Circumcision–The American Conversation is Changing

For some reason, Washington, D.C. has one of the highest rates of circumcision of newborn males in North America.   Danelle Frisbie, a birth worker in Washington, D.C. started this conversation on her Facebook page:

 

Danelle Frisbie loves hearing from moms who say, “My 2nd/3rd/4th sons are intact – I became wiser as I got older” but hopes to someday hear the same for son #1. 🙂

 

K. S. my first son is intact!

 

C.C. All 3 of my boys are!

 

K.K. Both of my boys are intact!

 

S.G.  I only have girls, but they’re intact too.

 

E.P.D.  If we are ever blessed with a son, he will remain intact!

 

S. E. My only son is intact. I couldn’t imagine anyone doing that to my baby. People would ask me when I found out I was having a boy “Are you going to have him circumcised?”  My answer…”Over my dead body!”

 

V. L.  My first son is intact! In fact, ALL of my husband’s boys are intact. 🙂

 

J. T.  All of my sons are intact, and my grandsons will be intact, too! My 21-year-old has already assured me that none of his sons will be cut, and my 10-year-old son has marched with me at the intactivist demonstrations in D.C. I’m hoping that by the time the 10-year-old is old enough to be a dad, circumcision will be unthinkable.

 

D. F.   J., LET’S HOPE this will be true when the time comes for your 10-yr-old to become a father. 🙂

And thanks everyone for sharing!!

 

C. W. A.  My first (and only) son is intact. =)

 

Michelle Richardson:  I’m so happy for you all. Reading this makes me feel so incredibly sad and downright ANGRY that my first son was circ’d. At least I questioned it and told the nurses I didn’t think it was a good idea. Instead if properly informing me or my severely sleep deprived husband (been up for three days) they drugged me and did it anyways. I’d about chewed her a new ass when she opened his diaper to show me his new raw and bloody penis and his entire body was completely swollen and purple. That moment will haunt me to my grave. I gave birth to the rest of my babies at home and now have two intact sons and 5 children who will go on to have intact sons (hopefully, with me as an intactivist they will).

 

D. F.  Oh, Michelle, I cannot even imagine the horror of that sight. Your poor, poor little man. Thank you so very much for all you do today – so no other mother and her son have to endure the same.

 

Michelle Richardson:  And, that’s why I do this. I do not want another mother to go through unrelenting guilt, knowing that her son had been sexually tortured and raped and skinned alive or another child to endure the agony of the knife against his most sensitive sexual organs when no one is saving him from the pain. My son has expressed a sincere desire to sue, “because he doesn’t want her to do this to another baby”. There isn’t a “consent form” in any of the records. He is 9 right now. When he is able, I will help him win!

 

Michelle Richardson:  I’d like to add: After my other boys were born I’d have sweaty nightmares that he had been taken to have his penis reduced only to wake up in relief that he was still intact. Those dreams lasted for four months (something about postpartum hormones). I’d snuggle them tight thanking God that my baby boy didn’t go through this insane cultural practice.  If I could, I’d have 5 more boys just to populate America with more intact boys! But I have a strong feeling my children will carry on the legacy of not only keeping their children intact but to teach them to teach their children the value of being intact….

 

J. S.  All my children are intact !

 

J. J.  My first 17 years old and second 2 are both intact

 

J. M. My first and only boy intact and perfect!!

 

J. C.   Michelle, I hope your circ’ed son makes his case and wins. Bless his heart.

 

M. M. makes me want to adopt 20 baby boys and start to restore ASAP.

 

L. W. T.  My first is intact as well as my 2nd!! I’m so thankful for obsessively reading while pregnant.

 

D. F.  Michelle, – I hope he wins his case as well. He CERTAINLY deserves it (and much more).

 

L.   – I, too, am so thankful for obsessively researching before pregnancy. It is true – the MORE you know about circumcision, the WORSE it is.

 

S. M. K.  My first son is intact. We had made that decision when I first got pregnant with our first baby 10 years ago.

 

V. D.   number 1 is intact!

 

J. M.  Michelle, – and any other mother who had a similar experience : my heart goes out to you – we all have to keep bringing this issue to light so other baby boys aren’t brutalized like this anymore!!!! So barbaric and tragic, I strongly believe it’s why so many young men act out violently in their early puberty, as a result of coming to terms with their own first interpersonal contact between their sexual organs and another human being. Sad sad sad!!!!

 

W. N.  I am one of those moms. My oldest is 14, and when he was born, I didn’t even know to question the practice. The good news is, he’s so miffed that it happened to him that he is now an outspoken advocate against it!

