Women who regret circumcising their son http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=112410
“I am a mother and I circumcised one of my sons-I have to live with this mistake for the rest of my life-I love my sons-and I make no excuses for the tragic painful experience I lead my baby through-
Just so the doctors can make money-from my child’s pain… ”
“I am the mother of 2 circumcised sons. Before the birth of my sons I tried to talk to my husband about the topic. He listened, ignored me, and said “it is getting done and that is the end of it.” Both times he won and my sons and I lost. The amount of guilt I feel for not being able to stick up for their rights better is tremendous. My sweet little babies were taken from my warm arms, tied down, and torn apart. They were the “lucky” ones. They had pain relief. It still didn’t make me feel any better. My husband said after one long one sided talk “Don’t worry, they’ll thank me someday”. The last words I said to him that day were “Trust me … They will NEVER thank you for that”. I feel it has ruined my once happy relationship with my husband. I carry the guilt around in my heart with the love for my children. After our second son was home he admitted that he didn’t even bother to research it like I asked him to. He simply thought I was being ridiculous. He said it is something that was always done and should still be done. After many long talks he finally has admitted that he thinks I was right. Too late for my babies . Mothers know that this is wrong. Ignore your husband’s demands and go with the feeling in your heart. Your sons will thank you someday, your heart will remain unbroken, and the only tears you will shed for your son will be on his first day of kindergarten.”
“My Husband Curled in the Fetal Position…crying”
I had a very complicated and dangerous pregnancy, I had Placenta Previa and was on bedrest. I told my husband that we would not circumcise our baby- my #1 reason was because I had lived in Europe and I knew that the foreskin was an important part of male sexual anatomy… and respecting it in that way- I did not think this was the sort of decision that parents should even be allowed to make… you don’t cut another person’s penis… period.
But the problem was, my husband who was circumcised could not IMAGINE that a foreskin was a part of a penis, because he didn’t have a foreskin… and his penis was FINE… not DAMAGED! He could not get over that leap between him being sexually fine and another man being fine with even more sexual anatomy than he had. He was in a state of panic between common sense and self defense. Our fights were fierce- I was astounded at his reaction- he did not seem like himself- it was like he was a robot who was programmed with a execute circumcision command… and my putting an unplanned obstacle in that path made the whole system go berzerk.
The most upsetting scene of the whole time was my husband curled in a fetal position on the couch with a pillow crammed over his crotch crying… and still demanding that we had to do this. For me it was like watching regression therapy- I was seeing my husband relive the pain of his own circumcision… his outward body clenched in such a self defensive curl- emotionally he was begging to have a solution to this pain… and the solution that he thought he had found was to circumcise the baby… to make circumcision right. It was the only way he could convince himself that circumcision is a reasonable thing to do to babies…to men.
I guess the real him won out… he took the time to do some research in private (where he did not need to feel embarrassed to learn or cry or whatever) and he came to realize that circumcision is not good for babies, and that we would NOT be circumcising our baby. The turnaround was fast- and a good thing too- because when the baby came 5 weeks early in a torrent of blood with a 18 inch blizzard shutting down the interstate- our family needed unity and love and trust. I was still KO from the emergency c section when the Dr asked my Husband when we would tell him the BAD news about the circumcision- my husband was the one who said WE AREN’T
The Dr was happily surprised. “Where are you FROM?” he asked… assuming that no one from here (Cincinnati area) would not habitually circumcise their baby.
It wasn’t till years later that the irony of that comment became more clear… my husband talked to his parents about his circumcision, to tell them about how circumcision had effected him and that he was now restoring his foreskin non-surgically to try to un-do some of that damage… What his parents told him was a real shock. He was circumcised without any parental consent- he was in the nursery and the circumciser cut the baby without even asking. He made the boy NOT match his father… every man in the family was intact- but that Dr took the intact baby and cut him without asking a single member of the family- all would have said no if they had been asked. No one told this boy the truth, no one told him that his circumcision was not something chosen for him- that it was a horrible sign of a lapse in security… dad out of town and mom on KO drugs from a c section… and a hospital with a universal circumcision program…
NO wonder all the dads in Cincinnati are insisting their sons be circumcised… they were all circumcised whether their parents wanted it or not. The hospital system of a few decades ago was erasing our common knowledge of human anatomy and sexuality. Was distorting our idea of normal. When surgically modified is the presumed given. It’s not given… it’s taken.
It took me, a transplant from somewhere else, to carry in the seeds of doubt about the rightness of what was happening. That doctor knew that something was up when that dad said no… he knew he had been exposed to some outside thought- because the program to erase male knowledge of their own anatomy here is Cincinnati had been so “successful”
I hope that this father gets the compassion and support that he needs and I hope that he has the courage to bravely uncover the history of his own circumcision and to question his motives in doing this to his son. It is very hard work. I recommend the history book by David Gollaher- he can get it on Amazon.
I also hope that this mother has the courage to protect her child. This is not something that needs to have an agreement. If either parent wants to protect the child from the cutting motivation of the other parent- they have full power to protect the child. The benefit of the doubt will always lie with the child and the rightness of his body. The onus is upon the person who would cut him, to prove it must be done. Even in court, this argument has never been made- circumcisers are powerless if the child has an advocate. Circumcision only happens in the absence of protection. The is no need to make a case for NOT circumcising, the child is born that way- he got the genetic program for his penis from his father, his foreskin comes from his father… it is the GIVEN.
“I didn’t realize what circumcision had done to me until this year at age 28. When I was six years old I made a horrible discovery that I was missing part of my penis. That someone had cut off part of my penis and scarred me down there. My mother laughed at the idea I could be upset by this and repeated outdated myths of hygiene and tradition. Since then I have been against circumcision of minors. Since then I have suffered in silence alone.
This year for reasons I cannot recall I did a simple Yahoo search on circumcision. What I found continues to dominate my thoughts at all hours. I had been brainwashed to believe it was for my own good, which I never accepted, but I had been duped into believing it was just extra skin. How would I know? I was never allowed to know my own body. From the age of 24 hours someone else NOT ME decided for no valid reason that I should be disfigured, scarred and censored from normal sexual experience for life. How could anyone allow this to continue when even our own U.S. medical societies and organizations admit it is unnecessary for health? What about religion? Who can predict the religion of a child? My freedom of religion was amputated as well.
Every day of my life in the bathroom, in the shower, in the bedroom, abstinent or sexually active I have been/am forced to deal with what was done to me. I cannot escape its effects. Effects I didn’t choose and as an adult with any sense would never consent to. Where was my protection then? Where is my justice now?
