S/O: Disowning or Ignoring those who circ - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-19-2008, 02:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is a spinoff from "Was I Being Petty".

Have you ever ended or severely halted any relationship with someone after they put their son through circumcision? I'm talking specifically about those who still have their son circumicised even after you've provided sufficient information against the surgery. (I don't want this discussion to include how you feel about people you've met after they've had their son cut).

My sister and her husband had their barely 6 1/2 pound newborn circumcised even after I gave her an incredible amount of information. I explained the structure of the foreskin, what it does, how circumcision is performed, how torturous it is for the baby. She saw photos and drawings of circumcisions being performed. She knew there's a liklihood of serious complications like the loss of the baby's penis and death. She and her husband are strong Christians so I explained how circ is not needed for Chrisitians. Earlier in her pregnancy I thought I had gotten through to her. I even remember her seeing a photo of a baby mid-circ and saying she could never do that to her baby.

My sister is about an inch shorter than me. My son was born naturally in the hospital weighing 8 pounds 10 oz. My daughter was born at home in a birth tub weighing 8 pounds 8 oz. No one told me that I couldn't have my babies. My sister's OB, on the other hand, took one look at her and told her she'd most likely need a cesarean section. She wanted a natural birth because she was afraid of the epidural going into her spine. I gave her a ton of information, bought her several books, and helped her as much as I could given our distance apart. (She's in Virginia, I'm in Illinois.) I encouraged her over and over to at least give labor a try, that most likely she'd be able to have the baby, but the doctor could still give her a c-section if it was truly necessary. In the end, she gave into the doctor and had a scheduled c-section two weeks before her EDD. She never even went into labor. And, like I mentioned earlier, that baby was barely 6.5 pounds.

I called her right after she had the baby to congratulate them on their new baby and to give her intact care. I started explaining intact care and she cut me off midsentence, "We're having him circumcised." I had to bite my tongue to keep from responding with the words that popped into my head. I asked her why on earth she'd do that to her baby. Her answer was that something had to pay for what she'd just been through. In other words, she decided to punish that tiny, perfect, newborn with mutilation because she felt bad about herself giving in to the doctor's recommendation of a cesarean. : I told her that nothing had to be done right away, that the best thing would be to take her son home and get used to him. I told him a foreskin isn't that big a deal after you've seen it a few times. I thought I'd gotten through to her, but sadly I hadn't.

I found out she'd had him circumcised when he was 3 days old and I saw his red, raw penis during a diaper change. From the middle of his shaft down he had tissue ripped away. When she took his diaper off he urinated on his wound and screamed bloody murder. She just stood there with a stupid grin on her face trying to figure out what made him start crying. I was dumbfounded. I said, "He's just had surgery to rip a big chunk off his penis. He's in pain! Give him some tylenol or something." She refused, telling me that it didn't hurt that much and that he'd be okay. She then proceeded to rub some sort of cream all over his red, raw penis which I have to admit really sickened me. After having an intact son I now see the exposed glans as being even more private than the flaccid intact penis. I couldn't imagine myself ever rubbing a cream all over my own son's glans. That's one sensation I would not want him associating with me.

It's been nearly 2 months and I haven't talked to her except once since then. I went with our Dad to visit her, her husband, and the baby. In my mind what she did was sexual abuse, pure and simple. She knew why it was wrong, she knew there are men who hate being circumcised, she knew everything she needed, and yet she still chose to put her son through that torture. She didn't have the excuse of ignorance. In my mind, there's no difference between a stranger sexually assaulting a child, and her having part of her son's penis ripped off. In short, she's not the same person I once knew, and I don't think I'll ever feel close to her again.

On the bright side, I got some cute toys picked out to send the baby for his 6 month birthday. As others have said, it's not his fault his parents made such a horrible decision.

Reneé, 34 year old mom to Antonin 8/04 and Arianna 9/06  (6 weeks) 5/08. Married to Matt since 6/03 .  
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Old 05-19-2008, 02:20 PM
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She didn't have the excuse of ignorance. In my mind, there's no difference between a stranger sexually assaulting a child, and her having part of her son's penis ripped off.
I feel the exact same way! I would not be able to ever respect her again.
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Old 05-19-2008, 02:25 PM
 
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omg i just could not be around her.

she made her little boy pay for her ignorance in having a c/s??? just fraking great. omg!!! i think i am going to be sick.
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Old 05-19-2008, 02:36 PM
 
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Her answer was that something had to pay for what she'd just been through.
OMGosh. I think I just vomited in my mouth. This is the most disgusting thing I've ever read.

