Whatever the reasons, I have learned that the concept of circumcision has held a far greater “stranglehold” on the American public than I had ever realized. Medical arrogance, refusal to listen to lay people (no matter how thorough or valid our research may be), and media distortion of scare stories have left the general public confused over the matter. Some people, desperate to find any kind of rationalization for circumcision as the old medical myths have been debunked, have grabbed at whatever possibility of new “reasons” crop up to put in their place. But the biggest heartbreak is that I have had a few people who were otherwise close to me who have been given (and in some instances requested) my information, and then, upon giving birth to boys have chosen to circumcise anyway. I have, of course grieved for the babies involved and for the parents’ seeming lack of compassion for their children. But these instances have also felt like a personal slap in the face to all of my intensive research and energies.
However, despite Ryan’s heartrending experience, I did not start my research being anti-circumcision. I was even undecided over whether or not I would choose circumcision again should I ever have another son. I fully intended to write a book that was NEUTRAL on the subject. I had planned that this book would present the pros and cons of both choices, guiding parents to either direction as best suits their lifestyles.
Three significant concerns surround the issue of infant circumcision:
First, the operation is painful to the newborn infant. Feelings of tenderness and protection surround most of our attitudes about tiny babies. Why then have we considered it okay to strap the baby down and proceed to pinch and smash his foreskin, tear it away from his glans, and then clamp and cut it off? Usually this is done without anesthesia. Circumcision was often deliberately intended to be a means of torture of slaves and in primitive initiation rites. Today, if an older child or adult is to undergo circumcision, anesthesia is used. Why do we believe that infants either feel no pain or that their feelings are unimportant?
Secondly, is the foreskin a useless piece of tissue-an “anomaly” in need of surgical correction? Is the human male body made wrong the way it normally comes into the world? Or does the foreskin serve a purpose? Can we improve on the body by cutting part of it off?
Thirdly, do we have the right, in the absence of true medical need, to alter another person’s body without his permission? Does a person have the right to keep all parts of his body? Isn’t each person’s foreskin rightfully his? If so, aren’t parents who consent to circumcision and doctors who perform the operation taking something away from that child?
below is a link to pictures of a circumcision…. Look at it and realize this torture is happening to a child