How do you talk relatives out of ritual circumcision of a child?

(330 Posts)
UrbanDad Sun 25-Jan-09 14:28:07

A (non=-ewish) female friend of mine is married to a quite nice jewish DH. They have just had a baby boy and DH's parents and aunts/uncles are putting pressure on him to have their DS circumcised. DH is equivocal but my friend is dead set against it. I think it's barbaric - how would you react to a member of your family putting pressure on you to mutilate your child's genitalia? No apologies - it's child abuse pure and simple and should be criminalised. Religion is no excuse for this mediaeval, unenlightened superstitious crap.

Has anyone got any experience of talking moronic religious extremist relatives out of this stupidity? (Apologists for/proponents of/justificants of ritual circumcision please don't even bother responding to this post.)

girlandboy Sun 25-Jan-09 14:37:09

I think it rather depends on how many are taking sides on the matter.

Is your female friend all on her own with her opinion?

But I don't think that you can "talk people out of" something that they have believed in all their lives (and has been a ritual for thousands of years) very easily. They won't see it as "superstitious crap" I'm afraid.

Watoose Sun 25-Jan-09 14:37:15

I'm with you in theory but would be cautious that this is going to upset a LOT of people.

ie these things are what I think in my head but understand that some people think they are doing something in a spirit of love for their child and would be upset to hear it.

How is your neighbour's son btw? (sorry not relevant to thread)

UrbanDad Sun 25-Jan-09 14:45:19

Cheers, Watoose.

It's exactly my friend's dilemma - she doesn't want to cause a rift in the family, but is adamant that she will not have her DS wounded for ritual reasons. Her DH hasn't been to synagogue for the last 20 years and they married in a registry office with a blessing in her church. They didn't care then, so she/I cannot understand why they are coming over all stone-age on the family now.

Neighbour's son doing fine BTW - not nicked anything recently (or at least if he has, he hasn't been caught!). I went round to see them yesterday just as he was going off to a saturday school and he looks like he's doing OK. I don't imagine for one moment that it's the end of the story though.

LynetteScavo Sun 25-Jan-09 15:14:10

It sounds like the family won't be pusrsuaded - ever. I strongly believe as the mother of the child she has every right to have the final say what is or isn't done to her child.(more than the father but that's a whole 'nother thread)

She just needs to put her foot down, say it's not happening ever and be very firm with them. No discusion.

It's interesting that you feel so strongly UrbanDad - I wouldn't have my boys circumsised, but isn't it still the norm in Europe and the US? When I worked as nanny all the boys I looked after were circumsised and non of them were Jewish.

Watoose Sun 25-Jan-09 15:15:45

I agree with you lynette

not entirely sure why but I do

Mother's wishes over father's I mean

very normal in US, not in UK general population

UrbanDad Sun 25-Jan-09 15:33:22

Why would any sane parent ever want to do that to their child? It was once traditional in the northern parts of the UK to paint yourself blue and walk around naked, but we tend not to do it any more because it's a superfluous tradition. The principle applies all the more so if it is something which inflicts needless pain on a child unable to give its consent. If that child in adulthood wants to be circumcised then fine - that's his choice - the same applies to tattoos and piercings.

I struggle to see why this is controversial at all...

Watoose Sun 25-Jan-09 15:35:18

Yes, so do I - but not everyone feels/thinks the same I suppose sad

There must be a way people convince themselves it's good for their child

I've read a few threads re circ. and have neer heard a convincing argument for it - just righteous indignation and people being offended.

nkf Sun 25-Jan-09 15:41:11

They don't need to talk the relatives out of it. They just don't do it.

UrbanDad Sun 25-Jan-09 15:48:39

NKF - you're dead right. I reckon that's it - she needs to convince her DH to get off the fence onto her side, then stand up to his family together and say they (i.e. the parents) have decided together they don't want it. Much more difficult for the reiligous nutcase relatives to cause discord.

Sniggerdoon Sun 25-Jan-09 15:59:37

It's the norm in South Africa, too, or was.

Maybe it's the ceremonial thing that the relatives are really bothered about - rite of passage and all that.

We have come under (mild) family pressure to get DS Christened and the "getting everybody together" aspect of it is high up the agenda. We have just let the subject run itself into the ground by not organising anything and people have stopped asking. But an alternative for us would have been to organise a baby-naming ceremony or similar - could your friend do that instead?

I am dead set against circumcision myself and totally think the mum should protect her son from it.

NotADragonOfCockALeekieSoup Sun 25-Jan-09 16:13:40

Am I right in thinking that the baby isn't even Jewish because it passes down the female line and his mother isn't Jewish? Surely that is an agrument they can't dispute.

Lulumama Sun 25-Jan-09 16:18:31

i am one of those moronic religious extremists of which you speak, glad you consider me stupid and a child abuser

no room for any well reasoned arguemnts with that sort of op is there?

how dare you come here spouting offensive and aggresive anti religious statements and then tell people who are offended not to bother responding

Lulumama Sun 25-Jan-09 16:21:44

it is true that the religion passes down the mother's line, so the child is not jewish, but if you are going to try to talk them out of based on calling them stupid child abusing morons, i doubt you will get far , and perhaps they would no longer be friends, knowing how you feel about his religion

it must be lovely to always be so very right, that you can trample over the religious sensibilities of others without a thought

a very childish and immature way to live IMO , and you will lose more than you gain, by not even trying to understand why heritage is important

foxinsocks Sun 25-Jan-09 16:25:12

yes was totally commonplace in SA (not sure if it is still the same). First uncircumsized bloke I ever saw was in the UK!

paolosgirl Sun 25-Jan-09 16:25:13

What - cutting off part of a child's anatomy without his consent is OK becuase it's in the name of religious sensibilities? shock

I think society questionning this barbaric practice is very healthy actually.

Lulu what if it was a girl and we were talking about female circumcision for heritage/ religious reasons??

Sniggerdoon Sun 25-Jan-09 16:36:42

My SIL is not Jewish but always said she would have her sons circumcised on grounds of cleanliness, she felt it was hygenically preferable.

Not for me, personally, but I think it's up to your friend, frankly - if her DH is 'quite nice' and it genuinely distresses her to this degree, they'll stand together.

If not, some upset is only to be expected if his family's expectations haven't been managed earlier in the day - all families have flashpoints, regardless of faith, if they make a definitive point this time it'll save drama should it reoccur.

Do you feel the same way about, for instance, Hindi piercing rituals in young children?

Lulumama Sun 25-Jan-09 16:37:10

i have no problem with debate, i have no problem with people who dispute the rite of circumcision

what i do have a problem with is the aggressive and nasty language of teh OP

also, female circumcision is totally differnt, removal of the clitoris, sewing the entrance to the vagina pretty much closed, often done in unsanitary conditions and the point is to remove sexual pleasure. totally different

am not going to get drawn into another debate, i just wanted to point out to the OP his attitude and language won;t go down well with the parents he is talking about, and being so rude & insulting about another religion and those who follow it is not necessary

i am not sure what religion he is, but i would , even if i thought it was stupid/mornonic/crap etc, i would be too polite to say so in such terms

i hope the OP teaches more tolerance and manners to his children

nothing wrong with debate, but the language used is inflammatory and unecessary

paolosgirl Sun 25-Jan-09 16:43:41

I'm sure the OP won't use the term moronic to his friend, Lulu, but there are occasions where emotions can run high and language may become more intense. Cutting off part of a childs gentials without his consent is one such occasion I believe.