“I am undergoing foreskin restoration, which is a bit of misnomer since the foreskin contains specialized nerves that I can never get back. Most of the stimulation during intercourse, human intervention aside, comes from the foreskin sliding back and forth over the glans. Not only that, but the foreskin is a layer of protection for the glans. With the foreskin missing, the glans dries up and becomes essentially calloused from rubbing on clothing, etc. In this way, the glans is doubly desensitized. Most circumcised men probably go about their lives without any issues or without realizing how desensitized they are. In my case, however, I am so desensitized by my circumcision that it is nearly impossible to climax during intercourse. My partner was very distressed by this when we started having intercourse, thought it was her fault, and suffered a minor bout of depression. Having children would have been a struggle.”
“As an American woman, I had never seen an uncircumcised penis until I began dating a Scottish man. At first I was a little disconcerted but now that I am used to what a normal penis looks like, I think the practice of circumcision is horrific. I believe its shocking that we perform this ritual on our baby boys. The myths about hygiene are scare tactics by people who are more used to the look of circumcision and therefore want it to continue. It’s a ritual that should be stopped, just like bound feet in China and female circumcision in Africa. The only countries in the world that routinely circumcise are the US and Israel. Obviously, we’ve normalized a very “unnormal” procedure. Look to the rest of Europe and Britain to see that a normal penis is REALLY quite normal.”
“The idea that a son will feel abnormal if he doesn’t look like his father is laughable. Just explain “an unnatural ritual stopped with me and not passed on to you.” Really, once your used to what a normal penis looks like, circumcision looks horrible, unnatural and disfigured!!”
“Most of the research claiming statistical evidence that routine circumcision prevents AIDS to seem to be WOEFULLY incomplete, inaccurate and biased. None of the studies that I have seen have a properly defined control group or take into account politics, or economics in the regions they where tested.
For instance. Were the majority of uncircumcised males who where infected with AIDS from poorer regions of Africa, where hygenic conditions, and access to condoms different from the regions where there where high numbers of circumcised males tested?
One study in particular claims “Circumcision is as effective as a high potency vacine in the fight against AIDS..” Claims such as this should be highly suspect to any rational thinking person, and certainly no substitute for condom use, and or avoiding high risk sexual activity.
There has also never been any causal mechanism studied as to why the statistics seem to point to circumcised males having more of a resistance to HIV infection.
On the subject of a higher incidence of cervical cancer in females with uncircumcised partners, this statement is also suspect, because cervical cancer is caused by the Human Papiloma Virus or HPV, with is present in a carriers semen, and has nothing to do with the presence or contact with smegma.
Foreskin tearing during intercourse? Your doing something wrong! Harder to keep clean? Not hardly! Afraid your son will get teased in school? Doesn’t look like his fathers, or you just don’t like how a penis looks in a turtle neck.. Seek professional help.
The risks of local anethesia on a new born, surgical complications, and post operative infection highly outweigh any benifits this procedure has.”
“I had all my sons circumcised, as was the custom. I am ashamed and heartbroken that I irrevocably altered my sons’ bodies when they were too young to make this decision themselves.”
I’m a professor of developmental physiology and have taught human sexuality for more than a few years now. I’m also mother to a son. I hardly ever enter these dialogues because my life is full, but on this one, I felt compelled. Plain and simple, circumcision is elective surgery. For just about every study showing some benefit exists another published account of its drawbacks. It is surgery, after all, and though few surgeons like to admit this, it comes with risks — ranging from mild infections to more serious risks like problems with blood clotting to severe, rare, and well publicized cases of cutting away more than 50% of the penis itself. More recently, though, I’ve talked with mothers who took their school age boys to repair supposed “incomplete circumcisions,” wherein the surgeon hadn’t cut — by whomever’s judgment — enough.
That aside, male circumcision is a deeply personal issue that touches on people’s cultural, sexual, and sometimes religious beliefs. So, whatever you think of the science — and there’s plenty of it out there, I ask people contemplating parenthood to consider this: because circumcision is an elective surgery, why not allow your son to decide for himself — when the time is right, of course — whether he wants the surgery? Techniques for adult male circumcision have advanced tremendously in the west. A specially trained urologist can perform the procedure in an office in about 15 minutes. The recovery time is about the same as in infancy, and with no diapers, the infection risks are lower. Knowing this, my husband and I gave our son a special gift at birth: we put enough money to pay for the procedure in an account and when he reaches age 18, he can make the decision.
I wouldn’t remove my newborn daughter’s breasts to prevent breast cancer. Please consider granting your sons the same allowance to make decisions about their own bodies rather than deciding for them.
“I was circumcised in my 30s simply because I didn’t like the way it looked compared to how I would look circumcised. Now I have a great looking penis as far as penises go, but I have lost about 80% of the sensation. I can’t feel hardly anything compared to how it felt when I was uncircumcised, and since I can compare the two I feel like I bought an apple because it’s very red and bite into it and it tastes like pulp. Do your kids a favor and let them have outrageously good sexual feelings. There’s nothing like the feel of an uncircumcised penis. If they decide later to get circumcised they will be just as sorry as I am, but be forewarned. At least I’m glad I got to experience the joy of sex while uncircumcised up until my mid 30s. Those were the days.”
“When I was pregnant, I started researching and reading about circumcision, knowing that if I had a boy, I would have to be knowledgeable enough about it to make an intelligent decision. Seems, the only people that circumcised their baby boys were the Jewish people…for religious reasons. Since the beginning of time, baby boys were not circumcised. How it caught on in the U.S., I don’t know…..probably doctors found they could make more money charging for a Circumcision!
Anyway, in the readings about it,….there was much on how un-cut men give better orgasms to women, because there is extra skin that hits a woman right where she needs stimulation…..cut men do not have this advantage…..so they usually have to use their hands to get their partner satisfied……….So, it was very clear…..it would be stupid to cut a perfect baby boy that is born with all the right parts, and all the parts he needs to satisfy his future wife. Do you really believe baby boys are born “needing” surgery?? It would be the same as cutting off your newborn daughter’s pinky or earlobe. Like why???? ”
“A good reason to leave things 100% natural is that you don’t know what his future wife or girlfriend will prefer. If he is cut he has no choice but to stay cut.”
“Imagine if a column for men asked “Do you like your women snipped?” where “snipped” meant having the clitoral hood cut off surgically as a baby girl, with anesthetic (nothing like tribal Africa). The howls of female outrage would be heard on Jupiter. (Unless of course, it was already customary. In that case, there would be hundreds of plausible reasons for doing it, and some men would go “Eeew!” at the thought of a woman having a concealed clitoris.)
