circumcision (African men thinking circumcision is an "invisible condom" and/or those who have sex before fully healed), then I won't donate to such a charity. I'm willing to get a full disclosure on how my money is being used before I donate.

Microsoap's Avatar Microsoap 11:43 PM 05-17-2008
I don't know if this is helpful or not (???), but I worked at Value Village (aka Savers in most of the U.S. and Australia) and each store is assigned a charity and part of your donation/purchases goes to help those charities' programs. I would do what the OP said and say I cannot donate the clothes based on the matter of principle [if a couple circ's and has no money for food and asks me, then I would say no based on the same matter of principle and tell them where the nearest location of the foodbank is..... which would TICK ME OFF doubly because essentially, they're taking the food out of someone ELSE'S mouth because they spent all their money on a totally cosmetic procedure! See what I mean?]. I would say I'm donating the clothes to Value Village and if they want the clothes, they can buy it from the store, where their purchases help a charity.

I'm w/ the OP on this; and the other poster who said they wouldn't because it shows parents who circ, there's no consequences for their selfish actions and that only lets this horrible practice continue.
EviesMom's Avatar EviesMom 11:46 PM 05-17-2008
I think what you really want is for people to tell you you aren't being petty. Problem is, yes, you're being petty. You have every right to be petty, and to do what you like with your property, but it is still petty. Particularly since your sister is asking, not them, you're being petty to her. You could just tell her no, you have another source you want to give them to.

I think you need to decide really, if you want the circing family in your life at all. If not, be clear about that, set the boundary now, don't hang out with them, tell your sister you don't want anything to do with them and will never forgive them, and be done with it. Now, if you'd done this and then your sister asked you to donate clothes to them, I'd say no, you weren't being petty, you were sticking to your principles. But it doesn't sound like that. Or else get over it, be sad, mourn, make your peace with them, and then be friends again, or give them clothes. But don't "stay friends" while making snide comments and jabs and resenting them the whole time. That's not worth it for either one of you.
paquerette's Avatar paquerette 11:47 PM 05-17-2008
I don't think it's punishing the baby at all. Babies don't like clothes anyway! I doubt he'll notice that his body's naked. On the other hand, I'm sure he's already noticed that his glans is naked. :
Raelynn's Avatar Raelynn 11:54 PM 05-17-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by EviesMom View Post
I think you need to decide really, if you want the circing family in your life at all. If not, be clear about that, set the boundary now, don't hang out with them, tell your sister you don't want anything to do with them and will never forgive them, and be done with it. Now, if you'd done this and then your sister asked you to donate clothes to them, I'd say no, you weren't being petty, you were sticking to your principles. But it doesn't sound like that. Or else get over it, be sad, mourn, make your peace with them, and then be friends again, or give them clothes. But don't "stay friends" while making snide comments and jabs and resenting them the whole time. That's not worth it for either one of you.
See post #58. I am not "friends" with them, simply acquaintances through my sister, who is friends with them. I don't plan to ever see them again and highly doubt I will run into the mom in my social circles as we are very different.
Fi.'s Avatar Fi. 12:01 AM 05-18-2008
If they can afford cosmetic surgery, they can afford clothes. $300 is a lot of baby clothes at a secondhand store. I'd rather give my stuff to someone who actually CAN'T come up with $300.

And this has nothing to do with circ, it has to do with pissing away $300 on a "luxury" and ignoring a necessity. If $300 can be pissed away, I'd rather my stuff go to someone who doesn't even have the $300 to decide about.
EviesMom's Avatar EviesMom 12:06 AM 05-18-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raelynn View Post
See post #58. I am not "friends" with them, simply acquaintances through my sister, who is friends with them. I don't plan to ever see them again and highly doubt I will run into the mom in my social circles as we are very different.
Then you should have just said no, you had other plans for the clothes. Done. And if pressed, just tell her you've stated your principles before and have other plans for the clothes. And don't feel bad about it either.
Lula's Mom's Avatar Lula's Mom 12:10 AM 05-18-2008
I'd do exactly what you did, OP, and I'd hope my sister told her friends why. There is no.way. those people would be getting my clothes.

I went to look up "petty", to see if I was understanding it as other people seem to be using it.

1. Of small importance; trivial: a petty grievance.
Circumcision is a big HUGE deal to me. If I'd given the info that the OP gave, and they spent all their money on it knowing it was not necessary and harmful, I would not find that to be a trivial grievance. One vote against petty.
2. Marked by narrowness of mind, ideas, or views.
Yup. I am narrowminded -singleminded, even- on this topic. Circumcision is wrong. Parents who do it knowing it is wrong do not deserve anything from me. One vote for petty.
3. Marked by meanness or lack of generosity, especially in trifling matters.
No, I'd not keep my clothes to be mean. I'm very generous, but I direct my generosity to areas I think it is most deserved and will be best used for the causes I support. One vote against petty.

