Banning Circumcision? — The Bump
Indiana Babies

Banning Circumcision?

I know many have differing feelings on this and I'm not trying to start a debate. I saw this news article though and think this is really bizarre. Apparently a group wants to ban all circumcisions before age 17 in San Francisco, it'd be a crime and you could be jailed if you performed one. I think this is really waaayy too extreme. http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/11/19/male.circumcision.sf/index.html?hpt=C2

Re: Banning Circumcision?

  • That is crazy...I doubt that will become law.  Hmm  It should be a parent's decision, not an activist group or lawmaker's.
    Lilypie Second Birthday tickers
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    IUI x4 = BFN
    IVF = sometime in 2012
  • wtf?!
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  • I recently learned through another blog about a group of people who call themselves "intactivists."  I always knew there were opposing views, but I had no idea how intense it was.
  • Huh.

    I agree that it seems doubtful it will ever become law - waaayyy too controversial.

    I'm still not sure how I feel about it. I won't lie, I breathed a sigh of relief when we found out Ella was a girl because we wouldn't have to make the decision.

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  • I am an intactivist, and an Indiana mom. I posted my story about how I came to be an intactivist on my blog here:

    http://thefrontporchswing.blogspot.com/2010/03/my-parents-are-both-artists-and-i-grew.html#links

    I don't think that this proposed measure has a chance of becoming a law in San Francisco, but I do agree with it 100% and I do not think that it's imposing anything on anyone, rather it's protecting people from harm. 

    I'm curious how you would feel if instead of a circumcision *ban* if circumcision was MANDATED... what if you had no choice to opt out or to say no? Would you feel that your freedom and rights as an American citizen- were being violated? 

    Decades ago millions of American men were circumcised in hospitals without their parent's consent.  In effect, circumcision WAS mandated by hospital routines (if not government regulation.)  I have spoken with several elderly women who were under the impression at the time of their children's birth, that it was illegal to not circumcise.  They though it had to be done in order to leave the hospital.  How does a culture recover from a situation like that?

    You don't.

    You don't talk about it.

    You circumcise Jr. to look like daddy.

    You do it because everyone else does.

    Because it's just the thing to do.

    Because you never give it a second thought.

    Because he has the penis.

    Because I have never even seen an intact penis.

    Because circumcised is what everyone expects.

    and so it goes on.  Circumcision is not a part of American culture, it was imposed on us in hospitals before the era of informed consent... (the same time when women labored on scopalomine tied to a bed and the worried dads were locked out in the waiting room) thus began the large scale cycle we are having a very difficult time getting out of because it really hurts to challenge something that was done to you- or that you did to someone else. It's much easier to circumcise another generation than it is to admit that what happened to your generation never should have happened.

    In England they had the same situation- but because of nationalized healthcare- they were unburdened from it in one fell swoop when circumcision was no longer offered.  Americans have no opportunity to drop this en masse and so we have an entirely different struggle as we are told we need to make this decision on our own... and then new mothers succumb to pressure from family, spouses and peer pressure.

    Don't assume that just because someone circumcised their child that they chose that.  Many people circumcise because they truly feel they have no choice, not because they want to.

    While many people commenting on this proposed ban yell foul "They are taking away our choice"... I know from years of listening to mother's stories- that a huge portion of women would be tremendously relieved if they were never put in a position to have to stand between their baby and the pressure to circumcise him. 

    A baby girl is a wonderful blessing- but baby girls should be wished for- for a million more beautiful reasons than the fact that it is illegal to circumcise them and we live in a culture where that's not expected.

    Read this mother's blog to see beautiful and much loved baby Zahra get circumcised. 

    http://aandes.blogspot.com/2010/04/circumcision.html

    .

  • Oh fun, you came out of nowhere and wrote the world's longest post. Welcome to the board! Hmm

    We don't appreciate soapboxes on this board, whether we agree with your stance or not.

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  • Oh FFS.

    If there was mandated circumcision, I would be against it.  If it was banned, I'd be against that, too.  Just like I'm against this ridiculous law.

