The moment I have dreaded has come: My pro-circ brother is expecting a boy. None of the usual approaches have worked and I need to get creative. - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 36 Old 11-07-2013, 10:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well the title says it all.  :(

 

I have until April.  The biggest problem is that he just shuts down.  Also, he doesn't "believe" anything on the internet :eyesroll and any attempts to talk facts and reason are met with resistance.  We are dealing with a classic case of denial and it is deep-seated.  He is quite fixated on looks and being made fun of.  

 

It may be a lost cause but I will try to do what I can.  My heart just aches at the thought of his son going through this. mecry.gif

 

I guess I am looking for anything I may not have thought of.  I have mused on the idea of offering him a large stack of cash.  :innocent

 

 

I am trying to work on SIL, who claims she is open to not circumcising (I am not 100% convinced of this but I'm trying to stay positive).  However, she is a "keep your man happy at all costs" kind of a person so it is a challenge.  She also is very touchy about any conversation that she views as unsolicited advice or that she views as being too nosey. 

 

Both she and my brother are also squeamish about sex-related talk.  So, yeah, textbook cases of the non-enlightened.  I start to wonder how we come from the same parents!  headscratch.gif

 

Anyway, all this makes for an uphill battle.  crap.gif


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#2 of 36 Old 11-07-2013, 10:24 AM
 
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It can never be a lost cause because it is ultimately your decision as a mother, barring you losing custody or extreme foul play. The only way it becomes your DH's decision outside of those circumstances is if YOU decide to make it his decision by ceding your authority, which is itself, a decision, de facto, to authorize this surgery. There is no actual way out for the mama . . . Either you authorize the doctor or you don't. Realizing that is truly your first step toward an intact son.
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#3 of 36 Old 11-07-2013, 10:26 AM
 
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Where do they live?  In our area, intact is the norm, so with appearance motivated people I would emphasize that.  If you're in the Midwest, though, that obviously won't work.


 

 

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#4 of 36 Old 11-07-2013, 10:30 AM
 
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http://9davids.blogspot.com/2010/11/50-reasons-to-leave-it-alone.html?m=1

Most all info is on the Internet these days. So the 'it's on the Internet' line is weird to me.

You could have him watch the Penn & Teller episode on this topic.
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#5 of 36 Old 11-07-2013, 10:31 AM
 
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And yes, globally & in many parts of the US, Circumcised is in the minority.
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#6 of 36 Old 11-07-2013, 10:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Sorry.  I realized the title got truncated.  "The moment I have dreaded has come: My pro-circ brother is expecting a boy. None of the usual approaches have worked and I need to get creative."

 

Anyway, to clarify, it is my brother and his wife.  Not me and my DH.  

 

But anyway, we are in Maryland which I think is probably evenly mixed, or would be except we do have maybe more folks here who cut based on religion than maybe some other states, but not so much in our specific region.  And it is a progressive state but my brother's friends are not progressive.  

 

I have stated every argument I know with my brother.  He even said to me "You have clearly done your research and you are probably right about this but I am doing it anyway."  So, yeah, purely emotional.  And yeah, I am not really liking or respecting him much right about now.  
 

I may try to talk to my SIL and make sure she understands that she can, and has a right and responsibility to protect her son.  I need to find out how strongly she actually feels about the topic first.  It will be hard to do all this without making her feel defensive and uncomfortable.   

 

I may try the argument that Christians don't need to circ.  But they are on again off again religious so, hard to say if that will carry any weight.  


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#7 of 36 Old 11-10-2013, 12:06 PM
 
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If his primary issue is the looks and how that will affect his son, here are a few ways to apporach it:

If RIC having a difference is so much of a problem, how in the world did it ever become common? The first few circumcised men must have had an awful time back when the norm was intact...

RIC is not that common these days, so his son will have many intact and circumcised peers...

Does he think violating his son's human rights is outweighed by what he specualtes his son will want when he is a man?

If he pulls the silly but I am circumcised so heneeds to be argument, then you might point out that your brother is taller, has more pubic hair, has a large penis, etc, yest he is not suggesting that he shave his pubes or glue hair on his sons pubes, is he? Further, suppose your brother had lost an arm...would he propose to amputate his son's arm to save him from whatever he is worried about?

If being the same is important to your brother, suggest that he has another, better alternative that will not violate his son's human rights...your brother can restore his foreskin.

This is very telling:
Quote:
He even said to me "You have clearly done your research and you are probably right about this but I am doing it anyway."

