Need help re: friendship - not sure if thise is best place to post??? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 29 Old 03-08-2011, 02:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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One of my closest friend's circumcised her son. I tried to gently educate her when she was pregnant but she went ahead and had it done. In almost all respects she is the sweetest, gentlest of mamas. Bfing, BLWing, CDing, peaceful homebirth, she is a doula... but then this.

 

I can not understand why and I am so, so sad. I really can't see how I can continue the friendship. I really feel so very strongly against circumcision.

 

Does anyone have any wise words on how I can go forward? I can't bring myself to even speak to her at the moment and I am so sad for the baby, for her not becoming educated despite the readily available material  and the fact that I think our friendship (now irrvevocably changed anyway) has gone.

 

Help and thanks for any advice

 

 

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#2 of 29 Old 03-08-2011, 03:00 PM
 
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Her child, her choice.  

 

If she truly is everything you say can I ask why something that has no direct impact on you or your family you are willing to cut her (one of your CLOSEST friends!) out of your life?

 

Really good friends are priceless to *me*. I weigh the whole package not just one or two things. My son is now 9 and those "big" things that were so important when he was infant have been replaced with other concerns. I am so glad that I have my friends to help me muddle thru, especially those who may parent differently then I do, and have made different decisions. My BFF pierced her infant daughters ears, not something I would EVER do but I wasn't going to throw away a life long friendship over it. shrug.gif

 

And the new friends that I have met recently?  I honestly have no idea if they EBF, natural child birthed/home birthed, etc. Sure I could ask but when the kids are older its kind of a non issue if overall they are good parents.

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#3 of 29 Old 03-08-2011, 04:45 PM
 
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I have cut friends and family out of my life who have circumcised even after knowing it was not something that needed to be done.. It hurts but it hurts more to know they didn't leave their boy intact.

I don't agree with "her child her choice" I believe in "His body His choice" and I lose respect for any parent who decides to take that choice from their son and then tell me I need to respect their choice! It's so hypocritical!

 

 


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#4 of 29 Old 03-08-2011, 04:58 PM
 
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Just wanted to offer some support and let you know this is exactly the right place to post about it.  I was very nearly in your position (my friend decided not to go through with it, thankfully), so I relate a little. 

 

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#5 of 29 Old 03-08-2011, 05:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Sillything View Post

I have cut friends and family out of my life who have circumcised even after knowing it was not something that needed to be done.. It hurts but it hurts more to know they didn't leave their boy intact.

I don't agree with "her child her choice" I believe in "His body His choice" and I lose respect for any parent who decides to take that choice from their son and then tell me I need to respect their choice! It's so hypocritical!

 

 


What you said exactly it has everything to do with his choice being taken away and her having knowingly hurt her ds without medical cause.

For me there are lines that when crossed I can not in good conscious go along with. That includes child abuse of any form/ and circ. When they know the facts ahead of time and still do it. Now should I meet someone new with after they had given birth and the deed already done that is a whole other thing.

 
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#6 of 29 Old 03-09-2011, 05:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the welcome hollybearsmom.

 

ITA about the piecing an infant's ears. It wouldn't be my thing either and similarly, I certainly wouldn't throw a friendship away over it. But for me, although that is similar to circ. in that it takes away the choice of the infant and is for cosmetic reasons only, it is really at one end of te spectrum wih circ at the other. Ear piercing doesn't radically change the function of the ears, the baby can always choose not to wear ear rings when she is older if she so chooses and I suspect it doesn't have the complcation rate and the risks associated with it iyswim. Plus, I suspect it doesn't cause the same kind of pain!

 

I also have a small group of *very* close friends, of which this girl was one. I love all of their children because they are the children of my closest friends and they are very special people in their own right. I care about them all deeply, I treasure them simply because they're the kids of my friends. We all have older kids. I know when you only have babies and small children, perspectives can get a bit skewed sometimes but I have 3 kiddos who are 8, 5 and 1.

 

My main issue with it is the human rights aspect. I don't have a problem if someone can make that kind of decision for themselves when they're old enough, go nuts! Do whatever you want; tattoos, piecings, body art or whatever... But to make that decision for a child and take away their right to do what they want to their own body. It isn't the parent's body. It is the child's. They are no less a person or an indivdual at the age of 15 or 15 days. Would a person forcibly strap their 15 yo down and have them circ'd because the parents preferred it? No, I doubt it so why is it ok to do it to a newborn infant? Because they are able to when the baby is smaller. ITA agree with this statement

 

Quote:
I don't agree with "her child her choice" I believe in "His body His choice" and I lose respect for any parent who decides to take that choice from their son and then tell me I need to respect their choice! It's so hypocritical!