No, I would lose all respect for her.

And if she ever wondered why I had become so distant, I wouldn't hesitate to let her know.
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Old 05-19-2008, 02:38 PM
 
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I could not be around someone like that..... nope, no way. If that makes me the big bi***, then so be it.
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Old 05-19-2008, 02:46 PM
 
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I have to agree with everyone else!! I don’t think I could look at my sister the same way again if she ever did that to my nephew. And she did it to make him “pay” for what was done to her?!?!!?!?!!! OMG I think that is the sickest thing I have ever heard!!

Im sorry she did that to your poor nephew and obviously don’t care about his pain. So sending you lots of (((HUGS)))

My SO’s SIL is having a little boy in Sept. and even after all the info I gave her she is STILL going to cut their son!! Its so sickening, It was all I could think about for WEEKS and he’s not even here yet!! UGH. Luckily for me were not that close anyway and they just sold their house and there moving like an hour away from us, so I won’t have to see or hear about his poor mutilated penis.

But to answer your question, YES I have had friendships severely damaged because they cut their son AFTER I gave them all the info why its so wrong!! I still talk to them but RARELY and if I do im so disconnected and just can’t get over what they have done.

You do what you need to do, I know its different when its family but take your time, you don’t HAVE to talk to her if you don’t want to.

Good luck!!
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Old 05-19-2008, 02:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AntoninBeGonin View Post
Her answer was that something had to pay for what she'd just been through. In other words, she decided to punish that tiny, perfect, newborn with mutilation because she felt bad about herself giving in to the doctor's recommendation of a cesarean. :
That would have given me a scare about her ability to care for him, actually, at least in that immediate post partum time. That just doesn't sound right. Unless she was angry and was taking it out on you by saying something this inflammatory.

I'm one of those people who doesn't really know the circ status of my friend's sons in most cases, and I am not one to disown people for that, but this situation I would really have a hard time ever dealing with her after this. When my niece was having her first baby, I sent her information from No Circ, including a story about babies who died from circumcision. Then when I talked to my sister about it, she cut me off and said there was no way in hell she would let him stay uncircumcised. My niece was young, her mother had a lot of influence and I thought I would appeal to her since she can be open-minded, but she was so close-minded about it, it pissed me off. But then my niece ended up having a girl (then 2 more girls, then a tubal ligation at the age of 21), so I didn't have to deal with the fallout of the circ decision, but I'm still upset by the attitude.
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Old 05-19-2008, 03:05 PM
 
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Hurting her son because she was upset about what was done to her is horrible and abusive. I can understand why people have such a difficult time getting their heads around why circing is harmful. There are so many people who have not ever seen an intact penis...or even understand what it means to leave a penis intact. There needs to be a shift in our culture and that does not often come about quickly or easily. Changing people's misconceptions about circ will take time. Changing the advice mainstream docs give to new parents will take time. Changing the social pressures around circ will take time. I can even understand being confused by the different sides of the debate, and the different statistics and studies. But to hurt your child out of spite, and to take pleasure in his pain and discomfort is sadistic. I don't think I'd be able to have the same relationship with her.
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Old 05-19-2008, 03:06 PM
 
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cutting his boys was the final straw with my brother. We no longer speak!

Victim of Birth Rape & Coerced ribboncesarean.gifUnnecesareanribboncesarean.gif What makes people think they can cut up someone else's genitals? nocirc.gif
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Old 05-19-2008, 03:14 PM
 
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! I still talk to them but RARELY and if I do im so disconnected and just can’t get over what they have done.

Good luck!!

see thats how it is w/ me also. I dont walk up to ppl and say "OMG you mutiliated your son and I can never talk to you again" (which is how i feel)....but I do feel sooo disconnected when i talk to them and really find nothing to say (we can talk about gardening or kids or whatever but in my mind, all i can think of is what they did)....so yeh, the friendship just fades away.
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Old 05-19-2008, 03:19 PM
 
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Yes, the same with my sister. I won't even blame the BIL because I know her (strong-willed) and she could have had her way. We were always close to each other and she was the first person I confided to about what they did to me as a kid....the botched circ, botched re-circ, adhesions and the resulting damage, meatal stenosis, etc. She cried....I cried. When she later stated that she would circ a son (they were trying at the time) I was dumbfounded and asked her just what she would do if her son had complications? She glibly said she would sue the doctor and get her son some counselling (which I also felt implied that the problem was all mental...totally ignoring the physical realities that resulted). When I told her that all the money in the world couldn't replace what was taken, she didn't know how to respond.

