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#61 of 87 Old 02-28-2004, 12:23 PM
 
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Thanks!
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#62 of 87 Old 02-28-2004, 12:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sarah,

Again, I admire your passion about this issue, but your animosity is misdirected. I am not the enemy here. I am not saying that I am going to circumcise my son. In fact, what I have been saying all along is that I am inherently biased toward leaving him intact, that that is my plan unless the evidence leads me to the conclusion that it is not in his best interests to leave him intact.

The whole point of this "discussion" was just that I think that people should make decisions with as much information as possible. I am going to find out everything I can about the medical issues, and about the ethical, sexual, psychological, etc. issues before I decide what to do.

People seem to be freaking out over this, like I am saying that I am going to have the circumcision done because I read one study that says that UTIs are higher. Or that I will ignore all other issues and blindly go that way because of some small benefit. Come on you guys, seriously...if you read my posts is that even anything like what I am saying? I am a smart woman, perfect capable of seeing all sides of the issue and perfectly capable of coming to a well educated position.

It shouldn't concern any you that I would circ anyway, because the whole basis for my argument is that I will make the decision that is the right one based on all of the evidence and weighing all of the factors. Assuming that you are all "right" then I will obviously come to the same conclusion that you all have and leave him intact. The only reason you should be nervous is if your position is wrong.

As to being incapable of making the decision because I have not had sex with an intact male. Well, I just totally have to disagree with that one. There are other ways of finding out information other than by first hand experience (though that is best). And that is a slippery slope of an arguemtn to make, Sarah, because the real issue at that point is what do you, or any of us who are women know about having a penis. If your logic is correct this issue should be one that the fathers of the babies make on their own, because they are the only ones who know what its like to have a penis. I am obviously not saying that I believe that reasoning, but it follows directly from your logic.


And finally, to the person who asked about cutting off the breasts if there was a high risk that the person would get cancer, or rather whetther I would just let them gamble the odds. Again, I'd have to look at all the factors, but yes, of course, if the odds of her getting it was above a certain threshold it might make perfect sense to do it. Meaning if in one person's individual circumstances the pain of the surgery and the psychological damage of having them removed, and all the other risks were greatly outweighed by the risks of breast cancer and the inherent pain and agony and psychological damage of chemotheraphy, radiation, and death... yeah, of course I would do it. And if it was known that removing them at infancy was the best way to protect against that risk, rather than waiting until they were an adult, I would do it then. To do otherwise would be selfish and cruel. Its our jobs to protect our children and make decisions for them if they can't make them themselves. If every measurable thing says that by failing to do something you are going to subject your child to a high chance of a horrible, life altering, deadly disease, youd better damn right do what you can to prevent it.
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#63 of 87 Old 02-28-2004, 12:33 PM
 
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#64 of 87 Old 02-28-2004, 12:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by SaveTheWild
.

The whole point of this "discussion" was just that I think that people should make decisions with as much information as possible. I am going to find out everything I can about the medical issues, and about the ethical, sexual, psychological, etc. issues before I decide what to do.

People seem to be freaking out over this, like I am saying that I am going to have the circumcision done because I read one study that says that UTIs are higher. Or that I will ignore all other issues and blindly go that way because of some small benefit. Come on you guys, seriously...if you read my posts is that even anything like what I am saying? I am a smart woman, perfect capable of seeing all sides of the issue and perfectly capable of coming to a well educated position.

It shouldn't concern any you that I would circ anyway, because the whole basis for my argument is that I will make the decision that is the right one based on all of the evidence and weighing all of the factors.

People get so worked up about it because it shouldn't be a decision that parents make. Why would you research cutting off your son's normal foreskin? What other body parts are you doing to be doing that kind of research on? Every body part? Probably not, so why is the foreskin any different? Will you research female circ if/when you have a daughter?
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#65 of 87 Old 02-28-2004, 12:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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AnnMarie,

I have to respectfully disagree. I absolutely think it is parents' responsibility to take responsibility for their infants well being in every sense of the word. And I am sure in other contexts you would agree. It is our job to make the decisions that they cannot, and to do so we have to take time to educate ourselves as thoroughly as possible and make the decisio that is in their best interests. Of course the fact that it is a permanent decision that will have life long effects and one that the child has no say in is a large factor that weighs against doing it, but that is a factor that has to be weighed in with everything else.