Well, it turned out 2 against 1. It's not petty. And if it was, I wouldn't care in the slightest. I judge them harshly and they deserve it, having the inofrmation in hand as they did. I'm with you, OP.
pantufla's Avatar pantufla 12:31 AM 05-18-2008
I certainly don't donate money or goods to charities that don't support my views. I wouldn't donate to a charity that supports RIC. Why should I donate clothing to a family who did something that I believe is akin to torture? Especially since they are not friends and I will not likely run into them again. Is it petty if an organization calls my house asking for money on behalf of a cause I don't support, and I tell them no?
Sharlla's Avatar Sharlla 12:36 AM 05-18-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lula's Mom View Post
they deserve it, having the inofrmation in hand as they did. I'm with you, OP.
DH agrees that because they were informed and still chose to do wrong, it's not petty to deny them, esp since it's not a need.
Microsoap's Avatar Microsoap 12:40 AM 05-18-2008
I'm like that with those religious feed-the-children charities. Are they like, dangling a meal in front of a hungry/starving child, but first you gotta read The Good Book. Even if it's after, I hope the religion part isn't forced; it should be optional. Besides, the one relgious org, it seems they spend a lot of money on advertising and I'd like to get their overhead to food ratio anyway.
dex_millie's Avatar dex_millie 01:16 AM 05-18-2008
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PassionateWriter's Avatar PassionateWriter 01:21 AM 05-18-2008
circ. is a big deal to me too and i would not be donating anything to anyone who chose to do it...for ANY reason. period.

sorry..if you want my hand me downs....don't mutilate your children. if you want to mutiliate your children, dont expect anythign from me (including kind words, ever).

i cant continue friendships w/ anyone who circ's either. its just really offensive to me (not ppl who dont know better..believe me..ive BTDT...but ppl who have the knowlege, research and still do it? uh, no).
~Em~'s Avatar ~Em~ 01:37 AM 05-18-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by PassionateWriter View Post
if you want to mutiliate your children, dont expect anythign from me (including kind words, ever).
For those of you with this point of view, when you meet people do you ask whether or not they chose/choose to circ so you can rule them out as friends right off the bat or do you just ditch them later on if it comes up in conversation?
perspective's Avatar perspective 03:48 AM 05-18-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Em~ View Post
For those of you with this point of view, when you meet people do you ask whether or not they chose/choose to circ so you can rule them out as friends right off the bat or do you just ditch them later on if it comes up in conversation?
See I dont think you understand what they mean. I think your perspective is that we very coldly find out who has circed a son and for no other reason then we think its wrong, we just cut them from our lives.


But for me, I couldn't be friends with them because I would feel sick being around them, knowing what they did, I just couldn't feel comfortable with them, so I would be forced to cut them out of my life in many ways. (Although if they were someone I really cared about, I would try really hard to be comfortable around them again). Like imagine you found out a friend had their daughter circumcised (prepuse removed aka clitoral hood aka foreskin). How would you feel about hanging out with them after learning that.

Parents today have the internet, and information at their finger tips. If I know that someone was presented with correct information, or correct information was right at hand and they ignored it, I would be very uncomfortable being around them, and I would not reward them with clothing for a bad parenting job, and sloppy financial planning.
Fellow Traveler's Avatar Fellow Traveler 12:33 PM 05-18-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Em~ View Post
For those of you with this point of view, when you meet people do you ask whether or not they chose/choose to circ so you can rule them out as friends right off the bat or do you just ditch them later on if it comes up in conversation?
I think there are two cases to consider with regard to this situation. There are those who circumcise out of ignorance. Even today this is a large group and the situation isn't helped by those who should be properly informing parents. Although it is disappointing I think people here would be understanding of that situation while trying to educate. But then there are those who, despite knowing the facts, choose to ignore them and do it anyway. To be honest I have a hard time understanding or forgiving those actions. In the case of the OP, the fact that she is in Canada makes it even worse since the rates are so much lower, she had to pony up the dough, and find a doctor. But should or would people cut them off?

That is an interesting question and I think you'll agree that the opinions will be varied. Unfortunately, in the US where circumcision is endemic, you would be cutting off a lot of people. But I am not sure that is the best reason not to do this. I seem to remember a post on this very board from a member that spent a significant amount of time trying to educate a friend with regard to circumcision; yet the couple did it anyway. For a period of time the MDC member had cut themselves off from this friend but eventually reconnected. At some point the friend confided in this member that it was a horrible experience and after more discussion and education this member convinced her friend that she didn't have to repeat this mistake and the result was at least one subsequent boy was saved.

