Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Here we go again!

What is it with the Netherlands and anonymous posting? I appreciate that there are people who feel that circumcise is wrong. I'd love to hear your point of view. However, no posting and running. Please either leave me a valid email address or blog so that we can have an intelligent discussion. Anyone? Bueller?


  1. I have to say that I thought you were brave Brave BRAVE!!! to write about circumcision on the evil internet. If you password protect, please let me in, by the way. :)

  2. I'm not a fan of circumcision.

    So we didn't have our son circumcised.

    It was a good decision for us.

    It sounds like the decision you and your husband have made is a good, informed and has religious meaning for you.

    Oddly I have been slightly bashed for not circing!

  3. Bashed for not circumcising??? That's just ridiculous!

    I'm not brave - I don't mind if people want to have an intelligent conversation about their reasons for being pro/con. I just don't like it when people do not take ownership of their opinion.

    And as I said, not locking down any time soon :)

  4. Seeing as how I don't have a penis, I can't really say whether or not circumcision is a good thing or a bad thing. I know there is religious significance and so my opinion is outside of religion. If we get a boy and he is not circumcised already, I think we will have it done. My reasoning, be it right or be it wrong, is that his little body will heal quickly and he won't remember it. I had a cousin who got circumcised when he was 18 and it wasn't pretty. Oops, that wasn't the right choice of words...hee hee hee.. What I mean is, it was INCREDIBLY painful. I know not all choices for children should be made based on whether or not they will be teased, but aren't the majority of boys/men circumcised? I would be concerned that my poor little boy would get teased over it. Like I said, these probably aren't significant reasons to have the procedure done, but they are my reasons.

  5. If we have a boy, we won't circ. This is the choice we've made. I think every family should do the research, consult their personal beliefs and make the choice that is right for their family.
    I the area of the country we live in, more boys are uncirced than circed. I'm not at all worried about him looking different than other boys... besides, my husband said that he didn't spend a lot of time in gym class checking out other dicks. ;)
    Do what is right for you. fuck everyone else. ;)

  6. I agree with Korin that you do have to do this in the way that's right for you... I think my partner and I are struggling because we haven't yet figured out what IS right (for us). The last conversation ended with "well, maybe the birth parents will just decide and then it's out of our hands." I'm a big fan of the "anything goes, as long as it's an informed choice" school of life, but when you're talking about something that causes some people to scream "mutiliation!" while others talk about religious tradition and health and one less thing for your kid to be bullied about in the locker room, I don't know what informed choice means.
    It also seems so much more complicated when it's two women making the decision.
    And THANK YOU for picking up the conversation again despite that nasty anonymous commenter. Posting anonymously a cowardly move.

  7. Those mutilation screamers are the same ones that the lightest variety of spanking is child abuse. They're idiots and should be hunted down and shot.

    I have some issues with this because of work I did with Amnesty International when I was younger. For me, circumcision is genital mutilation but that doesn't mean that it's a bad thing. It reduces the chance of some diseases, reduces various infections and in some cases it prevents more significant surgery later on in life. Aside from that there's the religious aspect to consider and the looking like daddy.

    But the same thing can be said for the lesser more common versions of female genital mutilation where the labia are slightly cut back. The more extreme mutilation of everything being removed and sewn together is quite similar to the castration that used to take place on young men that went out of fashion in different groups whent there was a shortage of men with testicles.

    Really, the choice comes down to what is socially acceptable to you. Personally, we would most likely opt for circumcision to look like Daddy and to cash in on the relatively small benefits of being circumcised. But with an older child who will be aware of what is happening I think it is a tough choice. Your a brave woman Julie for letting this discussion take place.

  8. Too weird! This is my first time reading your blog and you mention The Netherlands where I live. I'm an American and I moved here in 2001. We did not circ. our son. If we wanted to, I don't know that we even could get it done here as it's very very uncommon. That was not what made our decision though. I firmly believe that God gave you that part of your body for a reason. In the Bible it talks about doing it for religious reasons (even if you aren't jewish) but it does not mention a baby or a child. It says it's done to a man. I can see no reason to harm my child when it's not my decision to make. It's his penis and he can decide himself. Once it's gone, it's gone. There's many men out there trying to recreate that skin and they are bitter towards their parents for making that decision for them. In the USA it's no longer recommended to get the procedure. It is not cleaner. It does not make you less able to get diseases as a commenter said. I got the latest info of the time in 2002/2003 when I was pregnant and found out I would be having a boy. in 2002/2003 the latest research showed so such thing about being more clean, etc. When my son needs his diaper changed, I don't have to do anything to his penis. Bathtime, same story. It's another body part is all! Circ'd boys need much more special care at least at first. That skin is there to protect the penis. It keeps out the germs! It should also not be pulled back until it's able to on its own around ages 3-5.

    My husband is not circ'd so there's another reason for us. but as far as the debate about looking like Daddy.. a small child will always look different than his father. He's a boy and his father is a man. I can't imagine some 2-3 year old hanging out naked with his dad and that being the thing he notices. Sexually, I can't imagine how love making can even be enjoyable for a man without that skin. It's that movement of the skin that satisfies a man.

