Sunday, February 01, 2009

My Response to: Is Circumcision Wrong? | Momversation

Steel yourselves, you mothers of men. Then, please watch this video, and then, I'll tell you about it.

Is Circumcision Wrong? | Momversation

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Ok. So. Let me just start by saying BLECH.


Now that that's out of the way, I'd like to over share with you, in my usual manner. Both Fezzik and Tiny Viking are circumcised. We are not (in any way) religious. We chose to circumcise our children at birth. In the doc's office. Without ceremony.


I regret the decision.

If I could do it all again, I'd just, well, not do it that way. I would have said "So what?" to the folks who weighed in on the He Must Look Like His Father side. Do they need to have their dad's nose, his hair color (or lack of hair), his shape, to claim the vast inheritance when we die? No, they, do, not.

I wasn't secure enough in this conviction, with either one, to go with my gut. I even think, knowing what I know now, that given the chance, I'd change it even just for my baby, let him keep his skin, even after we'd screwed up his bro.

But I can't. I can't do any of it again.

Do you want to know the worst part, for me? Come on, I know you do.

The worst part is that this decision, the one I'd change, given a second (or third) chance, is quite likely not the worst regret I'll have, parentally-speaking.

Yep, I said it! I'm going to make bigger mistakes (I probably already have), doing more damage, having more impact, than removing my sons' foreskin.

And you know what? It's ok.

The one thing that makes me angry (not just the mildly annoyed that I am throughout most of it), is that no one mentions the word regret in this video. I think it's disgusting that Daphne hurled the word "mutilation" without thinking that she could hurt some really well-intentioned people. I hate that she tries to make up for it later by saying "Well, yeah, but you *thought about it*." But even more, I am mad that they didn't bother to include anyone who had the (ahem) balls to say "Well, I did this, and it was horrible, and I wish I hadn't done it."

We all have regrets. We're allowed to. That's how we learn.

P.s. Daphne? You're a real piece of work. Best of luck to you, lady.


Joan said...

Circumcision in our family has had tons of conversation. Funny, because I was just talking to another nursing student about this the other day. She kind of freaked out because she had a patient WITH forskin and had never seen it before! Interesting tht all the textbooks always show the male with it cut off, so people don't even know that is what you are born like. I never imagined getting my kids circumcised - all of my ex's were foreign born for the most part - so they just didn't do it. I was used to what it looks like. I remember asking Moises what he thought about it, and he didn't even know what I was talking about. He kind of freaked out when I told him that it was customary to take off the foreskin in american culture. He couldn't believe it. So, I can see where the woman from the video uses the mutilation reference.Here in the US we hear about female mutilation and are disgusted, and I know that others hear about what we do to our boys think it is pretty disgusting. It is harsh though if you have never thought of it in those terms. In the end, we all do our best. I am sure Balthezar will find other things to talk to his therapist about when he is older.

Travel_mon said...

The way I see it, if one chooses not to have their son(s) circumcised, then you could always dangle that over their head for the rest of their lives. Which could be a good parenting technique, if only I had a child.On a bit more serious a note, if teasing is the only reason then is that really even a strong reason to consider it? Science and research have already dispelled the myth of cleanliness, so I don't know. Maybe if/when the time comes for my wife and I to make that decision we'll leave it up to a coin toss. I apologize in advance for my male immaturity on the subject.

Nicole said...

Just to play devil's advocate here (I always get in trouble when I do this stuff, oh well)... Let me just start out by saying that in America, I believe, there's no reason health-wise to circumcise our baby boys. It's just a cultural norm, something people just do. This Daphne was so worked up about the damage circumcision does to babies. Here's my possibly contentious point: If it's NOT done, it could be "damaging" later, (in the locker room, say,) if only for awhile... Nobody wants to be different when they are growing up--especially teenagers--and I can imagine boys really wouldn't want attention drawn to their unusually-sheathed wee-wees. Obviously, I could be totally wrong here. I was never a boy who needed to get changed in a locker room surrounded by my peers. But I know that kids can be cruel with their teasing. Another thought: people "mutilate" themselves in a lot of ways to fit in... We pierce our ears and other parts, we perm/straighten/dye our hair with nasty chemicals, we get tattoos. We choose this stuff; it makes us feel better about ourselves! The difference with circumcision, obviously, is that it's the adults choosing for their children. But you have to wonder... I've never met a circumcised man who misses his foreskin... All that said, I'm not sure what I'd do if I had a baby boy. In truth, I hadn't thought about this much before your blog entry, Kath. Good food for thought. That video was pretty intense, and I didn't realize that people felt so strongly about this stuff!