… Born Perfect.
“When an American physician says that circumcision prevents UTI or cancer of the penis, he is sincere. But, it is like a medieval Chinese physician saying that foot binding prevents flat feet. If someone asks me, “What rate of preventable UTI would justify male circumcision?” I respond by asking, “What rate of preventable UTI would justify female circumcision?” The second question is patently absurd unless one’s cultural bias allows a sympathetic view of female circumcision. Therefore, the first question can be only slightly less absurd.”
~ Martin S. Altschul MD
1) The Pain is Excruciating
The foreskin is attached like a fingernail (see #4).
Need I say more?
Don’t forget to have the volume on for the following video.
That we have the legal and ethical option to inflict pain upon vulnerable, trusting, helpless babies for an unnecessary procedure is a testament to how far we still have to go before we can consider ourselves out of the dark ages.
50% of circumcisions in the United States are performed without any anaesthetic at all. The 50% that do use it, often use the topical cream which is wrought with hazards. The toxins in anaesthetics aside, the major problem is the doctors are not waiting long enough for the anaesthetic to work (link shortly), they are waiting an hour or less (sometimes only minutes) when it takes two hours or more to work. Add to this, in babies under 6 months of age, they must not have the cream on longer than 1 hour.
The dorsal blocks and other needle locals have their own problems. The pain of a local is quite significant and for a newborn it is shocking at best. Then we have the issue of whether the block worked – for some it simply doesn’t, as many of us know ourselves. For others, it takes longer, or it needs a top up… all these things an ADULT can communicate, a baby cannot. So when the baby cries, they do not know this baby is experiencing great pain. That is offensive and out of order, officially it is torture, although many parents who circumcise their boys object to the use of such a term… a rose by any other name… is still torture.
Then we have the millions upon millions of boys who are circumcised without anaesthetic because that is their custom, often ritualistic or religious.
It was not long ago that there was debate whether babies even feel the pain of having the most sensitive organ on their body sliced and peeled off. This has now been conclusively scientifically debunked, however I think many people still cling to the idea that a newborn is such a non-entity, or the common, “they made it through the birth canal didn’t they?” that they don’t feel as much pain as an adult. Add to that the fact that newborns in our society protest and scream so much that we can jot their experience of circumcision up to just another inconvenience, pat them on the back, and move past it.
Studies show there is tremendous pain felt by infants during and after circumcision.
Over a dozen studies confirm the extreme pain of circumcision. It has been described as “among the most painful [procedures] performed in neonatal medicine.”( 2) In one study, researchers concluded that the pain was “severe and persistent.”( 3) Increases in heart rate of 55 beats per minute have been recorded, about a 50 percent increase over the baseline.( 4) After circumcision, the level of blood cortisol increased by a factor of three to four times the level prior to circumcision.( 5) Investigators reported,
“This level of pain would not be tolerated by older patients.”( 6) …
When you lay them on their stomachs they scream. When their diaper is wet they scream. Normally, they don’t scream if their diaper is wet. Baby boys who are not circumcised do not scream like that. The circumcised babies are more irritable, and they nurse poorly.( 24) (see note on affects to breastfeeding, below)
Babies can actually survive torture, abuse and many other emotionally and physically horrific things and look quite fine in the morning, smiling at those who inflicted it upon them. Did they not feel that pain, just because they cannot communicate it in a language we understand? Or could it be that they are much more zen about suffering than an adult, who will replay the event over and over in their head and moan and whine about it for long lengths of time? Could a baby also give up trying to communicate their continued suffering, because they are not linguistic and in our culture, that is all we consider to be ‘communication'; screaming and bucking at restraints apparently isn’t clear enough to us.
Men who have been circumcised as adults have said that it hurts like hell to have their foreskin cut and removed. However, they had it easy compared to a baby because a baby’s foreskin is still attached to the glans. “Fused” is the term used in medical books. It slowly and naturally wears down so that by the age of ten the foreskin is independent of the glans. So a baby not only has the pain an adult has of circumcision but also the added pain of ripping the foreskin from the glans prematurely.
If you still insist on doing this to your child, do you know the answers to these questions:
- Do you know for sure they are going to use anaesthetic on your child?
- Do you know for sure the anaesthetic is a cream or a needle, which can be painful in itself?
- How do you know for sure the anaesthetic will work?
