Friday, 16 May 2014

Why is Talk on Circumcision SO Popular?

There is a lot of talk about circumcision on my Facebook feed this week and I have no particular idea why it has all-of-a-sudden become the trendy topic of choice but I am sure that sticks and stones are thrown, and friendships lost over the subject on what seems to be a daily basis!

I have 3 boys and 1 girl and my stance on circumcision is that it is a rather unnecessary procedure and not at all standard in many countries around the world - in fact, I had my first son in England and was never, ever asked if I wanted it done and was never offered the procedure and never went out of my way to go find someone who would do it because it just wasn't the done thing. Many men there and across Europe are perfectly happy as nature intended and they haven't lost anything from staying "in-tact". 

Of course, I don't particularly want a debate, here, but I am thinking out loud and I have to admit that I was a little terrified of the hospital giving my most recent son a circumcision without my consent when I had him in an American hospital where it seems to be [for want of a better term] "all-the-rage". 

I was adamant that I would not be having my son circumcised but when he was born he ended up in the NICU for a week, during which time, I was asked 6 or so times whether I was having a circumcision and had I forgotten to sign the paper to get it done - as though I might have forgotten something like that!? 

I couldn't possibly have decided to keep my child "in tact", could I? - I couldn't believe it! I knew that circumcision in America was almost just the done thing but I didn't realize how abnormal SOME places seem to see the process of just leaving it alone!! 

Now, don't get me wrong, I am not at all suggesting that you should all throw down the knife and step away from circumcision all-together just because I am not for it, because that isn't the way I think. I actually believe that it is up to each individual family to make the choices that they think best for their kin as they are going to be the people who live with those decisions and I will live with mine - no big deal. 

I do, however, wonder if sometimes people are just entering into getting it done just because everybody else does it or because they don't want their child to look different among their peers or because they want their sons to match their fathers - I honestly have no idea! However, as one Brian Leaf (author of Misadventures of a Parenting Yogirecently pointed out that son's don't always share the same hair color or noses and so why on earth do they really have to have the same penis!? The answer is, they really do not. 

I just would like to see people make an educated decision on circumcision, whether they've  done their research and decided that it is for them or whether they have decided that it is not. There are so many things that can go wrong with circumcision and it isn't cleaner to get it done, contrary to popular belief and it will still be appreciated by a future spouse whether it is cut or left alone - they all really do look the same when they're ready to do what they do best. 

1 of our 3 boy is cut and it really hasn't given him any kind of advantage over the other 2, he never asks about it and has never had to see the other's to care in the slightest about what he has down there! He doesn't see his father naked and so never has reason to see whether he does or does not "match" there, either! It just hasn't made a difference in his life at all and so I guess he should just be thankful that it was cut without incident and life carried on - it just isn't always that way for some babies and some do go through a terrible time of it with a botched procedure, so you really do have to weigh your options and see if the good outweighs the bad for you. 

Whatever you decide, don't ever let anybody else make you feel bad for choosing whatever it is that you choose for your children. We don't all have to agree, but we should all be able to make decisions that are right for us and ours, while respect that in others at the same time.

Life is too short to worry about someone else's decisions. C'est la Vie. 


Hugh said...

Although you protected two of your sons, you take it for granted that the decision should be left to the parents. Why not the owner? (When he is old enough, of course.) Non-therapeutic non-consented male genital cutting is a human rights violation. As you know, most men in the world, (2,000,000,000 of us) have all we were born with, we and would fight to keep it all.

The reason talk of circumcision has become so popular is that the Internet has enabled men who hate being circumcised to come out and say so, and brought the whole topic out of the cone of silence under which it became customary, allowing all the old myths to be debunked.

Go Bronson! said...

No, I do not take it for granted. Rather it is not for me to sway, it doesn't make me feel less inclined to agree with you 100% on personal choice, just what can I do as a parent when it is up to others / to come to that decision on their own?