 

Quote:

For me there are lines that when crossed I can not in good conscious go along with. That includes child abuse of any form/ and circ. When they know the facts ahead of time and still do it. Now should I meet someone new with after they had given birth and the deed already done that is a whole other thing.

 

Absolutely that too. I certainly wouldn't cast off a friend for having circ'd without being educated / informed on the procedure. Nobody is a perfect parent. They don't exist. 

 

Ultimately, the deed has been done. I am making every consious effort to try and not dwell on this poor boy and his pain and the short and long term impilcations of what has been done to him. He may grow up to be happy he was circ'd. I sincerely hope he is complication free and happy for all his days. But I still am shocked that she took the choice away from him and chose to have him put under the knife. Especially as she is a doula because I feel she ought to know her stuff, it is her profession after all! Her burying her head in the sand and pretending the medical evidence (aside from everything else) isn't there doesn't make it so. Unfortunately, the truth is the truth! The literature is there and easily accessible.

 

I just wonder if it is possible to salvage a friendship. I know it can never be what it was anyway.

 

I am hoping that having a dialogue with like minded people may help me processs what has happened here. I wish I could take my head off my shoulders and set it aside for a while. I know too much about circ. and it makes my heart so sad. Ignorance IS bliss!!!

 

I did like this post I read: http://www.drmomma.org/2010/04/stepping-away-from-friendship-in-name.html

 

I think it pretty much sums up where I am at (and some of the comments at the bottom of the page) But I don't want to be in that place!!! But don't human rights win out and trump friendship every time??? Maybe I need to try and take the emotion out of this, stop being sad and angry, draw a line in the sand and make a stand for what I believe in. I'm normally a very open minded individual but for some reason, this, I just can't see how I can get past.

 

See how I am see-sawing?!?! Thanks ladies for helping me process this! I do appreciate all your feedback.

 

 

 

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#7 of 29 Old 03-09-2011, 05:35 AM
 
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When my first baby was born, I lost a friendship greatly because I was offended by what I perceived as her criticism of how I gave birth.  She couldn't get over the fact that I "suffered" by not having an epidural, when I considered myself to have had a great birth experience.  I never called her again, but I have regretted it since.  My priorities have were different then, but when I had marriage problems years later I think she could have been a great support had I been closer to her.  In retrospect, it seems like a petty reason to end a friendship.

 

My son is 8 years old and I don't know whether any of his friends are circumcised.  When he was a baby and toddler, the issue of circumcision came up at times with friends and parenting groups.  Now, it doesn't come up at all.  It's not that I don't think it is important, but there does come a point when that one issue does not dominate relationships.  I don't see a purpose in ending a friendship over this issue, even if I don't respect the decision someone makes.

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#8 of 29 Old 03-09-2011, 06:16 AM
 
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I totally understand where you are coming from.  In fact, I made a similar post in here a month or so ago. 

 

I am very outspoken on my blog (which is read by my family and friends) and I had a friend who said she didn't want to circ her son based off of what I had written but ended up doing it in the end.  She didn't go into detail why but I think she was pressured by her husband.

 

It has totally changed how I felt about her.  Right or wrong.  That's just where I'm at in this process now.

 

I have a feeling that another one of my friend's circ'ed their son in spite of what I've written as well and my policy is to never ask.  (The aforementioned friend came right and told me she did it, I didn't actually ask her).  This has changed how I felt about her. 

 

But, even though, it's changed how I feel about them, I didn't throw away the friendships.  I am still respectful to them but I've distanced myself from them.  If I should ever run into them at a birthday party or something, I will be pleasant and civil but they will never hold the same respect as I had for them before they consciously handed over their little boys to undergo an unnecessary surgery without anesthesia. 

 

I must disagree with the PP who said that it's their child and their choice. 

 

I agree with that premise on everything except circumcision (BFing vs. FF, home birth vs. planned c-section, working moms vs. SAH moms, vaxing vs. non-vaxing---I can see and understand the reasoning behind each one of these parenting choices and though some of them aren't what I would choose, I can still see the logic and reasoning behind them.  I will never see circ'ing as anything but unnecessary and cruel).   Circumcision is NOT a choice.  The parents my CHOOSE to sign the consent form and the doctor may CHOOSE to go through with the procedure and accept the monetary rewards for it but the only one who doesn't have a choice in the matter is the baby, who was forced to endure it.

