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Monday, July 19, 2010

"Do babies feel pain?" My response.

Warning, this picture will make you cry.

Gloria Lemay, long L O N G  time intactivist posts a blog about the pain of circumcision (below).  One of the comments below the article struck a cord in me:

"Advocacy & guilt - I was wondering, I am staunchly against circumcision in both boys and girls, but standing up and advocating against male circumcision has the potential to seriously offend not only my close girlfriends who have circ’ed their babies, but men who are circ’ed and are offended that I take such a strong view against it. How do you handle these two situations when you advocate against circumcision? I am not interested in guilting mothers who have already had this procedure performed on their children, but desperate to raise awareness and stop the assumptions and misinformation surrounding male circumcision. Your thoughts are welcome!"

As I've said on many previous blogs about MGM, I suffer the guilt of knowing that I allowed my beautiful perfect eldest son to have his foreskin cut off. I will live with that guilt till then end of time. But I would not be the staunch intactivist that I am today if it wasn't for two friends who explained to me many years ago about the horrific torture that is male circumcision and showed me the information that said that it was an unnecessary surgery. Was I instantly enlightened?  Did I immediately see the errors of my ways?  No.  At first I refused to believe them, but the question had been planted.  That question nagged at me. Nag Nag Nag.  So in an effort to alleviate my own building sense of guilt and to hopefully find  something that would prove that I did the right thing, I started to research. And the more I researched, the more horrified I became.  The guilt came crashing down.

But here's the thing.  I had a choice.  Now that I had this information, I could either:

A- Completely deny the truth and pretend that I was right by convincing  myself that I DID make the right decision to circumcise my son.

B- Completely accept the truth of what I had done and use my newly acquired enlightenment to reach out to others.

I could of chosen to rail against my friends, taking my hidden guilt out on them, refusing to admit that I had made a mistake, but instead I choose to accept my mistake, to own it and learn from it. I choose to tell others about the horrible thing that I did to my 3 day old son, so that THEY will know that THEY do not have to make the same mistake, that THEY also can change their stand on circumcision, that THEY do not have to continue to perpetuate this atrocity on other sons that they might have in the future. I am more than happy to share my story and my guilt to insure that other parents and their innocent babies do not have to suffer the way that my son and I have. My guilt has given me the passion to speak out and share my knowledge where ever possible.

It's not easy taking the difficult road and being the one that speaks out against so many things that society accepts as "normal".  When I post on public forums about the risks of medical interventions in childbirth, about the horrors of circumcision, about the evil marketing ploys of infant formula companies, I am ridiculed and ostracised by many many mothers/parents. It's not fun.  But in the end, I know that my posts have helped many many families onto the road to education and to making  truly informed decisions for themselves and their children.  If I can help even one person with my words, then I'll continue telling my story and spreading the correct information far and wide whenever I can. And I will tell you something: Hearing just one person say "Thank you so much for helping me" can make all the negativity that that has been dumped by those not willing to hear the truth or to admit that they were wrong completely disappear. 

So don't be afraid to speak out.  Don't be afraid to share your knowledge.  If your friends and family can not accept your decisions and your passion, then they have the choice of not reading your words and igoring your message.  Its'a free world and we can't change everyone.  But you never know when your words might be the seed to greater learning later on.!!

Do Babies Feel Pain? This one does

This photo says more than any doctor, nurse, or parent could about the human rights violation that male genital mutilation entails.
Prior to this awful device crushing the foreskin, the other clamp that is hanging off to the side was used to ream around inside the foreskin to separate the skin from the glans. The newborn foreskin is adhered to the glans like your fingernail is adhered to the finger. That procedure is pure torture, too. 

HERE to go to the original blog post by Gloria Lemay