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.
I wholeheartedly believe that it should never be a parent's choice and firmly believe genital mutilation on boys and girls should be illegal. Oh no, the government shouldn't have a say in this, women tell me. Well, obviously it needs to be because society are still acting like idiots. Just as binding a girl's feet had to become illegal before the cultural norm was changed, so must circumcision.
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. Link to Second son, Second Chance
One woman said to me - the controversy over circumcision is just a lot of drama. I don't think its that big of a deal. This statement still gives me a slow burn inside. Just because it is no big deal to you, doesn't mean it is not a big deal to the millions of men with damaged penises, all their grieving, sorrow-filled moms, and all their wives dealing with this issue. Women can choose to be apathetic about issues where other people suffer (abortion, child slavery, domestic abuse, etc) because it is easier to live your lives pretending it doesn't happen, or that it does not pertain to you. One day though many women get their heads out the clouds, and realizes that one of these issues is important to them, and they start getting more involved, and they start making a real difference. This is what I hope the issue of circumcision will be like for me. Life is unfair, but I have always believed that as Christians we should try to make life a little bit more fair. And of course we should always strive to be rewarded with the words "well done, my good and faithful servant."
Link to stories of mothers who regret and are trying to make a difference.
This is a page in progress, I'll be back with more comments and links.
I did not circumcise my son - but I had researched the subject while I was TTC. Who knows what I would have done in my 20s - I knew nothing back then Here is a great article on reasons why not to circumcise your son. 20 reasons why I didn't circumcise my son
And here are the medical reasons (and God-given reasons) to be intact as God planned:
The foreskin has numerous protective, sensory, and sexual functions.
· Protection: Just as the eyelids protect the eyes, the foreskin protects the glans and keeps its surface soft, moist, and sensitive. It also maintains optimal warmth, pH balance, and cleanliness. The glans itself contains no sebaceous glands-glands that produce the sebum, or oil, that moisturizes our skin.11 The foreskin produces the sebum that maintains proper health of the surface of the glans.
· Immunological Defense: The mucous membranes that line all body orifices are the body's first line of immunological defense. Glands in the foreskin produce antibacterial and antiviral proteins such as lysozyme.12 Lysozyme is also found in tears and mother's milk. Specialized epithelial Langerhans cells, an immune system component, abound in the foreskin's outer surface.13 Plasma cells in the foreskin's mucosal lining secrete immunoglobulins, antibodies that defend against infection.14
· Erogenous Sensitivity: The foreskin is as sensitive as the fingertips or the lips of the mouth. It contains a richer variety and greater concentration of specialized nerve receptors than any other part of the penis.15 These specialized nerve endings can discern motion, subtle changes in temperature, and fine gradations of texture.16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23
· Coverage During Erection: As it becomes erect, the penile shaft becomes thicker and longer. The double-layered foreskin provides the skin necessary to accommodate the expanded organ and to allow the penile skin to glide freely, smoothly, and pleasurably over the shaft and glans.
· Self-Stimulating Sexual Functions: The foreskin's double-layered sheath enables the penile shaft skin to glide back and forth over the penile shaft. The foreskin can normally be slipped all the way, or almost all the way, back to the base of the penis, and also slipped forward beyond the glans. This wide range of motion is the mechanism by which the penis and the orgasmic triggers in the foreskin, frenulum, and glans are stimulated.
· Sexual Functions in Intercourse: One of the foreskin's functions is to facilitate smooth, gentle movement between the mucosal surfaces of the two partners during intercourse. The foreskin enables the penis to slip in and out of the vagina nonabrasively inside its own slick sheath of self-lubricating, movable skin. The female is thus stimulated by moving pressure rather than by friction only, as when the male's foreskin is missing.
· The foreskin fosters intimacy between the two partners by enveloping the glans and maintaining it as an internal organ. The sexual experience is enhanced when the foreskin slips back to allow the male's internal organ, the glans, to meet the female's internal organ, the cervix-a moment of supreme intimacy and beauty.