“…a tiny piece of foreskin…” No, half the total area of his penis once it’s unfolded, a total of more than 15 sq in (100 sq cm) and with ~20,000 specialised nerves.
To each MAN his own choice how much of HIS OWN penis to keep. He’ll almost certainly choose to keep it all, if he even considers the matter for a moment. ”
“I was circumcised as a day old infant.” The results of this has caused me nothing but grief. The procedure was performed well, too well – removing my foreskin completely. There were no mistakes made during or after the procedure. However I now have sexual dysfunction, I have what’s called delayed ejaculation. Even thou I’ve tried, there is not enough friction during sexual intercourse so I have rarely had an orgasm during sex. My partners have felt inadequate and so do I.”
“I was fortunate enough to study the prepuce organ (called ‘the hood’ in females and ‘the foreskin’ in males) in graduate school, as well as the practice of cutting it (among both baby girls and boys). There is a reason that NO health organization in the entire world recommends this procedure. There is absolutely no medical reason to cut off the primary organ responsible for sensation, pleasure, lubrication and protection – the prepuce. And there are many, many reasons NOT to cut it.
The prepuce has the highest concentration of nerves of ANY part of the body (male or female). It emits natural secretions of antibodies for protection and healing. Later in life, when women no longer produce as much natural lubrication due to hormone changes, men’s bodies take over — they produce lubrication from the prepuce throughout all of life. This makes sex much more enjoyable for both partners involved.
Cutting off the prepuce in baby boys is the exact same as cutting it off baby girls. If it is genital mutilation and a horror to do so among girls (not to mention illegal in the United States) it is also the same among baby boys. The FGM (female genital mutilation) Bill, to protect baby girls, passed in the United States in 1995. The MGM (male genital mutilation) Bill, to protect baby boys, is currently under review in Congress.
Babies immediately after birth are at a heightened state of arousal and sensation. This means that they feel pain even more exquisitely than adults. In addition, anesthesia cannot be used immediately after birth. It is very common for babies to lapse into coma from sheer torrential pain, face difficulty nursing, have attachment and bonding problems, increased rates of infection, blood loss, hemorrhage, and penile damage or loss.
ALL STD rates and infections are higher among cut men than among intact men. In completing 3 years of graduate school we poured over every study done on this topic in the past 30 years. They are all conclusive, showing the same results. Those that differ are typically funded by corporations that benefit from cutting practices (organizations that buy and sell the prepuce organ for medical research, hospitals that earn money from the procedure).
If you are considering cutting your baby upon birth, please watch several circumcisions being done and learn ALL there is to know about the prepuce organ – its many functions and purposes – before you take it from a non-consenting person who can never again get it back.
If a man wishes to be cut – he can choose to do so for himself at a time in life when he is fully informed, consenting, and able to be fully anesthetized for the procedure. Those who have been cut later in life, have always stated that it makes a monumental difference to their own sexual pleasure. Here is one such commentary: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAHGFx95D80”
“‘Snipped’? A ‘tiny piece’ of foreskin?
Think of it this way. If men think that a woman’s vulva is more attractive with the clitoral hood cut off, would it be acceptable to adopt this practice with female babies?
No, it most certainly would not. Genital mutilation of children is abhorrent and it’s amazing that in the 21st century.
The foreskin is the most sensitive part of the penis. Why should any parent anywhere have the right to decide how their child’s penis should look and in doing so, reduce his sexual sensitivity (for both him and his partner; the foreskin has functions in sex besides pleasure) for life?
It’s like giving a child a tattoo (except that won’t affect his sexual enjoyment or performance). Unless medically necessary, circumcision is not some trivial decision like what haircut to give or which clothes to buy. It is a permanent alteration of the sexual organs, something he can never get back.
There is NO hygienic benefit. Very few European men are circumcised and as a woman who has had experience of this (I’m English), I can say that ten seconds in the shower is all the cleaning a man ever has to do to stay healthy – women’s genitalia take more work than that. Appearance is a non-issue, and it’s just sexist for women to say they prefer ‘the cut’ – what if a man wants to give your daughter breast implants because he likes big-chested women? It’s perverted.
Think about what you ask – is it ok to give children unnecessary cosmetic surgery on their genitals, which will reduce their potential sexual pleasure throughout life? No, it is not. Stop funding the people who still think this is a good idea – it’s simply a solution in search of a problem. The male genitalia are the way they are for many reasons”
“The reason I am writing this is to support my partner with an issue that is haunting him and tearing him apart little by little. I encourage him to pursue this issue with all the passion he has and respect and love him for it. I am so proud of this man and what he stands for.
I must admit that when he first starting sharing his feeling over his circumcision, my empathy stemmed from seeing someone that I love suffer, today I must admit I feel completely different, through education and an open mind I have learned so much about the ramifications of this act.
It is now a subject that I feel strongly opposed to with all my heart; I feel a great sadness and a sense of injustice about this non-consensual act. I have seen videos of circumcisions and when I hear the anguished and primal screams of these beautiful innocent baby boys, I imagine what my partner must have experienced and I weep for him and wish I could take away his pain.
Men are being destroyed by this antiquated practice, whether it manifests in the open or lives hidden under other issues it does greatly impact their lives.
Most of all it has hurt and wounded deeply the person I love. It has been hard to stand by and watch and incredibly kind and loving man suffering such angst about his own body and what was taken from him with out his consent.
I have held this man on many occasions as the anger and sadness swept over him; I have watched him question himself as a man over this.He is not the only one feeling this way, but he has been brave enough to acknowledge his pain and share it with others who have been through this. There seems to be so many men out there that are suffering but I am thankful they do not need to suffer alone any more.
The facts are gathering up, we cant ignore it anymore; please help stop non consensual circumcision”
“When I asked my mother why she circumcised me she said, “because boys are dirty down there”. I am so angry for my mother doing this to me , I have lost a lot of respect for her.”
“We are such morons. We criticize other cultures as barbaric for practicing ritual mutilation, and then we turn around and do it ourselves. Ask any doctor — the overwhelming reason why boys are circumcised is because their fathers want them to look like them. We are not only savages, but we are in denial.
As far as disease is concerned, I’m sure we could significantly reduce the incidence of breast cancer in women if we just lopped off their breasts. But what is unthinkable in this instance — swapping a body part in exchange for a reduced health risk — is perfectly acceptable to Americans when the victims are their helpless newborn sons.”
Kept our ENTIRE son!
DS was born 11 days ago, and he will remain intact! We didn’t find out gender ahead of time, and when I first mentioned it to DH, he indicated that we’d circ. I really didn’t have a strong feeling about it, but did discuss the what-ifs with my doctor (who also is baby’s doc). Although he does perform circs when parents request it, he told us that there is no medical reason to circumcise and that he would recommend against it unless there was a very strong reason that we had to do it.
