What the Schmuck!

B.B….I’ve felt like you were a boy since the beginning; so while the possibility that this pertains to you is only 50%, we may have to make a decision that I am just realizing is the hardest one yet!

Why circumcise??  There is NO medical reason to do this horrible genital mutilation!  The only reason to do so is for religious reasons.  Well, beyond the fact that I only have nostalgic religious attachment, circumcision is a Jewish tradition.  Sure, I toyed with the Kabbalah idea, but a Jew I am not.

Don’t people wonder about how the procedure is done??  Circumcision has to be done within about the first 10 days after birth.  (And costs at least $350)  So, your brand new, 10 day old baby is taken from you.  Then it is restrained, by being strapped to a board, spread-eagle. The baby usually starts crying when it is restrained. From my research, anesthetics were not used on the infant because there was nothing safe enough for the baby. I’m not entirely sure if there have been developments in infant anesthetics. The instrument used is medieval.  The penis is clamped and the foreskin pulled up and tied to the top of the instrument. And, to no one’s surprise, the foreskin is cut off above the clamp. The clamp is left there, and the baby left restrained on the board, for at least 5 minutes so that the clamp can help to clot the blood.

The baby is screaming, tied to a board. The baby can turn blue from lack of oxygen, because they are crying so hard and in such immense pain. Mothers report that they can hear those screams in their minds for the rest of their lives. They can not hold or comfort the baby.

Isn’t it warped that we elect, even pay, for this torture to happen to our new baby? Particularly when there is NO medical reason for circumcision. It is a complete myth that foreskin is dirty.  Where does that come from? Boys who have their foreskin are probably more clean than circumcised boys. They learn to wash better. And I think the most common misconception, or non-thought (people don’t even bother to question it) is that the foreskin is “extra” or unnecessary skin. It is full of nerve endings and perhaps the most sensitive part of the boy’s penis!! Why do we take that away from them?

Boys that are not circumcised do not carry diseases, they are not more susceptible to bladder infections. As an adult (like after marriage, BB), it is actually completely unnoticeable between an erect circumcised penis and an uncircumcised one.
Of course, I do have that deep down fear. The one that your dad has put above the rest of the information. What if there’s some little shit in the locker room that decides you’re “different” and taunts you. Obviously your fierce ninja skills will come in great then, but no one wants their baby to be bullied.
Well, on this note I’ve also researched. In the Portland area there was really about 50/50 circumcised and “intact.”  Now, recently, it’s become 60/40, with more boys whose parents have decided not to have them genitally mutilated. So, while I promise I will not be hovering outside the locker room door to protect you, BB, I’m pretty sure there’s still going to be an a-hole or two, who will come up with some reason for me to want to kick their ass. I’m hoping it’s because you’re smart, or eco-conscious. Oh, speaking of locker rooms…those who are circumcised are actually more apt to be chaffed, because they don’t have the protective skin over the “glans” of their penis.

So, while to me, the pros (of NOT being circumcised) outweigh the cons…your dad’s immediate reaction is still wrapped around the fear and unknown. He doesn’t have any information and he is going with his gut, which is: I don’t want him to be different from me, and I don’t want him teased. Both completely legitimate worries, but as I’ve outlined in this blog…it’s 50 reasons to 2.
Meanwhile, your dad is still at the adamant stage. He doesn’t want to hear the other side. I’m hoping he looks into it more, because I’m not sure I can go through with it.

Love,
Mama B.

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One thought on “What the Schmuck!

  1. A difficult decision for some people. I agree with you about the foreskin and the fact that it is not merely “extra” skin – there are reasons for it as you have said. I also did a lot of research about circumcision, many years ago when I was having babies and recently when I wrote a new handout for classes. It is common for some Dads to say they want their baby boys to “look like them” but a baby boy is not going to look like an adult male anyway (hopefully), so it’s really no big deal. I think the locker room bullying is also moot because of the statistics that you mentioned as well. Circumcision is a volatile and emotional topic for some couples. I hope that you can make an informed choice, not an emotional one. They do use a local anesthetic to numb the genital area during the procedure. Usually they wait for it to take effect. In some hospitals, medical residents routinely perform circumcisions, sometimes first year residents. The major complications include pain (after the procedure when the baby urinates, it burns for a few days at least), bleeding, cutting off too much foreskin, disruption with breastfeeding as baby “shuts down” to deal with the pain. Intact boys and men are usually glad they are (intact!). But most boys heal ok. I just feel like if it ain’t broke, why fix it?? Informed decisions are the best decisions. Good Luck!!! Maybe you’ll have a girl… at least we don’t circumcise females in the U.S. – that opens up a whole ‘nother can o’ worms…

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