7.06.2012

Your Penis Is Awesome....Now Leave It Alone.


Imperfect? I think not.


As a doula, circumcision is something I address with families all the time. Often the main reasons I hear for choosing to do it are "They will get made fun of/be different/not look like dad or brothers" or "It's cleaner" or - my least favorite - "it doesn't hurt as bad when they are babies". None of these reasons are actually true enough to justify mutilating a baby boy's genitals, in my opinion - Which, DISCLAIMER: that's all this is is my educated opinion on the matter. Take it or leave it.  I'm addressing all the excuses I can think of that I hear from people regarding circumcision in my usual Gypsy Jewels "I say what I want" style....unlike my nicer and more heartfelt story share on my Crowning Lotus website here: The Tale Of Two Penises {A Mother's Circumcision Journey} ;) Here goes:

"He'll get made fun of in the locker room!"

Currently, the percentage of boys getting cut in America is around 68% UNcut and 32% cut. Out of my clients, I would say about 10% have the procedure done (and half that was for religious reasons). With some insurance companies no longer covering the procedure and more and more information being discussed on the web it is a routine thing that is currently going out of style - and fast. This means that the locker rooms aren't going to be the same as they were when you were in school when your child goes to high school - MOST of those kids are going to be uncut....so, a lot of these boys who are getting cut now because their parents are trying to protect them from locker room humiliation will likely face said humiliation because they ARE cut. Parent's might have some real slpainin' to do, then - or be in for a shock when they walk in on their boy trying to restore his foreskin.

I think the bigger issue here is....what the hell is going on in these locker rooms?! Are guys really THAT into checking each others dicks out?? I can't help but think that they would give the uncut guys a hard time because they are jealous he's got a little more. Maybe we should focus on teaching boys not to make fun of people's genitals instead - because that's a real jerk thing to do.

"It's cleaner and prevents disease."

Are guys really so hopeless and lazy about washing their junk that they need to have skin chopped off their penises to help them keep themselves clean? REALLY?! It's your cock. CLEAN IT! I don't care if it's circumcised or not, you better know how to wash yourself! I'm a chick - I have extra skin around my parts to help protect it from issues and infection....and I was taught how to keep myself clean. Believe me - I'm glad I have that skin. I realize how easily the tables could be turned.

The skin that covers the penis, when maintained well, serves many wonderful functions! It protects the penis, it lubricates, and stimulates both him and her. Obviously if you're letting it get funky - that's not your dick's fault. And, yes there is research showing that circumcision may reduce the risk of getting some STD's and AIDS - but there is also research to debunk this as well and shows that the foreskin may actually prevent STD's. You know what else can? Teaching a guy not to be a slut and to protect himself and his partner(s).

"He won't look like daddy."

OK, have you EVER seen a father and son whip out their pieces and compare them or hear a father proudly proclaim pride because his sons penis resembled his own? How hard is it to explain that "back in the old days it was common to cut skin off the penis of newborn boys...but then we realized how silly that was and stopped doing it."? Besides - he still has a choice at this point. If he's really THAT weirded out because your penis is so magnificent and his is not, he can still get his penis circumcised to match yours.

"I prefer circumcised penises"

Ummmmm......are you going to be having sex with your son? How do you know that his mate wont prefer uncut men? Making decisions on what to do about your child's genitals based on your own sexual preferences is kinda weird. We are used to circumcised penises in America, but, as stated before, circumcision is a fad that is quickly going out of style - in the future the tables WILL be turned in many cases. 

"Not Circumcising is gross!"


If you thing NOT circumcising is gross - you should probably know that that skin that they are chopping off your baby's wang may be sold to cosmetic companies (or did you not read the entire form you signed before they carted your boy of for his slicing - not that the language in there will be clear about what exactly will happen to your baby's foreskin...). Mmmmmm - that's definitely NOT gross, right? Yay!! Let's buy some anti-wrinkle cream and rub a bunch of foreskin on my face because THAT'S not disgusting.....

Foreskins (or the Fibroblasts that scientists develop from them) can also be used as skin grafts, to help heal burns or are also used for cosmetic testing rather than animal testing - these things aren't so bad...I still don't think that's it's reason enough to justify circumcision without consent.