I am not going to argue the female circumcision point any more. In the four pages of this thread it has been asked about 20 times and I have answered it many times. I am not trying to be difficult, I just think that there isn't much point in us rehashing it over and over.
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#66 of 87 Old 02-28-2004, 12:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by SaveTheWild
AnnMarie,

I have to respectfully disagree. I absolutely think it is parents' responsibility to take responsibility for their infants well being in every sense of the word.
So don't I, and cutting off HEALTHY tissue NEVER falls under that category. The USA is the ONLY country that does it to so many boys for non-religious reasons. The rest of the world isn't falling over dead because they have a foreskin. It's a decision that simply does NOT have to be made and should be left up to the owner, like any other unnecessary surgeries. And yes, the female circ argument is valid. If you wouldn't research it for your daughter, why your son? You think it's your responsibility to research all options, so why not that one? Others say there are benefits.
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#67 of 87 Old 02-28-2004, 01:04 PM
 
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Look... let's say that you are against slavery because you have discovered that it's more profitable to let slave eligible humans work a minimum wage job for you- tax the bejeebers out of them and charge them lots of money for slum housing and health insurance... that you have discovered that if you play it properly- you can actually trick your slaves into being in debt to you while thinking they are not slaves.

that wouldn't put you on the same side of the fence as an abilitionist would it?

Just because you may have some idea that you can research this whole thing to the n-th degree and come out with a conclusion that YOUR DECISION is to not circumcise your son's penis because it is medically not necissary... that doesn't mean that you have gotten it

You think I have a clitoris because my dad did the research and decided it would be OK for me to keep it? If that were the case- should I be happy about that? "Yeah- my dad is so cool... he let me keep my clitoris! I'm so lucky he is my dad." You think the quantity or effort going into that research would change the disgusting proposal that my clitoris was EVER HIS to research?

Also- if you think I have animosity- you are mistaken. I really have no feeling about you personally... but I have over a long period of time developed arguments against certain ideas that you happen to have (as do many other people) I'm "just" presenting you with my arguments... I don't dislike you. Think of it as stylistic... and in this moment- I have adopted an unusually abrasive and straightforward style in speaking to you I'm not usually such a "toughie." Don't take it personal.

"what do you, or any of us who are women know about having a penis"

I don't know about having a penis... but I do know about making love to men with a penis- both circumcised and intact. Which gives me knowledge about the anatomical differences that few straight men would understand- intact or circucmsied. The fact that I don't have a penis does not mean that this is a concept that I can't get... just like the fact that I am not a slave does not mean that the concepts of why slavery is wrong are going to be lost on me.

I am an expert on having genitals which were never surgicly modified by my parents.

I do know how I would feel if I knew that I was misssing a substantial potion of my sex organ because my parents decided that I could get by without it.

I do know how I would feel if my mother had cut my body so that it would resemble hers.

I do know how I would feel if medical groups colluded to produce "potential benefits" to provide excuses to sexually control women through genital reuction surgery.

I do know how I would feel if my government had a law which said that it was not legal to cut the genitals of a man for cultural reasons, but that it was valid to take into account cultural factors when cutting a female...

I do know how that would feel if people made comments about how men like my genital mutilation and that should make me feel good about it.

I do know how it would feel if some man who had never even seen a woman with normal genitals and who had been raised in a culture which fears normal female genitals were to tell me that I could trust him to objectivly research the benefits of cutting the genitals of his daughter by reading all the information that had been researched by people who cut women's genitals for profit and who themselvs, are women with mutilated genitals... and that, together with his wife with the mutilated genitals they would come to a decision that was the right one for their child.

Love Sarah
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#68 of 87 Old 02-28-2004, 01:09 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by SaveTheWild

I am not going to argue the female circumcision point any more. In the four pages of this thread it has been asked about 20 times and I have answered it many times. I am not trying to be difficult, I just think that there isn't much point in us rehashing it over and over.
Really? Where? I didn't see an answer.

Also, in response to your point to Sarah about how only men would be qualified to make the circ decision under her logic - in your opening post you stated your husband's concerns about a circed penis giving more pleasure because of the ridge. Under that logic, only women (or gay or bi men) would be able to make the decision because only they would know what it feels like to have sex with an intact vs. a circed penis.

