Nov 022012
 

“You are just asinine if you circumcise your son. I’m not circumcised and neither are my sons, and we are fine.” – OB nurse to mother who stated that she would be circumcising her son.

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  132 Responses to ““You Are Just Asinine…””

  1. Wow TMI much? I’m not a fan of uninformed circumcision but if you’ve thought it out, been given correct information, and decide to do it…who cares?

  2. Yikes. I agree with the sentiment, but you won’t convince anyone of anything if you attack like this to begin with! How about something along the lines of education, like “no medical association in the world reccomends RIC”; or for the religious: “have you looked into what your religion actually states as required?” (since pretty much all of them either say don’t do it, or have alternate ceremonies). Insult someone, and their ears close to what you have to say.

  3. Don’t judge, educate!

  4. “And yet you’re working for an institution which routinely offers this procedure to the parents of every baby. If you feel that strongly about the procedure, you should resign. Please get me your supervisor, and I’d like you not to be involved in my care any longer.”

  5. I’m against non-religious and non-medically indicated circumcision but I firmly agree it’s a parental choice. “Asinine”?? Very unprofessional and completely useless. If the nurse is concerned mom is doing something without full understanding there are ways to go about giving polite information, this is not it. And if the mother is in full understanding, it’s not the nurses place to be asinine to the mother!

  6. There are more informed, professional ways of discussing this to the patient. Doc, you fail…

  7. Honey vs vinegar, dude.

  8. And Thursday is over!

  9. Personal attacks are not the way to try to change someone’s point of view…

  10. Wow, that is harsh! My son is not circumcised, but I don’t insult people who made different choices for their sons. People with opposing views don’t tend to listen after you’ve insulted them.

  11. I circumcised all my sons, I think it is a very safe, painless and important procedure but I don’t call folks who don’t have it done stupid, especially not my patients.

  12. I wouldn’t circ my sons if I had any either. This doesn’t give me permission to insult others about it.

    On a side note, I’m so happy no one has attacked the OP for her decision to circ.

  13. You know, I actually appreciate it when people get angry about injustice in the world. I bet a lot of you all saying “who cares!?” about this would feel differently after seeing kids get mutilated every single day.

  14. The person who is asinine is the doc, according to the dictionary definition. Using anecdotal stories and personal insults is asinine.

    If he feels there is sufficient medical evidence to oppose circumcision, he should give it. And he should explain in professional, scientific terms why he feels the AAP is wrong about it.

  15. If the mother wants it done, I’m sure she has researched and made an informed decision. To not only disrespect, verbally attack, and insult her is way out of line. This nurse needs to reprimanded for his actions. I’m all for RIC if that is what the parents decide. People need to butt out and mind their own business.

  16. I seriously am not sure which part I would be more offended by. Being called asinine, or having the visual of this man’s penis now!

    I am wholeheartedly against RIC, but this comment is NOT appropriate!

  17. I completely agree with this Nurse’s comment. But it’s not the way to say it. I imagine they were trying to convince the Mom not to do it and she kept spouting myths and the Nurse came out with this gem after being frustrated.

    Anyone who does any research on it wouldn’t do it. REAL research not the websites that support the myths. Start with what a foreskin is and what it does. Then remember you yourself have a foreskin. If you aren’t going to cut yours off then leave your kids alone.

  18. This comment was wrong on so many levels. The parents who choose not to circumcise their sons want to have their decision respected and not receive rude comments about their choice, so why should the parents who do choose to circumcise for whatever reason not be afforded the same courtesy?

  19. “Well, I can’t support your decision. Here are some links to information about why NOT to circumcise. If it helps, my boys are intact and have had no problems. If you’d like to discuss it further let me know.”

    DONE

  20. At the risk of repeating myself:

    WOW. I did not realize I had given birth to YOUR baby and you had ANY control over what I choose for OUR son. Since we’re married now, will YOU also be paying the medical bills for this delivery?

  21. … not okay from a medical professional. And I will leave it at that lol.

  22. Frankly I am very much against circumcision on any non-consenting minors without actual medical reasons, but I think this “medical professional” needs to learn some manners.
    You catch more flies with honey…..

  23. Because everyone is receptive to what you have to say if you call them names!

    The to circumcise or not to circumcise isn’t the point here. The point is that this person seems to have absolutely no sense of professionalism.

  24. Personally, i chose not to circ my son. he is just fine in his natural state. He is not at risk for any diseases more than a circ’ed man is. But this is not the way to give someone information if you feel they have been misinformed. my son is the ONLY boy at the daycare i work at who is not circ’ed. i do feel that most parents continue to do it because they are misinformed or just because thats what is done or to make him look like daddy…. i do like to ask parents why they chose to, but i try not to be derrogative to them about it. Because most of them are still misinformed.

    but i also refuse to peirce my daughters ears until she is old enough to ask for it and take care of it, i try not to mutilate my children in any way no matter the cultural norm.

  25. GOOD!!! This is awesome! I am so glad someone isn’t afraid to tell parents the truth about mutilation.

  26. ::shakes head:: These comments sadden me. To listen to a bunch of normally level headed woman call each other names and insult each other is just disheartening. I do not understand why anyone would think they can educate a person while being ugly to them!