As you say he is not willing to discuss this rationally and you have a tough job. to help with that tough job, a great set of tools can be found in the book, Crucial Conversations. I highly recommend it.

Best wishes
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#8 of 36 Old 11-10-2013, 12:27 PM
 
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My sister also chose to have her son circumcised. It made me sad, but I chose to respect her and her husband and their decision. To circumcise or not (or breastfeed or have an epidural in labour or pierce your baby girl's ears) is a personal choice. Why do you feel you must convince them? It sounds like you've made them aware of the issues, which is all you can do. Ultimately, it's up to your brother and SIL.
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#9 of 36 Old 11-11-2013, 05:42 AM
 
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Originally Posted by BushMama83 View Post

... To circumcise or not ... is a personal choice. ...

I respectfully disagree. This is one of the problems with the way people present and think through this issue. It is not the parent's penis to decide, if it were, then it would be a personal choice and the owner of the penis, when old enough to make the decision, could make that personal choice.

It is their son's penis. He is the only one that can make that personal choice, because it is his penis.

In the case of RIC, parent's are acting in a limited capacity as surrogate decision makers. This is because the infant cannot make some decisons. And there is good case law and guidelines demonstrating this and the limitations. For example, a parent may feel that blood transfusions or cancer care are not for them or their child. Court's have stepped in to force parent's to accept the treatment. The courts do this because the parent's decision goes against well accepted medical practice and would most likely cause harm to the vulnerable child.

The only reason this seems acceptable is because we are fed "propoganda" by a society that undervalues and minimizes the harm of circucmision. Your other examples highlight this. The decision to breast feed involves the mother's body and does not amputate healthy, important body parts, for example. Having an epidural is about the mother's comfort primarily, and does not amputate healthy, important body parts. Ear piercing causes pain and modifies the child's body (and this is enough to cause signficant controversy for many), so is a better example than the other two, but it does not amputate healthy, important body parts either.

Better examples would be female circumcsion, castration, and removing breast buds.

Note that I am simply pointing out a major fallacy in how many percieve RIC. But I recognize that the other point, "How far should one go in trying to change her brother's mind" is a grey area and the question that was posed is a valid one. How far indeed should one go, when a brother is poised to amputate healthy, important body parts from his son...

Regards
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#10 of 36 Old 11-11-2013, 04:43 PM
 
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Just wanted to say I feel for you.  I tried for my nephew, but they didn't listen to me.  But we can still have hope in your case!

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#11 of 36 Old 11-11-2013, 05:47 PM
 
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It's hard when many docs still lean toward circ when asked. You are right that more and more people are choosing to not circ which is great. Hopefully healthcare changes will also lead to less circing of babies. At one point, when our kids are grown and deciding for their own children, it won't be so much of a "fitting in" thing, since more American adults will be uncirc at that point than they are right now.

 

I knew a woman who didn't want children, but was married and got pregnant. She was anti-vag birth, anti-breastfeeding, and anti-stay-at-home-mom (if she had a boy, I am sure she would have been anti-circ). While I strongly disagreed, we weren't close friends so I stayed out of it. I know her mom tried to talk to her though. If she were a relative, I would have definitely had a talk with her (and spouse if present), but I don't know that I would go to her spouse separately.

 

It sounds like you have already talked to them. That is really all you can do. 

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#12 of 36 Old 11-12-2013, 06:13 AM
 
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Greg B, thank you for your response. I suppose I'd never thought of circumcision in terms of choice and an infants rights as a person. We decided, without any debate, not to circumcise because it didn't make sense to remove a healthy body part, so I didn't spend a lot of time exploring the issue. You're right that my examples were poor ones. I wish I had advocated harder for my nephew.
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#13 of 36 Old 11-12-2013, 09:13 AM
 
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You could also sit him down to watch a circumcision video, and see if he wants to torture his son like that. There's also a really good non-profit, The Whole Network, that is for genital integrity that has a lot of good resources, including youtube videos. Sometimes you have to see and hear things in order for the message to sink in. 

 

http://www.thewholenetwork.org/

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#14 of 36 Old 11-12-2013, 11:21 AM
 
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Ask him if he'll please, as a favour to you, before baby is born just watch one thing.  Then pick either the Penn & Teller episode (very guy-relatable) or a youtube video.  Have SIL watch it too... there is something very visceral for a mama watching a baby in that much pain; she may advocate super hard against it after that or at least the bug is in their ears. 