Also, what makes you think that the woman couldn't feel the ridge under the foreskin if it doesn't retract? It's not like the foreskin is as thick as cardboard- look at the pictures. I'm pretty sure that to the extent I'd be able to distinguish between a prominent ridge and no ridge, I'd be able to feel it through the layer of skin that is the foreskin.

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#69 of 87 Old 02-28-2004, 01:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by AnnMarie
The USA is the ONLY country that does it to so many boys for non-religious reasons. The rest of the world isn't falling over dead because they have a foreskin. It's a decision that simply does NOT have to be made and should be left up to the owner, like any other unnecessary surgeries.


I agree with your general point AnnMarie. Again, remember I am not saying I am going to do it, just that I am going to research it to find out the best choice. Just because other people do it or don't do it isn't enough. It is important to look at the reasons for those choices. If I decide that there is no reason to do it, I wont. End of story.

Quote:
And yes, the female circ argument is valid. If you wouldn't research it for your daughter, why your son? You think it's your responsibility to research all options, so why not that one? Others say there are benefits.
I didn't say it wasn't valid. I said that I have responded to it multiple times on this thread already and that it was pointless to keep saying the same thing over and over again.
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#70 of 87 Old 02-28-2004, 01:19 PM
 
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SavetheWild,

You are a brave woman to post all that you have on this thread! And you have stayed calm and polite throughout - kudos to you!

As Anne-Marie has just said - the foreskin is healthy, functional tissue. I posted a link in another thread for you - an article in a British urology journal which describes what exactly the foreskin is, going into detail concerning its anatomy. It is quite heavy, detailed reading, but well worth it.

You'd never find an article like that published in an American journal for the reason Sarah gave you - American (circumcised) men just cannot admit the value of the foreskin, since they don't have theirs and they insist on continuing to cut off their sons'.

I'm American, and both of my brothers were circumcised without parental consent in military hospitals (my dad is intact). But I'm married to a Brit and live in Scotland.

I just wanted to give you the perspective of someone outside American society. In a society where babies are not routinely subjected to amputating surgery on healthy body parts.

Whenever I have mentioned circumcision to anyone over here (male or female), they react in complete horror. They cannot believe that Americans (a supposedly civilised society) routinely cut the genitals of their baby boys.

You said that you don't want to do the FGM discussion any more - but....

In America, women are not subjected to female circumcision. American women KNOW the value of retaining all of their genitals, because they HAVE all of their genitals. So we, understandably enough, react in horror at the thought of countries where female circumcision is practiced as a matter of course.

In Europe, men are not subjected to male circumcision. European men KNOW the value of retaining all of their genitals, because they HAVE all of their genitals. So they, understandably enough, react in horror at the thought of America, where male circumcision is practised as a matter of course.

Do you see what I'm getting at?

Conversely, in America, American men are circumcised. This is what is common, accepted practice in their society. They have never known anything different, so they don't know what they are missing. And it is the MEN (often) who insist that they have received a benefit from the procedure, so insist on doing the same to their sons.

In countries which practice female circumcision, women are circumcised. This is what is common accepted practice in their society. They have never knownw anything different, so they don't know what they are missing. And it is the WOMEN who insist that they have received a benefit from the procedure, so insist on doing the same to their daughters.

As someone else said, the reason you have received a strong reaction here is simple. If you are able to step outside of American mainstream thought on this issue, you realise - it is simply not your right to cut off a healthy, functioning part of another person's body. Period.

Living in Europe, where most men are intact and almost all babies are left intact (the only ones circumcised are circumcised for religious reasons, generally speaking), it seems so obvious.

You are clearly an intelligent, rational, loving mother, who wants to do what is best for her son. Living here in Scotland, it amazes me yet again to find a mother like you (who clearly wants what is best for her son and is determined to do all the research necessary to find out what is best) who even entertains the thought that circumcision might be a good thing.

That circumcision is even on your horizon as a possible (and I know you have said that you are inherently anti-circ - good for you!) 'good' just points out the incredibly warped nature of American society with respect to this issue.
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#71 of 87 Old 02-28-2004, 01:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sarah, this is my point:

i think that it is important to find out all the information you can and become as educated as possible about making any decision that could affect your child. Learn everything you can, take every factor into account and make a decision in the best interests of your child.

If you are actually offended by or disagree with that concept, I am truly surprised.