Then, about two years later my nephew was born. I sent a card and some $$, but I couldn't bring myself to call her. About two weeks later I got a nasty call from her where she basically ripped into me and said, "If you don't like it that I had my son circumcised then you don't need to send gifts or call or have any contact with us..."

So, I just said, "Ok," and hung up on her and didn't speak to her for just over two years. It wasn't until my niece was born with a severe heart condition that I got a tearful phone call from her with a bunch of "I'm sorries." I'm still not sure to this day exactly what she was sorry for, but that wasn't the time and place to get into it. I can only hope that after everything they've been through with my beautiful niece needing surgeries in a life and death situation, that she has seen the folly of taking risks with unnecessary, cosmetic surgery. I'm sure someday we'll have that talk again, especially if they have another ds (they've discussed trying for one more). I will not accept the "we did one, so we have to do the other" excuse or it WILL be the last time we ever speak. However, in the meantime I am remaining cordial with her just so I can have a relationship with my niece and nephew who I love to death. I am trying, but I will never feel quite the same about my sister who was once one of my closest friends.
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Old 05-19-2008, 03:20 PM
 
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I have to agree with the others. That was sick. I have a hard time believing that a mother would really say that... that because she was cut in order to give birth, the baby has to be cut so that they're... what...? Even? Like I said, sick.
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Old 05-19-2008, 03:23 PM
 
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I don't blame you one bit for distancing yourself from your sister. She doesn't sound like someone I would want to be close to either.
Her reason for harming her son is just disgusting but not the first time I've heard a mother feel that way about her son's circumcision.

I think the natural consequence of someone knowingly hurting their child is for people to no longer want to be close with them.

OUR DAUGHTERS ARE PROTECTED SHOULDN'T OUR SONS BE TOO! :
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Old 05-19-2008, 03:35 PM
 
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After having an intact son I now see the exposed glans as being even more private than the flaccid intact penis. I couldn't imagine myself ever rubbing a cream all over my own son's glans. That's one sensation I would not want him associating with me.
You are totally entitled to your circing opinion, obviously - I'm not questioning that.

However, penises get infected - circ'd ones, intact ones - they can ALL get infected and it can affect any part of the penis. It's happened to us and I've had to intensely medicate my infant son's red, raw little penis - it was actually bleeding around the base and entire underside due to a severe YI. You make it sound like putting meds on a penis is sexual in any way and I take issue with that. It's no more sexual than careful washing is - it's medication, plain and simple, even if you do not agree with the reason behind the need for the meds, which I completely respect.

I also agree that your sister's reasoning is quite disturbing, but I'm hoping the comment was said in a moment of intense stress or emotional confusion and she didn't really mean it the way you perceived it.
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Old 05-19-2008, 03:42 PM
 
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I don't think I could be around a friend or relative that did it after getting all the information either. Child abuse, even if done with the best intentions, is child abuse.
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Old 05-19-2008, 03:42 PM
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My sister did it to her first son, despite me telling her that there was no reason to. It went terribly bad (infection) and he had to have a corrective surgery. Then with her third child, she opted to do it again. Any time it comes up, I pretty much read her the riot act. We've never really gotten along very well, anyway, and she just doesn't make good choices in general. (She's currently living in her in-laws back yard, in a yard barn. In Phoenix.)
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Old 05-19-2008, 03:47 PM
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You are totally entitled to your circing opinion, obviously - I'm not questioning that.

However, penises get infected - circ'd ones, intact ones - they can ALL get infected and it can affect any part of the penis. It's happened to us and I've had to intensely medicate my infant son's red, raw little penis - it was actually bleeding around the base and entire underside due to a severe YI. You make it sound like putting meds on a penis is sexual in any way and I take issue with that. It's no more sexual than careful washing is - it's medication, plain and simple, even if you do not agree with the reason behind the need for the meds, which I completely respect.
I think she specifically meant the glans, not "the penis", which under natural circumstances would not be exposed at a month old.
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Old 05-19-2008, 03:48 PM
 
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OMG! What would she have done to a little girl to make her "pay"???