    Also, the idea of banning it, or making it unavailable to protect parents from the burden of having to make a decision is straight up laughable.  Welcome to parenthood - like everything else, you have to weigh the benefits and risks of each decision.  Some people will decide the benefits of circumcision are worth it, some won't.

    And if anyone compares this to FGM, I will seriously have to quit this board.

    Finally, the idea that this society needs to "recover" and won't without circumcision becoming unavailable/being banned is also silly.  Circumcision rates are falling every year.

    Jackson Henry [10*1*06] & Scarlett Maeve [9*16*10]
  • image eclaires:

    Oh FFS.

    If there was mandated circumcision, I would be against it.  If it was banned, I'd be against that, too.  Just like I'm against this ridiculous law.

    Also, the idea of banning it, or making it unavailable to protect parents from the burden of having to make a decision is straight up laughable.  Welcome to parenthood - like everything else, you have to weigh the benefits and risks of each decision.  Some people will decide the benefits of circumcision are worth it, some won't.

    And if anyone compares this to FGM, I will seriously have to quit this board.

    Finally, the idea that this society needs to "recover" and won't without circumcision becoming unavailable/being banned is also silly.  Circumcision rates are falling every year.

    Yes

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  • Oh puh-lease.  Like NDWife said, please put your dang soapbox away...

    I am all for the right to choose.  The decision to circumcise or not circumcise was made by my husband's grandmother, my husband's mother and now by my husband and I.  Just as anything to do with raising our children, there are arguments to be made for and against it and just because you are so obviously against it, doesn't mean that you need to come here and try to shove your thoughts and "inactivisim" down our throats.  Those of us with sons know that it is a very personal decision, one that I'm sure we thought long and hard about and some random poster who comes to our board for no reason other than to write a book about your beliefs, isn't going to change our minds, either way.

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  • Ugh.  I don't agree with the thoughts behind this article. It's about being informed and making a decision like pp's said.  You cannot compare it to 50 years ago when information was not as available.  People have access to info, doctors are better educated, and more people are taking an active approach to their health care.  The entire health care field has changed tremendously.  If you agree to a procedure and are not aware of the risks/benefits that is your mistake. 

    BTW isn't being an "inactivist" kinda an oxymoron?  Your name suggests taking no action, but you have to take action to get your point out.  Just saying.  Maybe being an "activist who supports keeping the body in its natural form"(or something along those lines)  would be more appropriate. 

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  • image BeetleLinz1125:


    BTW isn't being an "inactivist" kinda an oxymoron?  Your name suggests taking no action, but you have to take action to get your point out.  Just saying.  Maybe being an "activist who supports keeping the body in its natural form"(or something along those lines)  would be more appropriate. 

    The word is actually "inTactivist" (as in, staying intact).

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  • Ah!  Ok, I get it now.  I was getting ahead of myself!  We get so used to seeing certain words that we only see what we want to.
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  • The OP mentioned that she had never heard of Intactivism.  I identified myself as such to illustrate that we do exist. I also live in Indiana, not San Francisco. Many intactivists live in Indiana. I assure you that no matter how strongly I feel, I do not have the ability to "shove anything down your throat".

     Your angry response to my position, your desire to silence me seems disproportionate to my "offense".  Is it because part of the deal when you circumcise your child for social conformity (among other reasons)- is that you will get lots of social support for that decision and no dissenting opinions from within your society?

    Like it or not, there are many people who do not believe that this is a simple parenting choice, but is a human rights violation of a person's genital integrity.  Your children are circumcised (or not) in that questioning era.  In past generations this question was not considered in those terms- but decades from now the social climate of today's circumcisions will be known.

  • uh, what?

    My response to you was not angry, nor do I have any desire to "silence" you beyond telling you that you're wrong.  I enjoy a good internet debate, and I'd prefer you respond to the substance of what I said.