The other thing that I am not sure is clear yet is that I AM BIASED TOWARD LEAVING HIM INTACT!!!! I am just saying that bias alone is not enough to base a decision on. I want to base it on all the other factors as well. When I find out all of those other factors I am sure that I will come out choosing to leave him intact. But I will have made the decision wisely, with all information, and in a way I respect.

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#72 of 87 Old 02-28-2004, 01:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Mommiska,

thanks for your post. You make very good points and I agree with you (and appreciate the tone of your post as well ) . It is interesting that this surgery is one place where people are willing to change the natural body in infants. And I have no doubt that everything will show that there is no justifiable basis for doing so. But I won't feel like I have done my job as a parent if I decide the issue without researching it as well as I can.




edited because I spelled Mommiska's name wrong, sorry Mommiska!
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#73 of 87 Old 02-28-2004, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sarah
J
The book I recomend is the Gollaher Book because it helps to frame the modern decision in the historical context... help us to understand our bias, our inability to be subjective... looks at us human like bugs under a microscope... "let's look at those human beings... see them mutilate the sex organ of their babies... I wonder why they - across history... across cultural divides... always return to their genitals with knives..."


Love Sarah
And his book did very little for me. To each her own, I guess. I found the part about Samoa interesting, because I've been there. But it didn't strike me as a book that would provide many answers as to whether or not circ should be continued.

And why'd you pick on Ohio? Is that the dumbest state you could think of? :
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#74 of 87 Old 02-28-2004, 02:00 PM
 
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re: female circ
Quote:
Originally posted by SaveTheWild
I didn't say it wasn't valid. I said that I have responded to it multiple times on this thread already and that it was pointless to keep saying the same thing over and over again. [/B]
I just read over this whole thread again and you didn't directly address female circ. I'm really curious if you have a girl would you spend an equal amount of time researching it?
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#75 of 87 Old 02-28-2004, 02:07 PM
 
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T

and then there's the whole vax issue....


Quote:
Originally posted by SaveTheWild

But I won't feel like I have done my job as a parent if I decide the issue without researching it as well as I can.


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#76 of 87 Old 02-28-2004, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by ~Jenna~
re: female circ

I'm really curious if you have a girl would you spend an equal amount of time researching it?
Just jumping in here, although I'm sure STW can respond for herself. US society says that circ is somewhat ok. US society has said that female circ is not ok. A strange contradiction, I know, but you have to realize the cultural context in which you are asking the question.
But it does help to realize that our justifications for circ are very similar to the justifications used in other countries for FGM (cleanliness, tradition, etc.)
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#77 of 87 Old 02-28-2004, 02:12 PM
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PS to STW, why don't you just continue researching/ thinking and let us know what you decide?

Regarding your original question, I think you will find that any supposed benefits are exaggerated (at best) and not worth putting your son through all of the risks. Because there are lots of very real risks associated with circ'ing!!
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#78 of 87 Old 02-28-2004, 02:15 PM
 
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What I'm getting at is that if male circ is okay and needs to be researched then female circ should be the same. If one wouldn't dream of circ'ing their daughter then I can't figure out why you need to look into for your son.
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#79 of 87 Old 02-28-2004, 02:18 PM
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Again, consider the cultural context of your question. It's hard to believe that millions of other parents are wrong (although they are.)
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#80 of 87 Old 02-28-2004, 02:19 PM
 
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Also I don't like STW's implications that we just went along with other's commentaries that we didn't do the research for ourselves just because some of us here say there are no benefits. I mean, this is the Case AGAINST Circumcision - so it is obviously that some of us are going to think there are NO benefits. I just don't understand why she was suprised some of us feel that way.

somemama - I can see where you are coming from though.
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#81 of 87 Old 02-28-2004, 02:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by somemama
PS to STW, why don't you just continue researching/ thinking and let us know what you decide?


Will do.

Quote:
Regarding your original question, I think you will find that any supposed benefits are exaggerated (at best) and not worth putting your son through all of the risks. Because there are lots of very real risks associated with circ'ing!!
I expect the very same thing.

Peace. Out.


