Mothering Forum banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
978 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been on this board and others concerned with circumcision for a good many years. Every so often a post will mention an intact Dad who wishes to circumcise his son. This totally baffles me. Do they not realize the value of their own foreskin?

Sometimes mention is made that the intact Dad wishes that his parents had circumcised him as an infant. Why? And if so, why do they never seem to make the appointment and go and get it done?

There seems to be a huge disconnect in the logic of these situations. Does anyone have any insight into an explanation?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,192 Posts
To answer this question there is one thing you need to understand- the experience of being a male growing up in a place like America. Imagine if you grew up in a culture where even before you were born, there was probably someone already having a discussion about your genitals and if parts should be sliced off?

When you are a baby some over stepping parent or relative will probably inquire, and some may even judge your parents for not doing it. Flash forward to gym class where many of the other boys have "different" looking penises. Even your closest friends may make jokes about a foreskin because our culture teaches us its something to make fun of. (Just look at those American comedies aimed at teen males- more often than you imagine there is a foreskin joke thrown in there)

Then he is in health class and the very diagram of the developed male body they "all the boys" will become probably includes a diagram of a circumcised penis.

The fact of the matter is the penis is important to guys (we are weird) but it gets brought up and thought about a lot. Then throw in male identity, masculinity, "what is normal". All of this just becomes the cultural build of social indoctrination into a cutting culture. Its subtle, but its constant. Just like body image is thrown at girls just as subtly.

Just like with girls- whats ultimately most important is what happens at home. If boys grow up knowing they are normal, if they have adults (especially ones of the same gender) to look up to, to teach them whats important, how to be self confident, then outer messages from culture are not going to mean much.

Uncut men who want to cut their boys, but don't want to get cut themselves- have lead a life of society telling them why they are wrong, yet obviously didn't have the right peer, or parental figures in their lives to be lean whats right about them. They never learned self confidence.

We have these same discussions every day about young girls in America. And the answer is the same. We project this social image that boys are the "confident gender" and maybe in some ways they are, but American society purposefully devalues boys in this one area. Thats how you get hypothetical men like the one you are asking about.

In the end he doesn't get cut because he doesn't want to be. He knows he wants his body, because its his. But he is conflicted, because he doesn't want to put his son through the culture he had to face, a culture he felt like he had to face alone, and still feels partly broken from.

These men need to understand that what will protect their sons from a cutting culture is not submitting their sons to antiquated mutilating ritual, what will protect them are men like him. Men that can teach them the lessons our society is not teaching our boys, that they can and SHOULD be confident in their natural male bodies.

Hope that answers your question.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
978 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you. I am amazed at how strong this culture of mutilating males is in America. I grew up on a different continent. Of my peers, in boys boarding school, there were both circumcised and intact, with about 2/3 being cut. The British colonial influence ! However, there was no teasing, no comments, just acceptance that there were two types of penis.

I discovered that I had been circumcised, on the first day of school as the whole dorm of some 20 of us were herded into the communal shower room for our evening bath, and it was a rude shock. It instilled in me a very strong curiosity as to what had been done to me, and more importantly, why?

Like you, as time went by, I realized that once one steps back and views the cutting culture, it suddenly seems absolutely bizarre. I wished that my parents had exercised a bit more common sense and left me as nature made me, and it continually confounds me that so many cut men in America don't make that last step and realize that what was done to them makes no sense whatsoever.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
To answer the main question of Do intact men appreciate their status, my best answer is that they do. At least my husband does. Both he and his brother were not circumcised, nor was their father or his father. It's a rare family in America that has never practiced circumcision, but my husband's family is one. They've steadfastly stood against the practice, and I have seen that all the men in his family are confident in this decision. I think it goes along with what Perspective said: it's a matter of confidence in the family at home. I feel that if my husband's father hadn't been confident in his uncut status, my husband might feel more conflicted in this matter than he does. But we both agree that if we ever have a son we will not circumcise, even though most of our friends with sons have done it.

The reasoning behind our friends continuing the practice has been "I don't want him to look different" or "I'm circumcised and I'm fine." I find these arguments to be ridiculous, but who am I to judge? We've also heard friends say things like "well girls get more yeast infections if you're uncut" and other similar hygiene arguments. They're always shocked when we reveal that my husband is uncut and I don't get infections, then the curiosity questions start. "Doesn't it look funny?" "Aren't circumcised penises better during sex?" "Why don't you get it done?" We find it more amusing than anything else and we patiently answer their questions (All penises look funny, I like uncut better than cut, he doesn't get it done because there's no reason to).

But I can easily see how this kind of social pressure could lead a less confident man to decide to circumcise his son when he himself is not. It's a fairly constant pressure, and it comes up more often than one would think. Especially when you and your friends are all at an age where people are starting to have babies, the conversation happens quite frequently. We try not to pass judgment or sound like we're judging our friends who have decided to cut; after all, what's done is done. But we also aren't going to keep silent, if it comes up we'll put in our two cents and share our experience if only to spread awareness. We're trying to spread a positive message about the uncut status, not to be the super-judgmental people that everyone avoids.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
978 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Book_Worm, I am impressed by your husband's family for their logical approach. That is one thing that I wish my parents had exercised , rather than buying in to whatever BS they were fed by doctors and family. When one steps back, the custom is nothing short of bizarre. Do proponents think that nature made a mistake - that all boys need modifying right off the bat? And if so, then what about the 80% of the world's men who remain intact?

It would seem that the majority of your friends who have circumcised their sons, have done so for , as you say, ridiculous reasons. Why should non matching penises be any bigger an issue than non matching noses - which are visible to all. And as for the cleanliness/disease excuse, how do they account for the fact that the U.S. is the only developed nation to routinely circumcise it's males, yet has a far higher incidence of aids/hiv etc than any country in Europe?

All rhetorical questions for you, but ones that should be considered by those planning to circumcise their sons.

It would seem that the one factor that few parents take into consideration is what would their son want. If he grows up to wish that he had been left intact, and they had chosen to rob him of his foreskin, then what? - there is no putting it back and they have robbed him of an important component of his future sex life.

I applaud you and your DH for your efforts to try and educate. I don't know if you are familiar with it, but there is a wonderful video entitled "The Elephant in the Hospital" by Dr Ryan McAllister that explains the form, function and value of a foreskin. It would be a great resource to pass on to those who have done little research. It is available on Youtube as well as on the website: www.doctorsopposingcircumcision.org .

Keep up the good work !!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Cognitive dissonance is a funny thing. You know it makes sense, but yet you still oppose it, or you know it makes no sense, and yet you still advocate for it. It's really not that hard is it to say, 'hey yeah, guess that doesn't really make sense' or 'oops, my bad'? And yet people don't.

Society is nowhere near accepting the idea that what harm is can only be defined by the person receiving it. So long as we think we're well-qualified enough to define what harm is and isn't for someone else, we'll continue to hurt each other under the best of intentions.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top