  27. I genuinely hate when comments like this get posted because suddenly everyone turns into a bunch of hateful badgers. The mother shouldn’t have been spoken to in such a manner. Period. We see a lot of comments that were not too horrible to us personally, but we can understand that they were to the receiver. That’s all that matters.

    Furthermore, I have witnessed that a good majority of the commenters are people that research decisions and make them carefully. Why ON EARTH would anyone make it their personal mission to “educate” each other via name calling on a website’s comment section where that information was not asked for. My son will be intact, and your son’s genitals?? They have nothing to do with me.

  28. Oh, poor mummy having her feelings hurt because someone is trying to convince her not to mutilate her sons penis.

    That must have been really hard on *you* huh?

    This post just goes to show me how selfish and calloused parents are when it comes to legally commuting sexual battery on their sons. Sickening.

  29. You guys, this is exactly the same kind of thing that all the other things on this site are about: that unnecessary and surgical intervention is a BAD THING!

    Maybe you should think about that before saying “yay cutting off my baby’s penis parts without his consent for no medical reason!”

  30. Gosh, nothing like the circumcision issue to make the supposedly soft-hearted become remarkably rude and nasty….
    Parents should be allowed to make an INFORMED decision.
    Male circumcision in infancy is not arbitrary, cruel, cult genital mutilation, and saying so dismisses the horror that is female genital mutilation.

    Anecdotal, but I have four uncircumcised brothers. (We grew up in a perfectly average, clean, suburban house and environment.) All have had significant infection and adhesion issues. Nor are these genetic issues, since my brothers are adopted, separately, from cultures which don’t routinely circumcise. One had to have an emergency circumcision as an older child to save his penis- or life. There are reasons why certain cultures (including ours) have found circumcision a good idea.

    Query: anybody on the militant, name-calling, no-circumcision side have their wisdom teeth out? I had mine (impacted) out: huge jaw/sinus relief afterwards. We are still evolving. We have parts that are no longer exactly necessary, like wisdom teeth, appendix, and – yes – foreskins. Once we had bigger jaws. Once our appendix held helpful bacteria. Once, when we lived naked in the wild, our foreskins protected us. Now the fact that they also can harbor infections can outweigh the protective factor they once offered.

    If you don’t want to circumcise your son and be hyper-vigilant about cleaning, that is JUST FINE -and good for you. But be truly informed (and respectful) about other’s choices.
    Being informed, by the way, means reading reliable literature on both sides of the argument.

    By the way, I’m a homebirth, breastfeeding, cloth diaper, organic homesteader mom. You don’t need to blithely follow everything you’re told – the whole package deal – just to follow whatever herd of your choice. BE INFORMED! THINK FOR YOURSELF!

  31. Gosh, nothing like the circumcision issue to make the supposedly soft-hearted become remarkably rude and nasty….
    Parents should be allowed to make an INFORMED decision.
    Male circumcision in infancy is not arbitrary, cruel, cult genital mutilation, and saying so dismisses the very different horror that is female genital mutilation.

    Anecdotal, but I had four “intact” brothers. (We grew up in a perfectly average, clean, suburban house and environment… and I’m sure they’d love that I’m sharing this info….) All have had significant infection and adhesion problems. Nor are these genetic issues, since my brothers are adopted, separately, from cultures which don’t routinely circumcise. One had to have an emergency circumcision as an older child to save his penis- or life. There are reasons why many cultures (including ours) have found circumcision a good idea.

    Query: anybody on the militant, name-calling, no-circumcision side have their wisdom teeth out? I had mine (impacted) out: huge jaw/sinus relief afterwards. We are still evolving. We have parts that are no longer exactly necessary, like wisdom teeth, appendix, and – yes – foreskins. Once we had bigger jaws. Once our appendix held helpful bacteria. Once, when we lived naked in the wild, our foreskins protected us. Now the fact that they also can harbor infections can outweigh the protective factor they once offered.

    If you don’t want to circumcise your son, and be hyper-vigilant about cleaning, that is JUST FINE -and good for you. But be truly informed (and respectful) about others’ choices.
    Being informed, by the way, means reading RELIABLE literature on BOTH sides of an argument.

    By the way, I’m a home-birth, breastfeeding, cloth diaper, organic homesteader mom. You don’t need to blithely follow everything you’re told just to follow WHATEVER herd of your choice. BE INFORMED! THINK FOR YOURSELF!

    Oh, also by the way, I had my children vaccinated, in case any whole-package-dealers want to come bomb my house.

  32. Gosh, nothing like the circumcision issue to make the supposedly soft-hearted become remarkably rude and nasty….
    Parents should be allowed to make an INFORMED decision.
    Male circumcision in infancy is not arbitrary, cruel, cult genital mutilation, and saying so dismisses the very different horror that is female genital mutilation.

    Anecdotal, but I had four “intact” brothers. (We grew up in a perfectly average, clean, suburban house and environment… and I’m sure they’d love that I’m sharing this info….) All have had significant infection and adhesion problems. Nor are these genetic issues, since my brothers are adopted, separately, from cultures which don’t routinely circumcise. One had to have an emergency circumcision as an older child to save his penis- or life. There are reasons why many cultures (including ours) have found circumcision a good idea.

