Last week

Last week, I found out that my sister-in-law’s sister left her baby son whole thanks to fb info I shared a long time ago. The sister had clicked the links and read the info. I was so happy when I found out!
I also talked to my grandmother about the dangers of circumcision. She thought it was a parental choice and a safe choice until I told her about the risk of death, hemorrhage and penile amputation.

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Facebook

Sorry I’ve been a bit AWOL on this blog. I do share a lot in Facebook though.

My Facebook fan page

http://m.facebook.com/pages/Coffee-and-kids-rma/342097212573590?id=342097212573590&_rdr

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Excerpt from: Land of Yu-phonia

I did not write this. I love this piece. Click the link below the excerpt to read the entire piece.

Land of Yu-Phonia
by Rosemary Romberg (Wiener)
illustrations by Linda Tagliaferro

I once went to visit a far off land. As soon as I arrived there I noticed that the people all looked just like us except for one thing. Hardly any of them had ears. On the sides of almost all of the people’s heads were small holes surrounded by small scars where ears should be. I imagined that this was probably an unusual breed of people who were born that way.

I had been visiting for a few days when I came upon a group of children. All of them were earless, just like nearly all the inhabitants of Yu-Phonia. Some of these children stared at me with fascinated curiosity. I soon realized why. I have ears. Soon a woman came along and scolded the children. “It’s not nice to stare at people! Now, go away and leave her alone!”

……..

Click below link to read the rest

http://peacefulbeginningsrosemary.wordpress.com/circ-information/land-of-yu-phonia/

No ears link

A couple of years ago I came across a blog that had a fictional story written from POV of a foreign friend and researcher or reporter who visited a fictional town that cut the ears off all the children at birth because they thought it was cleaner and nicer looking. It was a parody of pro-circumcision culture.
I thought I posted it on my blog but I can’t find it. A friend says I posted it a year ago on my personal fb page but I can’t find it…(I post too much)

Does anyone know the link address for that blog piece?
Can anyone post it in the comments section for me?
Thank you
Rox

Found it
http://peacefulbeginningsrosemary.wordpress.com/circ-information/land-of-yu-phonia/

Joseph4gi: blame game

(Side note: I never realized we are the same age. It’s cool)

http://joseph4gi.blogspot.com/2012/12/the-circumcision-blame-game.html?m=1

click the link for the entire article and diagrams

For what other medical treatment or procedure are parents in a position of entitlement to “decide” at whim, without any kind of clinical indication or medical diagnosis? For what other surgery are surgeons slaves to demanding parents? Do parents actually wield so much power?

Aren’t parents usually given the power to choose a method of treatment for their children AFTER a doctor has determined that there is some kind of clinical or medical necessity?

For these reasons and more, I believe Jonathon’s image is a false paradigm. This delusion of “parental choice” is a false paradigm invented by doctors, the trade unions they belong to, and it is perpetuated by the media.

In the special case of circumcision, however, physicians get away with profiting from this non-medical procedure on healthy, non-consenting individuals, by pawning off their responsibility on parents. Doctors push the paradigm of “the great parental decision” forward, and the media helps perpetuate it.

In their latest statement, the American Academy of Pediatrics came very close to, but stopped short of recommending infant circumcision for all infants (contrary to popular belief). Despite touting over and over again that “the benefits out weigh the risks,” they must still admit that the “benefits are not enough to recommend the procedure,” concluding that “the final decision should be made by parents.” (This was their exact position in their last statement in 1999.)

The result is a spineless, non-committal statement that sounds like an endorsement, if not outright recommendation, but is actually nothing more than self-absolution of professional responsibility, and the undue placement of an onus on parents.

Emma Bonino: FGM op piece in NYTimes

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/20/opinion/global/banning-female-genital-mutilation.html?smid=fb-share

Another disturbing trend has been the medicalization of female genital mutilation, following campaigns that focused on its health implications rather than the fact that it is a violation of human rights regardless of the degree of hygiene with which it is perpetrated.