After DS was born, DH and I had another conversation, and it turned out that he’d rethought his position and didn’t see any reason to circumcise unless it was medically beneficial!
As far as I know, this is the first little boy in our extended family who will be intact, so I feel like we’re entering new ground. But I’m thrilled that my little boy can go through life as God made him, and not have to recover from surgery at such a young age.
A huge thanks to all the posters here who helped me make a more informed decision!!
Funny story from my 19 month old ds2 today. We were taking a shower like we do together pretty much everyday. I noticed the tip of his foreskin was a little red, and he had a piece of fuzz stuck to it so I was going to wipe the fuzz off and look at the tip to see if it was a problem or just a bit irritated from his concentrated morning pee in the overnight diaper situation. About the time I touch him he turns away from me quickly and says “MINE”. My mouth just about hit the floor. He has been so in love with the word mine lately, but he has never used it like that. Well I thought I guess now is a good time to do some groundwork about private parts and all, but since he is only 19 months old I didn’t know what he could understand so I kept it simple I just said “You are right honey, that is yours. I’m sorry I should have told you what I was doing first. I was just going to help you wash it, but it is yours so you can wash it yourself.” And sure enough he took one of the little cups he plays with in the shower, filled it with water and washed down the outside of his penis. Then gave me a big grin and said “MINE” again.
He rinsed it a couple of times to make sure it was good and clean and we got out of the shower. I was just laughing to myself thinking well that blows the “a boy won’t take care of it” argument right out of the water. I mean if a 19month old can clean himself surely an older child can right? I’m sure he can’t be that hygienically advanced. I’m just wondering if I handled the private parts angle well enough. And suggestions on that for me? Any way I thought you all might get a kick out of the story.
Again, thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!
My newborn is intact, thanks in part to this discussion board! I want to thank everyone who has posted on this particular discussion board. When I found out I was pregnant with a boy, I was very upset about having to decide whether to circ or not. My husband is circ’d and I originally thought I would just defer to him. However, how could I hurt such a beautiful new creation as my son? I found lots of information on this discussion board which convinced me NOT to circ. And my husband was easily brought to the no circ camp.
I also want to share that I almost circ’d him at the hospital when the doctor asked if we wanted a circumcision. For some crazy reason I said yes , but then started to cry. The doctor said she could see I was in conflict and spent some time discussing it with me without putting pressure on me to go either way. (My husband was not there at the time). She ultimately said she would not circ unless both parents were in agreement and that we as parents needed to discuss it more before making a decision. I am eternally grateful to her as well because neither my husband nor I wanted him circ’d after we thought about it. I guess I was feeling pressure from family and feeling vulnerable and alone in the recovery room at the hospital.
My precious boy is now 2 weeks old and I am so glad he is intact. He is the first on both sides of the family and amongst our group of friends. So while people may not understand our decision, at least I know from this discussion board that there are others out there who are like us.
[Response by Yulia: Congrats on you beautiful whole boy!!!!! This is very important that you and your dh read this — Warning for Parents of Whole Sons]
Thanks everyone for your support and well wishes. I am feeling very happy that my son is intact. I know I made the right decision. And thanks Yulia_R for the link about forcible retraction. I’ll be sure to be extra vigilant.
As it turns out, the pediatrician who spent time talking with me in the hospital has sons who are intact. I’ve written her a thankyou note, and have switched to her as our pediatrician. The nurses in the hospital were also glad we decided against circumcision. One confided she thought it was a horrendous thing to do to a newborn and doesn’t understand why its so prolific.
never had a chance to post much here but I have lurked thru-out my pg. During my pg, dh and I would get into heated debates re circ and always left me so angry because I cry when I get stressed out and can’t ever win. When, last March we found out we were expecting our first son. We continued to argue over circ and I just gave up and said “whatever”.
On June 15th, 2007 we welcomed our little boy to the world. We had a beautiful birth at home, in the water, unassisted. He weighed 10 lbs, 1.5 oz and was 21 inches in length. My mw came moments after the birth to check on us. Everything was as perfect as my LO. My dh insisted that I make the circ appt for a week later so I did. I was just to exhausted to argue. A few days later though, the videos of baby boys wailing in pain reminded me of why I felt so strongly against this act. So I thought to myself… Why don’t I make dh watch this???? He has a penis… He should feel this pain…. So, off to MDC I went to play the video for him. He agreed to watch it. I saw hime cringe at the procedure and stare at his peacefully nursing son. He got off the couch and asked my if “that” was legal. I said what? “That” is a circ… What do you mean? He then said, “they don’t use anesthesia?” Bottom line was that he feels that being in the 21st century in America, there should be no reason for anyone (even an adult) to experience such pain.
Now to the present. I have a beautiful son who is intact. He was more convinced that everything would be fine after reading some of the posts here. He especially got the most from the “How to care” thread. You all are awesome and I thank you a miilion times over!!!! My il’s are a bit shocked but I just remind them that his penis belongs to him so lay off!!!! My family on the other hand is totally for no circing. My Dad made a point of calling us everyday to check to see if our son was still intact!!! . My dh co-workers have sons and the majority of them are intact. My circle of friends son’s are all intact.
My friend had a boy in late February that she didn’t want circ’d…she finally gave in to her husband’s – ‘he has to look like me’ wish and told me it was going to be done. The last I heard was the morning of the circ and it was to be done…I have been distraught for the little boy and so angry at both of them….anyway – she called a few days ago to get some advice on delaying vaxes…and I really wanted to help her and have been trying to get over the whole incident..so at the end of the conversation she says; “Oh, I didn’t tell you. He isn’t circumcised.” She said her dh went to fetch some clothes for the baby while they were still in the hospital and while he was gone the nurses brought in the circ consent form – which she said was horrifying. She called her dh and told him he needed to come back to be with the baby during the procedure, and she absolutely wouldn’t sign the consent until he read it and gave the okay. Before he even got back to the hospital – he called her back and said, “Tell the drs we aren’t doing it.” And on top of it, when they told the dr they had changed their minds, she said, “there’s really no reason to do it at all. that’s fine with me.” later – a nurse practitioner came in and told them that only about 50% of parents were doing it at all anymore. No one at the hospital batted an eye – and really reinforced for her dh that there is no good reason for this! Guess he met his son and realized he was perfect. I don’t even mind that I grieved for this baby for weeks..I’m just so ecstatic this little guy has his foreskin!