So the point is simply if we cut people off who make a poor decision, even when we've educated them, we are abandoning hope that we might eventually get to them and possibly condemn future boys to the same fate. Although our message is correct we are fighting a strong cultural current and keep in mind that there are member here that have circumcised one, two, and perhaps sometimes three before the message clicked. As disappointed as we may be it is proabably important that we attempt to continue to educate even those who went the wrong way on this because you never know when it will click. Just something to think about.

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PassionateWriter's Avatar PassionateWriter 01:08 PM 05-18-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Em~ View Post
For those of you with this point of view, when you meet people do you ask whether or not they chose/choose to circ so you can rule them out as friends right off the bat or do you just ditch them later on if it comes up in conversation?
no i dont ask. it usually comes up since i have a baby in CD's still....and am prego. w/ another boy. but if i find out they circ., my issue at that point is whether/not they did it out of ignorance (which i have done before..im Jewish and my first 2 are circ'd..its the parenting decision i regret the most). I can understand ignorance..i can NOT understand someone doing it after having all the knowledge...so yeh, i wouldnt continue the friendship. i couldnt.

there was a group recently started in my area and they had some language w/ regard to circ. on their site that i disagreed with...so i didnt join. there is no reason for me to be around that or for those to be around me, since its such a huge issue for me....I see it as nothing more than sexual mutilaton. period.

and there are very very FEW places where i can actually say that....so pls. dont jump down my throat for feeling that way. Its a pretty black and white issue for me (as it mostly is for MDC.....as it is "the case AGAINST circ").

FTR, i do try hard to stay out of this forum b/c i do realize im not a very diplomatic spokesman for this issue. I know i need to work on that.
~Em~'s Avatar ~Em~ 02:55 PM 05-18-2008
I appreciate the responses. I'm somewhat more moderate on this issue, myself, but I can see where your reasoning lies. While everyone is entitled to their own opinion, some of the coments previously were quite...abrupt, shall we say, and I like to see that there has been serious thought behind those comments as opposed to a kneejerk response.

To be honest, I've heard some unflattering desciptions of MDC and its overzealousness in the past and I'm glad to see the generalizations aren't bearing out thus far.
anubis's Avatar anubis 03:00 PM 05-18-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by hattifattener View Post
I really like I lot of the stuff I see on MDC about logical consequences- don't have it all down yet, but I'm learning. I know we're talking about adults here, and not children, but I still think it's best to use logical approaches with any age group. Circing and clothing are just NOT related enough to be a logical or natural consequence. (And maybe the OP didn't intend for her decision to be a "consequence", but that's certainly the end result of it.)
But isn't this a logical consequence? Say my child had x amount of money and chose to spend it on sweets instead of clothes. Should I give the child clothes after s/he deliberately spent his/her money on something else? Sweets and clothes aren't in any way related. The relating factor is money, just like it is in the OP's case.

Giving someone what essentially is financial support when they choose to spend the money in a way that I consider immoral isn't something I'd do. If someone came to me asking for a donation (whether it be money or clothes) so that they can afford to circ their kid, I'd say no. Asking me after it's already happened wouldn't result in a different answer. I'm not financing other people's cosmetic surgery.

They had $300 to spend as they wanted to. They chose to spend it on unnecessary surgery. Bed. Made. Lie.
prothyraia's Avatar prothyraia 04:08 PM 05-18-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lula's Mom View Post
petty
1. Of small importance; trivial: a petty grievance.
Circumcision is a big HUGE deal to me.
Me too.
Used infant clothing, however, is not.

Saying 'you circed, so now I won't give you my hand-me-downs' sort of diminishes how big a deal circ is. It just sounds SILLY, people! I mean, how about 'You molested a child, so I won't let you have a bite of my sandwhich.' Same sort of thing.

I think if the OP had said "They mutilated their child, I don't want to have anything to do with them" that would have been better than "They decided to spend their money on a circ, I'm not giving them my son's clothes". (it sounds to me like maybe the OP is leaning more towards the first statement anyway- it's just that wording it in the second way makes it *sound* petty even if the sentiment isn't)
bluetoes's Avatar bluetoes 04:39 PM 05-18-2008
My son's clothes that he grows out of are actually really special to me and I like to give them to people and families I have warm feeling about. In a place like Canada where people should know better and have to go out of their way to circ. I don't think I'd have many warm feelings about people who circ. Petty perhaps, but the OP's clothes to be petty with.

