When did you become anti-circ? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 53 Old 01-21-2011, 09:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We live in a country where most adult males are circumcised, so most of us grew up thinking of the cut penis as normal. When I was young, I just assumed boys were born that way. When I learned about it later, I thought it was just something you were supposed to do and didn't give it much thought. The first intact penis I saw was on a baby boy at a day care I worked at when I was 19. When I became curious why his parents didn't do what they were "supposed to" some other employee explained that it was probably part of their religion.

 

I didn't know much about circumcision and just figured I'd have it done when/if I had a boy. I never did any research on it until I found out I was having a boy in late 2009. I wanted to know why I was doing it before I made a big decision like that. I'm so glad I did! Now I know the truth! I feel guilty about my ignorance before my pregnancy, but at least no harm came from it. My baby boy is intact.

 

Since it's likely that most of you grew up used to the circumcised penis, what made you question circumcision and when did you decide you were against it?

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#2 of 53 Old 01-21-2011, 10:13 PM
 
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I was probably around 15 or 16 or so. I was literally walking down the street.. probably to a babysitting job or something. And I just started thinking about it. What I knew about circing could be broken down like this:

 

most males in the country were

its highly debated, some people are against it

those in favor of it say reduces risk of infections/cleanliness as the reason

others did it for religious reasons

 

Thats about it. Really, nothing else! So my train of thought sort of went, okay, boys are born with foreskins.. so it must be there for a reason.. God doesn't make mistakes and I would never be so arrogant as to assume that I could improve upon his creation of the male body... thus, circing is illogical. Really more of a philosophical reason than a religious one. Basically, no sense meddling. From that point, I gradually learned more and more and of course, "the more you know, the worse it gets" and I became more and more horrified and *furious* by the procedure with every new fact learned. 


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#3 of 53 Old 01-21-2011, 10:24 PM
 
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I became anti-circ after my daughter was born. I've said since she was lucky she was a girl. I had been very influenced over the years by my mother, who is very pro-circ for religious reasons.

During my pregnancy with dd, it came to my attention that I was the only person out of 8 couples in our childbirth class who would circ. I though that the others simply didn't understand the benefits. But when it really came down to it, some of those couples had put a lot of thought into their decision not to circ, and I couldn't really explain why I would circ except that I had always believed it to be normal. I also discovered then that less than half of all boys born in our area were circed (this was in 2000, the circ rate has decreased much more since).

Between the births of my two kids, I was further influenced by someone online who kept posting links to anti-circ sites. At first I thought she was extreme, but I was eventually convinced by the large amounts of research that showed no benefit to circ and that the foreskin does have functions.

Ironically, after discussing our decision not to circ ds with my family, I found out that both my dad and step-dad are intact. My mom is so pro-circ that she was embarrassed to admit that she has only been with intact men! Most of dh's family is intact as well.
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#4 of 53 Old 01-21-2011, 10:28 PM
 
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When I was in my early teens and I learned what circ was from my mom.

 
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#5 of 53 Old 01-21-2011, 10:51 PM
 
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I think when I saw my ex-step-nephew and was changing his diaper.  He was probably the first intact boy I'd seen.  My mom told me to be sure to pull back his foreskin and clean under, but I felt that was icky, so I didn't and just wiped him and changed his diaper.  (I was pregnant with DD1 at the time, but had no idea of the baby's gender).  When I was at the hospital after having the baby, they made a call for all parents to go to the circumcision-care class.  They actually circumcised the babies while parents were in the class.  It sounded like it was for ALL parents, so I asked them:  "do parents of girls need to attend?" no.  "do parents that are not going to circumcise need to attend"  no.  the babies are circumcised while parents are in the class (so if you went not intending to circ, but went because you thought you "had" to to be released...no wonder by the time DS was born they changed it...someone was probably circ'd against mom and dad's wishes and they raised heck).