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#15 of 36 Old 11-13-2013, 03:25 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BushMama83 View Post

Greg B, thank you for your response. I suppose I'd never thought of circumcision in terms of choice and an infants rights as a person. We decided, without any debate, not to circumcise because it didn't make sense to remove a healthy body part, so I didn't spend a lot of time exploring the issue. You're right that my examples were poor ones. I wish I had advocated harder for my nephew.

You are welcome. I am glad I could hlep to clarify some ways to think about this issue.

You did what you could. We cannot force our views on other parents...

Regards
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#16 of 36 Old 11-13-2013, 01:44 PM
 
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I think you've done all you can do for the time being.  Frankly, if you keep pushing the issue you might make it worse and burn quite a few bridges that ought not to be burned. 

 

Saying it's the parents' decision is certainly a over-simplification of the matter,  but the fact remains that your brother has more rights over this kid than you do.  Ultimately, you are not the one who gets to make the decision. 

 

No one likes having information, no matter how valuable and fact-based, in their faces.  No one likes to be preached to, and that is just what you are doing. 

 

You've made your point, you've presented the information.  The answer is presently no.  I recommend you back off or your brother will never listen to you again.

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#17 of 36 Old 11-14-2013, 07:15 AM
 
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OP, I'd like to offer my sympathy. 

 

Both of DH's sisters had their first babies around the same time a couple of years ago and they both RICed, formula fed, and CIOed.  I think the worst part for me was the attitude that their babies were such a burden and they would pass them on whenever they got the chance.  With one in particular, ILs basically did the parenting for months (still do an awful lot, actually).  MIL even changed her stance on breastfeeding.  DH and I both feel that they favor their kids over ours. 

 

As someone who has thoroughly cherished my babies, and really believes in gentle, respectful parenting, the situation was really hard for me.  All DH and I really did was stick up for breastfeeding when they were talking about it in front of us, but I guess it's still been apparent that we don't think they made the best choices, and it has changed the relationships -- both in how we feel about them, and I think how they feel about us.

 

I don't know what you want you relationship with your brother and his family to be, but it may be something you want to think about.  It sounds like they've made their decision.  Where do you go from there?

 

I wish I had more advice.  I'm not sure how to make peace with it either.  I kind of wish they were just friends that we could drift apart from instead of family we have to deal with!  Try hard to notice and focus on what they do right.  It's easier for me to see love as they grow up and the baby issues kind of fade away.  Love your kids the way you want others to love theirs.  And if you figure out how to be truly ok with decisions that aren't yours to make, let me know!

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#18 of 36 Old 11-14-2013, 07:36 AM
 
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He is your bother but he is a parent to his child and you are not. I do not like everything my brother and SIL do, but I do not like when someone tells me what to do with my kids, so I email info and take a break from this  topic.  People make their own choices.

 

IF you keep obsessing with the state of the penis of your future nephew, the only thing you will achieve is estrangement from your brother and his family.

 

Perhaps when given time your brother will change his mind. Sometime people do.

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#19 of 36 Old 11-15-2013, 12:33 PM
 
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I think you've done all you can do for the time being.  Frankly, if you keep pushing the issue you might make it worse and burn quite a few bridges that ought not to be burned. 

 

Saying it's the parents' decision is certainly a over-simplification of the matter,  but the fact remains that your brother has more rights over this kid than you do.  Ultimately, you are not the one who gets to make the decision. 

 

No one likes having information, no matter how valuable and fact-based, in their faces.  No one likes to be preached to, and that is just what you are doing. 

 

You've made your point, you've presented the information.  The answer is presently no.  I recommend you back off or your brother will never listen to you again.

 

 

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He is your bother but he is a parent to his child and you are not. I do not like everything my brother and SIL do, but I do not like when someone tells me what to do with my kids, so I email info and shut up on the topic.  People make their own choices.

 

IF you keep obsessing with the state of the penis of your future nephew, the only thing you will achieve is estrangement from your brother and his family.

These two replies, IMO, show just how much of a circ'ing culture we are.  Not only can a person not express their sadness over what they know or think will happen a child against their will, but then others tell the person that they have done all they can & back off.  Would this happen if someone came here to say they were sad a girl was going to be cut?  Would anyone say "People make their own choices," w/ respect to FGM?

 

There's no way to tell from what was posted what will or will not happen between these two siblings.  Predicting the future on the relationship is not helpful to helping this individual deal w/ what she's going through.