- Will you know the anaesthetic has kicked in before they cut? This is a very common problem that an infant cannot communicate.
- Do you know why they prefer you do not accompany your baby to be circumcised and in some places you are not allowed to?
Perhaps you’d like to consider the instincts a mother has to protect her baby are there for a reason. If you see your child restrained and screaming desperately for you, even before the pain occurs, you will feel an overwhelming urge to grab your baby and run. Trust nature and follow that instinct. Keeping mothers from their babies during this abuse prevents that instinct from fully kicking in, although it will be there to some extent.
A friend told me she couldn’t watch her child being circumcised. I asked if she would sit by her baby if he had been harmed in an accident and was screaming for her, perhaps in much pain. “Of course, that’s my job.”
“Could you sit through awake surgery, blood and all, for your son?”
“I see blood every month on my panties; I’d walk through fire for my son, I would be there.”
So I asked, “What is so different about this? Because you’ll be the cause of it?”
Her mouth did the open-close goldfish thing but I could see I’d asked “the” uncomfortable question. Congratulations, you’ve just given birth to several pounds of guilt. Such is motherhood.
If you still do this to your child, at least have the guts and decency to be there. You are putting them through this, stand up and be accounted for, don’t turn your back because it’s too hard for you to sit through. This isn’t about you, it’s about them, snap out of it. Learning that now will save you the next 20 years of anguish as you battle for your lost identity to the new one of “mother”.
Further research and reading:
2) The procedure and pain has long lasting consequences.
Like we should need to be told something like that.
We don’t remember our babyhood and most of our childhood is a blur. This had led us to believe that anything that has happened during those “black” spaces of memory has not affected us. Now that science and psychology is becoming more advanced, just what it can see on the surface shows this is far from the case.
The foundation years, although not even a memory to almost every adult, are profoundly important and influential to our future reactions, relationships and general interaction with the world. The implications of being taken from the natural home of our mother’s arms, having our most intimate sexual body part forcibly inflicted with pain and altered while spread eagled on a table and with no compassionate face or touch to be found before we’ve even been given a chance to figure out where we are in this world, is profound.
That should not be a surprise. Yet how often I hear, “I hadn’t thought of that.” That’s because: We’re just not thinking about this at all. We do this out of social norm, habit and medical mythology and only a tiny fraction of people research this.
Trauma results in dissociation, a separation of the traumatic experience and associated emotional pain from awareness …
The possibility of circumcision resulting in traumatic effects on older children can be better explored because of the easier access to memory and the child’s ability to talk. Two reports have studied the ritual as practiced without anaesthesia on children in Turkey. In the first report, testing subjects 4-7 years old shortly before and after the ritual yielded this result: ‘Circumcision is perceived by the child as an aggressive attack on his body, which damaged, humiliated and, in some cases totally destroyed him’ . According to this study, circumcision resulted in increased aggressiveness and weakened the ego, causing withdrawal, and reduced functioning and adaptation. Withdrawal is a defensive response that individuals use to protect themselves against further attack.
3) It is genital mutilation.
Custom will reconcile people to any atrocity, and fashion will drive them to acquire any custom.
~ George Bernard Shaw
Anyone who was instrumental in having their son circumcised bucks at the term “mutilation”. It is the correct term, however. We don’t use the term commonly yet because people don’t like to hear the blatant truth of what it is.
The female version is female genital mutilation (FGM) according to most medical, legal and social arenas.
If we’re not comfortable with the term, there’s good reason for that. It isn’t the name of it that should make us uncomfortable but the FACT of it.
An interesting parallel:
According to a joint WHO/UNICEF/UNFPA statement, the use of the word “mutilation” reinforces the idea that this practice is a violation of the human rights of girls and women, and thereby helps promote national and international advocacy towards its abandonment…They also state that parents resent the suggestion that they are “mutilating” their daughters.
Specifically, it fits the criteria of mutilation in these ways:
- to cut off or otherwise destroy the use of;
– deprivation of a limb or of an essential part
The foreskin is cut off and destroyed. Just that alone fits the criteria. It is an essential part. Some contest “essential”, apparently. Yes, we live without it but we can live without many body parts, so that is not what is meant by “essential” here. Essential to natural penile function. And again, I agree a cut penis “functions”. But it no longer functions naturally. For the natural functions of the foreskin and penis, check the points about sensitivity loss and female problems.
4) In babies, the foreskin is attached like a fingernail.
Rip off your fingernail. Notice the pain.
In infants, the foreskin is attached in the same way to the glans. Medical texts call it “fused”. The glans and the penis are like “one”. This slowly separates over time until the foreskin moves independently from the glans. A baby’s fingernails are more easily peeled off – anyone with kids may have accidentally discovered this horrifying fact! My son loses bits of nail covering now and again, his nails are like paper. Peeling back the foreskin of a baby is possible, difficult, but possible – like his fingernail.
The glans (or head of the penis), like the clitoris, was designed to be an internal organ that only comes “out” for intercourse. It is important not to retract the foreskin of an intact baby due to this as damage can result. Protect your intact son from doctors who will retract the foreskin in an examination. You don’t peel back a fingernail to see what is underneath it, to clean it or to treat any condition of it. Like a fingernail, you can see any problems from the outside and treat it orally or topically. Step in fast, doctors can rip it back before you even get a chance to stop them, causing damage. If a doctor or other health care worker attempts to retract, or already has, please follow these guidelines to prevent it happening to another baby: A Warning For Parents of Intact Sons
Once the foreskin has been removed, there is absolutely nothing to protect the glans, and it remains exposed. What was meant to be a moist, deep red internal area like the mouth is now dried out, chafed and skin coloured like the surrounding skin.
The circumcised male brings little lubrication to intercourse as the foreskin is retains the pre-ejaculate fluid; as such, western sexuality is almost cliche with the expectation that it is the woman who brings the wetness or a tube of lube. The woman alone cannot maintain the lubrication required to prevent chafing and friction for the full length of a sexual experience. Even entry to the vagina requires saliva or other artificial means most of the month except commonly during ovulation. Most of the brunt of friction was meant to be taken by the foreskin, not a glob of lubricant. Add to that the fact that a large percentage of cut men tend to thrust longer and harder to achieve the necessary sensations due to decreased sensitivity (see #8).
I once met a nurse who said a foreskin was hard to look after, yet compared to post-operative recovery, how bad could it be? Turns out there are three rules to the care and feeding of the intact penis:
1) leave it alone.
2) leave it alone.
3) leave it alone.
Uhhh, that doesn’t seem all that difficult to me. Two years on, and I have never had to do a thing to my son’s penis. It cleans itself, it’s the easiest part of his anatomy, truth be told. And no, he isn’t just “lucky”. 80% of the world is intact. Problems with body parts occur in the ears, eyes, hands, umbilical cord, heart, brain and yes, penis and foreskin. They are all rare, not something you “expect” just because the baby has that body part.
5) I wouldn’t alter a girl in this way, and boys count, too.
One day, male genital mutilation will be invalidated the way female genital mutilation (FGM) is in most countries now. Females are mutilated in certain cultures for the same reasons we mutilate our boys, reasons like religious morality, hygiene, protection from disease and simply out of habit. They see all that female flesh and think it serves no purpose, is ugly, pointless and a trap for discharge and dirt and the cause of immoral behaviour. All these things are exactly the way the male foreskin has been viewed. On both counts, male and female, they are all myths, dangerous, damaging myths.
The female equivalent of the foreskin is the clitoral hood (not the labia, or “lips” as commonly believed). It is called the prepuce in both men and women and has been the most vilified normal human anatomical structure for at least several thousand years.
FGM varies in severity from removal of the hood right through to removal of the entire outer labia and clitoris itself. However, the removal of the clitoral hood is technically termed Type 1a FGM This is the equivalent of “circumcision” in males, however it is illegal in most of the world and recognised as mutilation. FGM even has it’s own UN sponsored awareness day, Feb 6: International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation
I predict that one day, so shall male genital mutilation.
Just as calling male circumcision mutilation has elicited strong emotional reaction in parents, so has likening it to female genital mutilation. I’ve personally been told that it is an “offensive” and “ridiculous” comparison. This only shows the common ignorance to the facts of both male and female genital “alteration”. Apparently the removal of the female prepuce (clitoral hood) is completely different to the removal of the male prepuce (foreskin).
In WHAT way, exactly??
The idea nature or God made some kind of mistake in males or females like that is ludicrous. Nature doesn’t make mistakes. WE do.
FGM is most common in Africa, and most commonly done on young girls although often on babies, too. The parallels are interesting:
- the mother is offended at the term “mutilation”. She does NOT believe what she did to her daughter is mutilation.