    Query: anybody on the militant, name-calling, no-circumcision side have their wisdom teeth out? I had mine (impacted) out: huge jaw/sinus relief afterwards. We are still evolving. We have parts that are no longer exactly necessary, like wisdom teeth, appendix, and – yes – foreskins. Once we had bigger jaws. Once our appendix held helpful bacteria. Once, when we lived naked in the wild, our foreskins protected us. Now the fact that they also can harbor infections can outweigh the protective factor they once offered.

    If you don’t want to circumcise your son, and be hyper-vigilant about cleaning, that is JUST FINE -and good for you. But be truly informed (and respectful) about others’ choices.
    Being informed, by the way, means reading RELIABLE literature on BOTH sides of an argument. “Bless me, what do they teach them at these schools?”

    By the way, I’m a home-birth, breastfeeding, cloth diaper, organic homesteader mom. You don’t need to blithely follow everything you’re told just to follow WHATEVER herd of your choice. BE INFORMED! THINK FOR YOURSELF!

    Oh, also by the way, I had my children vaccinated, in case any whole-package-dealers want to come bomb my house.

  33. Um, actually, it’s not even possible to retract most young boys’ foreskins. (Nor is it recommended by anybody.) Nor did my parents do this, nor were they instructed to do so by any imaginary, villainous “American doctor.” (Our wonderful pediatrician growing up was from the same country some of my siblings were born in – which is partly why my parents chose him as a provider – where circumcision is not routine.) We all used hypoallergenic bath products because of my mother’s allergies. Nor were my brothers doing anything out of the ordinary to suggest “environmental” factors (can’t imagine what those would be: sitting naked in raw sewage?….)

    Again, anecdotal, as I noted, but kind of odd. Point is, enough males have had enough problems that through the ages many widely variant cultures have seen fit to prevent them. Also kind of an odd coincidence. And sure, religious rites and beliefs have gathered around them, as with everything in human life and culture. (This is not to downplay the religious significance of male circumcision to any Islamic, Jewish, Orthodox, or any other folks who may be out there reading this; I’m simply coming from a completely secular standpoint and anthropological education myself, talking to a mostly equally secular Western audience, or so I assume .)

    The analogy of body parts such as outer ears, etc., were unfortunately chosen, since they are not analogous to the parts with now debatable evolutionary function. (And, um, I learned – in elementary school – that outer ears are pretty important for our hearing… the concept is called acoustics… nor do anyone’s outer ears cause them any problems….) My own mention of wisdom teeth and appendix are, of course, not routinely removed because they require INvasive surgery – they are INternal. (The appendix is sometimes routinely removed when a patient is already opened for another surgery. And plenty of people have impacted wisdom teeth removed even before they start causing trouble.)

    FGM is performed with the sole intent to prevent women from having ANY sensation in order to ensure that they will be future faithful wives. Male circ. has always had a “covenant” significance in the Middle East, for one, and a medical indication in the West. There is obviously no reliable way to measure whether men have more or less sensation with or without circumcision. There are clearly plenty of circumcised men going through life enjoying sex, and yes, masturbation, very much… I’m sure most of us have slept with at least one!… and I can’t recall any recorded society past or present with any significant measures instituted, sexual or otherwise, to keep men in their place. It’s universally been the opposite.

    Interesting that the WHO deems FGM a human rights violation, but actively recommends routine male circumcision in certain areas. (This is the same WHO that designates “Baby-friendly hospitals,” i.e., hospitals that use minimal birth interventions, have low C-section rates, etc., same WHO that encourages breastfeeding, etc.)

    Equating FGM with infant male circumcision is seriously wrong-headed, and seriously demeaning to those girls and women who have truly suffered oppression. The trauma my girls endured at 8 and 5 years of age, and their irrecoverable loss in future relationships and intimacy, cannot remotely be compared to my son’s infant circumcision (all done within the same country.) Those who try to equate the two need to break out of their fluffy white American cocoon and take a trip to the nearest low income community, or developing country, and find some real problems to advocate for.

    I, for one, can certainly respect parents’ informed, thoughtful decision NOT to circumcise their sons, and their wish not to inflict any pain on a newborn. (Which includes most of the folks I know.) What I CANNOT respect is certain – too many – “intactivists” disrespect and ignorant demonizing of those parents who have made an equally informed, thoughtful decision – also with the welfare of their sons in mind.

    If you’re really that pro-foreskin, but spewing hate, misinformation, and scare-tactics, you’re giving an awfully bad name to the movement.

  34. Why isn’t this on Thoughtful Thursday? Circumcision is a horrible thing to do to a helpless baby.

  35. Exactly! Since when does insulting someone make them more inclined to to what you say?

  36. Exactly. Not that I disagree with him….. but totally unprofessional and rude. Insults? Really? What are you trying to accomplish with that?

  37. I disagree that he should resign just because of how strongly he feels about it. Just because the procedure is routinely offered doesn’t necessarily make it right. And IMO it’s better when people within the profession are working to make changes as well as people in general. I mean, we cheer when hospitals change their policies to be more mother friendly and often it came about not just because patients pushed for it but because healthcare providers pushed for it as well.

    What this OB really needs to do is learn some professionalism and how to present information so that the recipient is more willing to take it under consideration. And then, if she still chooses differently, he needs to be able to respect that choice and not belittle the mother for it.