    Clearly you're too busy determining who has a child that's genital integrity has been compromised (based on them disagreeing with you which is utterly hi-lar) to actually respond to what I posted.

    I seriously would like to know WHY you think that circumcision needs to be banned and/or made unavailable to recover from the past - especially since circumcision rates are falling every year?  Honestly, there is so much in your first post that is just ridiculous, I'm not even sure where to start with asking you to back it up, but I'll stick with that question, I guess.

    I'm sure as an intactivist, you have no desire to hear this but there are benefits to circumcision, and parents of boys need to weigh those benefits with the risks.  And trust, I'd be okay with some dipsh*t thinking I had committed a human rights violation against my kid if I felt that the benefits of circumcision outweighed the risks. I couldn't care less what other people think of my parenting decisions.  Maybe decades from now, someone will ask my son to drop trou to find out if his mother needs to be berated for harming his genital integrity.  Until then, it doesn't really come up, so I don't find myself needing much social support one way or the other.  And oddly enough, I don't base any parenting decisions on social support.

     

    Jackson Henry [10*1*06] & Scarlett Maeve [9*16*10]
  • image PlainandTall:

    The OP mentioned that she had never heard of Intactivism.  I identified myself as such to illustrate that we do exist. I also live in Indiana, not San Francisco. Many intactivists live in Indiana. I assure you that no matter how strongly I feel, I do not have the ability to "shove anything down your throat".

     Your angry response to my position, your desire to silence me seems disproportionate to my "offense".  Is it because part of the deal when you circumcise your child for social conformity (among other reasons)- is that you will get lots of social support for that decision and no dissenting opinions from within your society?

    Like it or not, there are many people who do not believe that this is a simple parenting choice, but is a human rights violation of a person's genital integrity.  Your children are circumcised (or not) in that questioning era.  In past generations this question was not considered in those terms- but decades from now the social climate of today's circumcisions will be known.

    Honestly, who cares?  We, the parents, make that decision for our own children.  If you don't believe in circumcision, don't do it.  If you're for it, go for it.

    Lilypie Second Birthday tickers
    TTC #2 since 9/09 --- mild PCOS; Endometriosis
    IUI x4 = BFN
    IVF = sometime in 2012
  • High horse, much?

    If you were a regular poster on this board, and someone we all knew, I think we'd all be much more willing to engage in a real conversation.

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  • image NDwife07:

    High horse, much?

    If you were a regular poster on this board, and someone we all knew, I think we'd all be much more willing to engage in a real conversation.

    or if you actually offered valuable arguments instead of saying that circ-ing needs to be banned to help us as a society recover and quit harming our boy children when circ rates FALL EVERY YEAR.

    I like smart people.

    Jackson Henry [10*1*06] & Scarlett Maeve [9*16*10]
  • Circumcision rates falling every year is something that is a very positive consideration! I believe that circumcision is a violation of an individual's right to their full body- "rates" don't really play into it. Very few female children were circumcised in America in 1996, (some were) the year that the legislation outlawing FGM was passed, Even if 99.99% of American women never even were in danger of having that happen to them, for the very few who did need that legal protection- it mattered to them. I know that you won't agree that FGM and MGM have anything to do with eachother, I am able to see the parallels and make no distinction between gender when it comes to a person's right to their whole body. One of the main reasons why there has been such a sharp falling off of the circumcision rate is because many states no longer fund elective circumcision with Medicaid. When Medicaid dropped funding, many private insurance companies followed. Parents were still able to pay for circumcision out of pocket if they chose. Maybe some could not afford it, or maybe the clearer understanding that this was not medically necessary was finally communicated by this and parents who might have circumcised just because it was offered or free, had a chance to reconsider. This happened becuase many states are struggling with their budget (an idea that would free up millions was very welcome!) and because there was (still is) a nationwide effort on a state level, by intactivists, to get Medicaid out of the circumcision business. http://www.icgi.org/Medicaid_Project/index.htm Intactivists don't need to shut up and be happy because the rates are falling... don't you see? The rates are falling because they are being heard.
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