 

When pregnant with DS, I started to research it before I knew what I was having.  I realized there was no way I could do it, but DH insisted.  I stopped reading anything anti-circ and tried to only read pro-circ stuff for a while.  But, I couldn't get the cognitive dissonance to go away.  In a way, I'm glad he was deployed when DS was born...so I could have my way.  Besides, I was squeamish about caring for the circ wound.  Is that bad?  I agreed to get it done before DH deployed and before we knew what we were having.  I made appointments, but found reasons to cancel and reschedule until it was "too late"-ie, he'd need to be put under GA and they would not do it until age 1 or unless he was going under for necessary surgery, not something completely elective.  When pregnant with DD2, we were in fear that it was a boy...DH because DS is autistic and boys have a higher chance than girls...me for the "circumcision fight".  I think I'm done with the baby-making business.

 

I can't say I'm anti-circ.  I'm anti-infant/child/before the person can consent circumcision.  If you want to modify your body, that is your own business.  I'm also anti-ear-piercing of infants/toddlers/very young children.  My 9 year old has no desire to get her ears pierced--and you know what?  That's okay.  They are her ears.  If my girls want their ears pierced, they can have it done when they can take care of it themselves.  Though I'll take them to a piercing studio, not Claire's or something like that.

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#6 of 53 Old 01-21-2011, 11:08 PM
 
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I became anti-infant circumcision when I saw my very first one performed in nursing school.

By the time I had children I had seen many circs, all heartbreaking to me, and I also knew it was medically unnecessary. My DH is circed but I had dated intact men. So I knew foreskins weren't gross or problematic in sex. So while yes, circ is still in my cultural "norm", I knew enough to know it wasn't something I needed to do to my children.


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#7 of 53 Old 01-21-2011, 11:10 PM
 
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It's a little embarrassing, I must have grown up in a bubble. My folks were very religious and always hid their skin, my skin and my brother's skin. I didn't know anything about circumcision until childbirth classes ... I was 25 years old. The Bradley instructor showed us a film of one being done and said the kicker... " it isn't even necessary". That nailed it for me. Even though I realized my hubby was cut... no way was my son going to be. Thankfully, he respected the opinion of the teacher and me and that was all she wrote.

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#8 of 53 Old 01-22-2011, 12:07 AM
 
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growing up, even though I only saw circ'ed boys, but didn't know they were circ'ed. I think I heard of circ for the first time when I was in Jr. High, but only as something that was done for religious reasons. I think it was when I was in college that I learned about the claimed STD benefits of circ and the opposing studies that showed decreased STD transmission with non circ. at this point I was still pretty neutral on the subject, and had still never seen a foreskin, but didn't know that. It wasn't until I was with DF, who is intact, that I started to learn about the normal functions of the foreskin. and during my pregnancy with DD I started to learn about all the possible complications of circing. I'm expecting a boy in about 8 weeks, and I still have never seen an intact baby or toddler.


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#9 of 53 Old 01-22-2011, 04:57 AM
 
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I saw a photo of a circumcision being done, got nauseous, researched a bit on the "pros" and cons, realized that my son would be born with it, and that was that.  In the 7 years since, I have truly come to understand how awful circumcision is.


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#10 of 53 Old 01-22-2011, 06:35 AM
 
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I knew it was a somewhat controversial "choice" made by some parents from the time i was a teenager. I did a lot of babysitting, and one family that i was really close with had a third son and agonized over the decision. In the end, he was cut to match his brothers, but another boy born at the same time was left whole. I guess that planted the seed for me. I never actually cared for an intact boy, however.

After college, i spent some time abroad, and was exposed to the intact penis and, uh, many of its benefits. redface.gif that is what really put me into the intact camp, i think, but it wasnt until pregmant with first child (we did not find out gender) that i really became anti-circ. My mom was not supportive at first, hilarious since my dad is intact! (i found that out during my pregnancy for the first time). DH finally came around, and never pushed too hard for it. In his opinion, in order to do any procedure on his child, the benefits must substantially outweigh the risks, and circ does not meet that definition. I wouldnt call him an intactivist, but he tolerates me, haha.