  38. If a nurse (this wasn’t an OB) feels strongly enough about an elective procedure that s/he cannot deal politely with patients who elect that procedure, then the nurse cannot be professional in that capacity and should resign.

    If the nurse cares to say, “Let’s go over the pros and cons with regard to circumcision, so you can make an informed decision,” as others ahve suggested, then the nurse is behaving professional and can advocate for change.

    But to call it “asinine” means the nurse has left professionalism behind and should not be interacting with patients in that capacity any longer.

  39. You’re right, I missed the nurse part after OB. My mind just went right to OB as in doctor.

    I still don’t think that resignation should be the first and only option. The nurse should be reprimanded and be required to re-train in how to be courteous and professional to patients, because I agree 100% that this kind of behavior is uncalled for.

    If we’re really being honest, do you really think a person like this would say “gee I feel so strongly about this I’m being unprofessional, I should resign”? A more likely scenario is that they purposely use their position to get others to do what they think is right, because, you know, they are blinded by the fact that they think their way is the ONLY right way. Such a person isn’t going to resign. They either need to be reprimanded or flat-out fired, either by the patient or by their supervisor.

  40. There aren’t actually any proven pros to circumcision but otherwise I agree.

  41. Who’s saying, “who cares!?” And aren’t most people here saying they’re anti-circumcision?

    But sure, knock yourself out.

  42. “Thank you for calling me stupid! Your reasoning had completely changed my mind on this subject and I now agree with you completely!”…said no one ever.

    I don’t know a single person on the face of the planet who would be willing to listen to any facts or reasoning after being called stupid or asinine to their faces. Get angry all you want but yelling at people doesn’t get them to change their minds or points of view, it only makes them angry in return and more likely to stubbornly cling to what they already thought in the first place.

  43. You have a point. And if that person who felt so strongly about it were to use her/his position to help educate parents and other medical professionals about the pros and cons of elective circumcision, the quote would be more like a Thoughtful Thursday quote. ;-) But it would take a higher-up authority figure to get the person to back down and, I don’t know, stat working on a different unit where elective circumcision wasn’t a routine issue.

  44. Exactly. Insulting someone only puts them on the defensive and completely closed off to any new information.

  45. What exactly do you mean by alternate ceremonies?

  46. That’s a good point. It’s just refreshing to see a nurse actually standing up for the baby instead of encouraging the parents to mutilate him.

  47. Just because someone does something like this with their child don’t mean they did the research! I sure didn’t with my boys, if i had i wouldn’t of done it! I just went based off what people told me was right.

  48. And that’s your fault for not researching, but that doesn’t mean this mom wasn’t informed and didn’t do the research. The point is, that people need to butt out of other’s business.

  49. Exactly — it’s a pretty generous assumption. My sister got it done because it was offered, it was free, and no one offered any alternative. I swear I got a lot more interaction for my uncircumcised sons (every time there was a shift change: “Are you going to have him circumcised? Have you made any preparation for circumcision?”) than when she consented to have her son circumcised.

  50. Painless???? I’ve watched videos of circs, painless is definitely one thing it cannot be called. Having half of any body part removed is not going to be without pain, especially the genitalia. I would also argue against ‘safe’ (more than100 baby boys die from complications from circ each year in the US) ‘important.’

  51. Please someone post solid info on the existence of nerve endings in the forskin. I had a medical professional claim it was just a flap of skin with no nerve endings. I am aware of no other body part with such a strange lack of feeling.

  52. You’re kidding right?

    -from a mom who regrets cutting her son

  53. You, ma’am, are the epitome of the word asinine! Your poor sons :(

  54. Recently the AAP published and then retracted its position on alternative female genital mutilation–that a “clitoral nick” would be okay. So there’s that alternative to complete FGC. Fortunately it didn’t take them long to realize that compromising female babies’ genitals was not a step in the right direction.

    Here’s some information on the Brit Shalom/alternative naming ceremonies. http://www.beyondthebris.com/2011/07/brit-shalom-alternative-naming-ceremony.html

  55. Off the top of my head, there’s the brit shalom in Judaism – http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brit_shalom_(naming_ceremony)

    Did you know the original circumsicion was just a small cut in the foreskin to loose a few drops of blood? In ancient times, if they did what is done now, not many babies would have survived. I find it morbidly fascinating how so many people have been taken in. I’m glad I live in Australia and don’t have to fight the system to keep any sons in their natural state :(

  56. Painless? If you were watching the procedure and thought it looked “painless”, I don’t even know what to say. My guess is that you must not have been there.

    I remember how raw I was after giving birth and how much it stung just to pee. Imagine having an open wound and having pee and possibly poop get in it, and then having to have it cleaned. Awful. Probably not painless.

  57. Your son does!

  58. Why is it a decision for parents in the first place? The owner of the penis is the only one who should choose, and only as an adult (18+).

  59. I did research a lot (as in before I got pregnant) and did circumcise my son, so if I’s be careful about using the word anyone. All of my sons will be circumcised because there is a genetic disorder in my family that makes the foreskin retract and tighten around the head of the penis. My son’s penis was purple and bruised around the head when he was born because it was already so tight. Oh and when I gave birth my clitoris was split in two and then removed because the damage was too extensive to repair. Does that mean I’m allowed to circumcise?

