Dealing with the circumcised males in your life: ramblings from an 18 year old son. - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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#31 of 49 Old 12-21-2007, 12:10 PM
 
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You know the REAL reason why circumcisions continue in the US? Its because men don’t feel confident about their bodies. If you raise a son (or treat a husband) to be proud of the body they have, then they will spread that same logic to the other men in their family. (Personally I believe, that the “vulnerability of men” article is a waay to simplified look on men who have grown up in a circumcision culture, and in the end could cause more misunderstanding between husband and wife) This not just about our physical conditions, but how we view ourselves and how we apply that to the people around us.
I disagree with this point. I think that the reason that fathers feel compelled to circumcise is that they are proud of their bodies and not circumcising their sons would be a blow to their egos. As someone above put it, they've made circumcision central to their happiness. I've been debating and discussing this issue for a long time and some of the responses I get are:

"My penis works FINE."
"My sex life is great."
"I'm glad I was cut."

These responses are all defense mechanisms against the very idea that circumcision might not be the best thing in the world. Their egos prevent the men from seeing facts, logic, and ethics and channelling their emotions properly into anger against the doctors who did this to them and, in some cases, the parents who forced it on them.
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#32 of 49 Old 12-21-2007, 12:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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These responses are all defense mechanisms against the very idea that circumcision might not be the best thing in the world. Their egos prevent the men from seeing facts, logic, and ethics and channelling their emotions properly into anger against the doctors who did this to them and, in some cases, the parents who forced it on them.
This is where I disagree with you to an extent. Of course there are men out there who say that, but your generalizing. For the past few years I have been having intense circ discussions with guys about this, some of them who were uncircumcised and in their early teens ASKED their parents if they could get circed. It was hard for me to accept that these people even existed. My logic was "wait, I dont want to be circumcised, there is no way they would actually want that"
But over years of discussion, I have come to realize that there are men, and boys out there that honestly, and truly love their circumcised penis. Generally these guys picked to be circumcised themselves. The two I have spoken to the most, have told me that they will let their son decide what he wants for himself. Circumcision is what they wanted. They see the power and joy in having control over their own bodies, and want to pass that gift to their sons.

You have this set up that what all men want is to be natural, and everything else is a defense mechanism. I agree that most men would probably prefer to be natural, but there is one need greater then even that. Society tells guys that we need to be in control, and strong. So if a guy can feel more in control by restoring, he will, or if he will feel more in control in getting circumcised, he will. Although for most men being in control and confident simply means realizing that they love their penis and no one is going to tell them differently. And that is what makes them happy.

And of course these men are going to get defensive when you want to take away that control, because socially, this is our pillar (just like beauty is womens). As long as you present this issue as RIGHT and WRONG, then your partner is going to be less then responsive, because you actually are attacking him. If new mothers want to win the circumcision discussion (and if they want there husbands to actually agree with them) dont frame it as whats "natural", instead say you want to let your son have control over his own penis, let him decide what he wants.
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#33 of 49 Old 12-21-2007, 01:34 PM
 
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This is where I disagree with you to an extent. Of course there are men out there who say that, but your generalizing. For the past few years I have been having intense circ discussions with guys about this, some of them who were uncircumcised and in their early teens ASKED their parents if they could get circed. It was hard for me to accept that these people even existed. My logic was "wait, I dont want to be circumcised, there is no way they would actually want that"
I should have clarified. Most of the men that I have discussed with were circumcised as newborns. I can accept that some people want to be circumcised, but I can't accept rationalization from men who were cut as newborns and didn't make a choice in the matter.

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But over years of discussion, I have come to realize that there are men, and boys out there that honestly, and truly love their circumcised penis. Generally these guys picked to be circumcised themselves. The two I have spoken to the most, have told me that they will let their son decide what he wants for himself. Circumcision is what they wanted. They see the power and joy in having control over their own bodies, and want to pass that gift to their sons.
I have no issue with men who choose to be circumcised as long as they don't feel compelled to circumcise their babies. Unfortunately, many circumfetishist types also promote circumcision of newborns.

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You have this set up that what all men want is to be natural, and everything else is a defense mechanism. I agree that men would probably prefer to be natural, but there is one need greater then even that.
I think that most guys would prefer to be natural, if they grew up intact and were presented with the choice as adults.

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Society tells guys that we need to be in control, and strong. So if a guy can feel more in control by restoring, he will, or if he will feel more in control in getting circumcised, he will. Although for most men being in control and confident simply means realizing that they love their penis and no one is going to tell them differently. And that is what makes them happy.
Fair enough, but often that issue becomes a projection of control over the sexuality of a baby. The problem lies in convincing these men that it isn't about them.

