Well this is a controversial topic isn’t it? I honestly didn’t know just how strongly people felt about this until about a year ago when we were trying to decide what to do for our son. It seems as though there is no “grey area” when it comes to circumcision; people believe strongly one way or the other, they are either for or against. They are passionate in their convictions and conversations regarding circumcision can get quite heated very quickly if two people happen to disagree.
When we found out we were having a boy my husband and I were not sure what to do. We found ourselves on opposing ends of the argument; he thought we should circumcise and I thought that we shouldn’t. After having three girls and not having to face the decision before, we were very uneducated about circumcision. We weren’t sure what was considered “the norm”. We weren’t sure from a science and health perspective if one was preferable over the other. We decided that we needed to do some research and reading in order to make the best decision, for US and OUR son, that we could.
So we did some research; we “googled it”, we talked to other parents of boys and asked them about their experiences, and we talked to health care professionals. We found that there was information that could support both sides of the “argument”, so it really came down to what we were the most comfortable with. We were confident that we had enough information to make an educated decision and we were happy with our choice. (And for the sake of my son’s privacy I will not indicate which way we ended up going).
A few weeks later, we were at a Thanksgiving celebration, and the topic of circumcision came up. Someone (whom I love and trust) asked me if we had decided what we were going to do, and when I answered, their body language changed from friendly to fierce in a matter of seconds and I was immediately berated by this person and humiliated in a room full of MANY people. I tried to keep my cool and respond to their accusations as calmly as possible and stick to the facts, but this person became more and more aggressive speaking WAY TOO loudly, invading my personal space and waving their hands around spastically. Finally, I lost my temper and yelled back “It’s none of your fucking business. He’s our son and it’s our decision to make.” I felt awful that the conversation had ended that way, and it put a damper on the entire evening. The party ended earlier than expected and I went home disappointed, embarrassed and disgusted.
Not only did it hurt my feelings and make me feel like I needed to defend myself and my unborn son, but this person did not stop to think about who else might be in the room, and if their comments were going to offend or embarrass any of them. It is not a joke. It is a sensitive subject and it is something that deserves to be handled calmly and respectfully. We are all entitled to our own opinions, but we need to find a way to effectively communicate those opinions in a way that doesn’t hurt or belittle other people. Does my decision to circumcise or not circumcise my child affect you?? NO! Does my decision put my child’s life at risk? NO! So then stop the blaming and shaming and have some respect.