Watoose Sun 25-Jan-09 16:44:15

'ie these things are what I think in my head but understand that some people think they are doing something in a spirit of love for their child and would be upset to hear it.'

Lulu is right, it was inflammatory and nasty OP.
But I am still unconvinced that circing is a necessary or desirble constituent of respecting heritage.

Lulumama Sun 25-Jan-09 16:44:55

yes, but you have to decide here whether to type the words, you have a moment to consider your language. the OP has chosen not too.

<<leaves thread>>

paolosgirl Sun 25-Jan-09 16:49:54

I see words used all the time on MN which I would hope are not used in RL. Yes, it was inflammatory, but perhaps this is level of language that is needed to get this debate going. It's an awful practice which has no place in a civilised society. If an adult wants his foreskin removed for whatever reason, fine, but to inflict it on a child - appalling.

Lulumama Sun 25-Jan-09 16:51:34

you don;t have to be aggressive or abusive to start a reasonable, intelligent debate. nor should you try to stifle debate by telling people not to post if they don;t agree with the OP,

the words used were not meant to start an intelligent discussion, but to inflame and to make a nasty point

<<really leaves!>>

bloss Sun 25-Jan-09 16:51:53

Message withdrawn

paolosgirl Sun 25-Jan-09 16:52:44

Again, I think emotions are obviously running high with the OP. With just cause.

Watoose Sun 25-Jan-09 16:53:00

I wish someone would argue convincingly for circumcision. It might help me feel less wretched whenever I see mention of it. sad

Watoose Sun 25-Jan-09 16:54:33

I think the OP was shocking and rude and probably unnecessary - there've bene plenty of debates on this subject without such abject lack of politeness/ extreme language.

paolosgirl Sun 25-Jan-09 16:55:42

There IS no convincing arguement. History, religious sensiblities, external markers - nothing justifies circumcision of a child who has no say in the matter.

ComeOVeneer Sun 25-Jan-09 17:04:10

OK I post as a non jewish woman married to a south african jewish man, we have a dd and then 3 years later a ds. I was terrified about having to deal with the issue of a briss. We had long heart felt discussions about this - ds looking like dh, the hygiene/health issue (largely dismissed by dh's jewish american doctor relatives), the cultural/religious thing. I stood back and told dh I would stand by his decision (as I knew he would make the right one) as I didn't want to cause problems, and sure enough ds is now 4 and fully intact.

It is a very emotive and difficult issue, and where religious issues are concened it is hard to put your point across withou becoming offensive. A tough situation to be in.

Desiderata Sun 25-Jan-09 17:07:58

Defininately butt out. It's none of your business at all, I'm afraid.

I don't find male circumcision barbaric at all. I've had a couple of circumsized boyfriends over the years, and I think it's nice, personally, especially from a hygiene point of view.

You just have to accept that different cultures do things their own way. Some people don't get the aardvark's snout wink

BlameItOnTheBogey Sun 25-Jan-09 17:09:15

I'm with Lulumama. What a nasty and inflamatory post (regardless of what you think of the issue). I'm in a mixed faith marriage and wouldn't want to be friends with someone who secretly thinks this way about DH's faith. To my mind, it's also clear that, in a mixed faith relationship, these are the kinds of issues which need to be dealt with before you get married. It's too late to start debating this once the child is here....

Watoose Sun 25-Jan-09 17:13:33

CoV well done for coming to an amicable agreement. That sounds really positive.

rolandbrowning Sun 25-Jan-09 17:19:21

Surely the parents must have discussed how they both felt about circumcision before?

UrbanDad Sun 25-Jan-09 17:27:35

I don't think the language I used was intemperate when it was directed at people who are outside a family wanting to interfere and put pressure on parents to cause needless pain to a small child, especially when their "tribal" rituals don't seem to matter one jot the rest of the time.

NotADragonOfCockALeekieSoup Sun 25-Jan-09 17:30:15

But it wasn't directed at the DH's family, it was directed at every Jewish person who has chosen to circumcise as per their religion.

UrbanDad Sun 25-Jan-09 17:34:34

P.S. I wanted to avoid having the "is circumcision OK?" debate. My view is that it is definitely not (no apologies for religious sensibilities). What I was looking for was people's experience in talking relatives out of putting pressure on an unwilling parent to mutilate their child.

I just marvel that we have the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 and nothing corresponding for males, but it should in my view be a criminal offence.

paolosgirl Sun 25-Jan-09 17:36:15

Removing part of a child's anatomy without their consent under the name of religion is wrong.
Just because some Jewish people choose to do this to their babies does not make it right in any way shape of form.

paolosgirl Sun 25-Jan-09 17:36:56

or form

ComeOVeneer Sun 25-Jan-09 17:37:06

Ok maybe I am naive (quite possibly as dh and I were engaged at 18 although not married until 27) but we really didn't think about the religious, child rerin aspects until we were expecting. Is that so unusual?

Lulumama Sun 25-Jan-09 17:37:11

you addressed your comments to every single jewish person, myself included, and i have explained why it is offensive and unecessary.

you knew exactly what response you would get with your OP hence telling 'apologists' not to post

you don;t wish to engage, but to offend as a far less inflammatory OP would have been

'I am concerned my friends are going to circumcise their son, I am very much against this rite and would like some ideas of how to disucss this with them, without offending their religious sensibilities but still getting across my point'

rather than labelling all jews religious extremist moronic child abusers

nkf Sun 25-Jan-09 17:37:56

I don't see that there is any talking out to do. It has to be done by doctors doesn't it? Some relative can't do it in the front room. It's really for your friend and her husband and if she is opposed and he is equivocal, I'd put my money on her.

Lulumama Sun 25-Jan-09 17:38:28

if you were simply looking for some advice of how to talk them out of it, you would not have used the language you have used.

female and male circumcision are from two totally different standpoints, as i posted earlier

<<why am i coming back to this???>>

BlameItOnTheBogey Sun 25-Jan-09 17:43:00

<<as an aside, NKF, it doesn't have to be done by a doctor. A bris can be carried out by a rabbi, normally at home>>

Desiderata Sun 25-Jan-09 17:43:37

Good on you, Lulu!

Sorry, Urban, but to equate male circumcision to barbaric mutilation is just ridiculous. And if you're not having a side pop at the jews, then I don't know who is.

As I said, butt out. There's nothing wrong with a circumsized penis. I prefer them, as a matter of fact.

paolosgirl Sun 25-Jan-09 17:48:07

Good for you Desi. I'm so glad that you prefer a penis without a foreskin.

However, they get like that because an 8 day old baby has his foreskin removed, not always by a doctor, and not always under anaesthetic, and certainly not with his consent.

Is that still OK with you now?

cazboldy Sun 25-Jan-09 17:48:30

I get where you are coming from.... If he was devout and followed every aspect of the religion, then it would make more sense. My sil has children with her muslim boyf.

I have no problems at all with people who have a religion, but what I have a problem with are people who choose "bits" from a religion, and only follow which ever parts are easy.... In my sil's case they had their baby boy circumcised sad

I do not understand why...... If he was a devout muslim, surely he wouldn't have dc out of wedlock with a non musilm woman in he first place?