  60. sadly it turned in to an attack feast any way… sigh

  61. That wasn’t very nice. How about this: Sorry you didn’t have that information at the time and you regret making the choices you did. Do you think the way this nurse handled this interaction would have changed your mind? Probably not. If he was so concerned he could have presented factual information. Respect for the person you are speaking to it paramount to them hearing you. I’m sorry no one gave you the info you needed to make a fully informed decision.

  62. The problem with saying it’s someone’s fault for not researching is that not only does the person (who needs to do the research) not have the answers, they often are not even aware that there is a question to be asked. If the possibility of a question never enters their heads, they won’t even think of doing research, since they don’t even know what questions to ask (or even that they should be asking questions).

  63. Ditto on all 3 points.

  64. Wow, oh my gosh what a series of rare occurences! I agree blanket statements shouldn’t be used. There is usually a reason for almost anything.

  65. Like c-sections, circumcision should be available in the very, very rare instances when it’s genuinely necessary. It shouldn’t be routine, and it shouldn’t be offered without a full scope of risks and benefits being offered.

  66. What’s the name of this condition? I’ve done extensive research into foreskins and problems they can have and I’ve never seen it. It’s normal for a baby’s foreskin to be non-retractable at birth, and the glans is often a purple colour.

  67. Whenever you go to a hospital ALWAYS ask questions. Not my fault nor problem if someone doesn’t know to ask questions.

  68. So a group of Jews opposing ritual circumcision and cite the reason being “many don’t sacrifice or eat only kosher anymore.”

    That doesn’t give a religious alternative acceptable in Judasim, just a group’s deviation further from Jewish law and tradition.

    But thanks anyways. (Your mention of FGM was a nice touch as well, congratulations)

  69. Jeez! Rude! What are we, a bunch of aspiring OB’s on here?

    How about this: I don’t feel this is a satisfactory alternative to traditional Judaic law, and the Fgm referrence is inflamatory and not relevant (where I personally live).

    Seriously, what is up with people being so nasty and sarcastic? I thought we were better than that.

  70. It’s pretty simple: if a girl has a legal right to her foreskin (clitoral hood), which develops from the the exact same embryonic tissue as the male foreskin, then a male must have the same legal rights, period.

    I will assume you are against sex discrimination and support equal protection under the law. So if you believe in male circumcision as legitimate cultural expression, then you must also believe in circumcision of female foreskin. If you believe in banning all forms of female circumcisions, then you must also believe in banning all forms of male circumcision too. Otherwise you are a hypocrite. 

    So which are you:
    - in support of cutting all foreskins, whether male or female?
    - against all genital cutting?
    - a hypocrite?

    Here’s a novel idea: how about oh let the boy decide for himself as an adult if he wants to cut off a price of his penis for a god.

  71. When did anyone say it was your fault? *resisting urge to become sarcastic….*

  72. Not everyone knows to question medical professionals. And I mean this in the nicest way: not everyone has a backbone so to speak.

  73. So questioning someone’s ability to say there is a religiously acceptable alternative makes me an OB? No. While FGM is not a religious mandate – it is completely culture – is just icing on the cake.

    The only part that was sarcasm was about FGM, while the other is criticizing the source of the ability to have “alternative ceremonies” for those with religious mandate – which is dangerous speculation because it can affect the religious rights of those who DO faithfully believe in their religious laws and traditions.

    If you followed a faith that mandates it, you would recognize how dangerous siding with fringe groups are to the majority’s rights. And how serious it is.

  74. And I’m glad to live in America where I don’t have to fight the system to get my son circumcised (presently). Glad we’re all happy with where we live and whether or not our values are respected.

  75. This! Plus a video with lots of screaming.

  76. I don’t see a single question, or question mark, in the comment.

  77. Goodness! I can’t imagine what happened to you today for you to make such a rude and sarcastic comment. I thought you were honestly asking, not looking for an opportunity to be snarky.

    I’m sorry if I offended you by grouping your religion’s mandate for genital mutilation on boys with a culture’s mandate for genital mutilation on girls. Each group has its own way of justifying their actions. To me, neither is justifiable.

    I truly thought you were looking for new ideas to explore, so again, I’m sorry I offended you.

    I hope your day gets better.
    Cheers,
    Kate

  78. I’ve always wanted to round up a bunch of flies and then lay out honey and chocolate to see which one they flock to first.

  79. I was honestly asking, and yes it was offensive to bring up FGM as an example. I’m sorry I came off as rude, but it is a very serious situation, especially since countries in Europe are working on banning religious circumcision (and ceremonial slaughter – eliminating the source of kosher/halal meat).

    If someone can use the example you gave to say all religious circumcision is not a necessary religious mandate – it would be all that easier to take away the right from religious parents. I hope you atleast understand that.

    I don’t mind if you feel it’s unneccessary, and obviously I wouldn’t push to get your sons circumcised, I just don’t agree with the source you cited and feel it is dangerous to those who do take their religious law seriously. I enjoy having the right to choose.