- they believe it helps prevent disease. They believe it keeps things ‘cleaner”. They believe it looks better than a natural one. They believe it makes absolutely no difference to the sexual experience, or that it is better.
- they have orgasms, and believe their sexuality is fully functional and that nothing traumatic happened to them, and that no deprivation of liberty occurred. They do the same to their own daughter.
- the mother believes she has the “right” to do this to her daughter.
Now, if you’re a woman with your foreskin (prepuce) intact, are you glad you still have it, or do you think you would have been better off if you were pinned down screaming and cut because “your mother was” or because “it’s unclean” and “dirty” and “ugly”??
6) It is pointless and absolutely unnecessary.
Remaining intact is natural. Surgery immediately upon birth is not.
There are NO medical advantages. HIV was the only medical idea showing results slightly in favour of circumcision occasionally. However, not in the most recent studies of grown males:
After adjustment for age and number of partners, circumcision was unrelated to STI history except for non-specific urethritis (higher among circumcised men) and penile candidiasis (lower among circumcised men).
Circumcision was unrelated to any of the sexual difficulties we asked about … except that circumcised men were somewhat less likely to have worried during sex about whether their bodies looked unattractive. No association between lack of circumcision and erection difficulties was detected. After correction for age, circumcised men were somewhat more likely to have masturbated alone in the previous 12 months.
I really like this man’s response to all this data:
Why are people even doing this research. You wouldn’t cut of any other healthy functional part of your body on the off chance that it may later be involved in a disease. Posted by Peter Hoath here.
Pro-circumcision advocates will tell you that circumcision in infancy prevents penile cancer and STDs.
An infant is not sexually active! They have no risk of STDs, so again… it can wait.
As for penile cancer, it is not a risk in infancy, prophylactic surgery on an infant is maniacal. Especially when you consider the fact that penile cancer is actually more rare than breast cancer in men! 2000 men get breast cancer, 500 die in a year.
1 in 100000 men get penile cancer. When someone gives you this as a reason, feel assured you are dealing with a desperate pro-circ advocate who will be extremely biased because this particular statistic is not a valid reason to mutilate a child upon their birth. No reason is, however this one is particularly offensive.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) at least have a statistic in whole numbers, at about 1 or 2% in boys depending on who’s statistics you buy. 8% are suffered by females. They are also the only reason given by pro-circumcision activists for circumcision in infancy. UTIs are easily treated, leaving a very tiny statistic of children at risk of any kidney involvement.
Over all, the medical argument is the weakest area of the pro-mutilation argument. Studies are showing there is no benefit, now or in future. Earlier studies that showed those benefits are so obscure (penile cancer) or simple (UTIs) or futuristic (STDs) that it is rather comical.
There are no advantages to genital mutilation for either a boy or a girl however there are many disadvantages and risks.
Aside from very rare medical issues, such as phimosis, there is no reason to remove a foreskin. We don’t cut every baby’s eye muscles just because a rare few are born with strabismus (crossed eyes) and need those muscles cut. The foreskin is necessary, removing it is insanity based on mythology and in our culture almost always done simply for tradition.
Cutting a pumpkin for Halloween is a cute tradition, stick with that. Cutting a penis just because the rest of the family is cut… not so cute.
Circumcision actually has it’s history based in religion and morality (more on this in #18). However, once that reason lost favour with the people in the 1900’s, the medical reasons became popular. There are no medical benefits to having a perfectly good body part removed, and that includes the foreskin… just so we’re clear.
However, there have always been an interesting list of things the medicos of the day said you could avoid if you were circumcised.
For over a hundred years, circumcision has been a solution looking for a problem, and the problem has typically been the most frightening disease of the day –
- “masturbation insanity” in the 19th century,
- then tuberculosis,
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases (then called Venereal Disease or VD) after World War I,
- penile cancer in the 1930s, and
- cervical cancer in the 1950s, when cancers were terrifyingly untreatable,
- urinary tract infections from 1982 onward,
- and now HIV.
Some will say there is one advantage of genital mutilation, and that is of course, satisfying God or the religious community’s expectations. The covenant with God in the Jewish faith, for instance, has always entailed circumcision of an infant at 8 days old. Only 3% of Israeli Jews refuse to circumcise their sons. However, the movement against MGM is growing, and questions are being raised amongst the faithful.