It makes me so angry that she didnt stand up to him

paolosgirl Sun 25-Jan-09 17:49:25

Oh - and there are men out there who prefer THEIR females circumcised. Somehow that doesn't seem quite so right, does it?

tumtumtetum Sun 25-Jan-09 17:55:37

There is a difference in sexual feeling (for want of a better word) between circumcised and uncircumcised men though isn't there?

At least the conversations between the boys at my school certainly seemed to indicate that!

FWIW my acquaintance who is married to a Jewish man had this issue - his argument was that it was more hygenic. Not sure what happened in the end though.

I think that there isn't an argument past, it's part of the religion, a very important part, which has gone on for, well, ages.

Your friend and her DH need to think it through together. I don't think outside views will help. She will not be able to present a logical argument why not which will work - because it's not to do with logic it's to do with religion.

UrbanDad Sun 25-Jan-09 18:08:11

There are several religions which practise genital mutilation on children and TBH judaism is probably one of the less harmful of them - I'm not singling one religious/tribal/traditional group out (although in my friend's case it happens to be that religion and BTW there is far from unanimity in that religion about whether it is right to do it).

Comments which are SO totally beside the point:
1. I prefer circumcised penises (?) - Well let the baby decide when he's an adult if he agrees, then. You have the ability to express a preference, what about the poor child?
2. I am X religion and I am horribly offended by what you have said and it it is an insult to us all because my people have done nasty things to children for many thousands of years, so I don't need to think about it and anyway the sky will fall in if we question it now. Well, if you're happy and you can live with your own conscience, why make such a big issue out it?
3. It's not the same thing as female genital mutilation. You're spot on - it is in fact male genital mutilation.
4. You won't convince people who have a deep-seated reigious belief. It's about sheltering a family who does not have that belief from its imposition from outside. If it were criminalised, then we wouldn't need to convince them.

I think I've already got the answer though - her DH needs to stand shoulder to shoulder with his DW against the relatives and if he doesn't, he has to take the consequences.

LynetteScavo Sun 25-Jan-09 18:20:15

None of my circumcised ex-boyfriends have considered themselves "mutilated" - believe me. grin

nkf Sun 25-Jan-09 18:28:23

Are you serious about how it's done? At home? Without anaesthetic? By a Rabbi?

UrbanDad Sun 25-Jan-09 18:28:53

LS - of course they don't regard themselves as mutilated - they've never known anything different and it has probably happened to the rest of their male family, so it has been completely normalised. I suspect you'd get a different answer if you asked uncircumcised men whether they wanted it done.

The argument is never going to be about whether it is right or wrong - it's about whether you believe in reason or religion.

I haven't got the patience to argue the side of reason with you lot any more. Turn the light out when you've finished please...

Monkeytrousers Sun 25-Jan-09 18:32:43

I think you can just stand by your beliefs and state them. Sometimes its better just to state something calmly rather than demand your are listened to. You plant a seed it might grow. If you try and shove it down their throats they'll just resent it.

ComeOVeneer Sun 25-Jan-09 18:33:09

Going back to the OP, the fact that the man in question has married a non-jewish woman and the family are still involved with each other would indicage the family is not ultra religious (as my dh's) and therefore can be talked around.

Am still bemused what the hell it has to do with the OP though anyway.

nkf Sun 25-Jan-09 18:34:40

Also, COV, the baby isn't Jewish surely.

hester Sun 25-Jan-09 18:41:22

I'm Jewish. I would choose to not circumcise. I find the OP's post offensive and really unhelpful to his friend who is in, we can all agree, a difficult situation.

SoupDragon Sun 25-Jan-09 18:54:12

UrbanDad, female circumcision has more in common with cutting off a penis than it does with male circumcision. You simply can not compare the two.

Lulumama Sun 25-Jan-09 19:01:08

urbandad, i think, wanted a good old anti Jewish rant. if he had wanted a calm and reasoned discussion, he would not have phrased his OP thus

having found that he did not meet with a chorus of approval, he has decided the thread is not to his liking.

how very worthwhile

Watoose Sun 25-Jan-09 19:04:05

Lulu, I'm sorry you and others were upset by it.

I don't pretend to understand the true motive of OP but I don't think it was big or clever. And I am anti circ as you know.

cautious smile

nkf Sun 25-Jan-09 19:13:07

People will rarely understand this. If you are not Jewish then circumcision is really hard to understand. And if you are, then presumably you don't see what the non believers are objecting to.

scifinerd Sun 25-Jan-09 19:19:08

Lulu I totally agree with everything you have said on here. A reasoned debated about circumcision is one thing but the language here is incredibly defensive and far removed from reasoned debate. And paolo's girl how many times does Lulu have to explain the difference between male and female circumcision?

The issue is far from back and white but as ever uninformed people will remain suoerglued to their soapbox with their fingers in their ears. I saw the world in balck and white when I was a teenager but I have grown up since then.

nkf Sun 25-Jan-09 19:21:29

He wasn't asking for a reasoned debate. What he didn't seem to realise is that to ask for no responses always invites them.

memoo Sun 25-Jan-09 19:21:51

I agree that it shouldn't be carried out for religious reasons but it can't be outlawed as Some people have to have their son circumsised because of medical reasons

I think people need to be careful about what they say sometimes, 'mutilating' is slightly insensitive and hurtful to the parents who have had no choice and acted only in the best interst of their child

tumtumtetum Sun 25-Jan-09 19:28:38

It is so difficult because there aren't any other practices (which I can think of) which are in any way similar, in that:

They are a traditional religious thing

They don't actually cause any lasting damage (I know that lots of men are very fond of their foreskins, but sexual function and pleasure are in no way impaired)

It is on the face of it pretty cruel, but it is very quick and very rarely leads to any complications

So it's not dangerous and has no long term implications - although must be pretty unpleasant for the baby at the time.

So really it's not the end of the world?

I can think of far worse things to get worked up about...

And we do inflict pain on children in our society to ensure they conform to societal norms - correcting very minor hare lips springs to mind. That is purely aesthetic and to do with how much our society values looks, so not very edifying really.

nkf Sun 25-Jan-09 19:30:19

Hair lips can cause problems though. With feeding and speech. The foreskin never did any harm.

Lulumama Sun 25-Jan-09 19:30:45

i was only angry at the language used by the OP , and the intimation that female genital mutilation is even equatable to male circumcision.

usually i avoid circumcision threads, but this one was started with such a nasty OP, i felt i had to comment.

smile back at you !

memoo Sun 25-Jan-09 19:33:19

NKF, foreskin can do harm sometimes.

I had to have my DS circumsises when he was 22 months because he had to much foreskin and had repeated infections on his penis because of this. He was in agony because of it

Is this mutilation or a medical procedure?

nkf Sun 25-Jan-09 19:34:39

Okay but there was a problem and it was dealt with. In the same way, we remove an infected appendix. I'd say it was a medical procedure. What do you think?

tumtumtetum Sun 25-Jan-09 19:35:39

I was thinking specifically of hare lips which cause no physical problems. I am aware that they can relate to very big problems but some where just the lip is affected with no physical side effects will still be "corrected".

It was the only example I could think of but I think works. We accept what we see as the norm in our society without question, when in anotehr society it would be deemed cruel.