In the seven years since ds, and adding three more intact boys, became a passionate intactivist. It is hard ... I worry about my nephews who are circ'd, and i obsess about friends having boys, and try to get them to at least consider it carefully. Im probably batting less than .100, so obviouly my technique stinks, but im staying at it!

As for why -- i am of the dont mess with nature/God persuasion, and also of the, "something terrible could happen due to this choice..." camp, and probably also the fear of him wanting it back later camp, too. LOL, it bothers me on every level, I guess.
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#11 of 53 Old 01-22-2011, 07:45 AM
 
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At the age of six, on the first night in boarding school, in the communal "bath room" - yes a whole row of tubs.  I noticed that many of the boys had a penis that did not resemble my own, and it was with horror that I realised that a part of mine had been removed.  Of course I was very curious as to why?  But as the years went by I became more and more opposed and disgusted with the practice.

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#12 of 53 Old 01-22-2011, 09:48 AM
 
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Somehow, I stumbled on a site that listed "Top 10 Ways" male circumcision causes women sexual pain. (Google "sex as nature intended it" to see this. Note that it has penis photos and animations of intercourse.) Now, I have sexual pain as a result of vaginismus, and I can tell it causes my DP sadness that I'm in pain. Imagine how he would feel if something about his body were causing me pain! I wondered, how can a parent inflict that on their son?

 

And then... "the more you know, the worse it gets."

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#13 of 53 Old 01-22-2011, 11:01 AM
 
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I wasn't anti-circ even when my husband told me he hated the fact that he was cut, but now that it causes problems with intercourse, I am totally anti-circ, and so are my nurse and doctor.

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#14 of 53 Old 01-22-2011, 11:15 AM
 
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My DH was the deciding factor and didn't even know it. Like you I grew up thinking circumcision was something you were "supposed to do". When me and my DH started dating he was the first intact man I'd ever been with or even seen. Naturally I was curious. So I did some research online. When I saw pictures of baby boys strapped to tables, screaming, with tears streaming down their little faces I knew that was something I could never do.

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#15 of 53 Old 01-22-2011, 11:49 AM
 
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I don't remember when exactly I became anti-circ.  Growing up, the only penis I saw was my little brother's when we had bathtime together, and he was intact.  Of course, since I wasn't even 10 years old yet, I didn't know about circumcision.  My first boyfriend was circumsized, but again, since I'd never seen another adult penis, I didn't know there was another possibility.  It wasn't until I dated my second boyfriend, who was intact, that I realized something was different and learned about circumcision.  Unfortunately, I don't think my second boyfriend had a "normal" intact penis - the opening of his foreskin was very tight and didn't retract (I honestly don't know much about it, so maybe that is normal, but it definitely looked different than an erect penis with the foreskin retracted).  Anyways, my next two boyfriends were circumsized, and I will say that I preferred the look and feel of the circumsized penis, as compared to my second boyfriend's intact but non-retractable penis.  So at that point, I guess I was pro-circ, mainly just based on my own preferences.  However, my fifth boyfriend (who eventually became DH ;)) was intact, and finally I could see that an intact penis looks and functions just like a circumsized one when erect.  When we got pregnant, it was basically a non-issue - DH wasn't circumsized and had never had any issues, and I now appreciated the natural beauty of an intact penis ;)  And of course, as I learned more about what was involved with circumcision, there was no way I could do that to a child of mine!  And finally, I'm not religious, but I do believe in evolution - so I believe that if human males evolved to have a foreskin, there is a good reason for it ;)  So now I am definietly anti-circ, and would always try to convince someone not to circ their sons if given the opportunity.


