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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

"Circumcision and Mothers"

It's all about our sons.  I too do not understand how a mother can be so cavalier with a part of her baby boys body. Having been on both sides of the issue of Male Circumcision- allowing my eldest son to be circumcised due to my own ignorance and absolute faith in the medical societies as a whole (I mean hey!  If male circumcision is covered by our provincial health care insurance (1991), then it must be  a necessary procedure and something "everyone" does to their baby boys, right...?), and now being so absolutely opposed to Male Genital Mutilation, I can see both sides of the coin. What truly boggles my mind are mothers that refuse to do the research, refuse to read the information about male Circumcision and still go ahead and mutilate their precious baby boys. Would they do the same thing to their daughters if it was "customary"?  Our sons deserve equal protection. "What about our sons?" is an article I wrote on exactly this topic.

I feel that grief about my decision to allow my son to be circumcised almost 19 years ago, but I do not hide from it.  It is that grief that gives me the strength to continue the battle, to bring the real information to light, educate parents,  and to work towards having male circumcision banned. 

IT's like I say continuously:  We are parents, we are not perfect.  If we have made a mistake, if we feel guilty about a decision we made in the past, then OWN it. Do what you can to make that mistake count for something, even if it's just admitting that we were wrong and doing what we can to make it right.

 Circumcision and Mothers

I and my husband lately have been talking, and the issue of circumcision (I really hate that name, it makes it sound all pretty and clinical, I personally prefer genital mutilation and human right's violation) has really been weighing on our hearts lately.  We want to get more involved - in helping people, in educating people, and in the political arena.

Some people I'm sure think that I am judgmental or dogmatic.  I'm really not.  It just hurts my heart so much and I feel so much compassion towards all those poor baby boys out there and their loving but naive moms. 

I especially like just talking about the myths - there are so many crazy myths out there about circumcision, and its so interesting to me when people say, oh, I didn't know that - or - I didn't realize that.  Its the same as when I was teaching and a student finally gets that light of understanding in their eyes, and you know that you did your job well that day.

Moms are especially hard.  I think a lot of mothers have damaged psyches as well.  If they admit that it was something that was wrong, that they deliberately harmed their child, they would have to go through a grieving process and would have to live with the sorrow of that decision. It is easier to cling to their cultural/social/religious biases than to deliberately open themselves up to pain. It takes a strong, intelligent, confident woman to admit that circumcising her sons was wrong. I really feel sorrow and compassion towards both type of mothers - the strong and the weak.   Link to help with grieving circumcision

Some moms hang so tightly onto their beliefs, that even if their adult son came to them and said, I wish you had not done this to me, I wish I had my foreskin, I'm going to have to spend a lot of money and work very hard on restoring my foreskin - even if they were armed with this information, and could go back in time knowing what they know now - they still would circumcise.  And that is something I barely understand.

Some moms actually have had the gall to say - if he doesn't know what he's missing, he won't miss it.  And who's going to tell him that he should miss it but some vigilante mom telling him that circumcision is wrong.  That is one of the most sexist statements I have ever come across on a board.  I discussed this with my husband, and he says that it is very prevalent today to think of men of being incapable of thinking for themselves.  You can be as insulting as you want to men these days - its like some sort of feminist payback.  Just turn it around and apply it to women - oh, your family has breast cancer, so we're going to cut off your child's breasts - don't worry, if she doesn't know what she's missing, she won't miss it.  Some man might tell her that what was done to her was wrong, but we'll continue to tell her that it is no big deal, and she'll believe us.  She doesn't have much of a brain and won't look it up for herself.   Etc. Etc. Etc.  sigh.
Link to show what "he is missing" 
Prepuce video - The Prepuce  an informative video
Circumcised men psyche ink

The things that women will say astounds me, especially on the topic of GM.  I keep hearing, it should be a parent's choice.  Why?  Men are suing doctors RIGHT NOW AND WINNING for mutilating their genitals WITHOUT THEIR INFORMED CONSENT.   Who cares if a parent gives their consent - as a doctor, they are obliged by their own ethical code to do no harm to their patient without an informed consent.  A baby, obviously, can not give consent.  So all these doctors are very obviously being sued for malpractice. DUH.  Of course, until it reaches the billions of dollars that performing circumcisions bring in, unfortunately, it is all just a drop in the bucket.

Which comes back to helping parents.   The most fervent intactivists I know are the ones who allowed their first born to be circumcised, and then discovered too late that it was the wrong decision.  They are the ones who are spend countless hours helping educate parents so that those parents don't have to live with regret.

HERE to read the whole article on the original site