 

It is not a choice.  It is not anyone's penis except the baby's.  When the baby is a grown man, he can research it and decide for himself.

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#9 of 29 Old 03-09-2011, 06:25 AM
 
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What I meant by "her child her choice" is that the deed has already been done and it can't be undone. It was her child and she made the choice that she did. She is going to have to deal with explaining it to her son when he is old enough to understand. 

 

So when these situations arise I have to ask myself if the rest of the relationship is worth saving/maintaining. So reading your statement that she is one of your closest friends, she does all the other things you approve of/respect (EBF, CLW, home birth, etc) and I assume she is supportive of you, has your back, is a shoulder to lean on and all the other things that make up a close friend.  One top of that it will be more than you that is impacted- your children and her children will be impacted, your other relationships in this circle of friends will be impacted too. And you know what- that's OK if her choice is such that you can never forgive her.  *I* just have have hard time with that. I hope you are kind to her yet very clear when you "break up". 

 

I think I am colored by the fact that I have really needed my friends recently and I don't have that many. In the last 4 year I have lost both my parents, my son has been diagnosed with many disabilities, my marriage almost ended. I could have never made it through it all with out the support and kindness of my friends. That fact that one of them mutilated their daughters body didn't change the fact she is is the kindest person I know, that my son loves and trusts her enough to willingly go with her, that she would drive hundreds of miles to help as my mom when thru treatment after treatment. 

 

So as anti circ as I am sometimes I have step back and say that there are some things that out of my control. Same with the woman who make other parenting decisions that I don't agree with. But ultimately I choose to look at the whole picture not judge on one thing, especially if it something that can't be undone. (OK, I guess technically a circumcision can be reversed, technically the ear holes can close up, etc).

 

Can I ask if your friend knew your feelings/thoughts on circ? What did she say when she told you about the circ? I would assume that someone who was fully educated on the subject, who had  best friend who was a known intactivist would be prepared for the repercussions. Maybe she is ready to cut of the friendship as well?

 

My friend who pierced her daughters ears was very sensitive to my feelings when she told me. Her husband is from a culture where piercing the ears (and nose) of infants and children is standard and she chose to support his culture. I strongly disagreed and we were able to agree to disagree and move one.  Her daughter in now 13 and every girl (and a number of the boys) all have peirced ear so it never even comes up anymore.


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#10 of 29 Old 03-09-2011, 08:06 AM
 
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I think you are struggling so deeply with this because you know the truth of circumcision and you cannot reconcile how anyone else who has been presented with the truth could consent to it.

There is a big difference between being presented with facts and BELIEVING those facts.  Your friend didn't believe the facts or she would not have gone through with it (unless she was truly mentally ill and wished to inflict short term pain and long term damage to her son).

 

That social conditioning is so entrenched that it would cause a mother to ask her child to be cut in his most sensitive place, to have a healthy normal piece of him tossed into a medical waste bin (or sold to the biotech industry) speaks to just how extremely brainwashed we are about the normal male anatomy.  The fear of having to take care of a foreskin, the fear of him being different from dad, siblings, peers, the fear of being rejected and harassed by family.....it's all fear.

 

There is a big difference between one who is informed and is willing to take in the facts and one who is informed and rejects the facts. 

 

A friend of my husband just circumcised their child after being fully informed.  My husband gave them an info packet from Saving Penises with articles and three DVDs.  I spoke to the dad (dh's friend) - I don't know the wife well.  From our 90+ conversation, I know he watched the videos and read the material.  He was truly FULLY INFORMED and was told by his child's doctor that it was unnecessary.  They circumcised the baby anyway.  If it had been a girl they did this to, I would have been the first to call the authorities to report the violation of the Federal FGM law.  I consider it a criminal assault.  It totally colors how I view them and honestly, I don't wish to ever see them again.  This is a much different situation because I was not emotionally close to them to start with.  My husband was and he does not share my feelings on the situation.  I would never impose my views on my husband nor comment on his continued friendship with them as long as he respects my position and doesn't invite them to dinner at our house!

 

I fully understand the conflict you are in.  Ending the relationship for your own personal standards is reasonable.  Continuing the relationship in an effort to be peaceful in the face of a terrible act can has it's merits too.  Perhaps you can be of assistance in helping her to see the wrong in thsi if you continue the relationship.  Mothers who have circumcised and then changed their minds on it are very convincing advocates against circumcision if they choose to be.

