Finally, I got to attend a moms club meeting, or, at least that’s what it felt like. Several mothers, with children in tow, joined the gathering on the West Steps of the California State Capitol to demonstrate against routine infant circumcision. The primary purpose of the demonstration organized by Blood Stained Men and Their Friends was to raise awareness that circumcision on boys and girls is not medically necessary and parents should not automatically pull the trigger to have their newborn circumcised.
Circumcision isn’t necessary?
Erynn, Diana and Janelle brought their toddlers down to lend their support for the message that infant circumcision should not be routine. It was wonderful for me to hear the metamorphosis of opinion these mothers had regarding the procedure. Like me, when I was wrestling over the necessity to have my son circumcised 16 years ago, these women came to the same conclusion; circumcision is not necessary.
Raising awareness, answering questions
Some of the participants, including me, donned white coveralls with red painted crotches to symbolize the brutality of the circumcision procedure. While we received a few negative comments on our garb, there were many people that were supportive of our awareness raising activity and a few that stopped and asked questions. One young woman, who initially thought that circumcision was just a necessity, listened to the logical arguments against circumcision and walked away with a new perspective.
Circumcisions aren’t like hair cuts, foreskin doesn’t grow back
Infant male circumcision is a controversial topic and passions can run deep on both sides. As baby births went from home to hospital in the early part of the 20th century, circumcision of new born boys became a virtually routine event. Fortunately, the tide of thought is shifting where doctors are at least offering the option to new parents, “Do you want your son circumcised?” In the vacuum of information concerning the implications of circumcision and still somewhat intoxicated with the joy and anxiety of a new baby, many mothers and fathers just defer to baseless cultural traditions to automatically have the procedure done.
Intactivists argue for basic sacred human rights
It is this lack of good information combined with a tight embrace that even infants
arrive with a full set of sacred human rights that fuels the passion to attend such a demonstration against circumcision. We have all gone through the often tortuous thought process of stripping away all the religious, social, cultural, medical and ego driven arguments enabling circumcision to arrive at the singular proposition that babies are precious, perfect and you never touch their bodies. This isn’t about the parents. It is about the babies. Just as we find female infant circumcision or feet binding to be abhorrent, so too should the prospect of irrevocably altering a baby boy be repugnant.
Miracle of birth, respect for nature
The lineage of awareness about confronting social norms in the United States has a long history. We can look back at the abolitionist movement, women’s suffrage and civil rights demonstrations to witness the pure ideal that all people have basic human rights that should never be infringed upon. To a certain extent, there is a spiritual component to the understanding that a person’s body is sacred. Even though it is repeated thousands of times a day, the miracle of birth still transcends our everyday grasp of reality. The forces that bring these beautiful humans into our lives must be respected for what they have presented us. That respect inexorably extends to not altering what nature has given us through circumcision.