I would also think that when you marry someone Jewish you ought to think about these things first. If I was going to marry someone of a different religion I would make very sure I knew what was expected/normal/could cause problems.

WEESLEEKITLauriefairycake Sun 25-Jan-09 19:36:12

Genuine question - which part of the OP's original post do you think is anti-Jewish ?

I can only see the bit about being anti-religious by calling it "mediaeval, unelightened superstitious crap" and "moronic religious extremist relatives"?

memoo Sun 25-Jan-09 19:36:56

I do think its a medical procedure but my point is that people need to be more sensitive to these issues because they are going to upset a lot of people like me who did it only for medical reasons.

The op was wrong to use terms like mutilated

nkf Sun 25-Jan-09 19:37:49

People can revert to type a bit when they have children. She might have msrried a secular minded Jewish man who became more traditional when his son was born.

Lulumama Sun 25-Jan-09 19:41:35

basically, the OP was saying Jews who choose to carry out the ancient ritual of male circumcision are religious extremist moronic child abusing criminals. i kind of take that as an anti Jewish OP. even if you can say it is not anti Jewish , it was nasty, agressive.. etc etc etc

the OP has only posted 2 other threads on MN so is eitehr new or a name changer, and bearing in mind the heated middle east debates/israel/gaze threads with some pretty heated debates re anti semitism/anti zionism, i wonder if this was a bit of under the radar trolling/stirring

memoo Sun 25-Jan-09 19:45:16

I agree with Lulu, don't let OP's ignorant and ill informed comments get to you Lulu

Lulumama Sun 25-Jan-09 19:51:40

thanks memoo smile i am going to find a nice , safe childbirth thread !

memoo Sun 25-Jan-09 19:55:53

might join you Lulu

Claire236 Sun 25-Jan-09 20:05:23

My ds had to have an op when he was about 18 months old which means it now looks as if he's been circumcised. Having seen the pain that caused my poor baby there's no way I will ever understand why people would do that to their children voluntarily. If someone came on here & said they'd deliberately caused a child that sort of pain everyone would call it abuse so why is it ok if it's for religious reasons.

MegBusset Sun 25-Jan-09 20:07:54

"sexual function and pleasure are in no way impaired"

This is simply not true in all cases. I had a Jewish ex who found it almost impossible to ejaculate because of the desensitisation.

There are plenty of (very sad) stories of men who have gone through life with sexual problems because of this choice of their parents. Not something I could ever live with inflicting on my own child.

tumtumtetum Sun 25-Jan-09 20:33:38

Yes and a baby died near where I live locally recently.
On the other hand for millions of people there are no problems.
Our society does things to children which carry risk for the sake of cosmetics.

I just don't think it's right to be so judgemetal about something which is, in the scheme of things, maybe not such a huge deal.

Incidentally I am an athiest and so actually have no truck any kind of religious tradition/ceremeny/belief, I just thought the tone of the OP was really nasty and after all there are much worse things done in the name of religion, in this country, for us to get het up about.

bloss Sun 25-Jan-09 20:40:53

Message withdrawn

bloss Sun 25-Jan-09 20:42:59

Message withdrawn

MegBusset Sun 25-Jan-09 20:45:48

This is a heartbreaking article featuring several men who would certainly not have wished to be circumcised.

I don't give a toss what people do to themselves in the name of religion. I do care when it impacts on other people who have not consented.

tumtumtetum Sun 25-Jan-09 20:46:53

ROFL @ "Improved appearance and sexual appeal"!

Sounded pretty convincing until it hit that rather random subjective note at the end grin

Monkeytrousers Sun 25-Jan-09 21:07:38

The OP wasnt anti-jewish; just anti-circumcison and anti-relgious reasons for it. It just so happens that the person he was talking about was Jewish though. He said, "Religion is no excuse for this mediaeval, unenlightened superstitious crap.". He didn't say 'those jewish pigs are peddling mediaeval, unenlightened superstitious crap" That would have been antisemetic.

tumtumtetum Sun 25-Jan-09 21:13:12

I don't know about that. He said that a Jewish person wanted to circumcise their child and that that was child abuse.

It was an unnecessarily inflammatory OP which many on MN could have been easily offended by.

There are better ways to have asked the question.

Monkeytrousers Sun 25-Jan-09 21:17:40

Well circumcision on an infant might constitue abuse. The fact they were Jewish is by the by.

I really do not think people should monitor their language to such a degree. Anyone could easily get offended at anything. On MN they seem to too often.

This is mumsnet not netmums.

Agree with Lulu re: OP's intolerance to religion. Quite good at citing legislation re: female gentalia hmm. Try looking at definition in legislation for religious hate crimes...

Has your friend actually asked you for advice?

I would think not for a number of reasons. First she is married to a man who is not opposed to his son going through a bris which is religious ceremony. This means that he is either a practicing Jew or at least is open to the idea (if nothing else, because he wishes to carry on the tradition)

Now, if I was married to such a man, I probably wouldn't ask someone so antagonstic to my husband's beliefs for advice...

Call social services and see how far you get if you genuinely think this is child abuse.

mamamila Sun 25-Jan-09 21:28:33

i'm not jewish but dp is muslim and there's no doubt that if the next baby is a boy he must be circumcised. my only concern is that here in uk it's regarded as 'mutilation' and there isn't the choice for circumcision in the hospital soon after birth as in usa and many other countries. if we're directed to a mosque it's not going to happen! even if we were to go to a private clinic i still feel it's awful to delay.
definitely in the muslim culture the issue is about cleanliness and i totally agree

Sazlocks Sun 25-Jan-09 21:30:47

very difficult issue, I am in a mixed faith marriage and faced this with my DS. We decided that he would not have a bris which antagonised my family and he would not be christened wwhich antagonised my DH family.A year one everyone has pretty much accepted it and they certainly shut up pretty quickly whenever they ask is he not going to be christened then and I say no and neither is he going to be circumcised and vice versa.......
I find it hard to imagine that the people the OP is talking about have not discussed this issue already.

mamamila Sun 25-Jan-09 21:37:43

hadn't finished..totally agree with bloss post, there are many practical and hygenic reasons and i heard of the hiv study in Tanzania/Kenya that found significantly lower rates of transmission in circumcised men. agree on the aesthetics too wink

on re-reading the op i think his hysteria is quite bizarre and it's none of his business really. he'll obvioulsy just alienate his friends with his 'stance'. i think he should direct his abuse radar at detecting real abuse, drama queen!

Watoose Mon 26-Jan-09 07:21:41

Bloss. Thanks, but the study you linked to was a telephone survey?

The referenced article was written by a man who provides circumcision and is paid for this service - he references his own website among various pubmed articles I cannot access.

I'm not utterly convinced that these prove anything or are in any way unbiased - sorry.

Watoose Mon 26-Jan-09 07:27:03

I want to edit that - i am not certain if he performs circs, i haven't time to read it all - but he hosts a website which is wholly pro circ and very dismissive of anti circ 'fiction' and 'nonsense' hmm

So I'm not prepared to see his article/letter as the full picture as he is obviously heavily biased.