 

OP - I'm so sorry.  I've been in similar shoes to yours on two occasions.  I know in one case the boys were cut.  In the case of my brother's child, I don't know but figure I can safely assume he was.  It is heartbreaking & to have your brother admit you are right makes it all the more difficult to accept & understand.  I fell for you & your future nephew, I really do.

 

What I've done recently is to send a penis pack from The Whole Network to people that I think might circ.  I've no idea if it's helped (although I know one baby was a girl so she's likely still intact) or not.  Maybe send one to your SIL?  They can be sent anonymously.

 

I've thought of paying people not to circ too.  Sounds strange but perhaps those that you'd consider that w/ will reconsider when they realize just how serious of an issue this is for you to pay them & that their child's body parts are valuable to someone.

 

Feel free to post more.  Those of us who understand your feelings will chime in. :Hug  Others will too so feel free to PM me if that's better.

 

Best wishes,

Sus

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#20 of 36 Old 11-15-2013, 03:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mama24-7 View Post
 

 

 

These two replies, IMO, show just how much of a circ'ing culture we are.  Not only can a person not express their sadness over what they know or think will happen a child against their will, but then others tell the person that they have done all they can & back off.  Would this happen if someone came here to say they were sad a girl was going to be cut?  Would anyone say "People make their own choices," w/ respect to FGM?

 

There's no way to tell from what was posted what will or will not happen between these two siblings.  Predicting the future on the relationship is not helpful to helping this individual deal w/ what she's going through.

 

 

On the second point, you are right on.  My prediction of what will happen between family members is impossible.

 

But on your first, I never said to not feel sad or bad about it. 

 

BUT whining and pouting about it is not going to get anything done.  As it stands, circumcision is legal.  And, as much as I am against it, I do not consider circing the worst thing that can happen to a baby by any stretch of the imagination.  In fact, if it were a girl, I would also say the same thing:  you said what you said, that's all you can do.    SOmeone earlier in this thread mentioned how far we go?  How far do we go?  At one point does our activism get to trump parental rights and family privacy? 

 

I have a close friend who is very orthodox in her religion where circing is part of the faith.  She was THREATENED by some other mothers, had her tires slashed, and her older child hit in the face by one of these mothers when they found out her faith involved circumcision.  Say what you will against faith/culture-based circing, but that poor mom was scared for her life and the lives of her children because a few woman couldn't find a way to draw a respectful line.

 

What advice do you think should be given?  While I also agree that a bit of bribery may be a great idea, what if that doesn't work?  Fight for custody?  Kidnap the baby from the place of birth?

 

Until circing is made illegal, there's not a whole heck of a lot one can do.  I may be an unfortunate victim of a circing culture, but I am also a big believer in family privacy and personal choice.

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#21 of 36 Old 11-15-2013, 03:56 PM
 
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To the OP... some people respond to information in different ways?  Have you ever thought of just writing your SIL a letter stating your views on the matter plus a few more facts?  This might be more effective and less confrontational than a face-to-face discussion.


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#22 of 36 Old 11-17-2013, 09:43 AM
 
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But on your first, I never said to not feel sad or bad about it. 
This is what I said:
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Originally Posted by mama24-7 View Post
These two replies, IMO, show just how much of a circ'ing culture we are.  Not only can a person not express their sadness over what they know or think will happen a child against their will, but then others tell the person that they have done all they can & back off.  Would this happen if someone came here to say they were sad a girl was going to be cut?  Would anyone say "People make their own choices," w/ respect to FGM?

 

There's no way to tell from what was posted what will or will not happen between these two siblings.  Predicting the future on the relationship is not helpful to helping this individual deal w/ what she's going through.

<snip>

 

Best wishes,

Sus

 
Where did I say you said that?
 
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BUT whining and pouting about it is not going to get anything done.  As it stands, circumcision is legal.  And, as much as I am against it, I do not consider circing the worst thing that can happen to a baby by any stretch of the imagination.  In fact, if it were a girl, I would also say the same thing:  you said what you said, that's all you can do.    SOmeone earlier in this thread mentioned how far we go?  How far do we go?  At one point does our activism get to trump parental rights and family privacy? 

 

I have a close friend who is very orthodox in her religion where circing is part of the faith.  She was THREATENED by some other mothers, had her tires slashed, and her older child hit in the face by one of these mothers when they found out her faith involved circumcision.  Say what you will against faith/culture-based circing, but that poor mom was scared for her life and the lives of her children because a few woman couldn't find a way to draw a respectful line.