  80. Entry Word: question
    Function: verb
    Meaning: 1 to demand proof of the truth or rightness of — see challenge 1
    2 to give serious and careful thought to — see ponder
    3 to have no trust or confidence in — see distrust
    4 to put a question or questions to — see ask 1
    5 to put a series of questions to — see examine 1

  81. Your values dont get to decide what healthy body parts your child gets to keep. 0_0

  82. I’m glad you show complete disregard for what the covenant was meant to be. Very telling.

  83. Even when the manner of the telling is most likely going to produce the OPPOSITE result of the one desired? That’s just dumb, IMO.

    I mean, it’s like PETA screaming at you and throwing paint all over you for killing animals because you’re wearing a leather jacket. What sane person really thinks that that is going to change someone’s mind over to their point of view?

  84. Gaevren got it right upthread, IMO: NO ONE ever said, “Thanks for calling me names! Now I agree with you because you insulted me!”

    It’s sad, really. Do you not believe that you have truth on your side? Do you not believe that the facts speak for themselves? Clearly you don’t, otherwise you wouldn’t support someone who used juvenile shaming tactics. It’s sad that you have so little confidence in the truth of your own beliefs (!!!) that you have to resort to namecalling to try to bully people into believing what you believe.

  85. Agreed about telling the truth, although I would have worded it differently.

  86. My money is on chocolate… Just sayin’

    Thanks for this lighthearted response. All the negativity was getting me wound up, but when I read this I laughed so hard! Thanks, Tee!

  87. I’ve always thought chocolate, too, but it seems somewhat criminal to waste chocolate on flies! ::grins:: You’re welcome! I’m a little bit wound up over some of the responses here myself.

  88. Exactly! When someone has to resort to ugliness and belittling and shaming (something that on this site we absolutely get enraged over when doctors do, regardless of the cause!) then they have lost any credibility they might have had.

  89. Me too. :(

    As I said above, it mystifies me that these commenters, who claim to know beyond any doubt that circumcision is mutilation, so quickly resort to hateful namecalling like some pissed-off religious fundamentalist, rather than just letting the truth of their claims stand for itself.

  90. Oh so it’s ok to talk badly about the OBs whose comments are posted here, but not about the idiot comments? That makes sense…

  91. And it makes me so angry. I don’t think it’s right for us to condemn someone else for doing what we do! I mean, I understand that there is something important to be said for professionalism but pot, meet kettle!

  92. I’m glad my comment last night disappeared, as I got sarcastic. I see your apology below. Sometimes tone is hard to read in print, and everyone makes mistakes.

  93. QUIT IT. Seriously. The reason this quote was submitted is because the person didn’t know how to express an opinion without namecalling. If your view is true, why not just let the truth stand for itself? All namecalling does is make YOU look bad, and put your position in a bad light. In other words, you’re being completely counter-productive. QUIT.

  94. In all fairness, you don’t have any way to know that for certain. Her son might care in the least.

  95. Thank you for saying what I was too chicken to say. This particular comment irritates me to no end. There is absolutely no cause to call someone names.

  96. I won’t stop standing up for helpless babies. Just calling a spade a spade. Ethel is an asinine, disgusting human being.

  97. “Pissed off religious fundamentalist” made me giggle just a bit. And you’re right. This is one of those issues that seem to bring out the ugly in the most wonderful of people.

  98. And when you are in a job where you see parents mutilate their children day in and day out, when you see these poor defenceless children stripped of their basic human rights because they refuse to listen to FACT don’t you think you might also snap one day on one person?

  99. Care providers are human and humans make mistakes. If this was a one time thing, that would be different. But odds are it isn’t a one time thing. I’m sorry but if you are so frustrated by your job that you lose professionalism, you need to find a new job or take a break from the one you’ve got.

  100. Nikki, YOU are assuming this was a one-time thing. We have no indication of that one way or another. Furthermore, I’m betting that if this doc had written the OP a letter saying, “I’m very passionate about keeping boys intact, but there was no call for me to insult you the way I did. Please forgive my ill mannered unprofessionalism. I’d love to have an opportunity to calmly explain my reasons for avoiding routine circumcision, which is an opportunity I wasted in our last conversation by insulting you,” she wouldn’t have submitted this comment.

    Going off on someone one time might be understandable, but it’s not excusable. We can’t just let the guy off the hook for being a dick because he’s passionate. If I insult someone for any reason, no matter how passionate I am about the topic, I have a responsibility to apologize, not least because it makes me and my views look bad.

  101. And now you’re assuming things you have no indication happening. You don’t know this wasn’t a one time slip. You have no way of knowing that at all. You’re trying to villanize someone who cares about children’s rights.

  102. Do you honestly believe the baby doesn’t mind being strapped down while a part of his penis is cut off, usually with no anaesthesia?

  103. No, NikkiW, we have no problem with the fact that he cares about children’s rights, but with the way he presented his opinion.

    I am a staunch intactivist.

    I know the functions of the foreskin.

    I know how to care for an intact penis.

    I know that 80% of the world’s men are intact and never have foreskin related issues.

    I know that the rates of STD’s in the “industrialized” world are higher in countries in which MGM/RIC is common.

    I know infant circumcision is a painful procedure for which the majority of doctors use no anesthesia, or if they do use it, don’t wait the requisite amount of time for it to take effect. I further know that even the most effective of these, the dorsal penile block, only numbs the posterior half of the penis.