I was in a similar situation; I shut down my maternal instincts and let my first be circ’ed, b/c I didn’t know any better, and I immediately felt horrible about it. When I got pregnant with my second, I knew I did not want to circumcise him, but my husband was adamant that we do it. Long story short: I did not allow it; hubby did not challenge me after the birth (though we had had some pretty ugly fights about it before the birth!), and now, he is fine with it and even admitted one time that he knows it causes decrease in sexual sensation and that the only reason he ever wanted it in the first place was so he would “be like me.”
The most important thing for you to do is to educate yourself thoroughly on circumcision–the lack of need for it, the risks, the details of the procedure, etc. Watch the video. Follow the links in the stickies. You need to have more on your side than just emotions, because there are a lot of commonly accepted myths out there that people use to rationalize circumcision, and you need to be prepared for that.
Next, I would not keep trying to argue about it. It is not good for you while you’re pregnant. And the more you bring it up, the more defensive your DH will get. Few circ’ed men want to be backed into a corner where they are expected to admit that they are missing something important and that they were essentially sexually abused. I let it drop about 6 months into my pregnancy and didn’t bring it up again. I also didn’t talk about it much with DH after the birth. I think, for him, he was almost relieved to have me stand my ground without nagging him to agree with me–that way, he didn’t have to (in his mind) acknowledge that his parents may have made a mistake with him.
Also, when you do have to discuss it, stay away from the “Intact guys have better sex” argument. That is so NOT what a circumcised man wants to hear!!!! Focus on the risks, the pain, the lack of medical necessity, the interruption of bonding and breastfeeding, the “His body, His choice” angle, and the fact that you will feel as violated and abused as your child will.
Bottom line is, Your husband cannot really demand it. He does not have the right to demand parts of your child’s genitals. You will be the one who is asked to sign the consent form, and you do not have to sign.
i was reading another thread on TAO and ds2 walked into the kitchen. he has been reading for quite some time now (he is 5y and 1mo), so he happened to read the following siggy: “think before you cut, a foreskin is there for a reason”
he struggled a bit with “foreskin”, but pretty much sounded it out. obvious next question…what is a foreskin? i told him it the skin that covers over the head of a boys penis, to protect the head.
he got a weird look on his face (realizing he probably didnt have this) and then came the dreaded question. ds1 is 12 1/2 and hasnt figured out yet that he is cut…i thought i had some more time before having to face up to this. ds2 is super precocious, so i guess it doesnt really surprise me that he got to this point already.
i took a deep breath and said “no, honey, you dont have a foreskin, but you did when you were born”
then i burst into tears. what a mess.
he asked me what happened to it, did someone cut it off? and i said yes, i asked the dr to do it. i told him i was very sorry, and that i thought it had to be done so a boy would be healthier. (this is actually a lie. it was true w/ds1, when i was 17 yo myself. by the time i got pg w/ds2, i knew the facts. i cut him b/c my dh had left me and we were having big disagreements about everything related to the child. i knew i wasnt going to do any vaxes, and i knew that ebf meant i wasn’t handing the db over for stbx to take out for the day, so it seemed like if i gave in on circ, i could use it to bargain for everything else. a yr later, out of the blue, xh asked me how someone as fruity (his word for crunchy) as me could circ. turns out he would have been cool w/leaving ds intact. i could have killed him barehanded at that moment.)
so i lied to ds about why i circed. i thought we were done, but i could see the gears turning…i knew what was coming.
“did it hurt mommy?”
i swear i cried so hard i could barely breathe.
i told him i made the dr use a medicine so it wouldnt hurt, but i think it might have just a bit. he asked me what the skin looked like, but i was wary of searching the net for a pic, so i asked him if he felt okay pulling down his pants a bit. he did, and i pointed to the loose skin and asked him to pull it over the head a bit and then showed him my finger and said it sort of looked like that. we looked at the scar (ds is super fair skinned, he has the same scar as his dad, plus a tiny skin bridge).
i told his again that i was sorry, and that if i ever had another baby boy, i would NOT do it again. and he said “if you tried mommy, i would put my hand over his privates and yell STOP!”
i asked him if he grew up and got married and his wife had a boy, would he take away the foreskin from his son. he told me “no way! that would be dumb to do to a baby!”
i feel so sick. i was there for the circ. my ds1 was 7.5 at the time, and he was so upset to hear his baby brother crying in the next room. i feel so disgusted with myself. how can i be the kind of mom who nurses and cosleeps and is so attached to her babies. i dont beat my kids, i try to speak to them with the same respect i want back…and yet, i am the person who caused the most physical pain either one has ever felt.
i feel like throwing up right now.
I so regret having my first son circumcised. I was young. I was stupid. I will never be responsible for having that done to another child ever again.
When I was pregnant, I found and loved Dr Sear’s The Baby Book. I read what he said about circumcisions. But when the pediatrician I had picked out said she recommended it to all her parents, I figured what did I know….
So I let some MORON doctor, who couldn’t even be responsible for a decent delivery, cut my poor newborn baby. Why on earth should a doctor who went to school and studied FEMALE ANATOMY and works with FEMALES all day long be in charge of surgery on a 2 day old MALE baby?
Anyhow–I cried when I saw what they did to him. I cried when I changed his diapers and he cried when the diapers touched him. I cried when the ring around his poor penis got all yellow and gunky. I cried when he cried as the pediatrician ‘inspected’ him for infection.
Why on earth do we insist on having elective SURGERY on our newborns? Why do we live in a society that presents this as a procedure, not an invasive surgery?
When i was pregnant with ds2, dh was concerned about him not ‘matching’ and what would I say to ds1 about it…. I looked ds1 in the eyes and told him that I am sorry. That I didn’t know better. That I did what I thought was best–and yet still need to say I’m sorry, because what I thought was best just wasn’t good enough. I should have researched. I should have asked. I should have done something other than blindly following.
ds2 is intact and we haven’t regretted it for a second. Amazing, when you think of all the years of regret I’ve had and years of regret yet to come over having ds1 circ’d.
Do yourself a favor. Hold your baby in your arms and don’t let go. Not for anything. Look your baby over from head to toe and realize that he is perfect just the way he is.
Like most Americans, I had no clue what circumcision was, exactly. As a child, I was told that it was simply something that boys had done. Instinctually, I knew it was wrong since it made no sense that every single male would be born defective. While at college in the late 1990s, I was browsing the web and came upon the topic. It was a crudely drawn diagram of normal male anatomy and the subsequent removal of the foreskin. It struck me as very creepy and primitive.
