Lynn says the conversation started about another family member who gave birth to a boy:
MIL: “They (the parent’s) have decided not to circumcise BOY”
Me: “They need to circumcise him”
MIL: “No Lynn, they’ve done a lot of research and they’ve decided not to”
Me: “He definitely needs to be circumcised!”
This goes on for a while until Lynn finally reveals her very important reason for having a baby boy circumcised:
MIL: “I’m not sure that you’re aware of all the new research Lynn”
Me: “The hell with the research. He needs to be circumcised”
MIL: (Starting to get visibly upset…agitated even) “Why? Why do you keep saying that Lynn?” Me: “It’s just really important”
MIL: “WHY? WHY LYNN, WHY?”
Me: “Why MIL? I’ll tell you why!”
Me: “are you sure you want to know?”
Me: “Because...” (wait for it … wait for it!) “… if he doesn’t get circumcised there’s no way that kid is EVER going to get a BLOWJOB!!!”
Let those last words sink in before you go on.
Then, at the very end of this blog post, she writes:
I’ve never had a run in with a guy with a hoodie and I really can’t say whether the kid ever got a blowjob but I was just doing my part, watching out for the welfare of a minor. Do you agree? Or disagree? I really don’t care…I was just asking.
Lynn, care or not, you invited comments.
This all goes back to men being judged and not accepted in this society. Their penises will never be good enough. They are taught to be ashamed of what they have, even before birth. The same attitude that I struggle with every single day, knowing how much damage it does. These messages go in deep.
I'm not a man, but I am a mother. I am a mother of two boys. I have a vested interest in how these attitudes affect men because my boys will one day be men. I have also observed how these attitudes affect relationships, mine included.
We need to get back to basics. Go all the way back to the beginning. Are boys born with "extra" skin because there's no purpose for it? Why are we so arrogant, as a society, that we believe that we need to alter someone else's genitals to fit into our idea of "perfect", despite all the risks that come with surgery, despite that this is not our body to make these decisions, despite causing major emotional and physical trauma to the point of a majority of men in our society regularly display symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome for what was done to them *before conscious memory*?
I say before conscious memory, because they love to remind you that babies won't remember this little "snip". I don't agree. I have been taught that the body, every cell in the body, in fact, holds memory of every trauma that happens. Counseling and therapy teaches this concept. Very important and effective therapeutic techniques have been developed around this whole idea.
If you are physically assaulted before you reach the age of 2, does that mean it won't affect you? If you are drugged and lose consciousness and raped, does that not count?
I propose that the pain and trauma of infant/child circumcision is not only unnecessary, but damaging.
And it enforces the belief that men are not perfect, that their penises are not beautiful, that there's nothing they can do about it, that they will never be good enough.
Also, joking about cutting off pieces of a person's genitals minimizes the trauma the cut individual experiences, sending another message that that person's feelings are unimportant.
Interestingly, Lynn's original post got some attention again recently and attracted some pro-intact comments. Many of the comments were thoughtful and educated. I got the distinct impression, though, that many people did not like the suggestion that circumcision is unnecessary. Lynn followed up with a post dated June 15, 2011 which she titled "In which i respond to the bullshit" (her -lack of- capitalization), implying that having to be forced to have this conversation, or the subject matter, is "bullshit", and therefore is unimportant.
This reflects perfectly the way women are taught to behave in this North American society: shame your men, pick them apart, then when someone speaks up, silence them quickly. Ignore the issue, ignore the shame, ignore the damage that is done to our men, and then tell them not to express any emotion about it! (Example: "Big boys don't cry.")
Lynn also mentions at the very end of the second post that her family is Jewish and her son's circumcision was part of a religious ceremony. I really hate bringing religion into this, so I'll just mention the fact that there are plenty of links here on the blog for anyone to start their own research into the religious aspect. I am certainly not the proper person to present reasons and examples for not doing this for religion. I will, however, say that all children should be allowed the same religious freedom adults enjoy in this country, and be allowed to grow up and make up their own minds about what God they will or will not believe in, and not have to endure permanent marks on their bodies that are a symbol of their parents' beliefs. There are many cases of children growing up to follow a completely different spiritual path than the one in which they were raised:
More than a third of the population practices a religion other than what they were raised in.
(quote: "More than one-quarter of American adults, 28%, have left the faith in which they were raised in favor of another religion, or no religion at all. If change in affiliation from one type of Protestantism to another is included, 44% of adults have either switched religious affiliation, moved from being unaffiliated with any religion to being affiliated with a particular faith, or dropped any connection to a specific religious tradition altogether.")
And yes, Lynn, I have a sense of humor. That's not the point in objecting to your blog post (or "funny story" as you call it) as you suggested with other reader comments. I just don't find anything funny at all about nonconsensual, unnecessary cosmetic surgery on a person too young to understand what is being forced upon them.
And like you are so fond of saying yourself, if you don't like what I have to say, move on. Or, to quote you exactly: "This blog is not for the light-hearted or easily offended. If either one of those descriptions applies to you, I suggest you start drinking before you read this blog. A sense of humor is suggested. If you don't have one that sucks for you... find one and get a life!" I am a person that is extremely hard to offend and if you can't handle this blog's truth about child circumcision, then I suggest to you that you should not be so self-righteous and flippant about cutting up their genitals and assuming what their sexual preferences will be when they grow up.
Disclaimer: I did not write this to try to change Lynn's mind. Her son is grown now and I probably wouldn't have changed her mind anyway. I wrote this in an attempt to dispel some myths and present the fact that this surgery is unnecessary. I am not trying to start an internet war. I want readers to understand why I believe Lynn's story is not "funny", but in fact damaging. You know what is funny? This:
What do a Rubik's Cube and a penis have in common?
The more you play with them, the harder they get.
Brain Waves (MRI) During and After Circumcision
Trauma held in body tissues
Trauma, memory, and cybernetic structure of the mind
Cellular Memory and IET
Jews Against Circumcision
Beyond the Bris
Here's the original entry: