Body, Mind, Spirit Magazine

Abhor the Act and the Perpetrators of It - Not the Parents

By Zenparenting1 @ZenParenting1
Comments like this hurt my heart:
"Parents who circumcise are so stupid!"
"You morons who cut your sons should be strapped down and cut yourselves!"
"There's no excuse for what you've done. Good parents research enough to learn the truth and don't mutilate their sons!"
Tell me, what are you hoping to accomplish with this? Does it make you feel better? I can't imagine it does much more than anger you more. Does it change their minds? I wouldn't think so. It sure wouldn't change mine. It would, however, get my defenses up. And do you really believe these people are stupid morons who deserve the same fate as their sons? Is it really them you're mad at? Or is it the system, the culture, the lies, and the unbelievable amount of really well-written and cleverly disguised misinformation out there?
Here's what I believe: I believe the overwhelming majority of parents love their children unconditionally, would sooner die than hurt them intentionally, would kill anyone attempting to harm them, and are doing their best with the information and resources they have at the time.
Ignorance is not an excuse. Except that, well, kind of it is. Humor me for a moment. Pretend you know nothing about circumcision except what mainstream society tells you. Now go ahead and research it. You will find just as much, if not more, false information out there as true. Add that to the fact that, at least in the U.S., medical personnel are not trained in the functions of the foreskin and proper intact penis care, that medical books published here show, generally, only cut penises, and that most male doctors and nurses are circumcised themselves and you have a population of trusted, "educated" individuals to whom parents will listen and trust the lives of their babes. If they say to cut, parents, especially those who are on the fence or who have been raised to never question those who they see as authority figures, will go with their suggestion and cut. They don't know any better. They're trusting someone (or a lot of someones) who they should be able to trust - who society tells them they should trust. People think, "Well, I'm no doctor. What do I know? They're the ones who did 10+ years in school learning all about this stuff. If they say it, it must be true." And they never know that those doctors didn't actually "learn all about this stuff." They just trust. I don't blame those parents. They've been fed bad information and lies. I do blame those whose job it is to not be ignorant of the human body. Where they live, where they went to school, when they grew up, when they went to school - none of these are excuses. They ought to know better, they are required to know better for the sake of us and our babes.
Abhor the Act and the Perpetrators of It - Not the Parents
Let's look at things from the flip side. Upon being presented with information that would prove a parent put their child(ren) in harm's way, said parent would naturally start to experience the five stages of grief. These stages are:
1. Denial
2. Anger
3. Bargaining
4. Depression
5. Acceptance
What we're seeing when we read the myriad comments defending their decisions to cut are the first two stages of grief. We've presented them with information that is nearly unbearable. Denying it can provide comfort to a soul that has been badly shocked. Lashing out can remove the focus from themselves and pawn it off on anyone else, anywhere else - it's just too much to bear to focus inward. We cannot force them through those stages of grief faster, to a speed of our liking - we can only hope they won't get stuck in those first couple of stages, that they'll be able to move through the process, and that they'll do it before any other babes are damaged. Imagine how they must feel. Imagine the debilitating grief one must feel upon learning they have hurt their child(ren) with their ignorance. The pain, the grief, the anger with themselves and the others who have lied to them - my heart hurts almost as much for them as for their babes.
We are all at different stages in our parenting and personal journeys. Who are we to say everyone should be where we are at this time? Do we want others expecting that of us? I'm certainly not finished growing and learning. I'm steadily working and I'll get there when I get there, but no one can force me to move faster - especially not by attacking me. I don't know what I don't know. Neither do you. Unfortunately, this means we have made mistakes, are making mistakes now, and will continue to make mistakes. Also, sadly, this means that one of those mistakes, for some, will be that they will ignorantly, certainly not viciously, but truly harm their sons and alter them for life. We understand this. They do not, at this point. Our job is to help them learn and grow, but force it we cannot. And believe me, I understand how maddening, how utterly frustrating this waiting period can be. I understand the anger and disbelief upon reading the comments of those who will defend to the death their decision to cut. But it is not them I abhor. It is the act and the perpetrators of the act that I abhor. It is them I work to stop.

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