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And of course these men are going to get defensive when you want to take away that control, because socially, this is our pillar (just like beauty is womens).
The problem is theirs, not mine. These men need to become secure in themselves and learn to seperate their penis from the ones that belong to their babies. Often, pointing out the negatives about circumcision feels like an attack on circumcised men, but in reality, it is about protecting the next generation from the effects of ego, tradition, and greed.
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#34 of 49 Old 12-21-2007, 01:39 PM
 
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As long as you present this issue as RIGHT and WRONG, then your partner is going to be less then responsive, because you actually are attacking him. If new mothers want to win the circumcision discussion (and if they want there husbands to actually agree with them) dont frame it as whats "natural", instead say you want to let your son have control over his own penis, let him decide what he wants.
I usually frame it as "his body, his choice", but autonomy of children is a hard concept for many parents to grasp.
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#35 of 49 Old 12-21-2007, 02:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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[QUOTE=SammyJr;10071125]

My problem with the way you framed it before, was you sounded like you were saying most men. Or that the ones that do get defensive are simply doing because they are trying to hide the fact that they feel like a victim. Which I was diagresing, by saying basically, things are not that simple.
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#36 of 49 Old 12-21-2007, 03:09 PM
 
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For the past few years I have been having intense circ discussions with guys about this, some of them who were uncircumcised and in their early teens ASKED their parents if they could get circed. It was hard for me to accept that these people even existed. My logic was "wait, I dont want to be circumcised, there is no way they would actually want that"
But over years of discussion, I have come to realize that there are men, and boys out there that honestly, and truly love their circumcised penis.
The main reason imo anyone would choose to cut off a healthy part of their genitalia and be thrilled about it is because of social conditioning which for some is a very overpowering force (same reason why parents circumcise their sons or daughters for that matter). I truly have a hard time understanding wanting to get circumcised. I mean for me personally I could not fathom being circumcised myself and I thank the universe that females are not routinely circumcised in the US. I think being thrilled with missing an important functional part of one's genitalia just goes to show how much people want to fit in and be seen as 'normal' even at their own expense.

OUR DAUGHTERS ARE PROTECTED SHOULDN'T OUR SONS BE TOO! :
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#37 of 49 Old 12-21-2007, 03:17 PM
 
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My problem with the way you framed it before, was you sounded like you were saying most men. Or that the ones that do get defensive are simply doing because they are trying to hide the fact that they feel like a victim. Which I was diagresing, by saying basically, things are not that simple.
But, with a lot of men, things ARE that simple. Perspecive- you are in a unique position to discuss this issue with other males, online, in relative privacy, with a wide variety of walks of life... I will generalize and say that most men, in the US, don't want to think about it. Most men, cut as newborns, think, hey my penis works fine, my sex life is fine, I like that I was cut because I wasn't teased as a child. The end. There is nothing to discuss... and most men don't conciously think about it... until they have a baby. Most men in my area are cut, the uncut are the outcasts.

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These responses are all defense mechanisms against the very idea that circumcision might not be the best thing in the world. Their egos prevent the men from seeing facts, logic, and ethics and channelling their emotions properly into anger against the doctors who did this to them and, in some cases, the parents who forced it on them.
That is societal conditioning and is very hard to break through. Many people strongly believe "my child, my choice," others are still being told that circumcision is medically best. Either way, men want to, and often do, feel very confident with their bodies... It still doesn't give anyone the right to cut a baby, or justify cutting a baby because they were cut and are "fine" with it.

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#38 of 49 Old 12-21-2007, 05:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The main reason imo anyone would choose to cut off a healthy part of their genitalia and be thrilled about it is because of social conditioning which for some is a very overpowering force (same reason why parents circumcise their sons or daughters for that matter). I truly have a hard time understanding wanting to get circumcised. I mean for me personally I could not fathom being circumcised myself and I thank the universe that females are not routinely circumcised in the US. I think being thrilled with missing an important functional part of one's genitalia just goes to show how much people want to fit in and be seen as 'normal' even at their own expense.
The culture of circumcision is not something thats easy to understand, and if you dont have a penis, its even harder. Culturally in America men grow up, cut or uncut with a sense that the penis is this alterable thing. (I guess in similar way that no one finds it weird to jab a hole through your ear, so you can hang pieces of metal from it). To better explain it, I will go a different angle. Body manipulation is about empowerment, control, pride, and identification. That goes for tattoos piercings, cosmetic surgery, circumcision, and the boat load of other stuff that pre industrial cultures still practice. And yes these cultures influence these people, (even the boys who choice to be cut themselves) but in the end they were happy with the choice THEY made. And thats that is the difference. There is NOTHING wrong with body modification, only when these practices are forced on non-consenting adults or children, do problems develop.