 

What advice do you think should be given?  While I also agree that a bit of bribery may be a great idea, what if that doesn't work?  Fight for custody?  Kidnap the baby from the place of birth?

 

Until circing is made illegal, there's not a whole heck of a lot one can do.  I may be an unfortunate victim of a circing culture, but I am also a big believer in family privacy and personal choice.

 

 

How is telling someone they are whining & pouting going to help?  How does comparing what you consider to not be the worst thing to something someone considers to be very, very bad & possibly the worst. thing. ever, help the OP?  How far do we go?  Don't know but I imagine it's different for each situation.

 

I'm sorry that that woman was terrorized.  Wonder if something like that would have happened had the individuals who perpetrated the crimes had a place where they could go & vent?  Sounds like those people believe in an eye for an eye.  I'm a voluntaryist so I don't.  No person has the right to alter the body of another no matter what the reason/s.  Period.

 

What advice do I think should be given?  Not sure if you mean to the OP or to those who want to cut their children.  Either way, I think the best MO is to inform people that circumcision is declining among all of those who typically circumcise, intact genitals is the normal human condition & the harms, both immediate & long term, of elective prepuce amputation.  To the OP, empathy.  Not much more than that.  Would you tell a child not to whine & pout if they were upset about something?  How does that help anyone to work through what they are feeling?  Adults & children alike whine when they don't feel heard.  I hear the OP loud & clear & have chosen to *try* to help her deal w/ her feelings vs. tell her to just stop.

 

"Family privacy," is part of what perpetuates the cycle of circumcision.  Just the same that a family doesn't have the right to keep private that they want to amputate the parts of female children, so too it is not a right that families what to keep private that they're electing to cut off parts of baby boys.  I 100% agree w/ personal choice.  When talking about infant/child circumcision, the only person who's choice matters is the individual.  No.  One.  Else's.  Any adult can choose to have their person altered however they choose.  It is not the family penis.  It is an individuals body.  As Dr. Christopher Guest says, ""If you don't own your own body, what do you own?"

 

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To the OP... some people respond to information in different ways?  Have you ever thought of just writing your SIL a letter stating your views on the matter plus a few more facts?  This might be more effective and less confrontational than a face-to-face discussion.

Why not make this be your reply instead of telling someone how they should feel?

 

Best wishes,

Sus


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#23 of 36 Old 11-18-2013, 07:45 AM
 
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Whining carries the connotation that the OP is acting childishly, or that the OP is repeatedly complaining about a trivial matter. I think it's being an idealist, not a child. The world needs idealists and activists to bring about change. And there is nothing trivial about amputation. If someone wants to come here and express whatever emotion they have about circumcision, I think that's fair.

And pouting? Really? Isn't that like when you don't get your favorite ice cream flavor and you get upset about it?

I think the how far do you go question is a good one to contemplate. As well as the question of what methods are most effective to convince people not to circ.

It is legal for a parent to have a healthy, useful, functional part their boy's body cut off. Plenty of people still think it's a good or OK thing to do. But when someone has all of the information about circumcision, and also a passion for ethics and human rights, it means that they might step on some toes because of their passion. Each person should decide what their role is- do I want to tell it from the rooftops and be that weird person with an 'obsession'? Do I want to present information with no emotion? Cry? Bribe? Target my methods for each person? Do what I think is ethical? Be understanding? Change relationships?

Unfortunately, it's complicated.
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#24 of 36 Old 11-19-2013, 10:12 PM
 
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All right, whining and pouting were loaded words.  I did not think of coming here as a place to vent, so the context is more appropriate.  I did mean them in reference to not leaving people eventually make their own decisions.  My advice to the  op was no less helpful than tactics that aren't guaranteed to work.  I suppose I see little point in beating a dead horse when someone has made their decision. 

 

Quote:
 

I think the how far do you go question is a good one to contemplate. As well as the question of what methods are most effective to convince people not to circ.

It is legal for a parent to have a healthy, useful, functional part their boy's body cut off. Plenty of people still think it's a good or OK thing to do. But when someone has all of the information about circumcision, and also a passion for ethics and human rights, it means that they might step on some toes because of their passion. Each person should decide what their role is- do I want to tell it from the rooftops and be that weird person with an 'obsession'? Do I want to present information with no emotion? Cry? Bribe? Target my methods for each person? Do what I think is ethical? Be understanding? Change relationships?