Here is what I like to call MOTIVE, however. Sure - there is absolutely not ONE credible medical organization in the world that recommends circumcision as a medically necessary or justified procedure - they will ALL admit that this is basically cosmetic surgery. So, why then are parents not being given this impression - or being encouraged not to do it? Maybe.....juuuust maybe if they are making money selling this baby's skin to research or cosmetic companies they don't want parents to know the truth about circumcision.....just maybe your ignorance is profitable to them.

This could carry over into a lot of things regarding pregnancy, birth and newborns. They have women so convinced that they can't give birth without all these bells and whistles around them that most women fear birth and go into it ready to eat up whatever intervention they are willing to give them. Women everywhere are giving their power away - and most don't even know it. Women find their truest power through giving birth to their babies - that is taken (or given away) when a mom chooses to "opt out" of experiencing birth by numbing it or just having a doctor cut her open and pull her baby out. The feminism movement made that one fateful mistake when we allowed commercial and medical systems trick us into believing that it was powerful to "control" the pain of labor - or to not breastfeed our babies. Such a sad misfortune that I hope to see soon as an also dying trend. {DISCLAIMER - just so we're clear - this is referring to the women who believe that they can't give birth without pain relief or simply don't want to. There is a time and place for all medical interventions....my issue is when a woman isn't even interested in trying or fears trying to trust her bodies ability. Getting interventions without medical cause is DANGEROUS to both mom and baby - it it not ethical of me to support the unnecessary risk to either, which is why I don't.}

"It doesn't hurt as bad when they are babies." 

This one really irks me. Someone tell me how anyone knows this. Please. Did you remember that it did not hurt? Did a newborn tell you that it didn't hurt? Have you ever seen an infant get a circumcision? Do you REALLY think that they don't feel that?

It wasn't that long ago that the popular belief was that babies simply couldn't feel pain at all. Any sort of medical procedure - including surgeries - was performed without any pain relief or anesthesia in mind. I can not even imagine the sort of torment this was for these poor infants. I also can not imagine how we can possibly allow ourselves to be convinced by OB's and Doctors that this is not a painful experience for them. It is. Don't be fooled.

Yes, circumcision does hurt when you get older...but not "more" than it hurts a newborn or child. Actually, it is a much less invasive procedure because the head of the penis is no longer fused to the foreskin - making half the procedure that much easier. For newborns, the skin that is layered over the head of the penis is fused to the foreskin the way that your fingernail is fused to your finger (do you think separating your fingernail from your finger might be painful? That's actually a torture technique in some cultures). It stays fused like this from birth to around the age of 5 when it will naturally begin to retract. Separating these tissues is excruciating - and you can absolutely tell by their cries.

Babies are telling us that this is painful - we just aren't listening. For the sake of cosmetics and the slim chance that it will protect from disease we are strapping our boys to tables shortly after they arrive here and proceed to slice skin off their penises. No consent, no way out. I have to tell you - as a victim of molestation and rape this part makes me very uncomfortable.

"I had it done and I'm alright."

Are you? Reeeeeally? How do you know that this did not effect you in some way - you would never know the difference because you do not know who you would have turned out to be if you had never been through that experience in your infancy. It may not have effected you at all - but - you'll never really know for sure. Getting tied down and having skin cut off your genitals is a traumatic event, and we know that trauma changes people. How can we just assume that this does not change or have some effect on these infants? 

I think it's certainly interesting, and possibly no coincidence that men in this country are so horny and cock obsessed - and that there is so much penile dysfunction. Maybe, just maaaaaybe these guys are making up for something that someone took from them a long time ago. Maybe they are horny all the time because the head of their penis is constantly exposed and being stimulated (or, maybe they are just horny...). My point is - do you really know why you are the way you are? Why you behave the way you do? There is always cause and effect.  


"There's nothing wrong with my cock."


Now, boys, I understand that it may be difficult to accept that your parents made this decision for you and that your instinct might be to get defensive about the subject and want to do to your child what was done to you. Admitting something might not be right about circumcision might feel like saying something is wrong with your own circumcised dick. Take a moment to recognize that might be happening and address those feelings rather than jump to the decision to repeat the cycle with your own little boy. Man up. Accept what has been and what could be. We're intelligent human beings and we look at things objectively with the information that we are given. Your parents made the decision to circumcise you from the information that they were given - I was among them with my first son circumcised. Forgive, grow and move forward. 