    Apart from all I've said, your decision to circ. is your own. I have been attacked by my American family for not doing it. My mom used to be against it and then my brother had to have it done at age 3 because of infection. That infection would have happened either way. I think she just feels guilty. I don't like it that my family has made me feel horrible for not having it done, and you should not be made to feel horrible either. It was YOUR decision to make, not ours.

    Your blog looks very interesting. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with the world.

  9. Sassy, I have to respectfully disagree with you. As you can see by Laura's post - many people who are faced with this decision have done their research and made an intelligent decision for their child.

    Laura, I have to respectfully disagree with you on one point. The law of circumcism comes from when Gd commanded Abraham to bring his only son (a child) as a sacrafice. Gd spared the child and the circumcism was performed. Also, my sister-in-law is a very well respected pediatrician and has seen some of those infections cause by bateria and germs getting into the skin fold - it's very ugly and painful and dangerous.

    Regardless of your choice - it's just that - your choice. I hope that regardless of your position on this subject you can take a step back and truly hear what the opposing side is saying and, at the very least, respect them for it.

    Hugs to you all :)


  10. Interesting debate...I wonder what would have happened if you were bringing home a baby girl and you went and got her ears pierced. I'm sure the discussion would not have been as controversial.

    BTW. I had a boy. We are Catholic. We had him circ'd. No regrets 'cause it was based on OUR decision, not someone elses.

  11. Well, Julie, you hardly need me here to comment! Of course, we would circumcise a boy -- it is not even a question that we ask ourselves. Our tradition is quite clear on the importance of circumcision. Some Jews choose to disregard halacha, or recreate it to conform to current fashions, but that is not the life we have chosen, and halacha is a package deal from our perspective.

    Aside from that reason though, I just find uncircumcised penises really, really hideously ugly! I'm sorry, but it's true. They can also be smelly. Not all boys or men take the extra minute to pull back and clean themselves.

    But, frankly, I couldn't care less whether anyone else chooses to go natural with their foreskin. Live and let live! I'm just glad my hubby is circ'd. :-)

  12. jcdaughe@indiana.edu11:29 AM

    Hasn't anyone seen the episode of NIP/TICK where the boy is embarrassed because he isn't circumsised(sp?) and tries to do it himself? The girl he wanted to have sex with made fun of him for not being circumsised. Not promoting either way as I don't have kids, but it's an interesting episode to watch.

    Wessel I have to agree with you for personal preference. I'm glad hubby is circumsised. It would just look weird if it wasn't

  13. Any children we have will not be circumcised.
    I feel very strongly about not circ'ing. Probably as strongly as you feel that it is the right thing for your family.
    I can respect all points of view and I know that everyone does what they feel is best for their children.
    The only thing that irritates me is when people start talking about how ugly un-circ'd penis's are. Everyone is certainly entitled to their opinions, but as a sister, friend, and midwife to many un-circ'd men and boys, that particular opinion is pretty offensive.

  14. Oh my lordy. Uncirced penises are ugly? Then I'm married to a troll-dick, I suppose. ;-)

    Seriously, for us it's a no-brainer. My husband is uncirced and comes from a society where circumcision is considered unecessary surgery. The idea of cutting anything off my child when he's first born was a big no-no for us. Just a piercing a little girl's ears would have sat wrong. It wasn't the right thing to do for our family.

    I find the "look like daddy" arguments a bit silly because I never looked at my mother as the paragon of who I wanted to emulate, and doubt our son will be openly comparing penises with his dad or other boys.

    I find the "You can get an infection" argument silly because, like yeast infections in girls, they happen and you treat them. The genitals are skin and body and they will be just like the rest of the body. Some people never need their tonsils out, some do, but taking them out automatically has gone out of fashion.

    I find the "they smell!" argument hysterical. The answer to that is not circumcision. The answer to that is to teach whatever pig people you know to clean under their foreskin. Much like teaching little girls to wipe between labia. The answer is not to remove the labia!

    We have no compelling religious reason to circ, nor any social imperative, and we don't see any benefits that outweigh the possible risks. So our answer was an unequivocal "no".

    I can also tell you that the moment I saw his wee little face the idea of someone going at his willy with a scalpal would have made me an emotional shrieking banchee.

    For us, we didn't circ. I can respect the religious imperative to have it done without agreeing with it. I disagree with the "healthier" and "more normal" argument, and non-circing is on the rise in the US.

    So, no willy cutting for us.

    But that's us. I recognize that many people who've had it done think it's no big deal. I feel strongly, but not so strongly that I think I have the right to tell anyone else what to do.

    Krissy - Who dearly loves a turtle with it's sweater.

  15. Krissy, your comment just had me laughing! I'm off to see if you have a blog to read! I also love my turtle with it's sweater ;)

    I have a jewish friend who told me that some jewish people don't circ anymore. I wonder what's up with that.

    Oh and for ear piercing.. I'm also against that. We don't own our children, we just raise them. Cutting them or putting holes in them should be up to them in my opinion. I was 7 when I asked to get my ears pierced. Now at age 25 I wish I hadn't because I never wear earrings and for some reason when I rub those parts of my ears, my fingers smell weird from them and I just assume that this wouldn't happen with non pierced ears... and no, there's no infection and yes, I wash my ears daily. Just one of those weird things I guess.