There is the option for Brit Shalom, or Brit b’li Milah (covenant without cutting). Your son can choose to have his foreskin removed in his teens, it is the only right course of action. God will understand. What is God, if not the energy of understanding? If you believe in a vengeful God, and many do, then you may fear God’s wrath will rain upon your son. Fear not for your son. God will not blame your son, for the choice is not his, he cannot be blamed for having an intact penis. The choice to leave him intact will be yours. Therefore, the blame falls to you.
The question then becomes: do you have the courage to take the blame from God to protect your son’s genital integrity so he may make the choice for himself at a later age?
Here’s a tip: God can see into your heart, even more clearly than you can. God knows you are acting with love, he will forgive you. A loving family will also forgive you. No one will blame the child, no one who isn’t a raving lunatic, at any rate. God made the foreskin, and many babies die with one, are the babies to blame? No, God’s not stupid.
Will you act from fear, or will you act from love? Think deeply, the two are easily confused.
7) I don’t have the right.
Many parents say it is their “choice” and they have the right. This is FALSE. You do not own your child’s body. It is their body, from birth until death. You are to help them keep it clean and healthy and safe, that’s it, that’s all.
This is as much a choice as removing the labia from your daughter – do you consider that a choice that you have? Why not? Do you have the right to alter your son’s earlobe? No? Why not?
We get confused, thinking all the decisions we make on the behalf of our children such as vaccinations, schooling and dental visits are the same as removing a perfectly healthy part of their body for no reason other than “preference”. Circumcision has been put on the smörgåsbord of parental “choices” out of sheer madness and lack of clear thinking and knowledge.
If you have ever been a foster parent, you will be aware of the odd sensation of parenting a child who is not, and perhaps never will be, “yours”. You are entrusted with their care but unlike other parents, you don’t make long term decisions on behalf of that child, because it might not suit the child’s future family, religion and preferences.
It is a shame we don’t apply this same respect to our own children.
“The court will not approve the treatment unless it is necessary and in the young person’s best interests.(132)… The basis of this attitude is the respect which must be paid to an INDIVIDUAL’S BODILY INTEGRITY…. On a strict interpretation of the assault provisions of the Queensland Criminal Code, routine circumcision of a male infant COULD BE REGARDED AS A CRIMINAL ACT.”
8.) Decreases sensitivity.
This is the most studied and obvious aspect of this topic. Regardless of the volumes of studies on the tissue, the science, etc, the best evidence of this comes from studies of intact men who get circumcised as adults. Regret is almost inevitable. They do this for newly adopted religious reasons, misguided ideas or information on benefits and other reasons.
The foreskin is full of nerve endings and is the way of retaining natural lubrication. It is also a protective cover. Removing that cover exposes the glans of the penis to constant stimulation and rubbing against clothing. This idea makes an intact male shudder. Where some people think the exposed glans heightens sensitivity and sexual pleasure, the reverse is actually true. The penis desensitises to cope. The newly cut man will experience heightened sensitivity, however it is usually uncomfortable more than enjoyable and it does not last.
If you ask a circumcised man about sexuality and sensitivity he will usually tell you everything is fine, great, just dandy. However, he doesn’t know it any other way. You can’t miss something you’ve never had. Only those who have been circumcised as adults have that perspective.
The whole of this article is full of reasons and links about the decrease of sensitivity. However, aside from the before and after stories of men who were cut as adults, another way you can note the lessened sensitivity is the way a cut man masturbates. He will often grasp the shaft really tightly and may even reef up and down like he might pull it right off. If you have never done this, and are partnered with a circ’d man, clasp his penis and have him clasp around your hand and show you how tight to hold him, you might be surprised! It is actually difficult to maintain that kind of grip for very long. Intact men usually have to “teach” an experienced woman how to hold gently. Tell me, how is a soft vagina that has perhaps pushed out a baby supposed to compete with that kind of grip? No wonder a “tight vagina” is the holy grail in our culture.
9) Causes problems for female partners.
As a female, this was a particularly important aspect in my research.
It includes problems in the relationship, problems people would never think to suspect altered genitals as the culprit. Yet, it makes so much sense when a little thought and research is put to the topic.
Mutilated/altered genitals = problems during sex for the victim and the victim’s partner. It’s not a big stretch. Suddenly everything starts to make sense. How does a woman tell her partner that although long hard thrusts are good now and then, particularly when begged for, overall, they are more irritating and… let’s be frank, boring if that is how it goes every session.
