Friday, January 22, 2016

Hey! Stop Circumcision Shaming! I’m Not A Mutilated Freak!

I’ve heard the often nasty rhetoric around circumcision by die-hard uncut penis lovers, and all I can say is, please stop with the circumcision shaming! I hear people say that circumcision on boys is mutilation. They say that it is child abuse to circumcise a child. There is, to some, a special place in hell or whatever suitable equivalent for those who have chosen to circumcise their child. Gawd! Stop it! Just, stop it, alright!

Look, I am a 42 year old dad who was circumcised when I was a baby. I do not see myself as mutilated in the slightest. I don’t feel for a second that I was abused as a child. I see no lasting negative effects in the slightest.

At the time I was circumcised, it was a relatively common procedure. For my family, it had nothing to do with religion. My parents were given an option and they decided to have me circumcised. The argument at the time is that it is easier to keep a cut penis clean. And, although I have nothing to compare it to, I do find that, yes, it is quite handy to have that flap of skin gone, quite frankly.
And as far as I am concerned, they did nothing wrong in choosing to have me circumcised. I was a baby. I did not know what was going on. I do not see any drawbacks to what happened. None. Zero. Zip. Nadda. It was not what I would call a traumatic event in my life. I had no clue. I have no memories of it. All I know is that I now have what I have, and I am quite happy and pleased with that. And I wouldn’t change it even if I could. It was a good decision on the part of my parents, I think.

Now, my wife and I have two sons. They have penises, as sons tend to do. We have not had them circumcised. Why? It’s just not recommended anymore. It was offered, we declined, and life went on. I wouldn’t change that choice either. But, I know there are parents out there who will make the choice, and the choice, although quite controversial at the moment, is not a bad one if they decide to go with it. They don’t deserve to be shamed or demonized for making the choice.

I often hear male circumcision being compared to female genital mutilation, a practice that is done in some countries where the clitoris of a female is removed. I would not compare the two in the slightest. I do see them as quite different. I don’t think there is any evidence that female genital mutilation is beneficial in the slightest. There is, however, evidence that male circumcision may help reduce urinary tract infections, and possibly help prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases like herpes and human papillomavirus, according to pediatric disease specialist Dr. Joan Robinson who spoke with the CBC.

Despite this, the Canadian Pediatric Society doesn’t recommend routine circumcision, which brings it in line with similar organizations in Europe and elsewhere. And that is fine, indeed. But for those who wish to go ahead with the procedure at least there is some evidence that it can be beneficial from a health and hygiene perspective.  There doesn’t seem to be many organizations containing the word Pediatric in it that are pro-circumcision these days. The times have changed. But, given the information available, there will be some who still choose circumcision. Is it really wrong? Are we really talking about what some see as the worst possible thing a parent can do for a child? I don’t think so.

Now, I am not advocating that anyone should get a circumcision. I’m not pushing circumcision on anyone. I am just arguing that for those of us who have had circumcisions, the idea that I or my parents are some kind of barbarous freaks and that I have been mutilated in some brutal way is nonsense and a tad insulting. No, make that terribly insulting, hurtful and ridiculous.  It is circumcision shaming as far as I am concerned. Anti-circumcisers are often spouting off about the evils of circumcision…while sitting next to people that have been circumcised. Hello? Are you listening to yourselves? Like, come on! Just….shut up, would ya? Just stop circumcision shaming! Some people are circumcised and that is okay. Deal with it. 

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