And as far as not judging. When it comes to child abuse I think we are all free to judge! I'd hate to live in a world where we don't!
Magali's Avatar Magali 05:00 PM 05-18-2008
I totally understand how you feel, OP. I probably wouldn't give the clothes.
tireesix's Avatar tireesix 05:28 PM 05-18-2008
If yyou don't feel comfortable giving them these clothes then you don't feel comfortable giving them the clothes.

Weree you being petty? Everyone has and will have different opinions but are they going to make you feel differently about the clothes? If not, then I wouldn't worry about it.
2Late2BCreative's Avatar 2Late2BCreative 11:11 PM 05-18-2008
Here's the deal...you can choose for whatever reason to give or not give your little one's hand-me-downs...you just decided to share with your SIL the reason why you won't give the clothes. I see your reaction more of a way to validate your own feelings. It's not about the clothes, the baby, the parents. It's simply about the circumcision. You are obviously passionate about this and you have every right to be. You've hurt noone...not even yourself...by NOT giving the hand-me-downs. I see nothing wrong with what you decided to do. Sometimes we do need to stand on our beliefs with a loud and clear statement. Sometimes we need to stand our ground with the quietness of silence. Either way, IMO it's perfectly okay how you handled things.
purplestraws's Avatar purplestraws 12:11 AM 05-19-2008
If you hadn't have personally told them the truth about circumcision, then, yes...it might have been a petty thing to do. However, because you took the time to inform them and they still did it...I don't consider it petty at all. Several hundred dollars could have gone a long way to pay for baby clothes if they were really THAT in need...
gabysmom617's Avatar gabysmom617 12:54 AM 05-19-2008
I don't think you're being petty at all.

I am a bit confused about those who say that when you're giving the clothes to charity you're giving them to people you don't know who circ'ed or not.

I think that's not really the point.

I don't know what they have in Canada. But, if you do something like, give the clothes to goodwill, or the samaritan thrift shop (don't know if that's everywhere or not, and i'm only assuming that's what you meant when you said giving the clothing to a charity...) you're not 'GIVING' the clothes to people who are buying them who may or may not have circ'ed their boys.

you are giving the clothes to the goodwill society, or the samaritan church. the people who purchase the clothes (who may or may not have circ'ed) or not getting the clothing for free. they are giving that money to the charity society that's hosting the thrift store.

the people who may or may not have circ'ed their boys who are buying the clothes get a small benefit from purchasing the clothes at a discount. the main benefit is going in the form of $$$ to the charity you gave the clothes to.

so i think it's a huge difference between handing over the clothing directly to "needy" people for free who just finished forking the $$$ out for this cosmetic surgery and giving the clothing to a charity.

I think a lot of posters are missing the point. It's not about seeing your clothing on people who did something horrible to their sons. It's about finances, really, is what it boils down to. The OP has every right to make sure the financial boost of her clothing goes wherever she'd prefer it to. She's not "punishing" the parents or the baby by not giving them the clothing. It's about the fact that they didn't need the clothing if they had $$$ for the circ.
Novella's Avatar Novella 03:11 AM 05-19-2008
It looks to me like part of what's "fanning the flames" and polarizing this debate is the characterization of the clothing donation as an "act of charity".

I get second-hand kids clothes from people all the time. I'm very certain that not one of these thoughtful friends or family members have ever imagined they've been making a charitable donation in giving kids clothes to me! Not every act of kindness or example of sharing is "charity".

Similarly, witholding a kindness is not usually “punishing” someone and I don’t think it is here, either. If that were the case, just think of how unspeakably unkind each of us is every single day! Anything nice we did for anyone would equate to a series of “punishments” to all the people who weren’t recipients!

On the practical side of this “punishment”, CherryBomb said it best:
Quote:
Originally Posted by CherryBomb View Post
I don't see how it's "punishing" the baby to not give the baby free clothes that belong to her. Unless the baby is going to be butt ass naked if the OP doesn't hand over all of her clothes, that's just a ridiculous accusation. It's not like they share a rare blood type and he needs a transfusion from her 
Seriously, although there is poverty in Canada, we are a first-world country. Every baby in Canada has clothing. Between thrift stores and garage sales, families struggling on social assistance can provide their kids with minimally-adequate wardrobes.

I’ll take a minute to address the questions of Em:

Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Em~ View Post
Those who said it was not petty, would you refuse charity to a parent in need who voluntarily chose to feed formula but had no compelling reason not to exclusively breastfeed?
Possibly. My money, my time, my talents are all limited resources. As such, I don’t think it’s inappropriate to direct them to where I see (or think) they will do the most good. If I understand that my [insert resource of your choice] will make a difference in one case, and be a “passing blip” in another situation, I choose making a difference. If I have enough to give that I don’t have to make a choice, then grand. However, this is not usually the case.