PS to PumpkinSeeds-- Yep, gotta continue my research on the Vax issue too, and I am going about it the same way. There is so much to do!
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#82 of 87 Old 02-28-2004, 02:31 PM
 
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"i think that it is important to find out all the information you can and become as educated as possible about making any decision that could affect your child. "

Once again... the presumption that this is a decision that belongs to you... your imbedded inescapable BIAS from circumcisionculture. Do you think you have a right to cut off or research any other body part- or do you think that it would be criminally wounding a person.. you feel no obligation to research the removal of any other body part except this one... doesn't that put up a little flag that something different is happening here? Why the genitals?

Why the genitals? think think think....

Other parents DON'T feel the need to research this...oher parents just give birth to their babies wihout this IDEA that there is a piece of their child's body they maybe should cut off. Parents from really advanced nations... the people who make Volvos... the people who give out the Nobel prize... the people who designed the Chunnel... not cavemen- but smart caring parents- this does not even make a BLIP on their radar as a possibility... yet you have this audacity that you have this great burden to go out and research if your son should keep all of his sex organ...

"If you are actually offended by or disagree with that concept, I am truly surprised. "

Go ahead and do all the research you want- I'm not gong to stop you- in fact I will help if it makes you feel better... it doesn't make it any less insulting... like way back in 1969 when my dad was researching if he should cut off my clitoris... he found this one study that said I had a 1% chance of getting a uti in my first year of life if I has a clitoris... and he decided that it wasn't worth it... I found out later that there was this bogus study that had been published in 1967 that said there was a WHOPPING 4% chance that I get a UTI... boy am I glad they didn't have the internet back then- because if my dad had seen that OTHER study- he might have been convinced that cutting out my clitoris was in my best interest!

So I'm curious... when you go at the research without knowing the value of the errogenous anatomy... where is the fulcrum on the scale when you get the various stats? What % of uti perventitive benefit would tip YOUR SCALE from (alleged) bias toward intact to bias toward circumcision... there must be a number right? Whats the point of digging up all the numbers if you can't apply them? You must have a plan... what is it? How do you construct the cost benefit model if you don't know the anatomy and you don't acknowledge a human's basic right to posess all of their sexual anatomy. If you can't acknowledge that- it would be like letting people who can't acknowledge the rights of all humans design the analysis of the appropriateness of abolition. There is a broken piece in the model.

The entire premise of this research undertaking is that your son's right to his whole sex organ is something that might be overridden by statistical analysis.

Hmmm.

Why the genitals?

Love Sarah
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#83 of 87 Old 02-28-2004, 02:42 PM
 
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Somemama- I live at the KY, IN, OH tristate... my husband was circumcised (without any parental consent) in Ohio. My picking on Ohio was not scorn- it was simply a place where the circ rate is high and a girl would likely have little interaction with people who had not circumcised or who were not circumcised (thanks to the blanket policy of circumcising all boys born in Ohio hospitals decades ago) ... a person to whom the presentation of material against circumcision might come as totally out of left field... a person who had never for a second even considered not circumcising... not because she was dumb... just because that was the world she was in.

As for the book not providing "answers" (you mean directions?)... that's why I liked it- Gollaher doesn't take a stance- he just explains the history... it's up to you if you want to join the hisorical picture of humans fixating on the genitals of their children and cutting them for whatever reason is popular in their century/continent.


Love Sarah
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#84 of 87 Old 02-28-2004, 03:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by SaveTheWild
Just because other people do it or don't do it isn't enough.
I agree. Every male being born with one is.
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#85 of 87 Old 02-28-2004, 03:11 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by ~Jenna~
What I'm getting at is that if male circ is okay and needs to be researched then female circ should be the same. If one wouldn't dream of circ'ing their daughter then I can't figure out why you need to look into for your son.
As well as researching cutting off the fingernails, toes, fingers, ears, and every other body part. Makes just as much sense as researching cutting off part of the penis.
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#86 of 87 Old 02-28-2004, 06:08 PM
 
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mattemma04 is offline  
#87 of 87 Old 02-28-2004, 07:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by ~Jenna~
Also I don't like STW's implications that we just went along with other's commentaries that we didn't do the research for ourselves just because some of us here say there are no benefits. I mean, this is the Case AGAINST Circumcision - so it is obviously that some of us are going to think there are NO benefits. I just don't understand why she was suprised some of us feel that way.

somemama - I can see where you are coming from though.
I don't think it's wrong to ask the question of how much research we did. I think the question stems more from curiosity than from criticism.
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