Bee Wise, Don’t Circumcise!

I could talk for hours on this topic – but the kernel of the thing is this: It is the height of parental arrogance to decide, as your first major act as a parent, that your healthy baby boy is defective, and needs to be “fixed.” Further, in making this decision, you have chosen to subject your child to severe pain, and lifelong debilitation, so that he can 1) “look like daddy” or 2) “look like the other boys in the locker room” or 3) “be cleaner.” To one, I ask – would you have your child tattooed at birth so that he can look like Daddy as well? Perhaps Daddy’s going bald? By all means, put some Nair on that kid, or sign him up for electrolysis! To two – first off, did anyone in *your* high school locker room examine another’s genitalia? No, particularly in the boys’ locker room, because they wouldn’t want to be thought “gay” (gasp.) Further, is your goal in parenting to ensure that your son fits in with his peers in every conceivable way? Because that’s really not the best plan, unless of course you’re planning on bedside reading of “Losing Your Virginity At 13, Everyone’s Doing It…A How-To Guide” and “A Junior High Smack Addict’s Manual.” In addition, I don’t believe I’ve ever met a man or boy who said “Gee, I wish I had a smaller penis.” You’re leaving your boy-child with his entire penis. What, he’s going to feel inferior to the other guys (well, the 50% that are circed) because theirs are SMALLer? Nah, if anyone notices, he and the half of the class that are intact will smack each other on the backs about their endowments. To three – fine, but then be sure to cut off your daughter’s labia while you’re at it. People have crevices. Deal with it.* For more eloquent and footnoted words on this topic, I refer you to Paul Fleiss’s article: The Case Against Circumcision. For the religious buffs in the audience, if you’re sitting here, reading these words on a modern computer, while wearing a shirt made of a cotton/poly blend, you’re not keeping all of the Old Testament commandments. So Christians in the audience? Circumcision isn’t your “religion,” “tradition” or “culture” either. Flip over to Galatians 6:15. To the handful of men who read this (it’s a chick blog, y’know) – if you were circumcised, I’m sorry. Your parents may not have known any different. Depending on your age and where you were born, they may not even have been consulted. (Routine circs on infant boys were S.O.P. in many hospitals, regardless of parents’ wishes.) But please, don’t think for a second that because you’re “ok” that makes doing this to your child a good or even neutral thing to do. I’m sure you are “ok” – I mean, things “work” the way they should, right? Now imagine you’re colorblind. Would you inflict that on your normal-vision child too? I mean, you can see just fine! It’s the only way you’ve ever been able to see, but you’re a nice, functional, happy adult, where’s the problem? Your child is or will be born healthy and whole (one would certainly hope). Every male mammal on the planet is born with a foreskin. It has a function, just as a child’s eyelid has a function. Leave it the hell alone.  Go read Estelle’s fine words on the topic. But leave your son’s penis alone! *Oh, and if you’re wise enough not to cut off part of your son’s penis, for God’s sake don’t mess with it! The foreskin will retract on its own, over years of growth, development and general messing about with the organ in question. Just like you wouldn’t push objects inside your daughter’s vagina to clean it, don’t forcibly retract your son’s foreskin! Once it starts retracting (anytime from toddler-hood through late puberty) either you or he as appropriate can start cleaning under there. Until then, hands off! Early retraction *causes* the problems that the pro-circ folks warn you about (phimosis, etc.) – it’s the cause, not the solution! OK! Ready and waiting for the shit-storm to start! Go on, tell me why you just HAD to mutilate your child. I’m ready! 

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