Need Some Real Help: Hate Being Circumcised (PLESE Read On)?
(Sorry in advance for the length.)
I guess the title says it all.
I'm currently a freshman in high school, and this has been something of an issue for... well, a while now.
I remember one day while riding with my best friend (who is my crush, as well), the topic of circumcision came up. I don't remember how or why, but it did. His mom (my godmother) is a Pole, and it didn't surprise me at all to find that he and his brothers had been left intact. Strangely enough, I was glad. We ended up having this big discussion about it. I don't think I really believed a word of what I was saying, but I threw out all the basic "pro-circ" arguments I knew off-hand. His mother was right on nearly every point, though, and I knew it. She had done her research and knew what she was talking about. But... I don't think that's what struck me about the whole ordeal. No. It was when her middle child (innocent and naïve one that he is) asked, after finding out what circumcision entailed: "Did you have that done to us?" His mother looked at him and said, "Are you kidding? I would NEVER let them do that to you..." and gave him a reassuring smile.
For the next few days, I devoted myself to as much research as I could handle on the topic. I even watched three different videos of the procedure, performed on different age groups with different techniques. The whole time, her words—and her sincerity—never left my mind. And I confess I couldn't help but wonder why my mother hadn't taken that same attitude. Why she would let some doctor do that to her baby boy.
That was the beginning of my resentment.
I had a talk with a close friend of hers from Los Angeles recently (a nonreligious Jew). I wasn't entirely honest with him on every little detail of my feelings. But it helped me to realize a few things.
It made me realize that the basic complaints may ring true to a degree for me (function, pleasure, aesthetics, etc.) but it wasn't that simple either. I've known from a very young age that my future doesn't lie here in the South, or perhaps in America at all. The narrow-mindedness, the bigotry, this isn't what I want for the rest of my life. That, to me, would be no life at all.
I want to go elsewhere. I understand the Greek ideals, the beauty of the natural world—and the human body which reflects that. Despite my Judeo-Christian heritage (I long ago left fundamentalist Protestantism for the romanticism of the Catholic Church), I have never resonated with the plight of any Hebrew as much as with the legacy of the Greeks. In the Maccabees' struggle, I always secretly rooted for their Greek counterparts. In the Gospels, I always felt the most interesting question raised was not by any apostle or Christ-figure, but by Pilate: "What is truth?" I know myself to be a gentile at heart: intellectually, emotionally, idealistically, that is, as well as physically.
And yet... all my desire to progress past the backwards culture into which I was born was not enough to protect me from this indelible mark which will follow me wherever I go. And I hate that. More than I can say or express.
Sometimes, without even meaning to think about it, it will occur to me that I was born just like my European friend. But someone came in and took my inheritance away from me. And I feel robbed.
Knowing this to be more than a mere issue of physicality, I think it’s fitting to put this question under the psychology section.
I have already expressed my feelings to my mother. On my birthday, in fact. What a sad day that was... There was yelling and crying. On both parts. She made an appointment, at my request, with my doctor, however, as I wanted a recommendation to a urologist. I have so many questions and concerns.
But I wonder sometimes: Is this just a ‘fait accompli,’ as that family friend seemed to think, which I should just more or less accept? I know that it can never be “undone,” but I also know there are methods (both surgical and otherwise) which can produce—under ideal circumstances anyway—truly incredible results. And while regaining some lost functionality might be a nice bonus, most important to me is leaving behind this feeling of powerlessness concerning this topic and feeling genuinely incorporated into the legacy which my past and my ideals make me love. It’s noble, I know, to let go of the past and forgive... But right now, I’m not ready; it has to be... in its own time. Yet there is something noble in acceptance and moving forward. I don’t think, however, acceptance should mean total indifference to potential options. Especially as I increasingly consider them for sometime down the road.
I need some thoughts. They would truly be appreciated. (For those like Jorge and Cut50yearsago, who deal with this issue a lot on these forums, I appreciate the input, I really do, but I would really appreciate just hearing some ordinary, other folks on this subject.)
Thanks a lot, Lisa.
I know--without doubt--that she was doing the best she knew how. In our talks, she assures me (with much sadness and guilt) that she would never intentionally hurt me. But intentions aside, the result remains the same. I just am wavering on how to react.