Far from being a first step toward the elimination of female genital mutilation, this trend has only served to legitimize it, by suggesting that the problem lies in the undesirable “side effects” rather than in the violation of the bodily integrity of girls and women. The resolution firmly refutes this, unequivocally condemning any medicalization.

sounds familiar…. I feel sorry for all the children (female and male) subject to genital cutting and mutilation

Beyond the bris: bris prep

Please click the link below to read the full post

http://www.beyondthebris.com/2012/12/bris-prep-what-happens-during-bris-that.html?m=1

Bris prep can make Jewish circumcision appear easier on the infant than it is, which can in turn make parents and invited guests feel more comfortable with what is taking place. It may also make a mohel look like an expert at performing a virtually painless procedure when this is not the case. (A mohel’s skill is typically judged by guest perception of the baby’s experience, as well as the cosmetic outcome.) However, even when some of the pain of circumcision is removed from public view, it is nevertheless a full reality for the infant.

I hope that parents planning a bris will consider brit shalom, an alternative religious ceremony that does not include circumcision. Apart from the pain and possible complications of brit milah, there are other excellent reasons not to alter the natural anatomy. Of course, some parents feel a strong obligation to circumcise and will do so no matter what. At the very least, they should be fully informed of the different circumcision protocols and consider the degree of trauma each may involve.

This is the letter I sent to the AAP reps.

Circumcision for healthy children is not in their best interest. Females are protected from any genital cutting, males need to be as well. It is your job as doctors to protect your patients not actively advocate unnecessary surgery on minors. Proxy consent given by parents is not a valid form of consent for unnecessary, harmful and risky surgery. Death and disfigurement due to medically unnecessary and unjustifiable surgery are not risks to be taken lightly as the AAP seems to be doing. Unless there is a defect that requires surgery to fix, proxy consent should not be considered in cosmetic preference cases like circumcision.

Infants and children do not have sex. UTIs are rare in infants especially makes and just because a boy is intact does not mean he is prone to infection. Circumcised boys get UTIs as well.

The soon to be release to be put out by the AAP on circumcision is unethical and does not put the needs of the child first.

Sincerely,
(name omitted on my blog)

http://www.zimeye.org/wp-content/live_images/2012/01/44-419-1-PB.pdf

Abstract
The World Health Organization and UNAIDS have supported circumcision as a preventive for HIV infections in regions with high rates of heterosexually transmitted HIV; however, the circumcision solution has several fundamental flaws that undermine its potential for success. This article explores, in detail, the data on which this recommendation is based, the diffi- culty in translating results from high risk adults in a research setting to the general pub- lic, the impact of risk compensation, and how circumcision compares to existing alterna- tives. Based on our analysis it is concluded that the circumcision solution is a wasteful distraction that takes resources away from more effective, less expensive, less invasive alternatives. By diverting attention away from more effective interventions, circumcision programs will likely increase the number of HIV infections

Mja phimosis: This link used to work….

https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2003/178/4/treating-phimosis

The link above used to be a valid link. It showed a picture of a normal intact infant penis and an abnormal intact infant penis with true phimosis.
Basically, they showed slightly pulling back… Normally a non-retractable I can’t foreskin when pulled back slightly will pucker like lips and have a healthy pink look.
For true phimosis, when the foreskin is slightly pulled back the lips of the foreskin flatten out and look strained and white-ish and does not pucker like puckered lips.

(these are my own words above as the link above is now only for member use and I am not a member. I am only writing what I remember. I am not a dr or a scientist just someone who has been reading for 5 yrs on the intact boy because I am a mother.)