Lulumama Mon 26-Jan-09 09:44:07

i find it really bizarre that i personally object to the language of the OP and am basically told that my feelings are irrelevant and i should go to netmums???

what happened to respect? i found the OP offensive, and am not one for getting het up about lanuage on the whole, but the tone and the words used were offensive to me

mumsnet is a place for robust debate, but not for calling jewish people child abusers, IMO, but for finding the OP offensive I should leave MN


Watoose Mon 26-Jan-09 09:57:01

I think some people see mN as somewhere they've license to be downright rude in the name of 'honesty'.

I don't agree, I think respectful language ought always to be adhered to where possible.

Lulu - there are a lot of people on this thread who agree with you...

onager Mon 26-Jan-09 11:06:53

I think the poster who suggested they opt for some ceremony that would mark the day without cutting the child has the right idea.

Perhaps someone can find figures, but I gather a common way is to have a party and have a priest of some kind cut the baby in front of everyone in the living room. I'm talking about in the UK.

If I saw someone cutting a child in their home without anaesthetic I'd stop them and call the police/social services. As far as I'm concerned it's already illegal and such things are just ignored to placate the religious. Is there a specific law agaisnt cutting fingers off if I happened to start a religion which required it?

'i heard of the hiv study in Tanzania/Kenya that found significantly lower rates of transmission in circumcised men'

Really? I'm sorry but that sounds like guff to me.

And Dragon is right, this child is not Jewish as this passes through the female line.

Monkeytrousers Mon 26-Jan-09 11:10:38

Lulu, please. I did not tell you to go to Netmums.

And there is no mention in my post that your "feelings are irrelevant". If you are referring to someone else, it would be good if you would make that distinction in the sentence.

Yopu found the OP offensive. Me not finding it offensivce doesn't devalue your experience and feelings on it. We've both voiced our opinions. Thats good.

The OP said he thought circumsition was child abuse. He did not say 'jews are child abusers becasue they circumsise children'.

Mn is a robust place. If someone was being genuinely racisr you'd see that.

And I say this after all the palava on the Gaza threads saying Isreal are entitled to defend themselves. Now on this thread, I suppose I'm alingned with antisemitism for trying to explain why the OP wasn;t racist, imo. If theres one thing than MN isn't, its consistant. We seem to go bakc to year zero with every thread.

The OP was reactionalry and ill thought out - but it wasn't racist.

pooka Mon 26-Jan-09 11:19:53

Of course the ultimate protection against HIV is wearing a condom. I think the cost of routinely circumcising boys in order to limit spread of HIV would be better spent on educating people on the practice of safe sex.

I also fail to see that that is any reason in the UK to perform a circumcision. Also the cleanliness issue is pants too. How hard is it to clean an uncircumcised willy after all? My DH, and the men I have known seemed to manage just fine. wink. You might argue that it's fairly tricky to clean the labial area of a woman. But we all seem to manage. And those tricky fingernails, always harbouring germs and so on. And yet we manage.

But you know, I kind of agree with Lulu (despite being v. anti-circumcision) that the OP was ill-advised in calling it child abuse. Is more complex than that when we are talking about religious beliefs and circumcision. I don't agree with it full-stop but I would stop short of labelling those who do, abusers. I don't think the post was racist but I do think it was unnecessarily inflammatory.

ihearthuckabees Mon 26-Jan-09 11:50:54

I think accussing the OP of being anti-semitic is pretty offensive.

OP is anti-religious and anti-circumcision. NOT anti-Jewish. Some people are being extremely defensive about this.

bloss Mon 26-Jan-09 12:01:19

Message withdrawn

bloss Mon 26-Jan-09 12:03:31

Message withdrawn

Lulumama Mon 26-Jan-09 12:25:59

well, you know, i was personally offended, and found the inferences of the OP to be offensive. you can argue i am reading stuff in that is not there, but that is MY PERSONAL feeling. and i am entitled to say why it is offensive to me, jhust as everyone else is entitled to say why it is not offensive

no problem with robust debate, but IMO< the OP was not wanting a debate. he asked people who were 'apologists' not to post

that was not encouraging robust debate

<<bangs head on wall>>

I am allowed to feel offended.

you are allowed not to feel offended

neitehr one of us is less right or wrong, but there is always room for respect

there is none of that in the OP

DadInsteadofMum Mon 26-Jan-09 12:39:27

[dips toe in water knowing he is going to regret this]

Having read the original post - I did feel it was [searches for neutral type word] insensitive and maybe didn't convey what was intended and probably could have been phrased a lot better.

But have you checked which section this is posted in. And you are surprised that a bloke has said something insenstive that could have been phrased better and then refuses to back down? What saintly DHs you all must have.

jellybeans Mon 26-Jan-09 12:50:58

Unless it's medical, male or female circ is cruel and barbaric IMO. Some jewish people are doing non circ bri's now. Lots of things in the bible are not done anymore. Sadly, not much can be done to talk someone out of something they are already set on doing. I am pretty sure, eventually, it will be outlawed, how can it not be?

Gorionine Mon 26-Jan-09 12:51:31

"" It's an awful practice which has no place in a civilised society. If an adult wants his foreskin removed for whatever reason, fine, but to inflict it on a child - appalling."" from Paolosgirl Sun 25th Jan 09 16:49:54

We had our eldest boy cicrcumcised when he was 5 for religious reasons, also, with Islam, I am enclined to think that religious and hygiene reasons cannot be separated. He was explained the reasons why and also he was a bit scared about "his operation" he was not traumatised and definitely does not feel like he has been abused. He is actually quite exited for his little brother who wil have his operation this summer. I do not know at what age Jewish people get circumcised, would it make a difference to you or none at all?

bloss Mon 26-Jan-09 12:56:12

Message withdrawn

Monkeytrousers Mon 26-Jan-09 12:56:51

Lulu, of course you are allowed to be offended. I respect your right to be offended. But taking personal offense is very different from then calling someone racist or anti-semetic. Those are seriosu charges and your offense - and your demand that your offense be respected - shouldn't then stretch to you personally slandering someone, should it?

The OP didn't slander anyone. He criticised a relgious practice. Even if it was insensitive, that only equals insensitive, not racism. Thats the only point I'm making. I'm not taking away your right to be offended at all.

jellybeans Mon 26-Jan-09 12:58:35

I have read that some babies are so quiet as they are shocked. How come we protect out baby girls but not boys? The stats are crazy in support of circ, it's like the logic of re,oving a girls breasts unless she gets breast cancer.

MKG Mon 26-Jan-09 12:59:08

I'm one of those stupid people that have had it done. I'm in the US and it's totally normal here, so it may only be barbaric for you if it's not the norm where you live.

First I let my dh decide. Since I don't have a penis I thought his input was more important than mine. He knows people that have had to have it done later in childhood due to infections, and thought it would be better to do it younger. But then again he is from a small town in Mexico (where they don't do circumsize) where children still die due to complications from a cold or the flu.

Second, if it's abuse than why did ds1 sleep through his? He was asleep, anesthetized (sp), and had no clue.

Third, it is such a bad comparison to make between female circumsision and male circumsision. Like I said, male circumsion (how it's done here) is done by a doctor, in a hospital, with sterile instruments and anesthesia to an infant that will have no memory of it the next day. Female circumsision is done to a girl of 12 or 13 years old, in a hut/home, often with dirty instruments and no anesthesia. Often scarring her for life physically and emotionally.

jellybeans Mon 26-Jan-09 12:59:18

sorry that should say 'in case' she gets breast cancer.

georgimama Mon 26-Jan-09 13:07:23

I'm not Jewish and I found the OP offensive. What is the point of coming onto a forum and posting a rude aggressive post which concludes "if you don't agree with me don't bother posting?"