The fact that you cant understand why anyone would be happy with cutting off a part of them is fine. Heck, even I dont fully understand why someone would want to do that. But I still know that they want that, and in the end they will be happy with that choice, and with all of this, happy is the best possible outcome.
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#39 of 49 Old 12-21-2007, 07:09 PM
 
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I'm having a really hard time getting to the heart of your issues, perspective.

What I'm hearing is that you want to make sure that the women here understand that there are a lot of men out there who have chosen to be cut and are completely happy with their cut status -- and more importantly, we need to make really, really sure that we do everything in our power to make sure that the men and boys in our lives are confident about their penises -- regardless of being cut/uncut?

Am I mis-reading this? Is there more?

I'm just confused.
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#40 of 49 Old 12-21-2007, 07:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm having a really hard time getting to the heart of your issues, perspective.

What I'm hearing is that you want to make sure that the women here understand that there are a lot of men out there who have chosen to be cut and are completely happy with their cut status -- and more importantly, we need to make really, really sure that we do everything in our power to make sure that the men and boys in our lives are confident about their penises -- regardless of being cut/uncut?

Am I mis-reading this? Is there more?

I'm just confused.
What I am saying, is from my experience control, confidence, and happiness are the real issues of circumcision. Being natural, having these extra benefits is nice, but its not the heart of the issue. But for a lot of women on this forum, they focus on that in the way they fight for this movement. Yet a man can truly be happy and be cut, but also a boy can feel just as victimized, and feel like he is on the outside and be uncut.

Male Infant circumcision should stop today. No one should be allowed to take away the most basic right any human can have, control over their own body. But resolving this issue is going to involve a lot more then just saying, "its natural, your wrong, and your taking away something that provides a slew of benefits." Doing this avoids the real negative effects circumcision has caused socially. And this horrible "tradition" is not going to change by just making men feel bad about themselves in a different way then before, or by going out to parents on a one by one basis. This is only going to be resolved through cultural shifts, where we as a society no longer look at the penis as something that needs to be changed (be that to add a new foreskin, or take the original away).
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#41 of 49 Old 12-21-2007, 08:54 PM
 
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What I am saying, is from my experience control, confidence, and happiness are the real issues of circumcision. Being natural, having these extra benefits is nice, but its not the heart of the issue. But for a lot of women on this forum, they focus on that in the way they fight for this movement. Yet a man can truly be happy and be cut, but also a boy can feel just as victimized, and feel like he is on the outside and be uncut.

Male Infant circumcision should stop today. No one should be allowed to take away the most basic right any human can have, control over their own body. But resolving this issue is going to involve a lot more then just saying, "its natural, your wrong, and your taking away something that provides a slew of benefits." Doing this avoids the real negative effects circumcision has caused socially. And this horrible "tradition" is not going to change by just making men feel bad about themselves in a different way then before, or by going out to parents on a one by one basis. This is only going to be resolved through cultural shifts, where we as a society no longer look at the penis as something that needs to be changed (be that to add a new foreskin, or take the original away).
And how exactly would you like to see us change our focus? Keep in mind that the question we are usually asked in this forum is "how can I change the mind of my baby's father? He's insisting that my baby be cut because he is, and his penis is just fine, thank you!" If we don't say, "it's natural, it's wrong, and it's taking away something that provides a slew of benefits" what EXACTLY would you like to see us say instead? Oh don't worry, he may be happy with it, so make sure you don't make him feel bad as a teenager?

I don't want to make any man feel less confident or more victimized, but our goal is not to protect these grown men, it is to protect helpless babies. So again, please be more specific in how this cultural shift -- so that no more babies are cut -- can take place.

And just one more thought on our "perspectives"...

There are many of us in this forum who experience or have experienced painful sex because of our partner's circumcision. I would respectfully submit that you, as an 18 year old young man, have not experienced all of the same things as a peri-menopausal partner of a middle-aged man has. Things get more, ummm.... difficult as one ages. Being "happy" with a cut penis at 20 doesn't always equal being happy (or having a happy partner) at 50.

I think your heart is in the right place, I just don't think you're getting quite what we're doing here. And I do think we're making a difference. If I didn't, I couldn't keep coming here and reading such heart-breaking stories.
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#42 of 49 Old 12-21-2007, 08:58 PM
 
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What I am saying, is from my experience control, confidence, and happiness are the real issues of circumcision. Being natural, having these extra benefits is nice, but its not the heart of the issue. But for a lot of women on this forum, they focus on that in the way they fight for this movement.
I believe you are ignoring everyone that has said it causes actual PHYSICAL pain and actual PHYSICAL problems.