....there's my .02

4 comments:

Judith said...

Love everything you said, but wanted to correct one thing. Circumcision does NOT help prevent STD's, especially AIDS. In some cases, it might actually increase the chance of STD's. Other than that, BRAVO!!!

http://circumstitions.com/HIV.html

AIDSCirc said...

Thank you for taking the time to respond to many of the common myths we hear about circumcision on a daily basis. We'd encourage you to check out some of the research refuting the African trails on HIV and circumcision (there is much to be written on this subject that we are in the process of compiling at www.AIDSCirc.org) but thank you for being another voice speaking up to say that this is not something that should continue even one day longer.

Anonymous said...

"He'll get made fun of in the locker room!"
ME. There is absolutely no truth to this fear once a boy graduates from high school. So are we to prune a baby boy's pecker to spare him getting snickered at in middle and high school?

There may have been some truth to this fear 30-50 years ago. No evidence that it's true now, when Wikipedia articles on the penis are illustrated with images of the uncut number. And who knows what boys will be thinking 15 years from now.

If the price for 60 years of better adult sex is 6 years of snickers in middle and high school, I'm buying!



"It's cleaner and prevents disease."
ME. It is trivial to clean under the foreskin, once it loosens. If one accepts some questionable research, the circumcised penis is less susceptible to some STIs. But why alter the penis to make it less awkward for a boy to turn into a manwhore when he grows up?

"I'm a chick - I have extra skin around my parts to help protect it from issues and infection....and I was taught how to keep myself clean. Believe me - I'm glad I have that skin."
ME. If American parents hated the labia minora, and American doctors cheerfully cut the labia of baby girls, angry feminists would mob assault maternity wards, and rightly so.



"He won't look like daddy."
ME. The issue here is not a boy feeling bad because he has a pointed dick when his Dad's is bald. This is a problem only if Dad talks to his intact son in a way that would be tantamount to child abuse. The emotional driver here is, rather, Dad's being reminded of what he's missing every time he changes Junior's diaper or gives him a bath.


"I prefer circumcised penises."
ME. Who knows whether that will be true of the women he dates 20-25 years from now??


"It doesn't hurt as bad when they are babies."
ME. There is hard medical evidence that RIC hurts like hell. What is true is that a newborn cannot articulate his pain, so that that pain is much easier to rationalise away.

"Doing it to an adult is much less invasive procedure because the head of the penis is no longer fused to the foreskin - making half the procedure that much easier."
ME. Very true. And an adult is toilet trained.

"I have to tell you - as a victim of molestation and rape this part makes me very uncomfortable."
ME. Thank you for having the great courage to reveal that.

Anonymous said...

This continues the preceding comment.


"I had it done and I'm alright."
ME. Many circumcised men indeed have fine sex lives. But not all. And many of the more sinister problems, such as PE and ED, only become apparent very gradually after the 40th birthday.

I also agree with you that there is zero evidence that circumcised men are better behaved, less horny, less arrogant in the bedroom. To see this point, visit any frat house in a USA university on a Saturday night. The sexual boorishness of some American young men is disgusting.

When I was in college, tough sophisticated women often spoke disparagingly to me about the entirety of their sexual experiences. I then thought that their dates were ignorant about foreplay, and too arrogant to learn about it from a woman. I now wonder if part of what annoyed these women was that their dates were all circumcised. In recent years, I have seen women vlog on YouTube about some of their dates performing intercourse in a hard, aggressive and fast manner that is little more than date rape. Some women have volunteered this information in personal messages. I suspect that this style of intercourse is an iatrogenic consequence of RIC. These men thrust hard, fast, and deep because they cannot ejaculate in any other way. The natural penis can enjoy slow motion because it has a lot more nerves. The loose skin of the natural penis makes penetrative sex feel less brutal for women. The foreskin also interacts very nicely with his and her natural lubrication. Some women have written quite eloquently about these sexual details.


"There's nothing wrong with my cock."
ME. That doesn't mean that your son will be equally fortunate if you cut him.