I found a link that works. It’s for a site in Canada
http://www.cfp.ca/content/53/3/445.full

——-
phony phimosis diagnosis: http://www.drmomma.org/2010/01/phony-phimosis-diagnosis.html?m=1

——
http://www.isrn.com/journals/urology/2012/707329/

“Phimosis is nonretraction of prepuce. It is normally seen in younger children due to adhesions between prepuce and glans penis. It is termed pathologic when nonretractability is associated with local or urinary complaints attributed to the phimotic prepuce. Physicians still have the trouble to distinguish between these two types of phimosis. This ignorance leads to undue parental anxiety and wrong referrals to urologists. Circumcision was the mainstay of treatment for pathologic phimosis. With advent of newer effective and safe medical and conservative surgical techniques, circumcision is gradually getting outmoded. Parents and doctors should a be made aware of the noninvasive options for pathologic phimosis for better outcomes with minimal or no side-effects. Also differentiating features between physiologic and pathologic phimosis should be part of medical curriculum to minimise erroneous referrals for surgery.”

……..

“11.2. Conventional Male Circumcision

In this case, the phimotic foreskin is totally excised. Circumcision is one of the oldest elective operations known in humans. It started as a religious/ritual sacrifice [90]. But gradually it became a routine neonatal procedure in USA and in some countries of Euro pein view of its reported hygiene and cancer-preventing benefits [91]. It cures phimosis and prevents recurrence [92]. It also prevents further episodes of balanoposthitis and lowers incidence of urinary tract infections [26, 93–95]. But it is besot with its own innumerable short, and long-term problems. Pain, difficult recovery, bleeding, infection, psychological trauma, and high cost are seen with circumcision [96, 97]. The literature is full of reports of morbidity and even deaths with circumcision. Besides, circumcision could lead to keloid formation. Possibility of decline in sexual pleasure for both circumcised males as well as their female partners due to loss of erogenous tissue has been reported [96, 98–105]. With advent of newer plastic surgical procedures for phimosis, this traditional surgery is gradually getting outdated. Circumcision is to be avoided in children with genital anomalies where the foreskin may be needed for later corrective surgery for the anomaly.”

Peer pressure quote

When people get immersed in a culture with strong new memes, it tends to be a sink-or-swim proposition. Either you change your mind, succumbing to peer pressure and adopting the new memes as your own, or you struggle with the extremely uncomfortable feeling of being surrounded by people who think you’re crazy or inadequate. The fact that you probably think the same about them is little consolation.

RICHARD BRODIE, Virus of the Mind

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Beyond the bris: post by young Jewish man

Very interesting read: from perspective of a circumcised Jewish young adult male.
http://www.beyondthebris.com/2012/03/me-but-not-my-son-young-jewish-man.html?spref=fb&m=1

Excerpts: please click the above link for full article.

By AL RUBENSTEIN

I am 21 years old, Jewish, and opposed to circumcision. I attend college in Indiana. I grew up in a small Southern town where my family was one of a handful of Jews. My parents were born and raised Jewish. I was circumcised when I was eight days old by a mohel at a brit milah.

My Jewish identity was always very important to me growing up. I went to synagogue a lot, spent my summers at a Jewish summer camp, had a bar mitzvah, and in high school was part of NFTY (North American Federation of Temple Youth). I went to Israel for a semester in high school. When I was a child and teenager, I was always proud to be Jewish, to be a part of G-d’s chosen people, to be in a culture that valued life and not death. I’m also a person who finds the idea of permanent body modification disturbing. I feel G-d made us the way we are for a reason. Every organ has a purpose. Even our imperfections are a sign of our individuality. When I found out I was circumcised, I was horrified.

………

It was difficult to talk to anyone about my feelings. When I did, I never got the support I was looking for. I had spoken to my parents about my own circumcision when I was 16. They didn’t take me seriously. My mom talked only of how difficult it was to get a mohel for me in our location. My dad laughed at my feebly spoken facts. In the end, they told me not to worry about it because it would be a long time before I had children. I felt defeated by that conversation. They made me feel I was wrong—that what I’d learned about circumcision and about the purpose and function of foreskin wasn’t true.

All I wanted from my parents was for them to say it was okay. That perhaps I had a point. I understood why my parents did this to me. I just needed some support. The conversation I had with my parents made everything worse. I still felt in my heart that what had been done to me was wrong, and that circumcision was a terrible thing, but I also felt I needed to accept the fact that I was circumcised and that one day, when I had sons, they would be too.