    I know that circumcision is a huge money-maker for many doctors and hospitals in America, making it a procedure that will be rigorously defended by many, if not most, of the medical associations in the country.

    I also know that calling someone asinine for doing what in my mind is obviously wrong isn’t going to change their minds. As a matter of fact, name-calling and belittling often has the opposite effect creating a person who will defend his or her opinion without any regard for the veracity of the offender’s point of view.

  104. No, that isn’t true. I am most certainly not trying to villanize someone that stands up for a child’s rights. What I said is that it isn’t okay to act in such a nasty and unprofessional manner. You can disagree with someone and express your point of view without calling the person names. I understand and appreciate that you’re passionate about this subject but please don’t let your passion put words in my mouth.

  105. No, that’s not what I meant. What I meant was that her son (or any other man) might not grow up to care that he was circumcised. I’m sorry, I should have made myself more clear!

  106. “If this was a one time thing, that would be different. But odds are it isn’t a one time thing.” As I said, you made an assumption that this was said more than once when there is NOTHING here to make you believe that. I didn’t put any words in your mouth, you did.

  107. At no point did I villanize this doctor! If that’s how you interpreted my comment, I’m not sure what to tell you. And I never said that this wasn’t a one time thing. I said that it probably wasn’t. I don’t tend to speak in all or nothing phrases when it comes to topics on this board and anyone that reads here regularly knows that. I don’t have any desire for this to turn into a fight but I also won’t sit back and let someone make me out to be the bad guy when I didn’t do what I’m being accused of. Period.

  108. I find it hilarious and sad that you can’t even admit your mistake, which proves to me even more that it was a purposeful to villanize. If you don’t want to be made out into something you don’t feel you are then maybe you should watch what you say.

  109. If you’ve been around this site for any length of time, you know that I never hesitate to apologize when I make a mistake and try and set things right. That alone should make it clear that you really have taken my words out of context. I chose my words carefully and stand by everything I’ve said. You seem to be skipping over the part where I clearly said “odds are” which means probably. And on that note, I’m done with this conversation. You are being downright rude and I’m not in mood to deal with your nastiness anymore. I wasn’t ugly towards you and I don’t want to be ugly towards you but your attitude is pushing me in that direction, so I’m going to say enough’s enough.

  110. The point I was trying to make is that there is no reason for anyone… doctors and commentors alike… to call anyone else asinine or any other name. It’s rude, plain and simple. And I don’t understand how anyone could think that they will be able to educate people while insulting them.

  111. NO ONE is asking you not to stand up for helpless babies. We are simply saying that you are making yourself, AND YOUR CAUSE, look petty and childish and absurd by refusing to act like an adult.

    How many people have you now turned AWAY from exploring keeping their sons intact by your terrible, offensive, insulting attitude? How many people could you have won to your side by insisting on dignity? Who knows? You will obviously never know. I find that terribly sad.

  112. It’s comments like yours that will keep me from looking at the comments section from now on. This is clearly not your culture.

  113. What Wendy said.

  114. Just to weigh in- if all four of your brothers had foreskin issue tells me that someone was doing something wrong- such as forced retraction. Your statement that intact males need to be hyper-vigilant about cleaning tells me that’s the case.

    Foreskin, especially in infants and children, takes no extra care. You simply wash the penis like you do a finger. Retracting is what causes adhesions and infections. I’m sorry your parents were misinformed by American doctors on how to care for the intact penis. And I’m sorry your brothers, and apparently your sons, had to pay the price.

    I have to completely disagree with you that male circumcision isn’t genital mutilation. How is it not? What makes it different from female circumcision?

    In reality, the most common form of female circumcision is removal of the clitoral hood- exactly the same as male circumcision. They also became common practices for exactly the same reason- to curb sexuality, especially masturbation. Look up Dr. Kellogg if you don’t believe me.

    Also, are you having your children’s appendix, adenoids, etcetera removed prophylactically? Why not, since they’re not “strictly necessary”?

    As a matter of fact, many things are not “strictly necessary”, such as fingernails, hair, ears, etcetera. What about them? Are you going to remove them too? Why not?

    We can hear without our external ears, and if you do it when your child’s a baby he’ll never know any different. After all, it’s such a pain to wash behind the ears. I had infections back there when I was a child, despite thorough cleaning. I don’t want my kids to go through that.

    Hair is strictly for looks at this point, since we can make hats to cover our heads. Are you going to have your children get electrolysis so you don’t have to wash their hair?

    For your information, I am informed. I know that, while not “strictly necessary” the foreskin has 20,000 nerve endings.

    I know it protects the glans of the penis, keeping it the internal organ it was designed to be.

    I know it provides a gliding aspect to intercourse. Without it, sex can cause a lot of friction for both man and woman, making it painful for both in many cases.

    I know that to remove a part of a person’s body without their consent is mutilation, plain and simple.

  115. It’s so ironic that you’re telling people to become truly informed when your comment is so full of uninformed BS. Yeah, intact penises are just infections waiting to happen. That’s why the men in Europe all have their penises falling off, right?

  116. Many of our peers and elders had problems with their foreskins because their parents were — wrongly — instructed to forcibly retract them at every single diaper change in order to “clean it properly.” Since this by itself can cause long-term problems and infections it’s no wonder so many men find they have problems later in life.

