Circumcised or Not: It’s None of Susan’s Business

Edit: When I first wrote this article, I was bombarded with angry moms and dads from all over the world. People went as far as to call me a pedophile and told me that if I circumcised my son, I was sexually assaulting him and should be locked up in jail. (What’s interesting is that I don’t even express my decision to circumcise or not in this article.)

 The threats got worse and worse and I ended up closing down my facebook for a month because of all of the backlash and cyberbullying.

So before you read this blog, read this: My intentions are not to persuade you, either way, to circumcise your child or not. I am simply asking parents to stop judging others for what they choose to do.

We’re on the same team here, guys. 

If you want to persuade me either way or give me your unsolicited advice, lashing out and accusing me of gruesome accusations is not the way to do it.

Be kind. Offer a study or a link to a reputable source with more information but don’t attack me. 

————————–

I recently came across a post in one of the mommy groups I follow on Facebook. The conversation was about circumcisions and ear piercings.

Circumcisions and ear piercings can be a sensitive subject if you’re a new mom. Say the wrong answer to the wrong person and you’ll get serious side eye and scrutiny.

Here’s what the original poster said:

“Circumcisions and ear piercings only became a problem after opinionated moms got a hold of social media.

Before Facebook, you didn’t see Susan from the supermarket asking if your newborn baby was circumcised or not. Nope, because Susan from the supermarket back in 1996 didn’t care what you did with your child. Because it was none of her business. Susan just told you how cute he was and asked how your delivery went.

So why has this changed?”

It really got me thinking.. why is it such a big deal now?

We’re living in 2018 where we (mostly) have more freedom than ever before. Women can speak out about sexual harassment in the workplace and not fear for their life but have a controversial conversation about parenting and you’re dead meat.

New moms can’t say a damn thing about parenting without someone else telling them they’re doing it wrong.

I always talk about these mommy groups I follow on facebook and how cynical and mean some of these women can be. These groups are supposed to be a support system for new moms but I am seeing more and more cyberbullying than ever before.

A prime example is the circumcision conversation. After a new mom posted something about getting her son circumcised the comments went wild and the cyberbullying was in full force. 

“Genital mutilation on boys and girls is wrong, no matter how you defend it. You are fools if you think cutting babies is right. Goddamn fools.”

“Many people agree that circumcision is abuse because it is obviously painful. And that’s a permanent thing that the child can never undo or make a decision for himself.”

“No permanent alteration should ever be made to anyone by any person, including the parents. Leave the choice to the individual. This applies to piercings and circumcision. Children are individuals – not property.”

This post had over 68,728 shares and almost 1,000 comments. And you can guess it, 75% of these comments were nasty, dehumanizing responses.

Bullying needs to stop.

Cyberbullying needs to stop.

Mom-shaming needs to stop.

Why can’t we all be a little more kind to one another and supportive? As moms and dads, we should all have each other’s backs when it comes to raising our little humans. If you don’t like the idea of circumcision, don’t circumcise your son. Don’t like ear piercing? Don’t get your child’s ears pierced.

In 2018, as a parent, I dare you to keep your rude and unkind comments to yourself. If a friend or family member is parenting differently than you, accept it and move on. Unless someone is abusing or neglecting their kids, we should all keep our eyes and opinions on our side of the fence.

Parenting is already hard enough and having people tell you that you’re doing it wrong is just hurtful and uncalled for.

Be the change in parenting shaming.

If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.

Need a weekly pick me up? Sign up for my newsletter. Due to launch in March 2018.

Email sign up:

 

Author: Smother Mother Kate

Katelyn isn't a regular mom. She's a cool mom and creator of The Smother Mother.

10 thoughts

  1. I don’t know, maybe because we’ve somehow normalized the genital cutting of infants in this country and people feel passionately about this injustice?

    1. That’s fine to be passionate about something but you can do something about rather than bash and bully those who do choose to circumcise.

  2. The main difference is that starting approximately 20 years ago the medical profession and the public learned that the foreskin is actually a valuable, functional part of human anatomy; that circumcision can be excruciatingly painful and have lasting brain and sexual consequences; and that the studies that allege health benefits all have had major flaws. Not much changed on the ear piercing front.

    The reason that more people are speaking in harsh terms about circumcision of healthy children — and it’s much louder and urgent than criticisms of ear piercing, in general — is that circumcision MOVED within the past 2 decades from the category of harmless but debatable to the category of human rights violation with the discovery of new anatomical facts, such as those published in the British Journal of Urology starting in 1996, about the foreskin and about the harmful effects of circumcision. Now, courts in some countries have begun to acknowledge circumcision as a de facto harm, and an inherent violation of rights. Laws are being written to regulate or restrict it, and in the US 15 states have dropped routine infant circumcision from Medicaid because it doesn’t make boys healthier or cleaner and it may harm them. The goalposts of knowledge and understanding have actually moved.

    So, the bolder nature of the debate isn’t simply because of the information age and social media, although you are quite correct that those turned up the volume and altered societal rules on privacy. I’ve witnessed another phenomenon happening, however: when someone posts or comments something along the lines of “ear piercing is more painful than we knew and the child may resent it later” (quite factual) or “circumcision has led to deaths and injuries, destroys several key functions of the intact penis, and affects sexual sensation” (quite factual), some people react with “Stop bullying!!!”.

    The truth is that some people do bully with facts, especially when peppered with their own opinions and directed at an individual by using unkind words. But it’s equally true that instead of simply ignoring polite, factual comments or replying with “Thanks; something to think about”, many people become inappropriately defensive and take every comment that challenges their ideas as a personal attack or “shaming”. To do so is just as inappropriate as the namecalling, and contributes just as much to the uncivil nature of debates. It’s their own conscience shaming them, and part of being an informed adult is recognizing the difference.

    No human progress on inherent rights has occurred without sometimes nasty debate, and that includes the longstanding denial of women and people of color to vote, the denial to marry whom you wish, and other institutionalized harms that society previously condoned as normal. Many people who supported those practices or the desegregation of schools and neighborhoods 50 and 60 years ago, and were challenged, also shouted “Stop shaming me for my opinions!”.

    Children’s rights is an idea whose time has come, and we are witnessing the lively debate.

    1. I greatly appreciate your educated rebuttal. Thank you for replying in a respectful way. I haven’t said either way what we decided for my child but i do like to read the experiences about others. I just don’t support bullying people into your own ideas. It’s not right.

    1. Calling someone a “goddamn fool” for their opinion is bullying. I didn’t even share half of the horrible comments i read on this poor girl’s post. Its America, land of the free. Free to decide what is right for your children but not to bully other parents for their decisions.

  3. I understand that this was purely about judging other’s parenting choices. In no way do I feel you are pro-circumsion based on this article. Last I checked it was still a choice offered in the U.S. Obviously there are extremely strong arguments against circumcision and those who feel this strongly should probably put their energy into making a change rather than spending time venting their anger toward you on a FB page. And no, I am not talking about these comments directly on this blog, but the nasty comments on your personal page that are just nasty. Your blog is available to those who enjoy your down to earth discussions on YOUR experiences on parenting. Anyone who does not care to read it can simply move on to what they do enjoy.

  4. Calling someone a “goddamn fool” for their opinion on circumcision pales in comparison to depriving someone from their human right to fully intact genitalia.

Leave a Reply