A few years later, I got married and soon was expecting my first child; a boy. Prior to finding out the gender of our child, I revisited the circumcision topic. I read all of the alarmist literature on the subject; doctors and parents talking about how circumcision prevents UTIs, penile cancer, cervical cancer, and all sorts of random infections. It struck me as fearmongering. I found out that no organization in the world recommends routine circumcision and haven’t in a long time, with the single exception of when circumcision advocate Edgar Schoen led the AAP circumcision task force. I found out that infant circumcision for is almost unheard of in most of the world and is seen as a religious ritual, not a medical procedure.
Later, I learned that my initial impression of fearmongering was correct. Girls get more UTIs than any boys and are treated effectively with antibiotics. Penile cancer is more rare than male breast cancer. Denmark has lower rates of penile cancer than the United States despite not circumcising babies. Cervical cancer is caused by HPV. The American Cancer Society doesn’t recommend circumcision to prevent any cancer. And most random penile infections are caused by improper care and can be prevented with correct care and treated with antibiotics or antifungals.
Worse, most of this was well known back before I was born. My father’s pediatric book, circa 1975, even said that circumcision was unnecessary and risky.
My son was born and, of course, the most common question asked by family wasn’t (to my wife) “How are you feeling?” or “How is your baby?” It was “So when are you going to have him circumcised?” as if making him a member of the American snipped dick club was the most important thing.
By this time my parents were well aware that I think that routine infant circumcision is a horrible way to start out life. At one point I asked my mother why she would do something like that to me. Her response was, “That’s just the way we do things.” No emotion. No apology. Just a curt response. Later, she told me that their doctor recommended it. Of course he did. He gets paid for it! The doctor excuse might have flown if my parents weren’t in the medical field, but they are. My father is a doctor. My mother is a nurse. In the 1970s, it was difficult for a non-medical person to have access to medical information, but they did have access. In 1979, the AAP did not recommend circumcision. They should have shown less blind trust and done their own research.
I hate being circumcised.
Again, for all you naysayers who think that all men, without reservation, love having a snipped dick:
I’m a man and I hate being circumcised.
I know I have problems due to being circumcised. They became even more apparent when I started restoring my foreskin. I have a traditional 1970s circumcision. In other words, the doctor shoved as much as he could plus 10% in his Gomco clamp and cut it all. Prior to restoring, my erect skin was so tight it was shiny and uncomfortable. Hair was pulled up from my scrotum onto my shaft. My glans, after years of exposure, barely had any feeling at all. The only part of my penis that actually had remotely intense was the small area on the underside of my glans where my frenulum was. Honestly, it was almost like having a dildo that could pee between my legs.
I have been restoring for about two years now. Its been a huge improvement. I don’t have tight, hairy erections anymore, since I have enough skin to accomodate my natural size. Since my restoration device covers my glans, I have significantly more sensation. I can actually feel oral sex now. The extra skin restored part of the “gliding action” (google it) which makes for new and very pleasant sensations during sex for both my wife and I. Still, there are a lot of parts that restoration can’t fix, that are just gone. Baring some huge scientific advance, I doubt I’ll ever know what sex should feel like.
Well, at least I protected my son.
I’ve only been with ONE person. Someone with a tight circ. I thought it was normal sex. What did I have to compare with? At that time, the other women I knew, even if they’d been with multiple people they were all circ’d. So, they didn’t know any better either.
I do know a couple of women who had an encounter with an intact man as well as circ’d. Those women seemed to think that the guy was particularly talentend and experienced. They never seem to make the connection. One of them was with a Romanian athlete. Anyhow, she STILL talks about those months with amazement, a glow in her eyes (she’s now married to a cut american engineer with two kids, two cut little boys ). The best sex she has ever had in her life. It wasn’t until after I suggested it may have something to do with the circ status that the wheels started turning.
The first encounter I had with a woman who outwardly professed the difference was with my doula. She was engaged to an intact man. She called him “super sexual”, and said that the simplest touch would evoke the deepest pleasure. He was easy to please and their sex life was amazing. She was very experienced sexually (unlike myself) and told me that from her multiple experiences that she *knew* the difference first hand.
Anyhow, for all those years after I was married I thought what I was feeling was normal. That it was normal for a man to need such rough stimulation, that to pound away like that was normal. Sure, it hurt, and left me sore, but I thought that was my problem…KWIM? We had to buy extra lube, and that helped somewhat.
DH too thought that it was normal to have a mixture of pain/pleasure during masturbation/sex as did I. Even though things would feel “good” there were also many negative/painful sensations as well. And, he couldn’t O unless there was rough pounding stimulation.
The first so many years after we were married, I thought there was something “off” but tried my best to just put it in the back of my mind. Didn’t want to deal with it…especially as I was going to be having sex with this person the REST of my life. I figured I’d better tolerate/get used to it. As I got older, and pregnant, the rough stuff became even MORE disturbing to me. So, I started learning more and the circ stuff explained it!
I learned about this while reading about circ, then after having a bleeding episode while pregnant (due to rough sex) I started to just get fed up with it. I resented that I had to keep reminding him to slow down, tell him that it was hurting, and I would get so overwhelmed during intercourse I was feeling like I was being raped (seriously felt disconnect) and I would cry afterwards. Here I was, pregnant, and worried that he was going to cause me to have a miscarriage. I am not kidding .
Learning all the information (I had bought the book in conjunction with a DOC book on amazon), it made me realize I was not alone. That I shouldn’t have to suffer these negatives and not speak out. That what I had been experiencing wasn’t really “normal”, well, it was normal for a typically circumcised penis here in the US, but it wasn’t normal human intercourse.
Of course, DH was so upset at first, honestly he told me that I should just go start a relationship on the side with an intact man (I kid you not). Though, I was very reassuring that I did not want that, I just wanted him to be back to what he was meant to be so we could have the intimacy we were meant to. I told him…”if someone told you that you could have better sex and intimacy your whole life by doing this, wouldn’t you at least CONSIDER it?”
So, we started the process of restoration. VERY slowly. It’s already made a remarkable difference. DH went into it, for me , not expecting anything. It’s been pleasantly surprising for both of us. Whole new sensations exist for him that didn’t before. There have also been many benefits for me as well.
He’s definitely not as intactivist as I am, though he will speak out if asked. Not about the restoration, but he is very proud that our son is whole!
I want to share with all of you an event that drew me into intactivism
Back in 1996, I began an OB/GYN hospital clinical as a student nurse. One day, I was enlisted to attend a ‘routine circumcision.’ I did not realize how much that event would shatter the very foundation of a career choice made in ignorance. I appeared in the doorway of the circ room and saw the little newborn boy to whom I was ‘assigned’ for the day. Twenty years-old, and not having kids of my own, I did not anticipate the lurching sensation that gripped my heart. Laying strapped down to a table—so small and new, pure and innocent, trusting, all alone, and defenseless—I walked toward the baby and wanted to grab him off the table and shelter him, to tell him that nobody would hurt him.
