What convinced them?
I don't know of anyone personally who has been convinced not to. Dh has said that if we were Jewish, it'd be done. Not a problem since we're not, but even if we were the answer would still be NO!!! (Not trying to debate this here, just mentioning what dh has said & my answer.)
Please share what has worked for you in convincing others.
1) The realities of circumcision/ it's NOT just a little snip:
-verbal account of what happens during a circumcision (tidbits concerning things like safety pinning the foreskin sometimes with gomco clamp or how you let the foreskin rot off with the plastibell seem to be really get people's attention)
-written account of the procedure with pictures
All the of the above can be found online and much of it is in the wed resources thread.
2) the function of the foreskin
-Doctors Opposing Circumcision education video on the prepuce
-lists of what is "lost" in circumcision
-"sex as nature intended it" website
3) Human Rights
-comparisons to female circumcision (removal of clitoral hood, pricking the clitoral hood)
-choice effects no one but the child
-studies showing boys remember pain of circumcision
- pain in general-- inhumane cosmetic surgery
4) ease of care
-no gauze, blood, wound care, pus, or fiddling with the penis required
-washing = leave it alone! swish a bit in the bath-- no retraction! no Q tips! no scrubbing!
5) Risks of circumcision:
-meatal stenosis-- 10% of circumcised boys suffer this
-trapped or webbed penis
-glan amputation (partial/whole)
-etcetc many more to add to this list
I think a humorous lead-in that makes people look at their long-held assumptions can open the door to other information, like the functions of the foreskin, the pain and trauma of circumcision, and the fact that it's simply not necessary.
I also really like to spin it in a way that puts the blame on the medical establishment for promoting and continuing circing without true informed consent....by spinning it as "here's what your doctor may not tell you and oh by the way did you know doctors make millions of dollars off circ every year??" you can give the parents an excuse for not knowing the truth, because the doctors haven't told them. It's "forced teaming" -- us against the doctors.
(And for as many wonderful doctors as there are out there, I totally blame the medical profession for the continuation of this abomination. If the doctors would refuse to do it, circ would be a thing of the past.)
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Honestly? Well, it depends on the person. Usually anyone into body-mods or tattoos take the body-mod & choice opinion very well. "So the kid can wait til he's past puberty and have the exact amount of skin removed, if he wants." No one thinks about that. Dh had a lot removed, and it caused problems But neither one of us are really shy about talking about it with close friends or acquantences. You know, not just a second-hand story, if they need it. Most of the guys are pretty crass and so are we, so it is an easy "click."
I simply try to be honest and open and remember how bewhildered by it all I was when I first found out. Who finds adhesions and scars attractive? The skin removed is the size of an index card. Could you imagine how much bigger you would be if you still had all that? Or waited until you had a full-sized penis and choose? Well, you get what I'm saying. It's just easier to do it as an adult and the kid/guy can pull the foreskin back in the locker room if he really wants to, but sheesh... who's gonna be checking out his package?
What if the doc takes too much skin? What if he doesn't take enough? What if the kid hates it either way?
Yep, I'm pretty blunt about it with most people.
Another very good point is the $$$$ approach. Of course doctors make TONS of money from circ'ing and that is a huge reason the public does not get the proper information to make an informed decision. I mean no one makes money by leaving a penis intact!
For me, I find some of the more shocking reasons not to circ will not actually convince someone who is pro-circ to not do it in the end. It's a delicate battlefield.
|I'm in the process of sending info to a very good friend. My problem is that most of the anti-circ sites are just that...anti-circ. I want to send some thing that will NOT seem like a shove-it-down-your-throat approach.|
Or pages like these from medical communities:
I was indifferent until I knew we were having a boy. I really thought I was having a girl, so Circ was a moot point. And then DH just assumed we'd circ, but I started thinking that it made no sense to HB and have such a gentle, low-intervention preg/birth and then intentionally hurt my baby. So, I threw a fit (which made him stubborn) and then got a bunch of info and made him read it and talk about it.
Heh, and at first he was one of the "but he should look like me" dads, until I pointed out that if he really wanted that, we'd have to amputate a testicle as well.... and that was the end of that
But now my aunt is pregnant again... her 1st was a girl (yay)... and she is the most conventional person EVER. Scheduled a C, FF'ed, pierced the little girl's ears really early... she'd probably circ just for the cosmetics of it. Sigh. I'm hoping it's another girl, but I'd like to educate her just in case it's a boy...
sigh. And I know she'd never, never, never listen.
Circumcision started in North America in the Puritan 1870s as a cure for masturbation (yes, you read it right! masturbation was considered to be evil and sinful and was blamed for all sort of illnesses including blindness, paralysis and mental retardation) http://www.noharmm.org/docswords.htm , http://www.cirp.org/library/history/ , http://www.sexuallymutilatedchild.org/shorthis.htm
As late as the 1970's medical books were claiming that desensitizing the boy was good medicine as well as good morality. The idea of that, touted openly by medical scholarship with notable pride, was carefully tucked away when the sexual revolution permitted sexual pleasure.
Also simply saying oh, my ds isnt circ'd and he's never had an issue, and niether have his intact, adult uncles can be enough to draw intrest and make someone go oh, so it isnt the end of the world?
We've also had a few people come up to us and say that they like our bumper sticker (Foreskins are not a birth defect) and say they've never thought about it that way. Its such a simple statement but apparently some people really hadnt thought of it like that.
Often it's the most basic of information that gets the ball rolling well: basic anatomy and what is done (ie, it's fused, not loose; ripped/crushed away, not snipped off)
An open, calm approach: people used to think it was for the best, but now we know that's not the case.
The press given to the whole HIV thing is so annoying.
How could anyone argue that they should circ, and act as if condoms aren't still appropriate? If they concede that their boys should (someday) wear condoms, why do surgery on something that will be covered anyway?
...missing Mothering Magazine...
I have a good friend that is having a boy. I know she'll circ, because she circ'd her 1st. Sad, but I'm not even going to go there w/her. She's the anti-crunchy, and non AP. (And yes, somehow we are friends!).
But my aunt.... this kiddo will be my cousin. If it's a boy... I still think that I will have probably 0 success of convincing her if she is very pro-circ... but maybe this is just something she never really thought about and maybe some info can change her mind. I don't have a lot of hope, because, well, I know my aunt. BUT, I feel like I should make a little attempt anyway.
I'm just wondering the best way to go about it.
Well, I know my aunt is likely not going to listen to anything I say, given her track record. I should probably start working on my brothers. If they ever have kids.... I should start wearing them down now.
more printer friendly versions here at bottom:
She's pretty germophobic, so what really convinced her was finding out that an intact penis requires no special care to stay clean. She also didn't like it at all when I pointed out that, if she circed the poor little thing, she would then have to deal with an open, seeping wound being in direct contact with feces. I thought that she was going to faint when I put it that way.
She was also really struck by the analogy between a removing a fingernail and removing the foreskin. I think that a lot of people -- probably most people -- think that the foreskin is just a loose piece of tissue, sort of like a hangnail. Learning that her son's foreskin would be every bit as completely attached to his penis as his fingernails are to his hands really solidified her decision not to mutilate him.
He and his wife came to the conclusion that it was not necessary and thus they did not circumcise their son, nor son #2. Their doctor was willing to do a circ, but respected their wishes and left the boys alone.
I never had any sons, so this was the next best.