(I was born in 1993, three years after the American Paediatric Association had already said that there is no justification for routine neonatal circumcision in males. I guess the doctors forget that piece of info...)
- Anonymous1 decade agoBest Answer
Okay, first of all I am a mother of two boys. I opted to not have them circumsized, much to the chagrin of our families.
That being said, I feel you should take a moment and step off of the "how could you do that to me," train of thought - When your mother had you, I am willing to bet it was before 1990 (based on your views and your mature vocabulary as well as your impressive understanding of the faiths you have been involved with), it was assumed that circumcision was beneficial to the child's health. Less chance of cancer, cleaner, less chance of infection, the list goes on - This is why the procedure USED TO BE covered under most health benefits and through national health coverage. Today, it is understood to be a purely cosmetic procedure, and tons of light has been shed on the subject. I realize it was YOUR body, and that you feel very strongly that your rights have been overstepped, however your mother did NOT, I assure you, did NOT have you circumcized as a part of a heinous plan to make your life a living hell in the most profound way possible. She did what she thought was best with the information available at the time. Ask her if the doctor had encouraged it - I can almost guarantee that he did; If you need to be angry, and you have that right, be angry about the ignorance of the times; Your mother did not invent this practice - It has been and was so commonly used throughout history that realistically, you can not condemn your mother for not protecting you when in fact, that is exactly what she thought she was doing.
I feel very strongly about this issue as well, and have since I was a young girl - I swore I would never let someone hurt my child intentionally, or unintentionally should I be able to help it. Circumcision fell into this catagory in my mind, but luckily, I am a newage mother with tons of information about alternative medicines, holistic practice and natural living ideals. I am condemned time and again for not having my boys vaccinated for the same reason stated above because people view it as "I am not protecting them." In 20 years, it may be discovered that mass infertility has found it's way into our evolution due to the vast majority of society vaccinating their children. Well, time will tell who was protecting what because just as it is with truth, what is RIGHT changes all the time...
EDIT - You're right. The doctors did forget that info, and they still do today to some degree as it is one of the top cosmetic surgeries still performed. I think it is very sad, and I really do hear you when you say you feel robbed of your inheritance. The thing is, everything does happen for a reason - I am not trying to convince you of "fait accompli", but it DOES set you apart from other Europeans. You WILL be remembered in your travels, and you already have seen something in a different light than you used to, which is something you simply took for granted; I wish you all the best, and though I can't seem to help you find some solace through your time of unrest, I do hope you look for the reasons behind "why" this would be part of your world.
- 4 years ago
Ok firstly I'm not Christian, but my mom and aunt are very religious (my mom became religious after I was grown) and circumcision is not a Christian practice. Jesus released the Christians from the need to circumcise as a sign of the covenant with God. I honestly think you should discuss this with your priest/minister/etc. My boys are not circumcised, my faith tells me that babies are born perfect. To me, a Down's Syndrome baby is perfect, so is the foreskin. I also believe that infant circumcision is child abuse, under the current laws girls are protected and boys are not. That is not allowable under the laws of most Western countries. ALL babies deserve protection from cosmetic surgery. There are no medical benefits to circumcision until the male becomes sexually active (and even then its pretty questionable, and certainly do not apply to those who marry as virgins -even penile cancer is STD caused so that risk doesn't apply). Circumcising an post-pubescent penis is much safer. You don't have to rip the foreskin off the glans (they are fused in babies) the area is bigger and easier to cut, and you know exactly how much skin to remove. In an infant you have to guess and removing too much and too little is common. Teens and men also have many more pain relievers available, and many more antibiotics. Because the wound is not in a diaper it is less likely to get infected, and because the teen/man can communicate infections can be found at the first sign. Caring for a circumcised baby is also more difficult. Even once the circumcision is healed any remaining skin must be retracted to prevent adhesions, and also to clean. The inside of an uncircumcised foreskin is self-cleaning, like under the eye lid and the inside of the vagina (yes if poop gets forced into either the vagina or foreskin then it would need to be cleaned but the infant foreskin is better sealed than the vagina) I can't answer you religious questions for you, but I can tell you that ethically I don't see how you can justify circumcision. And the health benefits certainly aren't there.
- ConnorLv 71 decade ago
I know exactly how you feel.