In walked the doctor. Loud, obnoxious, joking with his assistant, as if he was about to perform a 10 minute oil change. Not once did he talk to this little baby. Rather, he reached for his cold metal instruments and then reached out for his object of mutilation, this sweet newborn’s perfect unharmed body. As I recall the screams of pain and terro, his small lungs barely able to keep up with the cries, I turned in horror as I saw the doctor forcefully pull his foreskin around a metal object. Then came the knife, cut, cut, cut.
I stood next to the baby and said, “You’re almost done sweety. Almost done.”
Then came the words as that son-of-a-bitch said while he dangled the foreskin in midair, “Anybody care to go fishing?”
My tongue lodged in my throat. I felt like I was about to vomit. I restrained myself. My duty was to then take the infant back to the nursery for ‘observation.’ Here is where I realized I couldn’t do it. I could not be a part of such a cold, sterile, out-of-touch medical model. Rather than observing, I cradled the infant. I held him and whispered comforting words as if he were my own. I’ll never forget those new little eyes watch me as if in a haze. He knew I cared about him. He knew he was safe in my arms. He knew that I was going to take him to his mommy, but deep in his little heart, at some level, I know he wondered where his mommy was while he lay there mutilated in what was supposed to be a safe and welcoming environment.
I made a note in the chart and then caught a glimpse of myself in a mirror. My chest and face had broken out in purple splotches. My next thoughts? I can’t do this. I refuse to do this. This is NOT for me. I took the baby to his mother, who was complaining about ’some pain’ she was experiencing. I never addressed her pain because I left to go to my locker. I grabbed my belongings and hoped that my rejection of this ‘medical system’ could serve as some type of redemption for the violation of that newborn that I cradled in my arms that day. The next day, I withdrew from nursing school and never looked back.
Many years ago, I witnessed an infant circumcision in person at the invitation of a mutilator. He invited me to attend, to prove to me that there is nothing wrong with mutilating babies. He also decided and told me that he would not do a complete circumcision, just a little dorsal slit, to minimize trauma, damage, injury, and blood loss. “I will cut on the center line. There are no blood vessels there.” (Right.)
I decided to go. White mutilator, black baby, southern USA, 1972 or so. With the first probe under the foreskin the baby screams a blood curdling scream and keeps screaming. With the crushing of the center line of the top of the foreskin with the hemostat the baby’s screaming and thrashing ratchet WAY up (he was restrained by tie-downs, put in place in preparation for this human hurricane they already knew from long experience was coming) and when the clamp comes off and the dorsal cut is made the baby begins to vomit—projectile vomiting—the most violent vomiting I have ever witnessed from any human being. Blood from the baby’s penis spurts everywhere. The vomiting interrupts the screaming and the screaming interrupts the vomiting. The mutilator takes out his sewing kit and starts sewing. With every puncture of the needle a new blood-curdling scream comes rushing out, with every pulling of the thread through the foreskin the baby turns bluer and screams louder and harder and finally, when I think the police are going to arrive, or the baby is going to die, or God is going to strike us all dead on the spot—the baby goes totally silent and completely limp. He passes out, knocked cold by the trauma of the mutilating. [Ed. Some babies dissociate and this may be what Mr. Lewis observed] The mutilator can now work in peace.
He finishes his sewing, cleans up, and we head for the stairs. On the staircase he looks at me and starts to talk. I thought he was going to tell me how he had never seen anything like that in his life, that babies never respond like that, or something at least. Instead, what he revealed with his off-hand question was that this was a normal operation, nothing out of the ordinary here. “Did you have any objection to that?” he asked.
I was momentarily speechless. What I wanted to do in answer to the mutilator’s insane question was kick him in his groin as hard as I could and then ask him, “Did YOU have any objection to THAT?” I supposed he would have objected to my reaction, so I didn’t do it. Also I didn’t want to go to jail; I wanted him to go to jail. So I responded calmly, “I think the baby objected to it.”
I have since learned from a reformed circumciser, who did scores of circumcisions, that he didn’t hear the babies he circumcised screaming. He was so intent on doing his work “correctly” that he literally, as hard as it is to believe, did not hear the screaming. Then, one day—why, he didn’t know—he heard it. He heard the baby and knew what the screaming meant. He was injuring the baby, deeply. He’s never done another one.
The mystery of how people can do this to babies and allow it to be done and think it normal gets deeper for me every day.
As a medical student at America’s oldest hospital, Pennsylvania Hospital, I was happy to be on the obstetrics rotation. While still in college, I had heard an obstetrician speak enthusiastically about his optimistic specialty. So now I was enjoying helping to bring babies into the world. While professors provided good background information in formal lectures, my real teachers were residents only a few years older than I was. They took turns talking me through normal deliveries.
Almost every doctor can recall the joy of delivering a healthy normal infant. This joy was shattered one day when one of the residents said, “There are some circumcisions that need to be done, go and do them.” At the time I guess I knew what a circumcision was, but that was about it. I had certainly learned nothing about the subject in medical school. Obediently, I proceeded to the newborn nursery, where another medical student was already waiting. I felt nervous, and he looked quite nervous, too. Strapped to a board on the long counter in front of each of us was a bawling male infant. Beside the infant was a surgical tray filled with instruments. Imagine our consternation when we found there was no one to tell us what to do. Obediently, we put on surgical gowns, then surgical gloves. Then we began to try to figure out how to use what I later learned was a Gomco Clamp.
As far as I know, I made a fairly neat job of it. But my abiding memory of that day is of my colleague. He was one of the more brilliant members of our class, and was planning to become a radiologist. As for surgery, forget it. He was all thumbs. I still remember him, standing beside me, fumbling with the complicated instruments, proceeding to use them on the helpless penis before him, all the while just shaking his head!
I look back on the only time I have ever performed any circumcisions with regret and resentment. I resent having had no opportunity to study circumcision in medical school or to consider whether I thought it a treatment for anything. I resent the resident commanding me to do it, while offering no further guidance or help. In fact, I was treated just as the medical profession treats innocent new parents today. Doctors tell them a circumcision needs to be done. Before the new parent has time to consider, it is all over. Then it is too late to say no, and everyone has to live with the consequences. I was a medical student, so a lot of the responsibility was mine. I clearly violated, all in one instant, the Golden Rule (I certainly would not have wanted that done to me), the major tenet of medical practice, First, Do No Harm, and all seven principles of the American Medical Association’s Code of Ethics. Mind you, I did not realize it then, just as unwary medical students do not realize it today. Now I know there are no valid medical indications for routine neonatal circumcision. I realize much harm can be done, evidenced by the thousands of men who have written their testimony and who have told me personally of the harm done to them. Now I also realize that I violated my patient’s basic human right to enjoy his entire body intact, while all he could do was scream his tiny head off. That was some years ago, but it might just as well have been last year.