  117. The very fact that ALL FOUR of your brothers who were adopted had problems strongly indicates that this was an environmental issue. The fact you are claiming that parents of intact boys need to ‘be hyper-vigilant about cleaning’ supports this. Excessive cleaning of an intact penis, as Mama Wrench said, is what often causes damage. Even if it WERE true that circ helped to prevent infections and adhesions, the statistical likelihood of all four of your brothers getting these issues without there being a genetic link is absurdly unlikely – otherwise there would be absolutely no debate about the alleged benefits of circ. Much more likely that something else the boys had in common caused it.

  118. Also, I have to admire someone whose cognitive dissonance is so firmly entrenched that she can follow a diatribe about the wrongness of a position with “THINK FOR YOURSELF!”

    Actually, I do think for myself, and my conclusion is that I should allow my son to think for himself, as well. If he requires surgery in the future — for his appendix, wisdom teeth, or foreskin — I will ensure he has access to it. I will not subject him to surgery he does not need unless he “THINKS FOR HIMSELF” and decides he wants it for his own reasons.

    Independent thought does not require denying independence to others, even if they happened to come out of our genitals.

  119. I can’t believe you’re calling those of us who espouse the rights of bodily integrity for everyone those who live in a “fluffy white American cocoon”! You are the one who seems to be ignorant of the fact that the ***vast*** majority of men in countries other than America have their foreskins, and don’t have the problems you blame so conveniently on foreskins.

    How are we in this cocoon, when we are the ones fighting against the cultural atrocity that is routine infant circumcision?

    Hate? Misinformation? Where on earth do you see hate and misinformation in our replies to you? You seem to be simply another American who has bought into the lies told by those who, for whatever reason, want to keep RIC alive and well.

    As far as stating that circumcised females have no pleasure from sex? I think maybe you need to do some research. There are plenty of videos and blogs out there by circumcised women telling how they “enjoy sex just as much as every other woman”, and justifying doing it to their own daughters.

    You are the one spouting misinformation, with your head firmly planted…in the sand.

  120. If no-one retracted your brother’s foreskins, than how do you know they had adhesion issues? That doesn’t make sense.
    And circumcision is nowhere near as common as you seem to think it is. 80% of the world’s men are intact and have no issues. So your statement that “enough males have had enough problems that through the ages many widely variant cultures have seen fit to prevent them” is clearly false.
    Again, circumcision became popular as a medical procedure to prevent masturbation. The doctors who started recommending it would have been intact and would have known how pleasurable having a foreskin is. http://www.moralogous.com/2012/04/29/the-purpose-of-circumcision-is-to-ruin-male-sexuality/
    You also need to do more research on the WHO. For starters they only recommend voluntary circumcision of adult men in high HIV areas (even though this doesn’t work), and their chief expert on circumcision holds a patent on a circumcision device.
    http://www.circleaks.org/index.php?title=WHO
    And FGM and circumcision are very similar in a lot of ways. This page is from the Female Genital Cutting Education and Networking Project:
    http://www.fgmnetwork.org/intro/mgmfgm.php

  121. No-one has the right to force their culture on an infant or child by amputating part of that child’s body.

  122. The problem is that your religious rights end where they conflict with the human rights of anyone else, including your son. He should be able to make the choice for himself as an adult, not have it forced upon him when he is a helpless infant.

  123. I’ve never understood this “parental choice” argument. Parents don’t own their child. They most certainly aren’t the ones who are going to use the penis in question. It isn’t the parent’s choice at all. The choice should be left up to the owner of the penis as an adult.

  124. The nurse could have worded her statement in a better way, though.

  125. I don’t think the nurse should have been rude about it, but circumcision violates the rights of the child, so someone should certainly speak up.

  126. Just a thought, but shouldn’t the owner of the penis be making this decision as an adult? I’ve never understood why this is a decision for the parents, since it’s not their penis at all.

  127. Parents don’t own their child and most certainly don’t own their child’s penis, so they don’t have actually have the right to make the decision. And you might want to look at this if you think FGM is somehow different from circumcision:
    http://www.fgmnetwork.org/intro/mgmfgm.php

    It sounds like your brothers were victims of forced retraction-something that is sadly very common in circumcising cultures like the US. There is no need to pull the foreskin back to clean under it in infancy. The only person who should retract the foreskin at all is the boy it is attached to, and only when he can do so comfortably. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/moral-landscapes/201110/what-is-the-greatest-danger-uncircumcised-boy
    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/moral-landscapes/201110/why-continue-harm-boys-ignorance-male-anatomy
    These “infection and adhesion” issues do not occur in intact cultures because they know how to look after the foreskin. The US has lost this knowledge.
    Your statement that the foreskin has no purpose is also false. It has important sexual and protective functions.
    http://www.cirp.org/library/sex_function/
    http://www.cirp.org/library/disease/

    Circumcision in the US and other former British colonies became popular as a way to prevent boys from masturbating. The hygiene arguments came after. Foreskins do not “harbor infections”.
    Additionally we only pull wisdom teeth if they are genuinely a problem. I’ve had mine since I was 16 (I’m 34 now) and will probably die with them.

    Looking after an intact (not circumcised) boy is super easy-only clean what is seen and wipe like a finger.

  128. Agreed! Great comment!

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