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#11 of 29 Old 03-09-2011, 10:28 AM
 
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I have to wonder if your friend would ever really feel the same about you, knowing your thoughts toward her now, despite all the other wonderful qualities you describe. So perhaps the friendship is a lost cause at this point. While I would never cut a dear friend out of my life for this reason, I certainly hope you will tell her why you are ditching her, if that's what you decide. She deserves to know.
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#12 of 29 Old 03-09-2011, 12:22 PM
 
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hug.gif I understand where you are coming from. I have a very wonderful friend that I presented the information about circ to when she was pregnant. She really didn't want to hear it or think about it. Thankfully, she had a girl. I don't know what she'll do if she has a boy, and to be honest, I don't want to know. I know it would be hard to handle if she did circ, but at the same time, I love her for so many reasons. I wouldn't cut her out of my life. She's been such a support through over half of my life, I don't know what I'd do without her.

 
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#13 of 29 Old 03-09-2011, 12:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I would definitely let her know why I find myself unable to reconcile this decision she has made with my viewpoint on this matter. I would never consider just cutting her off and not speaking with her again. We do have mutual friends and the ones I have spoken to about it, really to help me rocess all of this are also pretty upset to be honest.

 

I sent her some info. when she was about 20w along. She didn't know what sex she was having so I sent her some web links to DrMomma articles. She was fine about me bringing it up. 

 

I spoke with her the day before the circ, she told me nothing of it. That was on the monday. We spoke at length because her dad had just had a heart attack that morning (and survived thank goodness) and so we spent ages talking about that (30 minutes no less). She had every opportunity of telling me the appt. was for the next day but she didn't. Then on the Weds morning, one day after the circ,  2 days after we spoke, I find she has put about the circ. in her facebook status update hidden in a post which was mainly about her dad. Lots of people saying how sorry they were he had been so unwell etc... So because we had already talked at length 2 days earlier about her dad, I just put 'so you did it? :-(' literally just exactly those words. She deleted my comment. I didn't think it was that offensive!! I asked our mutual friends if what I had written was so bad that it would require deleting,They didn't think it was so bad.

 

On the Friday she started writing on my FB wall. Do I want my mat clothes back (when I told her categorically I didn't want them back, we are done with having babies) how is work going etc... and has been filling up my wall with posts. I have basically stopped going on FB for now because the sweater I handknitted for her son, she took lots of photos of him in it and tagged me in them all. I was so sad I couldn't bring myself to see pics of the baby in the top I knitted. So even though she has been posting on my wall and acting like nothing happened, I can't bring myself to respond.

 

I do love my friend to bits. I really do. She reaaly is that special to me but I guess this demonstrates my strength of feeling; how fundamentally and vehemently anti circ I am. I have 1 girl and 2 boys. Why is my dd protected from even a nick on her genitals but my 2 ds are not? My friend was due the exact same day as another couple I know. They had a girl. Why was she automatically born protected by the law and he wasn't? Because she has the all important second X chromasome. not a Y.

 

So yes, she knew (and must know by now due to my continued silence) that I disagree with it. Maybe she didn't realise quite how much I am opposed to it. Even I have surprised myself just how upset I have gotten over this. And I honestly don't think she has any idea how *much* I have read up on it. Having said that, she herself would tease me on how I research, research, research everything to the point of being almost neurotic so she would know that I know my stuff on this issue.

 

On the plus side, I have made one step forward.I decided I would donate some money to a few organisations that campaign to outlaw against MGM in the name of her son (e.g. Saving Penises) int he style of 'This donation is being made in the name of ***** ***** '  I couldn't save him but maybe, just maybe I can save another baby boy. 

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It won't let me type below the box. 

 

If she is one of your close group of friends, is severing ties with her going to sever your ties with everyone else too?  If she's upset by you "breaking up" with her, she's likely to lean on some of her close friends, and if they are also your close friends, it could drive a wedge.

 

I don't believe in circ either, and get upset b/c its a human rights issue, but I would never sever a friendship over it - especially one of my really close friends!  Those are in pretty short supply, and I only have a few. 

 

I think the pp who was saying that perspectives get skewed when you have young kids was saying that when your youngest gets to be older, those issues that were *so* important when they were babies falls by the wayside a bit, and doesn't come up as often.  Since you have a 1yo, those issues are still pretty fresh - when that 1yo is 8 or 9 however, those issues won't be as big a deal.
 

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I also have a small group of *very* close friends, of which this girl was one. I love all of their children because they are the children of my closest friends and they are very special people in their own right. I care about them all deeply, I treasure them simply because they're the kids of my friends. We all have older kids. I know when you only have babies and small children, perspectives can get a bit skewed sometimes but I have 3 kiddos who are 8, 5 and 1.

