I was always suspicious of the claims that circumcision would prevent disease, despite many people close to me trying to convince me of this. To be honest I did wonder about the issue of cleanliness simply because I have never been with an uncut man before (and was oblivious to the fact that circumcised men are a minority in this world), and the only things I’ve heard said have been very negative–we’ve all heard the bad jokes about foreskin. Being raised in a culture where it is not only widely accepted, it is encouraged–I assumed that the rest of the world was the same. I assumed wrong.
I have since read many articles disproving all of the claims that circumcision helps prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, reduced the incidence of UTIs and so many other things we are led to believe. This procedure is so ingrained in parts of Western culture that it is almost impossible to convince some people to question its legitimacy. Slowly things are changing thanks to some very passionate people, but there is such a long way to go.
As a mother, my own decision making process was difficult even not knowing all of the facts, purely because I knew enough to know it was not necessary for any medical reason–and sending your precious baby to have part of the most sensitive part of his body taken away just feels WRONG. I went into it knowing that this procedure was based simply on aesthetics (and yes, I realise that is a dreadful reason)–I never factored in the functionality of the foreskin–I had no idea just how important the foreskin is until it was too late. I feel physically sick when I think about what I have taken from my boys, and I will never ever feel right about it. It may seem trivial to some, but I guarantee that once you truly open your mind and look into the enormous amount of information there is you will at the very least be questioning what you once thought. It is NOT just a ‘bit of skin’.
And how on earth did we manage to be fooled into thinking that is the case? We are born in our most perfect, natural state. Somehow we have decided otherwise about boys, and it is disgraceful.
Sadly I didn’t feel that I had much of a choice as their father was adamant that they be done; and I did feel that he had to be a large factor in the decision. The really scary part is that even right now, I honestly don’t know what would have happened if I had fought him and refused to have it done, and
I will never know I suppose; but the fact that their father still holds fast to his beliefs (as many circumcised men do to protect themselves) does make me feel uneasy when I consider what might have happened if I knew then what I know now. I try not to bring up the subject with him because it invariably leads to an argument, and we always end up in a stalemate.
There is also another side to this; the perspective of a woman, and the fact that being circumcised vastly alters her experience sexually. I have to be honest, I feel like I have always been ‘missing something’ when it comes to sex; my experiences have been limited in number and all with circumcised men. Now that I have read what a huge difference a foreskin makes to a woman’s experience, I feel incredibly depressed knowing that I will go for the rest of my life never knowing what sex is supposed to truly feel like.
There are so many aspects to this issue, and each and every one can be argued very successfully in favour of keeping our boys intact. My hope is that one day the procedure will no longer be allowed unless medically necessary; having that law would have been such a lifesaver for me, and I’m sure many other mothers out there.
For the time being, I am reading as much as I can find on foreskin restoration. And I want to be completely honest with my boys as they grow. Maybe they won’t be bothered by it; but I have to be prepared because they very well might be. My heart is broken every time I think about it; I just want every single new mother to be completely informed before she makes the decision. Even if her partner is as adamant as mine is, just having the conversation is so important. It is worth it for our boys; and you never know whose mind you might change.