Female orgasm during sex is almost myth, with the majority of orgasms occurring during foreplay or a specific part of intercourse dedicated to “her”. The amount of books in the American market on the low libido of women is phenomenal, with sexual dysfunction in men a close second. A little anthropological look around the world will unearth the disconcerting fact that this is not occurring in natural cultures. Although there are many contributing factors in our culture, it’s time to take a good hard look at what we’re really trying to achieve by mutilating perfectly good sexual organs. Are we really going to play shocked at this point that it may be a contributing factor to one of our culture’s biggest relationship problems?
Emotional issues such as low libido, sexual frustration, disconnection from partner, lack of bonding and physical problems with lubrication, friction, and lack of clitoral stimulation to name a few. The original reason to cut men was to decrease sensitivity and keep him morally upstanding… however, these are not goals in the bedroom of a long term loving relationship!
The loss of the required extra 15 inches of flesh means the erect penis is very tight; depending on the amount of foreskin loss, it can actually pull the pubic hair off the pubic mound and up the shaft, causing chafing in the lower vagina.
America has one of the highest global rates of circumcision and is the highest by a huge margin for non-religious cutting.
One of the more common problems with circumcised penises is the tendency to cause chronic bladder infections in women from the long thrusts and “bladder banging”. Ya hear me girls? I know you hear me. Amen.
Another problem is vaginal dry out. It becomes increasingly difficult to tell your man that you really do fancy him big time when the wetness diminishes as soon as the sex starts. Perhaps his ego will be spared when he learns that 90% of the lubrication produced by a woman can be scooped out by a circ’d penis with one thrust. Sobering.
So it isn’t your fault, ladies, you’re functioning just fine. It isn’t his fault either, he most likely did not choose this situation.
This is a highly recommended link, to fully grasp the damage we have done to sex by assuming it’s “just a little flap of skin”: As Nature Intended It
Top 10 Reasons Circumcised Sex Harms Women, with pictures and videos in each link:
WARNING: LINKS CONTAIN GRAPHIC MATERIAL.
Perhaps you agree with some, all, or none. Regardless of your experience, the fact is, these things affect many people. Some may seem unrelated, too big a leap… and to that I say, unless you’ve been there, you are not in a position to say. We can only give our own perspective, we cannot speak for the truth of others.
10) The option will always be there when he grows up.
This speaks for itself. It is my son’s foreskin. It’s his choice.
As an adult, he may wish he was circumcised at which point he can go ahead and get it done. The reverse is not true. Should he wish he had a foreskin as an adult, he cannot ever put it back on. Restoration is possible, but it is not the same as the original, with all its nerve endings. Which is tightly related to the next topic…
11) It is irreversible.
Once gone, it’s gone. That’s it. Kaput.
Restoration is not the same. The percentage of men who become circumcised as adults is very small. The percentage of those who then restore is even smaller, mostly because people don’t know it is an option. However, those men do exist and the reports are that sexual function and sensation was a 10 before the cut, a 3 after the cut and a 7 after restoration.
Restoration won’t make it a natural 10, but a 7 is better than a 3!!
12) Risk of Physical Damage and Death.
It is an incontestable fact at this point that there are more deaths from complications of circumcision than from cancer of the penis.
It is unlikely that a listing of the hazards of circumcision will deter parents who insist on circumcision of their infant for religious reasons. However, for all other parents, physicians should become more vociferous than they have been in discouraging circumcision of the newborn.
(from link above)
13) Babies Tell You They Don’t Want To Be Circumcised.
Although I find it ridiculous that I must write this “out loud”, write it I shall because the world is full of twattery. Fathers actually believe their child wants this done, because they prefer their own circumcised penis and are glad their parents made that choice. Mothers believe their child wants it for much the same reason – they see their partner is happy with their lot – and because they prefer the look of the cut penis.
The babies are not giving you “future” consent. There is no such thing. They are not giving their consent at all, and their reactions make this clear. There are different cries in babies, and mothers in a natural setting (the jungle, for example), are so in tune with their babies they rarely cry. In fact, they don’t have diapers/nappies at all, they “just know” when the baby needs to go. When asked by Westerners how they could possibly know this, the mother looks at them like they’re whacked and says, “How do you know when you need to go?” It’s a no brainer to them, yet such a mother-child connection is an unfathomable freaky weird mystery to us.