 

Gloria Lemay:  what amazing brave voices. Everyone brings something to this movement to end male genital mutilation. Thanks for sharing everyone. www.nocirc.org

(I have used full names with permission of the writers.)

16 thoughts on “Circumcision–The American Conversation is Changing

  1. I have 3 boys, all intact–I thank my mom, who was viciously against male genital mutilation 30 years ago when she was having her babies, so my brother was intact and I never even considered it for my babies!!

  2. I have three boys all intact too! I thank the mother of my husband who thankfully did the right thing for her three boys too! Not that I would of circumcised if my husband was, but it sure made it easier to not even consider it or think about it.

  3. Neither of my daughters needed surgical alteration at birth. Somehow they inherited the benefits of over 4.3 million generations of evolution. It’s odd how boys are born defective, isn’t it? I wonder what folks did before there was surgery, soap, or running water? They just let all boys perish, I guess.

  4. Years ago, before, getting pregnant, or even thinking about children, I watched a movie where a character starts crying in a group therapy session because his parents didn’t ask him before taking his foreskin. “I want my foreskin back!” he says loudly. It was supposed to be a humorous moment in the film, but it really struck me – “Hey!” I thought, “that’s a really good point, we shouldn’t go chopping bits of boy’s penis’s off without asking them, they might be upset later, who am I to decide for them?” and in that moment, decided that if I ever had a boy, he’d be left intact, to make his own decision about what he wanted to do with his penis. My husband completely agrees, and our son is intact.

  5. Gloria, the entire northeast region seems to have a higher than normal circumcision rate and I don’t know why. That region is usually regarded as more progressive and better educated. The reason for the Washington area having a high circumcision rate may be because of a large black population. When Medicaid was instituted, the circumcision rate of blacks escalated rapidly and now is the most circumcised demographic in the country.

    Michelle Richardson: The laws vary by state but you may be able to bring legal action on behalf of your son. Your right to legal redress has expired due to the statute of limitations but your son’s rights are controlled by the statute of limitations begining on his 18th birthday. After his 18th birthday, he will have up to 3 years to bring legal action. In some or most jurisdictions, you can bring legal action on his behalf before the 18th birthday. Instead of you being the plaintiff, he will be the plaintiff with you acting on his behalf. Of course, you will want to get an attorney that specializes in wrongful circumcision cases such as Attorneys for the Rights of the Child or David Llewellyn.

    Up until 1973, it was common for doctors to circumcise children without consulting the parents or even against the express wishes of the parents. In 1973, a physician did circumcise a Jewish boy denying the parents the religious ritual of the Bris and they brought suit. The court found that the physician has a responsibility to procure informed consent and this established a standard that your son should have been covered under.

    Until the court case, it was common for hospitals to circumcise all male children without even asking the parents or even against the parents stated wishes and instructions. The court case mostly brought that to a stop but there were cases such as yours where the doctors ignored the law. In other cases, the doctors and nurses heavily lobbied parents to circumcise their sons or hid the circumcision consent form in a sheaf of papers to be signed which were presented to the mother while she was in labor. Certainly not the time to be making such decisions even if she realized what she was signing. This thankfully has mostly come to an end but there are still cases of mothers being bullied into signing the consent forms or even circumcising without consent. With the growing controversy about circumcision and court cases being made against these unethical physicians, these cases are becoming rare. Still, it is a good idea to guard your newborn son against this. The only way we can prevent these rogue doctors is to bring legal action against them and show them and others that they can’t violate our sons without expensive repercussions.

    Frank

    • I’ve noticed that those on the East Coast (at least those I’ve been acquainted with) are very regressive and stunted in their outlook. Seems as if the wave of progressive thinking washes in from the West coast. 🙂 Except for one person, all the women I’ve given information about circ have still done it. At least one of them is smarter than the rest.