 

 

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#15 of 29 Old 03-09-2011, 12:56 PM
 
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I sorta wish I still didnt feel as strongly about circ as I do. It would make my life a little less stressful for sure. But for me I feel just as strongly today as I did 20+ years ago when I first learned about circ. actually I feel more so because I have learned more over the years. It actually scares me when I think of grandkids greensad.gif I cant imagine just sitting back and not going nuts to protect them like I have protected my own ds.

 
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#16 of 29 Old 03-09-2011, 01:22 PM
 
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I think you're probably doing her a disservice by assuming it's a decision she made lightly. I have a friend who is opposed to circ, fought with her husband about it for 20 weeks, and eventually their little boy ended up circed at a week or two old. and it was one of the hardest things she's gone through as a mom, but it was circ or lose her marriage, and the kid probably would have still ended up circed. 


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#17 of 29 Old 03-10-2011, 09:24 AM
 
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I have ended relationships with friends and family members over circumcision. It isn't that they are culturally brainwashed to believe one thing so I end it ... I came from the same culture.
How can I be friends with someone who believes that the baby they spent 9 months making is defective, or has a defect.

How can I associate with someone who (in these cases they had the facts because I gave them to them) would put their baby through sexual molestation, and sexual amputation?

How can I be friends with someone whose ethics and moral compass say that their children are property?

How could I be friends with someone who wouldn't stand up to the world and their spouse to protect their children from permanent harm to their genitals?

And then other times I struggle with the question, how can I be friends with people who don't ask why it is done, who don't stop and ask how it is done, who don't stop and ask what a foreskin is and what does it do?

And I struggle with looking into my mother and father in-laws faces and knowing that they did it to someone I love so much.

There is probably a high road that some of these women are talking about, I haven't gotten there yet. I see too much of the sameness between male circumcision and female circumcision. It repulses and saddens me the same way.

It isn't easy to have ethics while still remaining compassionate to those who are unethical. I still have yet to figure out how to allow these kinds of people access to my life.
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#18 of 29 Old 03-10-2011, 10:31 AM
 
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It won't let me type below the box. 

 

If she is one of your close group of friends, is severing ties with her going to sever your ties with everyone else too?  If she's upset by you "breaking up" with her, she's likely to lean on some of her close friends, and if they are also your close friends, it could drive a wedge.

 

I don't believe in circ either, and get upset b/c its a human rights issue, but I would never sever a friendship over it - especially one of my really close friends!  Those are in pretty short supply, and I only have a few. 

 

I think the pp who was saying that perspectives get skewed when you have young kids was saying that when your youngest gets to be older, those issues that were *so* important when they were babies falls by the wayside a bit, and doesn't come up as often.  Since you have a 1yo, those issues are still pretty fresh - when that 1yo is 8 or 9 however, those issues won't be as big a deal.
 

Actually, no - age does not diminish the importance of this issue.  If anything, as a young boy comes into maturity, I am all too aware of what he's lost through circiumcision.  My activism on this topic has led me to know many many adult men who are very angry that a part of their body was robbed from them, that they will never know what sex was suppposed to be and who feel emotionally and physically harmed and fragmented. 

 


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#19 of 29 Old 03-10-2011, 11:00 AM
 
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Age does *not* diminish the importance of the issue but it does diminish the focus of it as part of everyday conversations.

 

When I was pregnant the topic of circ, breast vs bottle, CIO, etc were all topics that came up regularly. Get a group of non-like minded moms together and WO! could the conversation get heated. The same was true in the first year/year and half of my sons life.  

 

Flash forward 4,5 and now 9 years later and get a group of moms together and no one is talking about those things. They are talking about homework or sports, how to balance extra curricular activities, etc.

 

If a parent I didn't know asked me if my now 9 year old son was circ'd I would think she was really rude. And even though all my friends know my (very strong!) POV on the subject it is not something I discuss with a parent I just met. I don't see the purpose and would find it it to be too inflammatory because whats done is done. They are going to have live with their decision. I can not imagine any parent, even one who completely regretted their decision subjecting a young child (like my son) to the kind of reconstructive surgery needed to correct it.

 

I do agree that there will be many parents who have a very difficult conversations coming in their future. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PuppyFluffer View Post



Actually, no - age does not diminish the importance of this issue.  If anything, as a young boy comes into maturity, I am all too aware of what he's lost through circumcision.  My activism on this topic has led me to know many many adult men who are very angry that a part of their body was robbed from them, that they will never know what sex was supp posed to be and who feel emotionally and physically harmed and fragmented. 