And then abandoning the thread.

Circumcision on an 8 day old baby has nothing in common with female circumcision. That is such a piss poor argument I'm not even going to bother to point out why.

Both of my brothers were circumcised at 2. My mother's choice for hygiene reasons. They don't consider themselves abused, funnily enough.

onager Mon 26-Jan-09 13:07:35

<<if it's abuse than why did ds1 sleep through his? He was asleep, anesthetized>>

Not sure I understood that, MKG. If he was anesthetized he wouldn't wake up any more than you would when having your appendix removed. Many (perhaps most) are done without anesthetic in someone's living room.

georgimama Mon 26-Jan-09 13:09:10

Jellybeans, that logic is not logic. It's nonsense. Chopping off a boy's foreskin doesn't leave him unable to perform normal physiological functions. Chopping off breasts would.

Why have I just bothered to explain the difference when I said I wasn't going to?


I'm going to get a sandwich.

onager Mon 26-Jan-09 13:11:17

If it's truly for health reasons then have it done in a hospital under anesthetic. If the pain and everyone watching is part of the ritual then let's be honest about it.

Gorionine Mon 26-Jan-09 13:12:44

I think the difference betwen boy (circumcision)and girl(excision)is the following: circumcision is the ablation of a bit of skin that is not physiologically needed and can get infected if not "cleaned" properly.

Excision on the other hand is the ablation of the labiae and clitoris. It suppresses the desire for a woman and also the pleasure she could get from a sexual relationship. This is why it can be considered as barbaric and should definitekly stop. I think even in counties where excision is still practiced, it is not legal.

Desire and pleasure are not suppressed with circumcision!

pooka Mon 26-Jan-09 13:13:43

Could I just ask for clarification on what the "hygiene reasons" actually are?

I mean, really? Wouldn't it just be easier to tell a child/teen how to clean a willy (in the same way as you instruct a daughter how to wipe hygienically from front to back) than have a useful part of the body surgically removed?

To my mind the human body is wonderfully designed. The bits that were historically considered extraneous or possibly "risky" (i.e. tonsils, appendix, foreskin) are now understood to serve functions that would suggest that removal as a preventative measure is unnecessary (my mother and father both had their tonsils removed for example, because that was policy). Why remove something that serves a purpose and that is part of the original design brief?

MKG Mon 26-Jan-09 13:14:29

Onager, they don't use a general anesthesia to do it, they use a lidocaine cream to numb the area. Ds2 was awake through his, the used the lidocaine and a sweet tasting pacifier through his. He cried for a few minutes and then it was over.

So ds1 was just sleeping and wasn't under the influence of anything.

Gorionine Mon 26-Jan-09 13:14:42

My so had it done under local anestetic by a doctor and it was for religious reasons!

pooka Mon 26-Jan-09 13:15:47

Gorionne, there are arguments (i.e. in the link below from megbussett which includes personal stories of adult men who wish they hadn't been circumcised) that the foreskin plays an important role in sexual pleasure for men and women.

GreenMonkies Mon 26-Jan-09 13:20:54

Routine newborn circumcision is almost always done without any pain relief. Babies over 8 weeks old are given a GA, but under that and it's dont with nothing. Local anaesthetic gel or cream is sometimes used, but in all honesty this is a placebo for the parents as it literally only numbs the surface skin, and does nothing for the pain of having the foreskin seperated from the glans or when the skin is cut off.

Any one who thinks its ok should watch it being done.

It is not more hygenic or healthy, the vast majority of Europeans are not circumcised and they do not have cancer ridden filthy knobs, they keep thier willy clean, it's not difficult. And circumcision is done partly to reduce sexual pleasure. Mr Kellog (who effectively started the "tradition" of non-religious circumcision in the States) did it for exactly those reasons, it helped stop boys masterbating, it was driven out of "puritainism" not health or hygiene.

Gorionine Mon 26-Jan-09 13:27:02

Pooka, I think whatever your or my opinion is, there will always be exeptions to a rule I am aware of it. My position is that to condemn circumcision and compare it to "child abuse" because it is not a practice you are accusomed to is a bit of an easy option.

onager Mon 26-Jan-09 13:28:34

I hope everyone approving of it is going to GreenMonkies link.

Gorionine Mon 26-Jan-09 13:32:25

It was a very different experience fo my son as he was older, maybe the debate should not be "for" or "against" circumcision but how is it done?

georgimama Mon 26-Jan-09 13:33:53

Male circumcision significantly lowers the risk of the circumcised male's female partner developing cervical cancer.

Can you state why or what evidence supports this georgimama?

paolosgirl Mon 26-Jan-09 13:37:26

If it's done in hospital under general anaesthetic because the foreskin is too tight and causing serious problems, then I don't think anyone would object. It's the fact that it's done without anaesthetic (and a topical cream really doesn't count) as part of an unnecessary ritual without the childs consent that has many (including myself) up in arms.

georgimama Mon 26-Jan-09 13:39:15

I'm so tired of the way every assertion in this forum has to be accompanied by a fully referenced research trail.

If you don't believe me why don't you check it out yourself?

Google circumcision + cervical cancer like I just did, and got thousands of links including this:


onager Mon 26-Jan-09 13:42:38

From your link.

"But they admitted that advocating circumcision as a realistic and significantly important addition to other strategies to combat cervical cancer "remains to be documented"

paolosgirl Mon 26-Jan-09 13:42:49

If you read down a bit further, the advice from Cancer Research UK states -

But it adds many now thought that as long as uncircumcised men are careful about keeping their genitals clean, the risk of cervical cancer in their partners should not be any greater than that for circumcised men.

Cancer Research UK adds: "It is likely that this association has risen because certain religious groups who practice circumcision, such as the Jews, also have a low risk of cervical cancer due to low levels of promiscuity."

I just wondered if you were speaking in a professional capacity, no need to get narky.

In any debate it is usual to back up an assertion with evidence, is it not?

GreenMonkies Mon 26-Jan-09 13:44:27

"Male circumcision significantly lowers the risk of the circumcised male's female partner developing cervical cancer. "

So do condoms, and vaccination.

Both better than surgery on a wide-awake new born.

georgimama Mon 26-Jan-09 13:46:27

Did I say that the article advocated blanket male circumcision? Did I advocate blanket male circumcision?

No, it was demanded that I provide some evidence to back up my assertion, and I did.

I don't think I ever suggested that keeping the foreskin clean isn't a good thing or just as effective.

georgimama Mon 26-Jan-09 13:50:04

How long has it been possible to get a vaccine for HPV? And how universally available is it?

The OP started a thread stating that male circumcision is child abuse. No one asked him to reference that assertion. Did you ask him whether he is a clinicial psychologist, Marmaduke?

pooka Mon 26-Jan-09 13:50:21

Ah but that link does also say (CRUK) that if a man keeps his willy clean then the risk would be no greater with an uncircumcised man.

And also refers to the HPV vaccine, that I believe is now offered to secondary age girls (may be wrong).

paolosgirl Mon 26-Jan-09 13:51:42

Male circumcision significantly lowers the risk of the circumcised male's female partner developing cervical cancer.

