Genital Integrity is a basic human right.

A educational blog about routine infant circumcision and intactivism.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

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CULTURAL CONFORMITY

I think as parents, we have to make a choice to be part of the problem, or part of the solution. Even if teasing was a huge problem, the solution isn't to keep cutting our sons in order to help them fit in, the solution is to raise our sons with enough confidence and self respect that any teasing or bullying they might receive in this regard can be easily brushed off as ignorance or jealousy.

The truth is, unlike American males OUR age, most of whom are circumcised...babies are not being cut at the same high rate anymore. This year the rate will be about 50/50, making an intact penis as common a variation as hair or eye color. TIMES HAVE CHANGED. If there is any stigma remaining for our children surrounding circumcision status, there is still much more so, sadly, surrounding homosexuality. If someone makes a comment about my son's penis, all he needs to do is ask that bully "Why are you looking at my penis, dude?" and the whole situation is suddenly reversed.

We should all also think about the concept of permanently, physically, invasively---yes, surgically---altering our children's bodies in order for them to fit in, follow the crowd, and be cool. When you actually think about what that means...doesn't it seem not only extreme, but like a value or way of living that teaches him to change himself, rather than be himself? Do we really want our children to think the same, act the same, and be the same as other teens? Is it always safe or sane to do what everyone else is doing?

As parents, we have a responsibility to our children to keep them safe and to raise them to be intelligent, free-thinking, self-sustaining adults. I think cultural circumcision seriously undermines that. As responsible parents, we need to rise above the ignorance and immaturity of the bully we fear and provide our children with the values and mental/emotional resources to be proud of who they are.

When my son is faced with ignorance and prejudice, I want him to stand strong and educate and enlighten, not run away with his tail tucked between his legs, or worse...become like them.

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