Unfortunately, it's complicated.

 

It is complicated, but I do think we all should consider just how far to go in championing intactivism.  I do feel strongly about what my aforementioned friend went through, that it was very, very wrong that she and her family should be attacked.  I think most people think that's going too far, but clearly some people think it's okay behavior. 

 

My level:  Say my piece and be done with it because I truly believe I can't make the decision for anyone else. 

 

As for "be understanding", that's simply not allowed in the intactivism community.  And that is something that does indeed bother me.  We are not allowed to be understanding.  We are repeated told by the natural living culture to cut off all ties with anyone and everyone who has ever participated in circumcision.

 

I am against circumcision, but I am against this alienation that is constantly prescribed.


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#25 of 36 Old 11-20-2013, 07:33 AM
 
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My son is not circumcised. The night he was born, my father came in to my room after the birth and questioned me on whether or not DS was to be circumcised. I told him we were not doing it. He turned irate and began screaming at me because we weren't circumcising OUR son. He accused DH of brainwashing me. He went down the whole list of why we should do it and that we were setting DS up for lifelong agony and lifelong medical problems. I sat in my hospital bed in shock. I was 6 hours out of major surgery. I had a C-section and had my tubes tied. More importantly, my son was in the NICU. He had a medical emergency two minutes after his birth and got whisked away to the NICU. At that point in time, I had no idea what was wrong with him. So, there was my dad screaming at me for not circumcising my son while I lay in my hospital bed recovering from major surgery, and scared to death about my son and not knowing what was wrong with him. What an asshole, right? The irony is that my father is a doctor and is not circumcised!!!! Anyway, I got enough energy to tell him to back off, DS is not HIS child, and DH and I make the decisions, not him. END OF STORY. I will never forget that and will never forgive him for that. I almost cut him out of my life over that. I know the OP was much gentler in her approach and our situations are complete opposites, but the idea is the same. You have to know where to draw the line with people, especially family. Honestly, it is not her business what her brother and SIL decide to do about their son's penis. I don't agree with it either, but it's THEIR decision. OP, I don't think there is anything more you should do. If your brother and SIL wanted you to be part of the decision-making process, you would have been. Unsolicited advice, preaching, whatever you want to call it does not come across well, and usually makes people want to get away from those folks who do that kind of thing. I don't like that or those types of people, and I'm sure I'm not the only one.


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#26 of 36 Old 11-21-2013, 12:11 PM
 
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There's a lot of talk about "making the decision." I believe that it is not their (parents) decision to make.

I think it's just as much a person's business what is done to her nephew's penis as it is the parents' business.

That being said, I recognize that it is legal for them to decide to do this. I recognize that sometimes a soft approach or just letting it go and giving up is the thing that I feel is best.

It's really important to have a place to vent because giving up on one child is hard. Even if it means relationships will exist or be better because of it. I don't think it's my place to decide the best kind of activism for each person. But I do know that having voices out there that seem calm and respectful is important. I used to not be able to do that at all.

When a girl's parents decide to have her clitoral hood removed, how far should people go to try to convince them otherwise?
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#27 of 36 Old 11-23-2013, 07:54 AM
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by MoonJelly View Post

 

  He is quite fixated on looks and being made fun of.  

 

Have you any idea why this is such an issue for him? I mean, obviously any parent is going to be concerned about the possibility of their child being the victim of teasing, but what makes him so convinced that his son will be teased for having a foreskin? Has he heard of cases where this happened? Has he himself been the victim of bullying as a child - could that be why it's a particular sore spot? If you want to get any further at all in this debabe, it'll be really important to have a good idea of where he's coming from on this, and to acknowledge the validity of his concerns.

 

Wanting to spare your child the experience of teasing is absolutely valid and important. Wanting to cut part of your child's body off to spare them this experience is more questionable - will the child really grow up to agree that it was worthwhile? It's important to separate the two points and acknowledge/agree with the concern before you can get onto a discussion of whether his suggested solution is really the best one.

 

So, I would take that approach - find out more about why this is such a hot button for him and acknowledge the validity of his concern over the possibility of teasing. Then query whether circumcision is really the best approach. How sure is he that this will be a problem (especially given that you say there are now about as many non-circed as circed boys around)? Is this the only way to deal with it? Given that many men do wish they hadn't been circed, what are the chances that his son will feel that losing this part of his body may end up being too high a price to pay to avoid some possible teasing?

