live, love, loafe

March 23, 2004

To Snip or Not.

Gordon and I had quite a heated discussion last night about whether we should circumcise the baby, if I have a boy. Gordon wants to circumcise and I refuse to do it. To me, it is genital mutilation and I want no part of that. I am not religious and I donít think it is necessary to put my poor little baby through it.

And why should I make that choice for him? If he wants his penis circumcised, he can do it when he is older. For those same reasons, I am not going to pierce the ears of my baby if I have a girl, even though it is a family tradition. What if she doesnít want pierced ears?

Apparently, though, I didnít always feel this way. My friend Marianne says that back when she was having her little boy a few years ago, I was all in favor of circumcision. I donít remember being for or against it back then, but she has a good memory so she knows. But even before I got knocked up, maybe in the past year or two, I was thinking that if I ever had a little boy I wouldnít get him circumcised. So I guess something happened between then and now to change my mind. Gordon, in his infinite wisdom, says I want an uncircumcised penis now because of all the uncircumcised penises I met in Boston. (Please note that when I say infinite wisdom, I am being highly sarcastic.)

Anyway, despite Gordonís protests and the fact that I have no penis, should I have a baby boy, I am not having him circumcised.

oooh, do you want to hear something very cool? Okay. For my desktop publishing class we had to create a gallery guide for an art show curated by my teacher. Our project was to create a 12-page book detailing the exhibit and each of the artists. The opening was Friday night and while I was unable to attend (because stupid me left my stupid bag in my stupid office at work, and by the time I realized it everyone at work had left, so I was stuck because my money and my ID and even my stupid keys were all in my stupid bag so I couldnít get inside the office and I had to run around all night trying to track down my boss and get his keys so I could get inside and boy was it obnoxious) I found out from my teacher on Monday that my book was a favorite and one of the most popular.

eee! I jump with glee. There I was thinking my book sucked and everyone would hate it and I couldnít believe I was even trying to pretend that I could be a designer or an artist or a desktop publisher of any kind. I guess I am better than I think.

My baby is hungry so I need to go hunt down some food now.

Posted by christa at March 23, 2004 01:28 PM


I may be wrong, but I think circumcision comes from Jewish cleanliness laws. A circumcised penis
is rid of a fleshy hood that collects urine and dirt. After a nite of partying and fornification,
wouldnt you want your son to be able to clean his johnson readily, or collect and harbor all kinds odd filth, bacteria and parasites?

Posted by: DG at March 23, 2004 01:50 PM

I've been with american men who have not been circumcised, and they've been embarrassed because of it. Do you really want your boy to be embarrassed?

I seriously hope that you have a girl so you don't have to worry about any of this.

Posted by: Neely at March 23, 2004 03:27 PM

Actually, just to clarify something, Christa was in favor of circumcising my first baby, which turned out to be a girl. The discussion was on-going with that one because we didn't know if she was a boy or a girl until she was born. So, that was back in 1997 that she was telling me I should do it if it was a boy. By the time I was pregnant with my son it was 2001 and she was opposed to the circumcision. It is rather amazing to me how strongly fathers seem to feel about this issue. My husband and I spent much more time discussing the circumcision issue than we did discussing whether or not to even have a baby.

My college human sexuality professor was in favor of circumcision. She said it was because of cleanliness. Ultimately I gave in to my husband on this issue and my son is circumcised. But I am all for Christa not doing it. The current stats are that 50 percent of boys are not getting it done, so when the baby grows up there won't be any reason for him to be embarassed because half his classmates will look exactly like him. My guess is it will just be a non-issue. Actually, I guess one can never assume that anything dealing wtih penises will be a non-issue, so I take that back.

Posted by: Marianne at March 23, 2004 05:12 PM

I think you should get the baby circumcised. You're not european you know! But, on the other hand I was watching this show on gender and they had this terrible story of this baby who was circumcised in the 60s and they slipped while doing the circumcision and cut off his penis. So -the doctor told the baby's parents that he will never be a normal boy so why not finish the job and remove all his boy organs and raise him as a girl. They did, but the boy never really felt like a girl and was all screwed up. So. Anways.

Posted by: gina at March 23, 2004 06:58 PM

Don't do it. It is genital mutilation. The foreskin has one of the highest concentrations of nerve endings in the body. Who knows what pleasures you may be depriving your kid of. The foreskin is not filthy and it is not useless.

Posted by: Pernicious at March 24, 2004 12:31 AM

I agree with you Pernicious. I do not think the foreskin is filthy nor do I think parasites will grow under it. I am not worried about my child being embarrassed about it either, because he will have plenty of other very valid things to be embarrassed about (mainly his crazy mother).

The human body clearly had a purpose for creating that foreskin and just as I would never alter my little girl's genitals, I won't do it for my boy.

Just say no to circumcision!

Posted by: christa at March 24, 2004 12:18 PM

Well now let's not get our collective panties in a bunch, so to speak. I have a circumcised boy and he is just fine as are millions of other circumcised men and boys throughout the world. This is one of those issues that you agonize about when you are pregnant and when you have babies, and then realize with a little distance and perspective that it is only a small blip on the radar screen of parenthood. Once you are dealing with larger issues, like keeping your two year old boy from scaling the book shelves or leaping off the playground equipment (while trying to shelter his self esteem and encourage his sense of adventure), you realize that the circumcision thing wasn't such a big deal after all.

Posted by: Marianne at March 24, 2004 05:04 PM

P.S. All of this circumcision talk is totally irrelevant because YOU ARE HAVING A GIRL.

Posted by: Marianne at March 24, 2004 07:31 PM

I have 2 little guys and am against this practise. My man is fine the way he was born and so are my boys. It's their bodies and they can choose what they want done with them.
I also don't think they should cut tails of certain breeds of dogs - why cant we just leave alone what we are born with. Only if its causing some kind of trouble should we think of getting rid of something like that.
Too much time is spent on worrying whats "pretty" and "attractive" if you ask me.
Maybe a circumsised penis looks a little nicer but does it really matter??????Do you plan on looking at your guys penis for that long?
If we were talking about a little girl being "cut" everyone would be screaming No!!!!!

Posted by: Fi at March 25, 2004 06:11 AM

Here is some informative and to me fascinating
reading on Bris Milah, the Jewish rite of circumcision. If anyone remembers the Seinfeld episode on the issue, this may shed light on this
emotion packed issue:

Posted by: DG at March 25, 2004 09:03 AM

Maybe if it's a boy, it'll be born without me. I would have certianly remembered someone chopping on me, I think.

Posted by: Morgan Montgomery Schlaline at March 25, 2004 12:41 PM


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