Circumcision is a touchy subject nowadays. It never used to be but like everything else we have overthought it, overanalysed it and turned it into this HUGE politically correct (or incorrect) issue.
Let me be upfront, as I'm wont to be. Just the other morning, during an early morning feed and nappy change with Ben I sat looking at his uncircumcised willy. I'd imagine once his BM had signed him over to the social worker the removal (or not) of his foreskin was no longer a concern of hers. So now we're left with the decision - to snip...or not.
I really didn't think it was going to be such a huge talking point. I didn't realise it was going to make for heated discussions around dinner tables nor did I think I would have people threatening to yank my toenails out so I could get an idea of what circumcision feels like.
I had actually done a post a few weeks back but a kind and caring friend suggested I stay away from the topic completely. So I did. But a tweet got me thinking about it once again.
A soon to be mommy wanted to know what moms of boys think about circumcision. She seemed nervous and apologized for asking questions about such a sensitive subject. I don't quite get it. We're happy to pin our kids ears back and get braces on their teeth. We happily talk about piercing little girls ears or removing 'outie' navels. All painful but all okay in the name of aesthetics. Mention circumcision and you shake up a hornet's nest with phrases and words like 'human rights', 'the right to choose', 'barbaric', 'medieval', 'cruel', 'polo neck', 'turtle', 'don't bite, rather nibble' (oops wrong post yet again!)
I have been told by one parent that it is their child's decision whether he wants his foreskin removed. I have been asked to consider the emotional damage done when one removes a few inches of skin off a boy's penis. I have also had people enquire as to whether Ben's Zulu, Xhosa or Sotho because it will be a deciding factor in when and how he's circumcised. Yes. Of course it will. As a suburban mom I'm going to send my son off to circumcision camp when he turns 16...
I've come face to face (yes, bad pun indeed) with both types. And both have left me with stories to tell...though I won't. Not here. Okay. Maybe. But another time. As far as attractiveness goes, neither really appeal to me. Let's be honest, willies really aren't things of beauty. You don't see women walking around with penis shaped brooches or willies hanging from their ears. So it's not about that. I used to think it was about hygiene but a nurse informed recently that if an uncircumcised wiener is kept clean then cleanliness is not a concern. That drop kicked my theory on diseases as well.
As far as status and achievements go, it's not often you'll hear a man introduce himself as 'an entrepreneur, successful businessman and circumcised (or not)'. You also won't hear a man describing himself as 'a life loving Aries uncircumsised (or not) vegan who enjoys long walks on the beach on an Internet dating site.
Circumcision is still done for cultural and traditional reasons. And it's still acceptable. I think. But when did it become such a taboo in other circles? . When did it change from a parent's decision to a human rights issue?
Recently I took Ben for his vaccinations and asked the Sister what she thinks. I also asked Ben's paed (who happens to be a black male) what his take is on 'chopping or not'. Both agreed. If dad's snipped then it's normally better to snip the baby too. But no matter what anyone says or thinks or screams, it remains a personal decision.
So whether Ben gets the snip or not won't be disclosed here for obvious reasons. Even though my skin is much thicker than a foreskin I'm taking the 5th amendment on this one. Let's just say that should you ever be in a position to see both Mark's and Ben's peni (***is that the plural?) you'll be able to say "OMG they look like each other!"
*** not sure what's stranger - that I'm asking what the plural for penis is or that I'm suggesting an opportunity might present itself that you'll see Ben and Mark's penis / penises / peni / peneye at some point