 

It is extremely important to keep all of this respectful in your approach, with full regard to your brother's feelings on the matter. Be alert for signs that they may have had enough of the discussion for the time being - if they have, don't try to push it further at that point or it will backfire. And finally, as others have said, do accept that it's ultimately their choice and that this discussion may well hit a point where they just aren't going to change their minds and further attempts won't do anything except create a rift between you.

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#28 of 36 Old 11-23-2013, 07:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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He is your bother but he is a parent to his child and you are not. I do not like everything my brother and SIL do, but I do not like when someone tells me what to do with my kids, so I email info and shut up on the topic.  People make their own choices.

 

IF you keep obsessing with the state of the penis of your future nephew, the only thing you will achieve is estrangement from your brother and his family.

OMG seriously??  Is this not an anti-circ community?  

 

I guess it's the way I write but people are really reading into things.  I was simply looking for some conversational ideas that I hadn't thought of if I should have another chance to bring up the topic.  I am hardly banging their door down about this.  

 

What I know about my brother's views is based on several conversations we have had spread out over the course of several years and based on some other comments which I have not shared here.  

 

I don't plan to run their lives or push decisions on them.  I don't even plan for it to get ugly in any way.  Having said that, he avoids confrontation whereas I will speak my views with him all I want and he knows my personality is more confrontational.  

 

Nuances are really hard to gather from internet threads.  However, as this is an anti-circ forum I would like to think I can come on here and feel like I can be honest about my feelings, as in not the same things as actions.  People come on here all the time and ask how to convince others not to circ.  I really don't understand why this is any different. 

 

Geesh. 

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#29 of 36 Old 11-23-2013, 07:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Backroads View Post
 

 

On the second point, you are right on.  My prediction of what will happen between family members is impossible.

 

But on your first, I never said to not feel sad or bad about it. 

 

BUT whining and pouting about it is not going to get anything done.  As it stands, circumcision is legal.  And, as much as I am against it, I do not consider circing the worst thing that can happen to a baby by any stretch of the imagination.  In fact, if it were a girl, I would also say the same thing:  you said what you said, that's all you can do.    SOmeone earlier in this thread mentioned how far we go?  How far do we go?  At one point does our activism get to trump parental rights and family privacy? 

 

I have a close friend who is very orthodox in her religion where circing is part of the faith.  She was THREATENED by some other mothers, had her tires slashed, and her older child hit in the face by one of these mothers when they found out her faith involved circumcision.  Say what you will against faith/culture-based circing, but that poor mom was scared for her life and the lives of her children because a few woman couldn't find a way to draw a respectful line.

 

What advice do you think should be given?  While I also agree that a bit of bribery may be a great idea, what if that doesn't work?  Fight for custody?  Kidnap the baby from the place of birth?

 

Until circing is made illegal, there's not a whole heck of a lot one can do.  I may be an unfortunate victim of a circing culture, but I am also a big believer in family privacy and personal choice.

 

I am sorry but I have to ask why you are here and why you felt the need to post a reply to me in this thread.  

 

This forum is ANTI-CIRC.  Where else am I supposed to discuss my frustrations about this practice?  People have different degrees of how strongly they feel about the issue, and that is OK, but that doesn't mean you have to come in here simply for the purpose of saying that while you have appropriate level of anti-circ, mine is too much.  

 

This just makes you seem as if either 1) you actually support the practice, or 2) you don't care about circ one way or the other, you just want to go around and stop discussion and debate about things. 

 

If you actually want to debate whether circ is OK or not, this is a strange way of going about it.  


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#30 of 36 Old 11-23-2013, 08:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think the how far do you go question is a good one to contemplate. As well as the question of what methods are most effective to convince people not to circ.

It is legal for a parent to have a healthy, useful, functional part their boy's body cut off. Plenty of people still think it's a good or OK thing to do. But when someone has all of the information about circumcision, and also a passion for ethics and human rights, it means that they might step on some toes because of their passion. Each person should decide what their role is- do I want to tell it from the rooftops and be that weird person with an 'obsession'? Do I want to present information with no emotion? Cry? Bribe? Target my methods for each person? Do what I think is ethical? Be understanding? Change relationships?

Unfortunately, it's complicated.

 

Yes this x1000.  So wonderfully said.  Thank you.  :)  

 

And yes, these questions I wrestle with all the time.  


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