Infants DO communicate, in quite a complex fashion. Their cries change and even our culture can tell the difference between some cries, for instance, the pain cry. If your baby is sick, a doctor will ask if your baby has a “high pitched, urgent cry” and this cry elicits panic from those around the baby, especially the mother – nature intended this reaction.
Watch this video again if you are not sure what a “pain cry” sounds like. THAT is a pain cry. Mixed with terror and confusion.
Don’t forget: they are human beings.
Our culture tends to forget that. We treat our children with much less respect than we do adults, and we already treat each other with such little respect that doesn’t say much for what’s left over for kids. If an adult hits another adult, even on the legs, he or she can be charged with assault. Yet an adult can hit a child, even in public, and not only is nothing done, they may get smiles from onlookers. That alone speaks volumes. But it’s the tip of the iceberg. We take liberties with our children, and then wonder what the heck is wrong with our social chaos, depression skyrocketing, crime widening… something is obviously going horribly wrong and I suggest how we treat our very foundation, our children, is the root of the problem. Circumcision is only one of many ways we have lost our innate ability to parent effectively.
14) Interferes With Breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding in our culture is difficult enough with everyone urging you to put the baby on formula at the first hint of a problem. A woman doesn’t need the added stress of a baby in pain and recovery from a surgery that can be completely avoided. Peeing hurts them, laying on their belly hurts them… there are many things to consider and with all the other things on a new mother’s plate, why add to that?
The statistics of failed attempts to breastfeed are huge in the United States.
15) It Goes Against Natural and Attachment Parenting
At the moment in our culture/society attachment parenting is a minority, but it is growing. It is based on the earth-based cultures who have less or no crime, no social dysfunction and have extraordinary children, and babies that rarely cry. Anthropologists have always been amazed at these striking human/social differences to our own culture, and plenty of texts have been written on the subject, however most are not layman user friendly. For more easy to access info on this topic, I highly recommend The Continuum Concept by Jean Leidloff and The Vital Touch by Sharon Heller. The connection becomes stronger, perhaps not as strong as living wild in community and nature, but much stronger than it otherwise may have been. This connection steers you so well, you don’t need any other books as you learn from the master – your baby!
A mother ignoring her instincts will often experience what we call “post natal depression”. And the baby will experience what we call “colic”. We have a barrage of medicines for both (typical attitude “just medicate it!”) when the remedy is simple. Teach the mother to trust her instincts and stay 24 hours a day with the baby. Yes, even when she is complaining that she feels “trapped by the baby”. I had PND, very severe in fact. The remedy was information and trust and the overwhelming relief that I could bond with my baby and stop his crying if I just held him – all the time! No prams, no cots, no swings or electronic baby sitters, just me (and usually a warm breast nearby).
Babies studied in other cultures don’t arch back like they’re in pain, don’t draw their legs in like they have gas, don’t vomit like they have reflux, and don’t scream constantly. If the baby has been used to longing for you, it may take a while to build that trust, so hang in there and just hold him while he readjusts. When in doubt, hug. Good rule, that.
So for me, this was a very important point as I am an attachment parent of two. The birth is sacred, with appropriate quiet and darkness, like a cat or any other mammal giving birth seeks these elements. When born, the baby, if untouched by anyone else and left in peace, will actually crawl her own way to the breast and latch on. It is called the “newborn crawl”, and you can see it in this video. Nature always provides, in ways we can’t even imagine yet. Inbuilt mechanisms and connections… the way breast milk changes from the touch of a baby’s lips to give the baby what it needs – how does the mother’s body know from his lips what he needs? Miraculous.
If we leave things alone, and trust nature and our bodies and instincts, things go well. Removing a baby from the mother any time within the first weeks has further reaching consequences than our current medical system will admit, even with the evidence dancing in front of it.
When a baby cries, a mother wants to pick him up but our society has told her she is “spoiling” the baby. For centuries now we have left babies crying, using judgment instead of instinct to decide if they “deserve” to be given affection or if they are better left to “cry it out”. Reject judgment, trust your baby. He’s not manipulating you, you’re trying to manipulate him, he’s just trying to restore order.
Leave the baby alone, leave the mother alone, they know what they’re doing.
16) It is Medieval, Shocking Barbaric and Weird.