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#16 of 53 Old 01-22-2011, 02:37 PM
 
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In hindsight, I became "anti-circ" the moment I discovered I was having a boy!  I didn't think much about it and always assumed I would do it like everyone else......then I became pregnant with a little boy and suddenly, when it was MY son, I felt deep reservations and anxiety.  Deep down, I knew I would never do it and even though I went through the motions of "doing research" and talking it over with my husband and doctor, deep down, the mothering instinct in me was stronger than anything else I encountered.  I was going to protect my son at any costs and I did.  I'm so glad I did. So glad.  He is 3 1/2 now and is perfect just the way he is.

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#17 of 53 Old 01-22-2011, 02:58 PM
 
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I had a friend in high school who mentioned that he and his brother weren't circ'd. In retrospect, I see that his mom was very much an MDC momma smile.gif. That was the first thing that made me think about it, especially since he said he was glad that he hadn't been. Then when I was in my very early twenties, I heard Howard Stern ranting about it on his show. That's when it really sank in. By the time I got pregnant at 23, it wasn't any question. I did do research on it at that point, just to be thorough, but it would have taken a whole lot to change my mind.
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#18 of 53 Old 01-22-2011, 03:17 PM
 
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I never really had an opinion on it, until I was 19 or so. Two things happened: my little cousin was born and his parents chose to leave him intact, and also I worked in a daycare one summer, where about 75% of the little boys in the infant room were intact. After that it just seemed normal to me, and seeing how it didn't give them any issues made me feel like it was a pointless surgery.


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#19 of 53 Old 01-22-2011, 08:45 PM
 
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I grew up in all circ family and I remember watching Seinfeld getting his thumb cut during one of his episodes on Seinfeld which just creeped me out.  That was in highschool and my brother mentioned all boys get circ'ed in hospitals.

 

So I assumed that was proably the case and then found out it wasn't after I met my ex whose my son's father . He was the first one I knew and saw intact .  What's funny since I was never told about foreskin or intact guys  that it took me awhile to realize he was not circumcised because I thought oh I guess all penises look differently.

 

So then all I knew it clicked in me that he has a foreskin .  So then I go oh I guess I don't have to circ because he's not circ'ed.

 

So I didn't find the real truth about circumcision until I was researching how to care for a foreskin and saw the Wipe Only .  Then I clicked on a circumcison link which was cirp that showed the circ procedure in detail , plus complications which made me totally horrified that is happening to little boys .

 

So that's how I became against circ and I'm actually the only girl in the family who has been with a intact male and who left  her son intact.

 

So my son's father saved his son from being circ because he was not circ'ed himself.

 

I hope if i had been with a circ'ed male that I would have researched it out of curiousity instead of going whatever .

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#20 of 53 Old 01-22-2011, 08:59 PM
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I would have to say, and I hope this is MDC appropriate, but it was when I first met my second sexual partner. My first, who was also my first love and we were together for a several years, was not circumcised. I never thought too much about it - until I was involved in another sexual relationship with someone who was. Googling sex as nature intended it could fill in the rest of those blanks. I knew then that I would never circumcise my sons.

 

After I got pregnant, I of course researched it more, but my early impressions never changed.


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#21 of 53 Old 01-22-2011, 09:30 PM
 
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I researched when I found out we were having a boy. Similar to Catholicmum- my momma bear instinct knew before my conscious mind did.

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#22 of 53 Old 01-22-2011, 09:56 PM
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When I studied history and the genital cutting of girls/women.   (As a result, I started questioning what we do to boys.)  That was reinforced when my doula said she regretting circ'ing her son, and she hoped I wouldn't circ mine.

 


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#23 of 53 Old 01-23-2011, 09:54 AM
 
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How great to see a group against circ!! There is no need for it and doctors make it worse pressuring to say don't retract foreskin of little boys, WRONG!! believe me you should start retracting your baby son's foreskin right from the first time you clean his foreskin, it will be clean, germ free and as he gets older he will keep the sensitivity for full sexual pleasure. I am a white witch with three sons and there is absolutely no case that can convince me that circ is right or necessary. well done for raising this I think we should petition parliaments to stop this cruel mutilation

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#24 of 53 Old 01-23-2011, 10:40 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andysingh View Post