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Old 05-19-2008, 03:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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~Em~, you come across as very pro-circ (at least by my standards). I would like for you to keep in mind that she would not have needed to rub any sort of cream all over her newborn's glans if she had not had his body mutilated. That wasn't a case of him getting an infection that she was treating. A situation like that is unplanned and unfortunate. My intact son has never had a single problem with his penis. Parents who have their sons circumcised must know that they will be required to handle their son's penis over and over again during the healing process.

In my mind, there is a huge difference between treating a rare infection that a baby had the unfortunate luck to acquire and taking care of a circumcision wound that the parents inflicted on him.

Reneé, 34 year old mom to Antonin 8/04 and Arianna 9/06  (6 weeks) 5/08. Married to Matt since 6/03 .  
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Old 05-19-2008, 03:50 PM
 
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I think she specifically meant the glans, not "the penis", which under natural circumstances would not be exposed at a month old.
I agree, but any part could get infected. My older son actually had a nasty pimple on his glans - the very tip. It turned out to be MRSA and affected other parts of him too. My point was that any part could have medical issues (circ-related or completely unrelated), and treating it with medication isn't sexual.
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Old 05-19-2008, 03:51 PM
 
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~Em~, you come across as very pro-circ (at least by my standards).
I'm not. I've just had lots of penis problems at this house!

ETA - If by "pro-circ" you mean more tolerant of everyone, then yes, you are probably right. I try to be tolerant of everyone (regardless of the issue - it could be BF/FF or whatever) in the hopes that gentle persuasion will change their opinions because in my experience being shunned or lectured or intimidated has the direct opposite effect. By no means do I mean to dismiss others' feelings her as I understand where you are coming from. I just feel that the "cure" is more effectively achieved by a different set of tools than some here.
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Old 05-19-2008, 04:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, that's it! You seem pro-circ to me because you aren't actively bashing it like I'm used to reading on this forum. This is case against circumcision, so there is no need to tread lightly here . I'm so used to people being loudly, unapologetically, and strongly anti-circ that when I read comments made in a more neutral fashion (such as yours) they worry me.

So it's all cool . I understand what you're saying.

Reneé, 34 year old mom to Antonin 8/04 and Arianna 9/06  (6 weeks) 5/08. Married to Matt since 6/03 .  
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Old 05-19-2008, 04:15 PM
 
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I think you have to decide how you want to live your life, and how you want to treat people and family members.

She hurt her son. She indirectly hurt you by hurting her son. Whether you want to exclude her from your life is a very personal and difficult decision.

Best wishes.
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Old 05-19-2008, 04:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Psssst

Hey folks, I'm not looking for support in my decision. I don't feel bad about my reaction to her cutting her son. I appreciate the comments saying that you would have done the same in my position, but don't feel that you need to consider my feelings before you respond. I just wanted to start a thread where we could discuss what it's like to have a relationship changed by circumcision.

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Old 05-19-2008, 04:52 PM
 
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I ended a friendship over it. It had been a pretty close friendship, nothing like losing a sister though. She had a lot of disgusting, abusive attitudes about it to... wasn't just misguided beliefs or anything like that. More than anything it really just brought to light what an ignorant, selfish person she is.
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Old 05-19-2008, 05:40 PM
 
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I have to admit to playing the ostrich.

My best friend was due 10 weeks before I was. We knew I was having a boy, and they thought they were having a girl. I've been very open about my views on circumcision in the past, and I know she reads my blog regularly where I have posted on the topic of circumcision on more than one occasion. I didn't actually confront her about it because they were having a girl, so it didn't matter.

But out came a boy. I didn't talk to her for a couple of weeks after the birth (she ended up with a c-section and was in hospital for nearly a week) and it didn't actually occur to me to ask. After all... why would she, right?

Once I thought about it I was actually afraid to ask. I knew that (a) her husband is circ'd, (b) they live in a region where circ is more common, and (c) it seems to me that her husband calls the shots on pretty much everything. So I was afraid to ask because I was afraid I wouldn't like the answer. And I knew that it would change the way I felt about one of my best friends-- there is no way I wouldn't lose respect for her and judge her for her decision.

One day my Facebook status remarked on the fact that we had my son's first vaccinations that day. She messaged me saying "good luck with the vaccinations-- they weren't nearly as tough on me as his circumcision!". I got nauseous. I know that she had intentionally 'broken' the news to me like this knowing that I would be upset. I've never spoken to her about it. And when we saw them last (don't see them often, living on opposite ends of the country and all) I did notice that she never changed his diaper in front of me.