 



 


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#20 of 29 Old 03-10-2011, 11:12 AM
 
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"I think you're probably doing her a disservice by assuming it's a decision she made lightly. I have a friend who is opposed to circ, fought with her husband about it for 20 weeks, and eventually their little boy ended up circed at a week or two old. and it was one of the hardest things she's gone through as a mom, but it was circ or lose her marriage, and the kid probably would have still ended up circed."

 

See to me, this is worse.  And therefore harder to accept because you have 1) she let her son be circ'd, and 2) she couldn't stand up to her husband. 

 

I am not saying that #2 is not also caused by fear and cultural conditioning but the fact that it is these two things together that makes it even harder for me to get over and ignore for the sake of the friendship. 

 


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#21 of 29 Old 03-10-2011, 12:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I really do not think she thought too hard about because her reponse to my email when she was pg was along the lines of 'I have heard the other side of this argument too'. And the kicker is... her dh is NOT circumcised. Yup. That is correct. He did not want it done. She did. She got her way. She is American, he isn't, he is European (British).

 

Can't write more at the moment my ds needs to be put to bed.

 

Thanks for your responses, I really do appreciate them all. You can see this is quite a complex situation so your wise words about what to do re: our friendship are very helpful to me.

 

BBIAB...

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Originally Posted by MoonJelly View Post

"I think you're probably doing her a disservice by assuming it's a decision she made lightly. I have a friend who is opposed to circ, fought with her husband about it for 20 weeks, and eventually their little boy ended up circed at a week or two old. and it was one of the hardest things she's gone through as a mom, but it was circ or lose her marriage, and the kid probably would have still ended up circed."

 

See to me, this is worse.  And therefore harder to accept because you have 1) she let her son be circ'd, and 2) she couldn't stand up to her husband. 

 

I am not saying that #2 is not also caused by fear and cultural conditioning but the fact that it is these two things together that makes it even harder for me to get over and ignore for the sake of the friendship. 

 



I suppose I should add that her husband is Jewish, and it's the one time I've ever seen her make a compromise for him. it really was a point of their relationship ending, plus circ, or just circ. she ultimately made the decision to save her marriage and consent to having it done, but it was probably one of the hardest experiences of her life. There's not standing up to your husband, and there's fighting tooth and nail but deciding in the end that your marriage is more important and that having his parents break up over the issue of his circ is possibly going to do as much damage to the baby as getting circed, especially since the dad would have taken him to the pedi and gotten him circed anyway. 


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#23 of 29 Old 03-10-2011, 12:23 PM
 
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To forgive others is to be good to yourself.
Master ChengYen

 

I wish circumcision would end as an accepted practice. I, too, am upset that my daughter has protection under the law, but my son has no such thing. Doctors, especially, make me furious because I feel like they are steering people in the wrong direction and should know better. I also don't think there are very many reasons to cut off a good friendship. In the history of humanity's injustices, when has shutting down communication ever solved a problem? I know you feel hurt. I know I would. I would say that something like this would be a large wound in my friendship, but, if this were a close friend I was talking about, I would still strive to mend the wound. It would be hard, and over time, I would need to address my feelings in an honest way with my friend, but hopefully our friendship would be richer because of it, and perhaps I could convince her in the future. Two people can have pretty vehement opinions and still get along. Look at the hot button issue of abortion. People feel very strongly on both sides that this is a life and death issue. Should two women break off a friendship because they have differing views? I would rather try to keep anger out of it as much as possible and keep bringing the truth forward. The truth speaks very loudly for itself, and will ultimately break down that cultural brainwashing, or at least that is what I hope! One more thought for the road...

 

In a controversy the instant we feel anger we have already

ceased striving for the truth, and have begun striving

for ourselves.
Budda

 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by HollyBearsMom View Post

Age does *not* diminish the importance of the issue but it does diminish the focus of it as part of everyday conversations.

 

When I was pregnant the topic of circ, breast vs bottle, CIO, etc were all topics that came up regularly. Get a group of non-like minded moms together and WO! could the conversation get heated. The same was true in the first year/year and half of my sons life.  

 

Flash forward 4,5 and now 9 years later and get a group of moms together and no one is talking about those things. They are talking about homework or sports, how to balance extra curricular activities, etc.

 

If a parent I didn't know asked me if my now 9 year old son was circ'd I would think she was really rude. And even though all my friends know my (very strong!) POV on the subject it is not something I discuss with a parent I just met. I don't see the purpose and would find it it to be too inflammatory because whats done is done. They are going to have live with their decision. I can not imagine any parent, even one who completely regretted their decision subjecting a young child (like my son) to the kind of reconstructive surgery needed to correct it.

