Amy - posted on 06/08/2010 ( 140 moms have responded )
I was going to post this in the thread from the other day, but I can't find it. Anyway, it intrigues me how pro-circ these forums seem to be (almost universal agreement in some threads) given that it's rare around most of the world and even the USA has a 50% circumcision rate (so it's high, but from some of these threads you'd think everyone did it).
I don't mind if this promotes vigorous debate - I'm not trolling here, but I think it's an important subject that should be debated. Some of my best friends have circed (very rare in NZ these days) and I love them for who they are and think they're fantastic parents in other respects, but still reserve the right to consider it one of the worst forms of child abuse - made worse by the fact it's mainly perpetuated by loving parents who are ignorant on the subject and blinded by culture.
One of the arguments I see here a lot is "Get it done quickly so he won't remember the pain!". I've been browsing through some of the accounts of adult men who deeply regret being circumcised as infants. Ben Affleck is one of these. Some of these accounts are so tragic:
"If I’m going to bare any scarred or partially-amputated body part in the gym shower, it should be because it had to be done for medical reasons or because it was my choice. My penis is no different in this regard. I don’t want my cockhead permanently exposed to strangers because some religion told my parents how much of my penis I could keep or because I was unlucky enough to be born in some country where boys go through surgery to lose half their penis skin “to fit in”. That’s beyond crazy. Males who get penis plastic surgery at birth will never know what it’s like to be a whole man in control of his own body. For me, that control was ceded by proxy during my first week of life. From then on, I’m just a slave; I’m living someone else’s idea of how I should explore my body, develop and enjoy sex.
Worse than that, it’s taboo to complain that my (unnecessary) penis scar is crooked, or that I lost so much skin that my erections hurt, or that my penis bends because my circumcision is lopsided. Skin bridges? "Live with it." Hardened lymph fluid, fistula, cold glans? "Live with it." Meatal stenosis? "Everyone’s got it, it’s normal. Shut up."
Listen up: It’s my penis and I’ll decide how much of it I’ll keep. I’ll decide what’s “beautiful”. I’ll decide what’s clean. I’ll decide how safe to keep it from disease and especially from anyone’s scalpel. Yeah, I’m angry that doctors and my parents are too brainwashed to understand all this, but I’m really pissed off that the law doesn’t spare them from having an ethical dilemma. It sure stopped anyone from even wondering whether to cut my sister.
...I don’t feel I’m cleaner, or more attractive, or more normal for having been put through this surgery. All I really feel is that I’m permanently branded, like a steer.
- John, from Washington, DC"
"I do have a circumcision. I hate whoever did this to me. It's spilled milk, though, I realize. You say that I'll never know unless I have a circumcision. Well because I do, I can attest to bleeding and complete destruction of sensitive nerve endings in the glans. Yes, even a chunk of my glans was taken along with the foreskin. I can't feel nearly as much as my husband. What else am I missing? I can only imagine.
Just so you know... I was circumcised and then abandoned to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. How is that for child abuse? How is that for "cut and run", huh?
What do you say for people like me? What sort of rationalization do you have for children who had body parts sacrificed to god or the gods of the medical establishment?
Where was my consent form? Where are my rights for bodily integrity? I will say this again:
At birth in the United States, I had less rights than dogs in Switzerland. At birth in the United States, I had less rights than dead bodies here. At birth in the United States, I had less rights than girls at birth.
The allowance of circumcision in the United States for parents' whim is sexist, ageist and places the rights of dead bodies higher than my rights at birth. Where is the outrage? My body, my rights!
nhguy78 of Hudson, NH, on Rant/Rave February 21, 2010"
Everyone here loves their children and wants the best for them. How would you feel if this was your son writing this way in 20-30 years? How would you justify your decision to him?