The United States is the only country in the world that, for no religious reason, severs part of the penis from the majority of its newborn males. I speak out in the hope that many parents and doctors will read this before getting swept into the cultural madness of routine neonatal circumcision. What should one do if called upon to consent to or to perform circumcisions? Just say NO! In so doing, you will be taking the only ethical position there is on this issue.
Try to imagine you are a healthy, natural boy of age 8 years. Life is good and your parents are loving. True, you suffer from too many ear infections, but no other health problems at all. During the summer of the year of your 8th year, you are told you will have a tonsilectomy to reduce the number of painful ear infections that you suffer. It’s not a great thought, but the ear infections are numerous and painful.
Imagine now that you awaken from the anesthesia and find that besides a sore throat, your most personal and private body parts are covered with a huge bloody gauze bandage. Try to imagine the horror and confusion. At age 8 you are unable to formulate words to express your feelings of abuse, assault, and fear you experience.
Yes, that is the beginning of my story. During the rest of the summer, I was unable to wear underwear because of the pain and irritation to my suddenly exposed inner body part. To the dismay of my parents, everywhere I went I held my pants away from my body to not touch the sensitive, previously protected end of my penis. My most private and personal body part was now a swollen, purulent, oozing, painful mess. I was horrified, humiliated and disgusted. Even my parents, who thought they were doing the right thing, were saddened and sorry for what had been inflicted upon me.
As I grew older, I was embarrassed by the scar on my genitals. I made certain they were always well hidden from view. At my school, we had to have nude showers after gym classes—my hands never allowed any other boys to see how mutilated I had become.
Instead of ‘getting over it’, as I advanced into adulthood, the embarrassment stayed with me, and I was unable to be sexual with anyone because of the shame of my appearance. It was many decades before I heard that others were also unhappy with their circumcision and were seeking ways to restore their brutally amputated foreskin.
What I could not express at that tender age, I now know that what I felt as a young boy was much the same emotion that one feels if one has been raped. Yes, raped. Without my consent, my gentials were manipulated, attacked and permanently altered. Fifty years later, I still suffer embarrassment, humiliation, and emotional pain.
Eventually, I became a Pediatric Registered Nurse and began an intensive study of the surgical process of genital alteration, commonly called circumcision. My only outlet is to attempt to educate and protect other innocent and unsuspecting boys from the life of pain, humiliation and embarrassment that I have suffered. Call me what you will; I know that there are tens of thousands of American men who came to realize the same thing that I did. I only realized it much, much earlier, for the sexual assault happened to me at an age that I was aware and knew how my natural body had been and was attacked and altered.
I am a white, anglo-saxon, protestant woman who was circumcised in the USA in the 1950’s. Some women advocate routine infant circumcision for males while decrying FGM in Africa. I cannot advocate cutting anyone, ever, for any reason.
What follows is my story. Thank you for reading it with an open heart.
As far as I can tell, I have scars on my labia set at 90 degree angles where flesh obviously met metal, and a “V”-shaped scar where a clitoris used to be. An expert on female genital anatomy told me I was also missing my clitoral hood.
My parents are both dead so I can’t ask them for details, but I have pieced events together and it seems to make sense that I was cut in two stages: the labia when I was one year old, and the clitoris and hood when I was six. I didn’t find out about it until I was over 50 years of age, so I lived in a bit of hell for many, many years.
My early photos show that I was the happiest of children — until I was in the first grade (see the photos on my website). Then a cloud came over me and after that time photos were full of anger, resentment and rejection. I lived that way for decades. I wanted to be dead. I rejected everyone and everything. I ran away or pushed away everyone who tried to love me… and I had no idea why. I was miserable and thought it was “normal”. I couldn’t understand how people could be happy and love each other. I had few friends. Although I usually had a boyfriend, I was always was exceedingly lonely. I am grateful that I did not turn to alcohol or drugs. A brush I’d had with an angelic voice when I was a little girl let me know suicide was not an option. Eventually, I learned all I could about healing. But nothing seemed to help me out of my own empty anger and grief.
No one could understand me, including myself. And then — a miracle! — I was wondering why most “men” were so different from most women and I realized that most of the men in the United States had been traumatized, when they were just babies, by circumcision. How cruel!. I was shocked, appalled, aghast. Due to my crisis counseling work, I knew that such a terrifying event could ruin an entire life. I felt quite safe around the people I met who were clear about not cutting children and I began to work with them to prevent circumcision. After I’d been involved for a couple of years, through a series of interesting “coincidences,” I discovered that I too had been circumcised. I had lost my clitoris, clitoral hood and labia. All of a sudden, my life made perfect sense. Knowing that I had been traumatized made sense of my feelings and behavior. A year or so ago, I met a wonderful therapist who was safe enough that I could allow myself to think about my childhood and piece together the memories. Healing the trauma came fairly quickly after that. After 50 miserable years, my little black cloud evaporated. I look in the mirror now and I see the happy smile I’d lost at age six. I am happy, at last, to be alive.
I found that I was always good at handling emergencies, so I specialized in dealing with people in trauma… at a crisis center and in private practice as a hypnotherapisst. This gave me a good background for dealing with my own situation when I discovered I’d been mutilated.
My entire life was hell before I found out I’d been cut, so when I found out, a lot of bad old feelings actually went away.. So I am hoping that healing can begin for many of my sisters and brothers who are still unaware that they were traumatized as children. Until they know the horror of it, and until they release the fear and terror around it, they might just be wondering why they kick the dog, throw the cat against the wall, yell at the wife, beat the kids, hate the boss, and frantically accumulate wealth to the detriment of their own integrity.
I hope this blog and my book will plant seeds of hope for your healng and/or compassion for the overwhelming number of people—both men and women—who have had this awful thing happen to them.
I am hoping to find out, by way of a book I wrote (and this blog), how many American women in the United States have been subjected to female genital mutilation. I suspect there are far more than we would ever imagine. I hope, if you were cut, you will get in touch with me. I am sorry it happened to you, and we can support each other in the process of healing the mental, emotional, and spiritual wounds… maybe we can ever figure out, like men have, how to restore our bodies to their original function.
“… circumcision, an archaic ritual mutilation that has no justification whatever and no place in a civilized society.”
Ashley Montagu (1905-1999), Anthropologist
Mutilated Humanity, 1991