  6. Thank you Frank for your wise words. I’ve talked to Attorneys for the Right of the Child; a few years ago. I’ve been in touch with a lawyer, most of you know him. He successfully won several circumcision cases. I always, even from the beginning, (how stupid, young and naive I was)in the back of my mind wanted to sue. I didn’t because everyone kept saying he was fine. I’m about to say something that may seem irrelevant but its a crucial element in this case: When my son was a few days old I consulted a lactation nurse to help me with our breastfeeding relationship. She noted that he was tongue-tied and said it would be wise to get it clipped. With this in mind I saw the Doctor who circumcised my son when he was one week old. The first thing she did was open his diaper and said it looked ‘perfect’ and she was very enthusiastic about it. Then I told her what the lactation consultant said about the tongue being clipped. She freaked out. Seriously, “NO! I WILL NOT DO THAT! HE IS FINE! YOU WANT TO DO THAT YOU GO SEE ANOTHER DOCTOR!” no other explanation was given. Then it dawned on me, she can cut up a perfectly healthy penis but not clip a tied tongue so he could breastfeed better. That seemed weird. Then again, she wouldn’t have to DO it anyways. She’d have to send out for a referral to a doctor who does do them. She really freaked out about it. I guess since there is no money to be made from it since she wouldn’t do it, she could be honest about it. I did find another doctor to see about his penis. It was buried. He was two weeks old. This new pediatrician looked at it and after a moment of silence he looked at my husband and I & said, “You know, circumcision isn’t really necessary. Its just a cosmetic procedure.” After noting a long pause from my husband and I he interjected, “He will be fine. I wouldn’t worry about it. He will grow out it.” This was the first time I get that nocirc seed (other than my instincts questioning it from the moment I went into labor). So, I went from there and started my research. The more I learned, the angrier I became. I’ve written distressed letters to Anna Kawalska (who did this). Every visit to the ‘new’ pediatrician I’d be irate and passionately speak against this practice and ask questions, some he didn’t know the answers to. He’d always tried to reassure me. He even called me on my cell from his house once. Advised me to report her to the Medical Advisory Board Review. I did. Nothing became of it. I was ignored. Then, my son was seen because he couldn’t urinate a full stream and he’d have screaming spells, saying his penis hurt. No mother should ever have to witness her son go through that. It was awful. He was sent to a urologist who said, “This wouldn’t have happened if he wasn’t circumcised.” He was diagnosed with meatal stenosis. Thats when I went to the hospital to search through his medical records to see if there was a consent form. I wasn’t to see if Meatal Stenosis was listed on the form. There wasn’t a “consent form” in the records. I called Anna Kawalska’s office asking to speak with her. The nurse asked why. I told her I was looking to see if there was a copy of a consent form in the records. She looked, said it wasn’t there and advised me to go to the hospital, that it would be there. I told her I already did that and there isnt’ a copy of the “form” in the records. She put me on hold to speak with Anna. When she returned she said, “Due to legal reasons, I can’t talk to you.” Then she hung up on me. I called back. I wanted to know why they weren’t properly informing the parents. She said,”Our policy states, we can’t say anything unless the parents ask.” I replied, “The parent isn’t the one who went to medical school. If they know nothing about this procedure and may rely on what their conditioned to how are they suppose to know what to ask?”
    She hung up on me again.

    I went back to the hospital to retrieve a copy of a consent form to see what it had on it. The head of the administration along with another nurse came to me with a pad of paper to write notes on. I asked for the copy and she said, “We can’t give you one.” me:”Why?”, her: “Because our policy states, we can only hand them out after the mother has given birth.” me:”Well thats stupid, they’re not in their right mind to be making such a life altering decision.” I told her about my experience at that hospital, how I was so drugged that I was seeing angels! her: “Who is your lawyer?” me: “I don’t have one.” her:”You wouldn’t be doing this unless you were seeking legal action.” …sigh… She didn’t believe me, she wouldn’t give me a copy of a form and so I left.

    Went home and called a lawyer.

    Sorry this was such a long winded reply. thanks for sticking with it thus far. Its always an honor to read your posts Frank.

    • Michelle, you may have been young and uninformed, but you are absolutely without a doubt NOT stupid! BTW, you can rate that doctor on Ratemds.com. She sounds like a walking disaster area!

  7. My 2 boys are intact and if the one I’m having in a few weeks is a boy, he will be intact too! The Jewish midwife I had for my first birth told her whole family that they were free to go nuts and plan a Bris but, her babies would not be attending!

  8. I am proud to say that my son, born 02/19/10 is intact, as am I! He was born at a hospital near DC and the OB/GYN and nurses must have asked us at least a dozen times if we wanted him circumcised and seemed shocked when we refused. If our next child is a boy, you better believe that he will be intact, though I worry that if the AAP buckles to the pressure of the pro-cutting crowd, we will have a harder time keeping him that way.

    I have my own theory for why the Northeastern US has such a high circ rate. The elites who still decide social trends here like it that way, so no matter how progressive and pro-choice they may claim to be about everything else, that doesn’t extend to the rights of baby boys to have their penises left alone.

  9. After watching a video, that’s all it took to KNOW that no son of mine would ever be subjected to that horror! Oh, and all my babes were born at home, with no medical meddling. I just wish I would have known about the dangers of ultrasound for our first baby, but thanks to Gloria she clued me in, and our second had no medical meddling at all. Baby #2 is healthy as a horse! It amazes me that some women today don’t even research what they do with circumcision surgery.

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