People in the future will look back at MGM the way we today look back at public disembowelment as a form of punishment, or blood letting and leaches as sound medical practice. Back then, they scoffed at the previous century’s weird medical ideas and practices. We always think we’re so advanced, but really, we’re just infants of the scientific stage. When a thing is all pervasive, a normal part of one’s culture, even those who don’t practise it can’t see it for what it really is. If you can step back for a minute and take a good hard look at circumcision, really think about it, think about the vulnerable, trusting babies… the whole fact of it, how can a reasonable person not come to the conclusion that it is weird, barbaric and medieval?
17) Spread eagled restraint is like torture to a baby.
Some babies are simply strapped down, others held down. They buck and writhe so severely they have to bolt the circumstraint to the table. Some babies have vomited from the hard crying, some have bled internally from stress. And all that is before they even start to mess with their organs – often without anaesthetic.
A baby has a natural urge to ball up, preferably on the chest of his mother It’s a gorgeous photographic moment for a reason, but it isn’t meant to be a moment, it is meant to be where the baby lives for quite some time. Natural baby slings help. Simply taking the baby from his mother will usually cause him to cry unless he is less than two weeks old (sleepy weeks). Taking a baby from his mother and wrenching his body open will cause him to react violently. Do not mistake this for stubbornness, for God’s sake he’s just been born!
I’m finding this hard to write, I hope you are finding it hard to read. If you are, maybe you’ll spread the word with me. We need to stop this, have I made that clear enough yet? That I protected my son is not enough for me. Information will stop this practise, please help me.
18.) The historical reasons for it are morality based
I don’t know about you but I’m the captain of my own morality. I don’t need to be told what is wrong and right and what is respectful loving behaviour and what is out of line.
The history of circumcision is firmly rooted in morality judgments. This changed once this angle lost favour but for centuries (at least) the moral majority really felt that reigning in our sex drive would cure all societal ails. Two problems with that, one being circumcision does not curtail the sex drive, the second being… it failed miserably at curing anything, let alone society’s ails.
I believe that the best thing I can do for my son’s sense of “morality” is to be the best person I can be. I can tell him things until I’m blue in the face, but it is who I am that shapes him. I want him to know that nothing external really matters, that no matter how he alters himself or adorns himself, be it tattoos, piercings or clothing, he is already perfect, if he will just be still enough to allow that perfection to shine through.
How can I send him that message if I cut and alter him? By altering him to somehow make him “better” than he was born, I would instantly become a hypocrite.
Morality is not contained beneath the foreskin, if you hope to expose it there, you will be sorely disappointed.
19) 80% of the World’s Males are Intact.
Circumcision is the overwhelming minority, and America has the highest rate of non-religious male genital mutilation in the world.
Most of the world has normal, natural, whole penises. This usually comes as quite a shock to the average American. Yet the rate of divorce, cancer, HIV, and pretty much every reason to circumcise is highest in America.
From a global perspective, most of the world does not practise circumcision; over 80% of the world’s males are intact (not circumcised) . Most circumcised men are Muslim or Jewish; the USA is the only country in the world that circumcises most (60%) of its male infants for non-religious reasons. Other countries that circumcised a significant minority of male infants for non-religious reasons include Canada and Australia.
20) The Foreskin is a Necessary and Amazing Anatomical Structure.
But you already know that now, don’t you?
Are You a Regretful Parent or a Resentful Victim?
Join the class action suit: http://www.sueeasy.com/class_action_detail.php?case_id=258
Spread the word, particularly to parents-to-be: It’s A Boy!
Talk to each other. Talk to your parents about it, but try not to blame. Who can we really blame, the parents, the doctors, or the whole system? To point that finger we first need to check the ways in which we, personally, do things out of habit or tradition or culture; the way we parent, the choices we make.
Talk to your own son if you are the regretful parent. Let him in on the secrets you’ve learned, perhaps he would benefit from restoration. Perhaps a deep psychological healing will occur just from acknowledgment and validation.
None of this is intended to make a circumcised man “feel bad about himself”. I have been told many times that it is better for men to never know they have been missing something and were so terribly brutalised. On some ostrich-type level, yes, this is true, ignorance is bliss. However, by not disclosing the truth, it continues, and that is unacceptable. They deserve to know the truth! They still have a choice to do foreskin restoration. In the meanwhile, let’s stop this from happening to other babies, other men. Truth is power, but it isn’t always pleasant.