  16. I'm sorry Wonder Woman -- you're right. That wasn't a very nice thing to say! It is only a personal aesthetic preference for me, sort of like preferring traditional design to art deco or modern styles. We all have our idea of beauty. Some people think that circ'd penises look bald. What can you say! To each his own.

  17. And to anyone else offended -- please accept my apologies. It's nice to be able to have a friendly conversation about such a controversial topic, and bad to ruin it with DUMB comments that hurt people. Going off to attach my mouth filter now . . .

  18. Julie, you and I already had a side line conversation on this before but I thought I would post our decision.

    We are going to have our son (adopted from Guatemala) circ'd next month. When making the decision, I deferred to my husband as he has a penis and I do not. He thought it was best to have it done for many of the reasons already stated. Like others have said, I think its a personal choice and feel frustrated when people try to tell me what to do with my family in a holier than thou manner (not saying this is happening here, but I have seen it happen).

  19. Hi, I'm not big on debates. Just wanted to let you know that I had my son circumcised when he was about 3 weeks old. He was in the NICU because he was a preemie and this was the last thing they did before he left the hospital. My husband and I were actually present when he was circ'd. They applied a local anesthetic and he didn't even cry. It took about 5 minutes. He cried when they pricked his heel though, screamed bloody murder. I wouldn't chose for my son to not have his blood checked either, even though it was uncomfortable for him. *shrugs* Just my opinions, everyone's got 'em!

  20. I love my sweater wearing turtle too!

    If we have a girl, I won't pierce her ears and probably won't let her get it done until she's at least 13.

  21. maggie_mae11:45 AM

    We had both our boys circ'd. Only took us two seconds to decide. It was really no big thing for us. Just a few years ago my dad had it done (don't ask how I know this). *haha* I didn't really talk to him at length about this, but he did say he should have had it done many many moons ago.

    I think its only your and your husbands choice to make.

  22. Hi...Julie's sister here. I read all of your comments and discussed the whole circumcision thing with sister. First off, I'm only 24 but for me it would be an easy decision whether I adopt or give birth b/c it is my religious belief and it one of the most important convenents with G-d. But I have a question for those of you who are Catholic,Christian, etc... Do you still circumcise your boys for religious reasons? Does the new testament say anything about circumcision? If you follow both old and new testament, does this covenent with G-d still pertain?

  23. Such an interesting and respectful discussion! My husband is circumsized but he is very opposed to it. His Father had to be circumsized as an adult and that is why he wanted his son done as an infant, but my husband feels that he's missing something and he wishes he hadn't been circumsized. In my life I have only ever encountered circumsized penis's so I can't imagine anything different and would be okay with having a son circumsized. For me it's more of an aesthetic thing - it's what I'm used to and it's what looks attractive to me. Here in Canada it is becoming much less common, it is becoming difficult to find a doctor willing to do it and it is not covered by health insurance as it is considered cosmetic surgery. So I'm sure if I were to have a son he would remain uncircumsized, but I would never judge anyone for wanting it done for any reason.

  24. Anonymous1:48 PM

    Howdy! Man I read a ton of this sort of stuff 3-4 years ago before my 2nd child was born. I am a born-again Christian and that was a VERY serious question in my mind. Many scripture (old test) state the seriousness of circumcision. However, many of the 'rituals' followed in the old testament were done away with by Jesus dying on the cross and I personally believe circumcision to be one of them. It was a very tough decision for my husband and myself as well. We did many hours of research (I work in a hospital and of course they are all very PRO circumcision), but I also choose to have a mid-wife who is very ANTI-circum. and we prayed many a times. In the end, we chose NOT to have our son circumcised.. and yes my husband IS circumcised. Many more people are choosing NOT to these days.
    (Maelstrom's sister)

  25. Anonymous8:29 PM

    I just came upon this discussion and felt that certain facts which haven't been made should be stated. When it comes to RIC (Routine Infant Circumcision) only the U.S.A. still circs a majority of boys (but BARELY)-- it's down to about 55% nationally and to about 35% in the Western U.S.
    Next: There is not a child healthcare facility or a medical assn. in the WORLD that advocates RIC. MANY regard it as a non-medical, cosmetic procedure that is ill-advised and some CONDEMN the U.S. Drs. as "greedy" for not telling parents it is totally unnecessary. Finally: In the entire world, about 82% of the male population is INTACT, i.e. NOT circumcised and in most cases their penile health is better than their American counterparts -- less STDs, lower rates of HIV, AIDS, etc. You can argue for religious beliefs, but as I hear it (and it was mentioned here) there is an actual organization called Jews Against Circumcision.
    Lastly: Have you ever seen a circ performed? It is not just a "snip" --it is an agony-producing process. IMHO, the facts are so overwhelming, there can't be a balanced argument. Sooner or later (probably sooner) RIC will be out of style in the U.S. as well as the rest of the world. And that's as it should be.