Intactivists

I was so excited at just 14 weeks pregnant [unfortunately due to a horrific bleed and threatened miscarriage] I was able to clearly see that Noodle was in fact a boy! It was confirmed at my 20 week scan as well as various other scans I’ve had due to both the bleed and the Hyperemesis Gravidarum. After the excitement started to settle that I was going to have “one of each” I started to think of all the differences this would mean. I thought about changing nappies and how I always hear that “little boys will pee in your face” and how he might look different, more… boyish? Mr BP talked about teaching him to play rugby and football and watching wrestling with him on TV. It’s not that we play into the gender stereotypes, he already wrestles frequently with Pandabear and some of her earliest words were “rock bottom” and “RKO” which is just charming as he slams her to the floor and I cringe that he’s too heavy handed with her! I think we all know no matter how much we try and steer clear of stereotypes it will happen, maybe it shouldn’t but it does. I could go on about gender stereotypes but that wasn’t why I started blogging today so I’ll leave that for another day!

 

 

One of the main thoughts that occurred to me was the fact that he might need circumcised. I’m sure my readers already know that I hail from the UK and that circumcision isn’t a common feature here unless it’s for religious [or medical] reasons. The thing is Mr BP, and both his brothers, needed circumcised for genetic medical reasons. It wasn’t done until they were in their early teens and all the proper anaesthetic and pain relief was provided. Why should I even need to mention anaesthetic and pain relief? In my browsing of other blogs I have found a number of our US Sisters – DrMomma has a number of different posts about circumcision and Pandamoly talks about her personal decision to leave her son intact – blogging about being “Intactivists“, I had no idea what this meant or what it was. It was only as I started reading that I realised they were talking about their sons [and other people’s sons] being left intact and not being circumcised. They talked about how horrific it was, how it was torture and brutality, I thought perhaps they were spouting their case a little too strongly and exaggerating the situation. The I watched the following video, I found it on both blogs, I thought my heart was breaking while I watched it. It is DEFINITELY not for the faint of heart, the babies cries are obviously ones of sheer pain. Where was the anaesthetic, the gas to knock him out? Nowhere to be seen…

 

*WARNING* THIS VIDEO IS HORRIFIC TO WATCH *WARNING*

 

I was honestly beyond shocked, I cried through the video and had to turn the sound off because I found it too hard to listen to. I couldn’t understand how the father of this poor boy who you hear talking to the doctor on the video can just stand there and hear his son screaming in pain and not want to grab him off the board and run. Now I understood, I understood why these other bloggers were talking about leaving your son intact and urging other mothers to make INFORMED decisions instead of just getting him circumcised “because it was the done thing”. There are hundreds of reasons as to why it’s best to leave your son intact, the video is just the first. This topic is such a huge one I couldn’t cover it all but there are lots of resources online for anyone who wants to know more – it might be worth starting with the two blogs I linked to earlier.

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4 Comments to “Intactivists”

  1. I find it even more horrific when the parents ‘choose’ not to accompany their child when they are circumcised. so not only are they subjected to horrific, non-anaesthetised removal of a FUNCTIONAL organ but they have to go through it with no comfort. All the while the parents get to sit back and imagine that they slept through the whole thing.

    I’m all for informed choice but what i would say to parents considering routinely circumcising their infant- it’s NOT YOUR PENIS therefore it’s NOT YOUR CHOICE.

    great post eve. i couldnt watch the video, though. i think it would haunt me forever.

    • Thanks Imogen! I’m not surprised you couldn’t watch the video, I had to keep stopping it as I was watching it to catch my breath. I think it’s also the fact that it’s almost not a choice for many US parents as it’s such a “normal” thing to do there… they don’t even think about it, they just do it.

  2. ……. ……. It would be nice if some of the reporting on this subject focused on the many Jews who are opposed to circumcision.
    Some Jews feel the time has come for a symbolic bris without surgery.

    Jewish Groups for Genital Integrity
    * Jews Against Circumcision http://www.jewsagainstcircumcision.org/
    * Jews for the Rights of the Child http://www.jewsfortherightsofthechild.org/
    * Brit Shalom Celebrants by Mark D. Reiss, M.D. http://www.circumstitions.com/Jewish-shalom.html
    * Questioning Circumcision: A Jewish Perspective by Ron Goldman, Ph.D. http://www.jewishcircumcision.org/ritual.htm
    * Beyond the Bris: Jewish Parenting Blog http://www.beyondthebris.com
    * A Case for Bris without Milah. http://www.circumstitions.com/Jewish.html …… ………………

  3. Thank you for mentioning my post : ) There are a lot of great resources to aid parents in making this decision. I found Dr. Momma’s site very useful and also talked to my OB about it a few times during my visits. I have less disdain for circumcisions performed as religious rites (and none for medically necessary procedures), but for the rest of the populace here in the U.S. that does it because it’s “normal,” I feel remorse for the poor infants forced to go through this. In all of the boyfriends I’ve had, I’ve only had two that were intact. It’s sad, and even worse, the fact that it’s done without or with inadequate anaesthetic is awful. The video is horrifying. It’s astounding, too, that infants who are returned to their mothers silent are mistaken to be at peace rather acknowledged to be in shock. It’s an awful topic that really so many are unfortunately uninformed about. One good thing, though, is that many states here are discontinuing to pay for it through the public health care systems (those with private insurance are still covered, though, generally)

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