I finally broke out of the trap last summer when I realized two things. First, that people won’t care whether or not I circumcise my sons! Second, that it’s possible to undo some of the damage done by circumcision through a process called foreskin restoration.

…………..

No matter what, I can’t cut my kids. I will never know the advantages of being intact—how much difference this really makes—but I do know skinning a baby’s penis is wrong. I will give my sons the choice I never had. My boys will feel proud of what they are—Jewish and intact!

I also realized I had to do something about my penis. In the end, this is a very personal issue for me and waiting to make my stand when I have my first son isn’t enough. A lot of my feelings about circumcision come from feeling mutilated and less than human as a consequence of this procedure. So, I began restoring. Through consistent stretching of the remaining skin on the shaft of the penis, it’s possible over time to regain some of what I’ve lost. It can’t bring back everything—it cannot regrow nerves—but it does give me control over the issue. It’s making it so that when I look down there, I’m not focusing on what I’ve lost, but instead I’m fascinated by what I am gaining. It has allowed me to move on with my life, taking comfort in my own restoration.

……………..

Here are a few thoughts for dads and moms about talking to their circumcised sons. If your son ever comes and tells you he is angry or depressed because he was circumcised, be there for him. I think having someone to talk to, and who understands, would make all the difference in the world. Tell him about foreskin restoration and if he decides to do it, you support him. Even if he is worrying about having to circumcise kids he won’t have for another twenty years, these issues are very real to him, don’t dismiss them. Make sure he knows that if his circumcision is ever bothering him, he come to you and talk about it. I don’t feel like I got this support from my parents, but I hope you can give it to your son, if he goes through what I went through.

Future parents—if you aren’t sure about cutting your kids, please consider my experience. You don’t have to do it. I am not saying your child will feel like I do, but he might. I promise you he will be happy if you leave him be. He will be able to live life to its fullest because he will have every part he had coming out of the womb. He only gets one life on this planet. Give him the chance to experience it the way he is meant to.

…………….
A Comment on that article

(name removed)
And an intact Jewish male can always opt for brit milah at any time in later life. To choose milah for oneself after 21 years of age, believing that it is a mitzvah, and out of loyalty to the Jewish people and to millenia of Jewish tradition, carries a great deal of existential meaning. To cut a screaming newborn boy who cannot comprehend at all what he is experiencing, carries no meaning except cruelty to an infant.

Intactivism is NOT about abolishing Jewish circumcision. It is NOT about “forcing” spouses to experience marital intimacy with an unkosher penis. It is ONLY about delaying brit milah until it becomes an informed adult choice. Here’s hoping that Reform and Conservatice synagogues will accept without reservation congregants who had chosen to remain intact.

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Good Intentions, bad results- moralogous

http://www.moralogous.com/2012/02/14/good-intentions-bad-results/

Good intentions; bad results
By Lillian Dell’Aquila Cannon

In thinking about circumcision, I am often reminded that no parent has their child circumcised with the intent of hurting him. They always have the best intentions, often thinking that circumcision is vital to prevent infection or to cement paternal bonding or social status.

Sometimes, however, the circumcision results in greater than normal harm to the child, though this harm is often not seen until adulthood. To what am I referring? Sexual harm, of course. The very nature of circumcision as a modification of our most private parts means that the harms are rarely recognized, and even more rarely discussed. Adult men usually have not seen very many other penises in real life, let alone discussed how they feel or function. They definitely are not discussing any of this with their parents, and even if they did, it is too late to do anything about it. There is a feedback disconnect..

Circumcision survives because we do not discuss such things, but we need to. As a parent, my goal is to do my absolute best by my child. If I knew that something I intended to do might ruin my child’s sex life, I would be obligated to avoid it. In defending circumcision, some might say that “fitting in” or “matching dad” is worth the risk of severe sexual dysfunction, but that is not the parent’s decision to make. The harms and benefits will be borne by the child alone; thus he alone should make the decision.