We're still friends, but it's not the same. And God help her if she ever brings up the topic, cause I'm not holding back just to spare her feelings on this one.
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Old 05-19-2008, 05:47 PM
 
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I'm not. I've just had lots of penis problems at this house!

ETA - If by "pro-circ" you mean more tolerant of everyone, then yes, you are probably right. I try to be tolerant of everyone (regardless of the issue - it could be BF/FF or whatever) in the hopes that gentle persuasion will change their opinions because in my experience being shunned or lectured or intimidated has the direct opposite effect. By no means do I mean to dismiss others' feelings her as I understand where you are coming from. I just feel that the "cure" is more effectively achieved by a different set of tools than some here.
I completely agree with you on that approach. I will be strong on the issue, but I will take off from their point of view first. Its important to give understanding to the people you speak with first, or they will close themselves off to anything you say.

Although even though I will try to argue from their point of view, deep inside I see male circumcision is being just as wrong as female circumcision (not because of physical damage) but because its taking away the same basic human rights, that we as humans should do everything we can to protect.
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Old 05-19-2008, 06:01 PM
 
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I *wish* I could end my relationship w/my MIL for nagging me about having my son intact... does that count?

Actually, I have a couple friends I just don't.want.to.know. I talked to them about it, I hope they wouldn't do it, but I don't want to ruin our relationship over it, so I try not to think about it. I don't know what I'll do if I find out. cry, probably.

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Old 05-19-2008, 06:04 PM
 
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Total dealbreaker for me. No question.
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Old 05-19-2008, 06:06 PM
 
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Yes, I have ended a relationship because of circ. In fact, I posted about it here.. I don't mind posting about it again, though.

I recently ended a practically lifelong (from toddlerhood) close relationship with my cousin, who I assume just had her new baby boy. We live over 900 miles apart, but we usually spoke 2-3 times a week over the phone.

While she was early in her 2nd pregnancy, we'd talked briefly about circumcision (she'd circ'd her first out of complete ignorance). I'd brought it up here and there, but never got into any *deep* discussions.. I kind of didn't want to go there if I didn't absolutely have to at that point. When she found out it was a boy, I asked her quite a few times if she'd let me send her some information.. and she SWORE to me that she would allow me to educate her, even though she didn't think her husband would "allow" it. She was definitely a bit reluctant in the beginning, but like I said, she swore that she would read everything that I sent her. She knew that it was important..

I gathered info for a couple months.. info that I'd gotten from the wonderful people here. I printed off sooooooooooo much to send to her. It ended up being about 2 inches thick. I read through everything that I'd printed.. and I highlighted specific things that I thought would grab their attention and made my little notes for her. During this whole time, we were still having small conversations about it here and there. I would tell her what I'd read that day and that I really thought it was something they needed to read. I went at it from every angle.. from looking like daddy, to religion, to the HIV and UTI myths, the possible issues with breastfeeding, etc. I wanted to leave no stone left unturned.

Not ONCE did I suspect what she'd do with the information when she got it. She never called me to say she gotten it like she said that she would.. she sent me a letter. In the letter, she said that as she thumbed through the top papers, her heart started racing, and she proceeded to throw it all into the trash!! She also said that she was sorry, but she KNEW the whole time that we were discussing it that she had no intention of reading anything I'd sent. She didn't WANT to know about it and still planned to circumcise him. She just didn't want to tell me. I poured my heart and soul into it for that baby boy and she didn't care.. it just went into the trash. She lied to me for months.. and it absolutely broke my heart.

I called her to let her know I'd gotten her letter.. I bawled my head off. I told her that I would call her again once I calmed down. That never happened.. so, I did the same thing she did. I wrote her a totally heartfelt letter, and included a tiny bit of information about circumcision and the only remotely acceptable forms of pain relief if they did go through with it. I asked for her to call me when she was ready.. I left it up to her whether we spoke again. She never called. We haven't spoken since.

I assume she's had the little guy.. she was due last month. Considering she hasn't called me... I can only assume the worst. I haven't decided yet if I want to call and congratulate her. I just don't know..

Oh wow, this got long. I'm sorry!

Wife and mother to 2 kiddos - 17 yr old DS jammin.gifand 13 yr old DD energy.gif.. and a cat that thinks he's a dog dizzy.gif
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