 

I do agree that there will be many parents who have a very difficult conversations coming in their future. 
 


Thanks.  I don't generally discuss people's genitals with them, even as they get older - its just not my business.

 

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Quote:
"I think you're probably doing her a disservice by assuming it's a decision she made lightly. I have a friend who is opposed to circ, fought with her husband about it for 20 weeks, and eventually their little boy ended up circed at a week or two old. and it was one of the hardest things she's gone through as a mom, but it was circ or lose her marriage, and the kid probably would have still ended up circed."

 

Quote:
I suppose I should add that her husband is Jewish, and it's the one time I've ever seen her make a compromise for him. it really was a point of their relationship ending, plus circ, or just circ. she ultimately made the decision to save her marriage and consent to having it done, but it was probably one of the hardest experiences of her life. There's not standing up to your husband, and there's fighting tooth and nail but deciding in the end that your marriage is more important and that having his parents break up over the issue of his circ is possibly going to do as much damage to the baby as getting circed, especially since the dad would have taken him to the pedi and gotten him circed anyway.

 

Could I just clarify this? Your friend's husband (the baby's dad) was ready to separate from your friend (the baby's mom) if she didn't agree to have her son circumcised. Is that correct?

The circ. was so important to the dad that he was prepared to put his marriage on the line?

 

Surely then what he is saying is that the baby's circumcision is more important than his mom's wishes and he would rather the baby be brought up by a single parent than remain intact. Surely then, the 'blame' for any marriage break up would have been on him, not on your friend? It very much sounds to me that he put his own wish that his son be circ'd before the wishes of the baby's mom AND before his marriage! Tbh, I'm not sure I would want to be married to someone like that but that's a different issue!!!! I think if I knew my dh put more important on the status of my son's genitalia than on my wishes and desires and before our marriage, I would attach more importance on my son's genitalia than on my dh and separate from him! I come first in our relationship, kids come after! Just the way we work as a unit I suppose.

 

Presumably your friend knew her dh was Jewish when they got married and that if they had a son, circ would be on the agenda? I don't mean this as an attack on your friend, I just don't think the onus was on her to 'save the marriage' when it was him that put their marriage on the line over this issue. It's a shame his marriage wasn't more important to him than his son's genitals...

 

I think some of the other issues I have problems with is even though there maybe no short term complications, sometimes issues don't become apparent until that boy is older and becomes sexually active. Well, the last person they're going to want to talk to about their long term complications with their wife / partner is with their mom & dad so the I suspect they will never know the impact and harm caused to their child.

 

Quote:
I do agree that there will be many parents who have a very difficult conversations coming in their future.

 

This too. I think any young man who is upset enough about his circ to research into it deeper will become aware that it was mroe than likely that at the time of his circ, his parents had ready access to the internet and could easily have educated themsleves and made an informed decision but chose to remain ignorant. Hpow will they answer that one???

 

I thought I would try and write her a very brief letter informing her in no uncertain terms that if (and it is a very big if) we are to remain friends, this whole thing needs to be discussed and aired out in the open. I am not prepared to hear her justifications because as fas I am concerned, there are none. I am not ready to hear them anyway because I know I will debunk them in 2 seconds flat because I am clearly much more informed and read up on the matter than she is. I will make the point that I am very strongly anti circ and that she has to take it or leave it. I will not make any apologies for it or make nice about it. Her feelings will not be taken into account when I post comments or 'like' stuff on FB related to anti-circ etc...  

 

I will then see if I can actually consider remaining friends with her. Even now, I just don't have the stomach for it.

 

This post is exactly how I feel! I love this, thanks!

 

Quote:
I have ended relationships with friends and family members over circumcision. It isn't that they are culturally brainwashed to believe one thing so I end it ... I came from the same culture.
How can I be friends with someone who believes that the baby they spent 9 months making is defective, or has a defect.

How can I associate with someone who (in these cases they had the facts because I gave them to them) would put their baby through sexual molestation, and sexual amputation?

How can I be friends with someone whose ethics and moral compass say that their children are property?

How could I be friends with someone who wouldn't stand up to the world and their spouse to protect their children from permanent harm to their genitals?

And then other times I struggle with the question, how can I be friends with people who don't ask why it is done, who don't stop and ask how it is done, who don't stop and ask what a foreskin is and what does it do?

And I struggle with looking into my mother and father in-laws faces and knowing that they did it to someone I love so much.