What exactly was your point then? Especially as the research was more fully explained later in the BBC website by Cancer Research UK.

Condoms, HPV vaccine, low promiscuity (CRUK's words, not mine) and a good wash are known to be as effective at reducing cervical cancer. Does that mean we can now hope that circumcision will be consigned to the dustbin?

OrmIrian Mon 26-Jan-09 13:53:43

DD will be getting HPV apparently. I thought it was going to be standard for all girls.

georgimama Mon 26-Jan-09 13:55:03

My point was that it had been asserted that there was no good reason for doing it, and I was pointing out that there was at least one good reason.

Condoms, a good wash and low promiscuity would solve lots of problems, not just cervical cancer, but they don't seem to be too widely practised do they?

The HPV has been available for about 2 years I believe. I sincerely hope it does have the effect of lowering cervical cancer rates, but unfortunately people often seem to view one advance - for example the pill means people don't use condoms and therefore STD incidence is rising.

paolosgirl Mon 26-Jan-09 13:55:31

It is standard now.

georgimama Mon 26-Jan-09 13:56:20

that should have read:

one advance as a reason to abandon other beneficial practices.

BonsoirAnna Mon 26-Jan-09 13:56:30

Circumcision of boys is not harmful. I wish people wouldn't get so het up about it.

georgimama Mon 26-Jan-09 13:57:25

Anna! My God we agree about something!

paolosgirl Mon 26-Jan-09 13:59:04

Well, low promiscuity is apparently something that is practised in the Jewish faith. So why the need to circumcise?!

As I said, now that we have the HPV vaccine I'm hoping that we'll finally see an end to circumcision. If it's being done with the health of women in mind of course...

Watoose Mon 26-Jan-09 14:03:13

one of Bloss's links said that wearing a condom didn't affect the rates of cervical cancer but being circumcised did.

Gawd knows how they worked that one out.

Bloss - thanks. I wonder if there are any unbiased research articles out there at all, most of us seem to feel strongly one way or another.

paolosgirl Mon 26-Jan-09 14:07:18

The statement from Cancer Research UK seemed pretty unbiased to me.

georgimama Mon 26-Jan-09 14:07:34

Funnily enough paolosgirl, when the practice was invented the link between cervical cancer and circumcision hadn't been researched hmm.

paolosgirl Mon 26-Jan-09 14:12:20

You don't say Georgi hmm

Well, now it is known, and now we know that other things are JUST as effective, can I take it that we'll see a gradual end to the process?

Because I'm kind of thinking that circumcision has not been carried out for the benefit of women since we have known about it - given that as I said earlier, people of the Jewish faith tend to be less promiscuous and so have a lower incidence of cervical cancer as a result anyway.

BonsoirAnna Mon 26-Jan-09 14:14:18

<<idly wonders whether posters who are against circumcision have experience of circumcised lovers>>

Watoose Mon 26-Jan-09 14:16:10

Yup, my most recent ex was circed as a child for 'medical' reasons.

He said wearing a condom was enough to knock out what was left of the pleasure quotient almost completely.

It wasn't much fun for him.

MegBusset Mon 26-Jan-09 14:17:00

"<<idly wonders whether posters who are against circumcision have experience of circumcised lovers>>"

Yes -- see my post below. My ex was incredibly frustrated by his lack of sensitivity and inability to climax.

If you think it should be done without consent on a tiny child for YOUR sexual preference then that is staggeringly selfish.

pooka Mon 26-Jan-09 14:17:30

Why, Anna? wink

Yep. Would be the answer. Obviously more experience of intact foreskins, however, because have no religion and am British (so no "cultural" trend for circumcision).

Watoose Mon 26-Jan-09 14:18:09

Anna, would you really encourage it purely because you reckon men who've had it done grow up to be, I'm not sure what you mean - better lovers or something?

waspriceyp Mon 26-Jan-09 14:18:38

To the OP, when I read the thread title I thought that you were under pressure from relatives. However, you are actually trying to interfere? Incite a riot on MN? It's not your child, and whilst I understand why you feel the need to support your friend, surely this is a discussion and decision for her and her husband. Nothing to do with you.

BonsoirAnna Mon 26-Jan-09 14:19:22

Because I think that circumcision is esthetically preferable; much more hygienic; and makes for much better lovers.

paolosgirl Mon 26-Jan-09 14:20:19

That is really quite sick, Bonsoir. We're talking about removing the foreskin of 8 day olds boys without anaesthetic and without their consent as part of some religious ritual, and suddenly you're bringing sexual preferences into it?


Watoose Mon 26-Jan-09 14:21:26

even if I agreed anna it wouldn't be enough to convince me to cut bits off a baby boy.

pooka Mon 26-Jan-09 14:23:04

Anna shock

So your sexual preference dictates what you would do with a male baby who cannot consent? That is grim.

BonsoirAnna Mon 26-Jan-09 14:23:09

Why is that sick? Circumcision is all about hygiene and sex...

Monkeytrousers Mon 26-Jan-09 14:23:24

It can be harmful. The operation itself. It's far more potentially harmful than say, just leaving it alone, fpr instance.

And it's really not about 'harm - it's about personal autonomy and the way religion specifically targets youngsters. People too tyoung to protest or have an opinion. Its not enough that they indoctrinate them into the religion and it's beliefs,they actually seek to mark, or in this case scar, the child indelibly so it cannot just walk away from it, if they so choose.

We have ouraged discussions on MN about piercing babies ears. No one ever says, 'it's a chav ritual, its part of their culture'. That is seem somehow as bad parenting. What about baby tattooing?!

If one of them is bad parenting, isnt the other? Or is it relative?

wordgirl Mon 26-Jan-09 14:23:40

Imagine the outcry if a man suggested a woman had her labia surgically trimmed because he preferred the 'look'.

georgimama Mon 26-Jan-09 14:24:45

Well I can't speak for the Chief Rabbi paolosgirl. Perhaps you should start a campaign to lobby him about it?

As I said, I'm not Jewish.

pooka Mon 26-Jan-09 14:25:49

How is circumcision about sex?

Also, the hygiene thing is such a red herring. I'll say it again. Instruct your sons in how to clean a willy just as you would instruct your daughter how to wipe herself hygenically, and your children how to wash their hands before eating. And then when they're older, about safe sex.

BonsoirAnna Mon 26-Jan-09 14:26:48

It's not just Jewish boys who are circumcised. My DP is Jewish and so are my DSSs and they are all circumcised, but so is my (100% British) father and plenty of Muslims I know. And Americans.

paolosgirl Mon 26-Jan-09 14:27:02

Perhaps I will Georgi, you never know.

Bonsoir, you're posting for effect here. Grow up.

georgimama Mon 26-Jan-09 14:27:33

But there is nothing beneficial whatsoever about piercing a baby's ears. They don't even look nice.

Any more pointless comparisons you want knocked down? We've done female circumcision (knocked that one down already wordgirl, perhaps you should read the thread), done brest removal hmm and double hmm, now we've done ear piercing.

BonsoirAnna Mon 26-Jan-09 14:27:55

No I'm not. The trouble is that a lot of posters know nothing about circumcision.

Monkeytrousers Mon 26-Jan-09 14:28:06

Erm no Anna, it's a divine command.. Now thats great isn't it? Noone's accountable grin

paolosgirl Mon 26-Jan-09 14:30:21

Yes, you are Bonsoir. You are not contributing anything effective to the debate.

