Re: Do you ever feel judged regarding not circumcising?
I always find it interesting when I read a thread and I become defensive of the viewpoint opposite of my own. My son is not circumcised and I feel that I made the right decision for him. My husband and I talked about it at length and read the information that was available at the time and made the choice that we felt was right.
However, I think that that some of the statements on this thread, such as those that circumcise are intentionally mutilating their son or that there is a loss of respect for parents that make that choice are pretty harsh. I can't help but feel upset on the behalf of these parents. While it is becoming less common to circumcise, this is a fairly new thing and it takes time for these cultural changes to complete themselves.
If the intention is to be helpful and to create change, I feel this should be done by sharing information in a sensitive and tactful way. Using the word mutilation to me implies that you are intending to injure the person, that you are purposely altering their body for your own selfish purposes. I think it is clear that most parents that choose to circumcise do it because they think it is beneficial to the boy, whether or not that is correct. Things like foot binding and female circumcision are guaranteed to alter the persons ability to function. Like they are unable to walk or unable to achieve sexual pleasure at all. While it may be a risk that in a botched circumcision the boy may suffer these consequences, most will go on to live a full life that offers orgasm, offspring and normal sex-drive. The intention that drives circumcision is not malice, abuse or intentional maiming. However, I do believe the intent in giving the label 'mutilation' is to inspire guilt, hurt feelings and an overwhelming sense of regret.
Part of human nature is unfortunately to be judgmental. I am guilty of it myself. We all want to feel that our decisions are the best ones, the most educated ones, the most intelligent ones and those that don't make the same choice are somehow less than us. The drive for superiority. However, I think it is important to realize that this doesn't come from a loving place, it is not kind and compassionate to speak from this feeling and when we don't agree with others we should strive to engage in a dialogue that comes from a place of respect, genuine desire for the best outcome and a constant open-mind to receive information that we may not be aware of.
I may have chosen to leave my son uncircumcised but I know I have made many horrendous mistakes as a mother. I love my children more than I can possibly express and yet I fail on a daily basis to be what they deserve, to be the perfect mother that they really should have. Some of these failures are small and some of them I stress about for months or years. I have enough problems finding self-respect in all of my humanity, all of my inadequacy without facing people that would lose all respect for me in my errors.
I read forums to find a sense of fellowship, a sense of community with other mamas. Other mamas that make mistakes, other mamas that aren't perfect, other mamas who like me, want to be awesome for their kids and sometimes fail.
I guess I just think that there is a difference between constructive criticism and judgement. One builds, the other tears apart.