How great to see a group against circ!! There is no need for it and doctors make it worse pressuring to say don't retract foreskin of little boys, WRONG!! believe me you should start retracting your baby son's foreskin right from the first time you clean his foreskin, it will be clean, germ free and as he gets older he will keep the sensitivity for full sexual pleasure. I am a white witch with three sons and there is absolutely no case that can convince me that circ is right or necessary. well done for raising this I think we should petition parliaments to stop this cruel mutilation

 

Well, while I do agree circ isn't necessary and that doctors shouldn't pressure parents into do it, I disagree in retracting and cleaning in infancy. Retraction will happen on it's own in it's own way and parents can do great harm by trying to force it. Nobody should really retract the foreskin except for the boy himself. Babies only need to outside of the penis cleaned. The foreskin protects the inside.
 

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#25 of 53 Old 01-24-2011, 10:04 AM
 
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I'm sorry but you are wrong gentle retraction from a very early age of the child's foreskin will make things so that the foreskin is not tight later. The family and circle of friends I am from has a total of 11 males all of them had their foreskin carefully manually retracted right from nappy changing stage and every one has a very good, relaxed & retractable foreskin and none have needed circumcision. Its time medical people came to reality that's the way to help cut down on the amount of medically needed circs

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#26 of 53 Old 01-24-2011, 10:46 AM
 
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To the OP:  I became anti-circ when I had my first baby.  I didn't want to circ, but my husband did.  Crying, I handed my baby over....and regretted it.  I decided the next time not to, and now have 2 intact boys.  I really, really became passionate after I watched an online video of a circumcision being performed.  I believe every parent should have to watch the video before consenting; they really down-playing it when you hand your child over.  "It's painless," "They don't feel it - they just hate being strapped down," "It's for the best," "Better now than later."  I don't think you get a good understanding of what is actually happening to your baby since you don't see it and they don't (at least not to me) explain without your urging.

 

Let's make sure we stay on focus, as the OP was addressing "when did you become anti-circ?" winky.gif


 

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#27 of 53 Old 01-24-2011, 12:03 PM
 
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This is not the proper advice for intact penis care. The foreskin is supposed to be fused to the glands until it naturally retracts which can happen anytime from the age of 2-3 or sometimes not until puberty. This is normal. There is no need to retract the foreskin and clean under it. Once the foreskin naturally retracts, all that needs to be done is a quick rinse and swish in the shower or bath.

 

Premature retraction of the foreskin can cause tears and adhesion that can possibly lead to infections and ultimately circumcision.

Quote:
Originally Posted by andysingh View Post

I'm sorry but you are wrong gentle retraction from a very early age of the child's foreskin will make things so that the foreskin is not tight later. The family and circle of friends I am from has a total of 11 males all of them had their foreskin carefully manually retracted right from nappy changing stage and every one has a very good, relaxed & retractable foreskin and none have needed circumcision. Its time medical people came to reality that's the way to help cut down on the amount of medically needed circs




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#28 of 53 Old 01-24-2011, 12:05 PM
 
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To answer the OP's question: I became anti-circ after seeing circumcisions live and in person at the age of 17 during a hospital learning trip for CNA classes.

 


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#29 of 53 Old 01-24-2011, 04:07 PM
 
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I became anticirc when I was pregnant with my first. My mother called me out of the blue and said, "have you thought at all about circumcision?" I replied that I hadn't and I thought it was just something you do. She sent a me a book. I think the title was Say No to Circumcision or something like that. After reading it and having dh read it, we were completely against it. My mother was so relieved. She was a maternity nurse for many years and she said that she couldn't stand the circumcisions and would always tell her patients that there was no medical reason to do it and that it was very painful. I love my mom! lol.gif

 
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#30 of 53 Old 01-24-2011, 04:50 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QueenOfTheMeadow View Post

She was a maternity nurse for many years and she said that she couldn't stand the circumcisions and would always tell her patients that there was no medical reason to do it and that it was very painful. I love my mom! lol.gif


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