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Male Infant circumcision should stop today. No one should be allowed to take away the most basic right any human can have, control over their own body. But resolving this issue is going to involve a lot more then just saying, "its natural, your wrong, and your taking away something that provides a slew of benefits." Doing this avoids the real negative effects circumcision has caused socially.
You are a very intellegent, enlightened person. Many people do not think it is a human rights issue. Many people believe they are doing GOOD by taking away this body part. This forum is for informational purposes-- since many people don't know anything about the foreskin, knowledge of those benifits is a good thing! This is one of the few places people can come for real information. It is the beginning of the understanding of the negative social and physical effects. And in no way do i see this board as focusing on the sexual benifits as the sole reason to leave a child intact.

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And this horrible "tradition" is not going to change by just making men feel bad about themselves in a different way then before, or by going out to parents on a one by one basis. This is only going to be resolved through cultural shifts, where we as a society no longer look at the penis as something that needs to be changed (be that to add a new foreskin, or take the original away).
Do you honestly think the posters on this forum actively try to make men feel bad that they were cut as babies? I think most of us go out of our way to shelter and understand the feelings of the men we are speaking with. But that does not give them a right to use it as an excuse to cut children. How else do you expect to see a social change without education, discussion, and understanding on a one-on-one basis? How do you expect people to view the penis in a different way if the majority has no knowledge of the anatomy in it's origional state?

I hope you don't see this as attacking. I believe you are viewing this as a cosmetic option, in a society that is cosmetically obsessed. Though that is a major component of the circumcision debate, it is by no means ALL of it, just as the sexual component or the human rights issues do not stand alone.

Your thoughts are very welcome here. You are against RIC, how do you advocate your decision?

---feeling like an emu on acid---
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#43 of 49 Old 12-21-2007, 08:59 PM
 
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having these extra benefits is nice, but its not the heart of the issue.
They are not extra benifits though.

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This is only going to be resolved through cultural shifts, where we as a society no longer look at the penis as something that needs to be changed
That's exactly what many of us are doing already. We are creating (or trying to) that cultural shift.


I don't need to have a penis to understand this issue btw. If culturally a circumcised penis wasn't seen as 'normal' there woud not be many men signing up for it (you can look at intact countries for clarity on that). Yes, there would be a select few that were into body modification that might want to be circumcised for that reason but they would be a real exception.
If it wasn't for our culture cutting of the foreskin would be seen as an oddity just like cutting of a finger or an ear ect.

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#44 of 49 Old 12-21-2007, 09:18 PM
 
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The problem is theirs, not mine. These men need to become secure in themselves and learn to seperate their penis from the ones that belong to their babies. Often, pointing out the negatives about circumcision feels like an attack on circumcised men, but in reality, it is about protecting the next generation from the effects of ego, tradition, and greed.
: I totally agree. From all that I've seen dancing around the fragile egos of cut men has only produced more cut babies.
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#45 of 49 Old 12-21-2007, 09:27 PM
 
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The only thing worse then being cut up as a baby because you live in a society that says your natural body is wrong, is for having a new group of people tell you, “no, now you should be ashamed of this cut penis of yours.”

This whole mess started because parents and wives wanted their boys body to be a certain way. Being ashamed of your sons/husbands circumcised penis is just continuing the same kind of thing. (because the logic behind the circumcision culture is just as bad as the circumcisions themselves)

Celebrate, and be proud of the bodies of the males in your life, no matter if its been altered or not.
A lot of the women on here agree with you. I havent seen one woman yet on here who has been like "DH's circ'd penis grosses me out, how can I get him to change?". I see most of them saying "Sex for us is painful because my DH is circ'd, how can I bring up restoring with him without making him feel inadequate?" I don't see anybody being ashamed of their husbands penises (that sounds really weird) at all.

I wanted to bring up restoring to my husband because sex for us is extremely painful for me (and him!), so much that when we werent TTC (which was excruciating) we were having sex AT THE MOST once a month.. usually closer to once every 3 months. There comes a point when you have to decide "Is it worth it to bring this up if it will make my husband feel it's his fault?" and at this point, yes, it was. Fortunately I never had to bring it up at all, he had already started manual tugging and eventually asked me to help his research

He isn't ashamed of his penis. He doesn't feel like there is something WRONG with him. He's upset that his parents did this to him in the first place, but most of all he's excited that this might really help our sex life.