There is probably a high road that some of these women are talking about, I haven't gotten there yet. I see too much of the sameness between male circumcision and female circumcision. It repulses and saddens me the same way.

It isn't easy to have ethics while still remaining compassionate to those who are unethical. I still have yet to figure out how to allow these kinds of people access to my life.

 

I have counted up and when it came to putting your friendship on the line over this issue: 6 wouldn't sever a friendship, 3 would and 1 would distance. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm.

 

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#26 of 29 Old 03-10-2011, 02:00 PM
 
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Ahh, this does complicate the issue. I see how that would be a very frustrating response. I still wouldn't actively end the relationship, but if these are her values, you might find that the relationship cools on its own. It surprises me that she would be convinced on so little of an argument when her own dh is proof of how intact is normal! This culture of circumcision is a difficult thing to battle, and that aspect of it frustrates me.. there is no argument for it, it's "just done." That happened with one of my friendships. I didn't just stop talking to her after she gave me that argument, but I found that, as parents, we just had less and less in common over time. You know your friend. Would she ever talk to you more in depth about this?
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamas3loves View Post

I really do not think she thought too hard about because her reponse to my email when she was pg was along the lines of 'I have heard the other side of this argument too'. And the kicker is... her dh is NOT circumcised. Yup. That is correct. He did not want it done. She did. She got her way. She is American, he isn't, he is European (British).

 

Can't write more at the moment my ds needs to be put to bed.

 

Thanks for your responses, I really do appreciate them all. You can see this is quite a complex situation so your wise words about what to do re: our friendship are very helpful to me.

 

BBIAB...



 


Mom to Delia  (5/25/07) and Alex  (4/10/10) and 2 spoiled kitties
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#27 of 29 Old 03-10-2011, 03:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamas3loves View Post

I thought I would try and write her a very brief letter informing her in no uncertain terms that if (and it is a very big if) we are to remain friends, this whole thing needs to be discussed and aired out in the open. I am not prepared to hear her justifications because as fas I am concerned, there are none. I am not ready to hear them anyway because I know I will debunk them in 2 seconds flat because I am clearly much more informed and read up on the matter than she is.

I'm confused. On the one hand, you say that the only way you can remain friends is if the issue of her circumcising against your advice is discussed and aired out. In other words (it sounds like), you want to hear her justify or explain her decision. At the same time, you insist that you are not prepared to hear her justifications because there are none and you can debunk them. In that case, what will this "airing out" discussion consist of?

While I'm always sad to hear of RIC, I honestly don't think you have a right expect your friend to discuss the state of her baby's penis with you. You made your position known. She chose to circ. I can't imagine that she would consider this any of your business. And I don't think it is, either. At this point, given your feelings, I think you have two choices: keep her as a friend or tell her why you can't.
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#28 of 29 Old 03-10-2011, 04:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, I thought when I typed my words out that it sounded clumsy. I think when I said it needed to be discussed and aired I meant I need to tell her how I feel, how upset I am about her decision. I'm not going to start using inflammatory words or language but simply explain my position. I actually never made my position clear re: about how anti circ I am. I was always very neutral on the subject. I did not advise her to not circ. I simply sent her some informative adn educational links and asked her to look into it further.That was it.

 

My opinion is that any circumcision on unconsenting minors is a violation of their human rights. Surely if we all took the stance that 'this is none of my business' then there would be no intactvist movement. And FGM wouldn't be outlawed today. So with respect, I disagree with you on this point.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnieNimIty View Post

I have ended relationships with friends and family members over circumcision. It isn't that they are culturally brainwashed to believe one thing so I end it ... I came from the same culture.
How can I be friends with someone who believes that the baby they spent 9 months making is defective, or has a defect.

How can I associate with someone who (in these cases they had the facts because I gave them to them) would put their baby through sexual molestation, and sexual amputation?

How can I be friends with someone whose ethics and moral compass say that their children are property?

How could I be friends with someone who wouldn't stand up to the world and their spouse to protect their children from permanent harm to their genitals?

And then other times I struggle with the question, how can I be friends with people who don't ask why it is done, who don't stop and ask how it is done, who don't stop and ask what a foreskin is and what does it do?

And I struggle with looking into my mother and father in-laws faces and knowing that they did it to someone I love so much.

There is probably a high road that some of these women are talking about, I haven't gotten there yet. I see too much of the sameness between male circumcision and female circumcision. It repulses and saddens me the same way.

It isn't easy to have ethics while still remaining compassionate to those who are unethical. I still have yet to figure out how to allow these kinds of people access to my life.



So very eloquently put!!

 

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