Now in the specific example you’ve given - formula feeding - I wouldn’t be able to decide superficially that someone “voluntarily chose”. To be able to make a choice, one has to understand the different options. Of the formula-feeding moms I’ve seen who might qualify for charity, any I can remember were obviously quite socially- and educationally-disadvantaged. That’s not usually fertile ground for choice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Em~ View Post
Would it make a difference in either case if the parents secondguessed their choice after the fact?
It might. See my above comment about scarcity of my charitable resources.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Em~ View Post
Would it make a difference if the prarents were given bad circing or BFing information and made their choice on faulty health care advice?
Yes. I give a lot more leeway to someone who has tried to do the right thing, or research her options, or whatever - versus the person who just “took it lying down” and made little/no effort to actively participate in her own life/partner’s life/children’s lives. We all make mistakes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Em~ View Post
Would it make a difference if the financial difficulty arose after the decision was made?
Yes, probably. In this case, the sister cited the family’s “need” in soliciting the donation of the clothes. “Needing” donated kids clothing hot on the heels of paying $300 to put a child through a painful and mutilating cosmetic procedure is laughable. I’d say they “need” the second-hand clothes about as much as I “need” a spa weekend away from my kids! (Heck, I might even "need" that spa weekend more! )

Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Em~ View Post
If you had no idea the parents made either choice, would you ask them directly before giving them the items and keep them if your requirements were not met?
No, I would not ask directly about circumcision or formula feeding as a criteria before passing baby items on to someone. To a point, I might try to follow a strategy of “attracting more bees with honey” in terms of their parenting choices that differ from my own. But in this case, I think the history of the original poster having exchanged information with the parents, and the parents showing casual disregard for a very serious violation of their son’s body makes it not only “ok” but compelling for her to steer clear of them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LotusBirthMama View Post
You would disown your sister and future nephews b/c they circumcised? Wow. I guess I will never understand this attitude.
As relationships evolve, you get those little clues about whether the bond is growing or fading. For me, an active/current pro-circ stance would be a big ‘ol sledgehammer upside the head in terms of being a clue about the prospects for the relationship. A decision like that does not exist in insolation, in an otherwise shared view of parenting and humanity between that parent and me.

Last year, friends of ours (whom we are very close to, and who had previously not circ’d) were planning on circ’ing their new baby. This was the result of a crappy, botched “medically necessary” circ of their 5-year-old son. I will never understand the reasoning that in an effort to protect the baby, they were willing to ensure he suffered the same pain. I’m pretty sure it would have destroyed the friendship.

My sister got breast implants when she was quite young. I’m not saying they’re always a bad thing, but in her life at that time, the move made my husband and I really unhappy. She and I had had a struggling relationship over the years. We didn’t abruptly disown her after it happened. But it was “the beginning of the end” in being a major sign that we just weren’t on the same page at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by perspective View Post
Yeah, but there is a BIG difference between someone doing something you dont like, and someone doing something that you think should be illegal.


Original Poster: you done good!
AntoninBeGonin's Avatar AntoninBeGonin 03:16 AM 05-19-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Em~ View Post
You have every right to give or not give away your clothing, but your reasoning is petty. If they were asking for money to get the procedure done, that would be a completely appropriate response, but the circ and the clothing are too unrelated to try to connect them, IMO.

I'm sure others will disagree.
You're exactly right, I do disagree with you . In my opinion, if the OP is to start giving that couple gifts and acting all "buddy-buddy" they might take that as a sign that everything is fine and the circ was no big deal. Nope, I agree with Raelynn, if they could scrape together a few hundred dollars to slice their baby, they can go to a secondhand store and buy some clothes.
AntoninBeGonin's Avatar AntoninBeGonin 03:27 AM 05-19-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by prothyraia View Post
Cutting someone out of your life because they mutilate a child? Appropriate.
Using child mutilation as a reason to not give someone some onsies? Petty and passive agressive.
I don't think there's that big of a difference between your two examples.
needhelpplease's Avatar needhelpplease 04:11 AM 05-19-2008
I would be torn on this. But I would probably do the same. They need to decide what is important for their son. If they pick cruel unnecessary surgery instead of clothes, that's their business.

Then again, there's also the argument that it's the son who has suffered from the circumcision, and will also suffer if they can't afford clothes and the like.

But personally I wouldn't feel comfortable giving a favour to people like that (especially as you know you gave them information etc)
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