This is not a men-only issue. This absolutely affects women. If you haven't seen it, ************************** lays it all out (rather graphically, btw).


As for everybody else, if you're here to say "RIC needs to stop", we are all right there with you dude. Very few people on this board care if men decide to get circumcised later. Being that this is a parenting board, its mostly geared toward the anti-RIC movement, and the only time when we care if someone is happy with their circ is if they are pressing it on infants. In that case yes, these folks need a reality check as this is a non consenting child's body and their parents' attitudes (regardless of if they are happy with their genitals or not) don't matter. If it means making a man rethink his "happily circumcised" status to safe his son's right to being whole and natural, so be it. Sometimes these things need to be thought over.

There's no reason why a man can't be happy with his circ'd status and also allow his son to make that decision for himself. Just like if my mom got a boob job, there's no reason why she can't be totally happy with her boob job but you know.. not make me have one as an infant to spare me the decision of having it done later. KWIM?
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#46 of 49 Old 12-22-2007, 03:45 PM
 
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A little off-topic, but have you tried something natural, like olive oil?
I am allergic to all of the commercial lubes out there. We have been using Coconut oil for about a year after having it recommended here on MDC and I it! We will never use anything else.

: Robyn : Increasingly crunchy Mama to Kya (8) , Makena (7) , and Keegan (4) :
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#47 of 49 Old 12-22-2007, 09:06 PM
 
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This is not a men-only issue. This absolutely affects women. If you haven't seen it, ************************** lays it all out (rather graphically, btw).

As for everybody else, if you're here to say "RIC needs to stop", we are all right there with you dude. Very few people on this board care if men decide to get circumcised later. Being that this is a parenting board, its mostly geared toward the anti-RIC movement, and the only time when we care if someone is happy with their circ is if they are pressing it on infants. In that case yes, these folks need a reality check as this is a non consenting child's body and their parents' attitudes (regardless of if they are happy with their genitals or not) don't matter. If it means making a man rethink his "happily circumcised" status to safe his son's right to being whole and natural, so be it. Sometimes these things need to be thought over.

There's no reason why a man can't be happy with his circ'd status and also allow his son to make that decision for himself. Just like if my mom got a boob job, there's no reason why she can't be totally happy with her boob job but you know.. not make me have one as an infant to spare me the decision of having it done later. KWIM?
:
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#48 of 49 Old 12-25-2007, 08:00 PM
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is that because of perspective's young age and way with words he has put many here on the defensive and accomplished his goal of having mamas yet again argue how RIC is wrong and how it impacts us all.
IMHO, perspective has his own issues about his own circ and wants it all to be accepted.
Bravo perspective---you have brilliantly remained under the radar.
Happy Holidays!!!!!!!!!!!!
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#49 of 49 Old 12-25-2007, 10:49 PM
 
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I'm going to preface this with a short tid-bit about myself: I am 23, male, and circumcised. Also, I wish I weren't circumcised. So I'm in a pretty similar boat as you, perspective.

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What I am saying, is from my experience control, confidence, and happiness are the real issues of circumcision.
For me they are control and the loss of the sexual functions afforded by a foreskin.

I'm a confident individual. I'm even happy, believe it or not. I have every expectation that I will continue leading a fulfilling and happy life (excepting for the normal ups and downs we all have, of course). These are not issues for me.

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Being natural, having these extra benefits is nice,
As already pointed out, they are not "extra" benefits.

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but its not the heart of the issue.
I beg to differ. The reason I want to regain control over my body is specifically *because of* those lost sexual functions. If there was nothing lost in circumcision, then what, exactly, have I lost control over?

Sure, in a philosophical sense it could be argued that the surgery itself--even if it removed no flesh, and had no negative effects--is still a violation of my body. But without those practical impacts I doubt I would have any of the feelings of personal violation that I do.

So with the exception of the pain experienced by circumcised infants, I think that the practical physical effects of circumcision are in fact the core issue from which everything else stems.

It's all well and good to say that control, confidence, happiness, and human rights are the real issues at stake. But without any practical effects of circumcision, it would have no bearing on these issues anyway. So I think it is quite ludicrous to dismiss the physical effects of circumcision as somehow secondary. In fact, they are the very root of the issue.

That is not to say that the loss of a sense of control over my penis is not an issue in-and-of itself. BUT, the loss of sexual function is just as impactful an issue for me (if not more so). PLUS it is the root of my sense of loss of control. So to me, that makes it the primary issue at stake.

I don't think it's possible to separate the psychological effects of circumcision from the physical effects in an intellectually honest way.
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