Georgimama - wordgirl was not referring to female circumcision in her post. Labia trimming is a very different procedure indeed.

Monkeytrousers Mon 26-Jan-09 14:31:14

How about a Jewish Feminist Perspective?

I've not read this so it will be a suprise to me too.

BonsoirAnna Mon 26-Jan-09 14:31:52

Ah - you mean that thinking that circumcision isn't all bad is not an opinion on this thread? hmm

jabberwocky Mon 26-Jan-09 14:31:57

Oh, another circumcision thread...

Anna, it is absolutely NOT all about hygiene and sex. It is ritual genital mutilation. You can look for ways to justify it all you like but you cannot change the fact of what it is and always has been.

It became rampant in the US in the Victorian era b/c Dr. Kellogg (yes, from the cereal family) advocated it as a way to prevent masturbation. FWIW, he also recommended the female version as well but I am tremendously thankful from a personal standpoint that that practice was discontinued here.

Monkeytrousers Mon 26-Jan-09 14:34:16

You can think it's great. You have your reasons. They just aren't why the magority of people circumcise their kids is all.

BonsoirAnna Mon 26-Jan-09 14:34:34

My father was circumcised for reasons of hygiene. No ritual, no religion, nothing. He lived in a very hot climate quite a long time ago where hot water and soap were not as readily available as they are now and little boys got very nasty infections quite frequently - infections that could lead to very serious problems. Circumcision was done to prevent this.

jabberwocky Mon 26-Jan-09 14:35:41

And so this leads you to recommend it now because....

paolosgirl Mon 26-Jan-09 14:35:48

No, I mean tryint to justify circumcision of an 8 day old boy without anaesthetic and without his consent based on your adult woman's sexual preference.

There is something very icky about that, do you know?

pooka Mon 26-Jan-09 14:36:29

Labia trimming is a cosmetic procedure performed by plastic surgeons on women who are worried that their fanjo is ugly. So actually pretty darn similar to the idea that Anna seems to have introduced regarding circumcision being to do with sex and aesthetics.

BonsoirAnna Mon 26-Jan-09 14:37:02

I'm not recommending circumcision. I'm just saying that it is not all bad.

paolosgirl Mon 26-Jan-09 14:38:55

Not all bad because you as an adult woman prefer it sexually.

georgimama Mon 26-Jan-09 14:39:00

I've wasted enough time on this. I don't really care about Dr Kellogg from the cereal family, I can't understand the relevance. So a bloke who made cereal was in favour of male and female circumcision. So what? Organised your Kellogg boycott yet?

I don't agree that circumcision is genital mutilation.

I don't agree that circumcision is child abuse.

The biggest argument against it seems to be that it hurts and babies cry when it is performed. The heel prick test made my DS scream blue murder. I consented because I considered it beneficial.

I can't speak for Jewish people (perhaps Lula would come back now that the OP has wandered off and explain her view of this) but I think it is perhaps viewed as not just beneficial physically, which is my justification for it, but also that it shows a cultural identity which is important.

pooka Mon 26-Jan-09 14:39:50

Well my uncle was circumcised because my grandfather was convinced that there would one day be another world war only in the deserts of the middle east and he was worried my uncle would get sand trapped under his foreskin (I kid you not).

The fact that people had bizarre ideas in the past does not really support the argument for the practice these days. Crikey, there are heaps of antiquated medical practices that we would consider barbaric and completely pointless these days.

follderol Mon 26-Jan-09 14:40:17

Of course the OP is phrased in a racist manner, I am not surprised that anyone Jewish or Muslim will take offence at "Has anyone got any experience of talking moronic religious extremist relatives out of this stupidity?"

I am shocked that anyone would stick their nose into another families decision-making process when it absolutely cock-all to do with them. Did you see what I did there with the "cock-all" grin

pooka Mon 26-Jan-09 14:40:56

Saw it folderal wink

jabberwocky Mon 26-Jan-09 14:41:03

Oh, FFS, I was putting it into historical perspective from the fact that it is much more commonly done in the US. Get a grip georgimama

Monkeytrousers Mon 26-Jan-09 14:41:07

"No ritual, no religion, nothing." Really? That would be very unusual. Not saying it couldnt happen, but it would be v unusual?

Was it after he had developed problems? If so that would come into clinical need wouldn;t it?

lisalisa Mon 26-Jan-09 14:43:20

Having only read the OP and about half the thread I noticed the accusations of anti semitism or at least that the OP had said things sailing quite close to the wind and not strictly confined to the debate in questions.

the expression that made me cringe was in the OP itself that his non jewish friends was married to a "quite nice jewish dh". Why was it necessary to say the dh was "quite nice" as well as bieng jewish? Are the two usually mutually exclusive then? Woudl the OP have felt the need to explain , were the dh to have been C of E that his friend was married to a " quite nice christian dh"?

BonsoirAnna Mon 26-Jan-09 14:43:39

No, no problems for him (or his brothers). He lived in an area of very poor hygiene. My grandmother (who was not a maternal woman) did very extended breastfeeding (very unusual for someone of her background and personality) for similar reasons - health and hygiene.

pooka Mon 26-Jan-09 14:47:13

I think that it would depend on the context lisalisa - in that in the op (which I agree is unnecessarily inflammatory) I think that by saying "quite nice jewish dh" he is saying that he quite likes the dh and feels that he is a sympathetic character. He is attempting not to paint the dh as the "villain" in the piece IYSWIM.

I think.....

jabberwocky Mon 26-Jan-09 14:49:21

That was my take as well, pooka.

paolosgirl Mon 26-Jan-09 14:49:44

I agree with Pooka. The OP certainly could have been less inflammatory, but I took his OP to mean that the DH is Jewish and quite nice.

lisalisa Mon 26-Jan-09 14:51:57

Doesn't wash wiht me I'm afraid. Sounds too me like " Some of my friends are jewish but.....".

Again, if the dh were christian would he have felt the need to explain that he is actually "quite nice"?

georgimama Mon 26-Jan-09 14:53:39

I think what lisalisa said. The tone of the rest of the OP means that at the very mildest the OP meant "her husband is nice for a religious nutter". Or possibly "quite nice for a religious, child abusing nutter".

follderol Mon 26-Jan-09 14:54:28

I agree with Lisa

paolosgirl Mon 26-Jan-09 14:55:39

The female is the friend of the OP. Her DH is Jewish (hence the circumcision thing, which wouldn't be an issue if the DH was Christian), and he is quite nice.

That's my understanding of it.

mamamila Mon 26-Jan-09 15:02:26

the fact is that between 30-40% of world's male population are circumcised for religious/cultural/medical reasons
(i had a bit of a read up online, statistics drawn from religious populations and sociological and medical sources)

if you don't want to circumcise your sons for your own reasons that's fair enough but i object to not having access in uk to circumcision in hospital as soon after birth as possible

there are 2 million muslims and half a million Jews in uk and they are directed to private clinics, mosques and synagogues for circumcision which would obviously be a lot safer performed in a hospital

onager Mon 26-Jan-09 15:11:43

So for reasons we have

1) Clinical need (where the foreskin is too small/infected) Done properly in a hospital

2) Prevention of disease. Which mostly seems either for the womans benefit or could be replaced by soap and water

3) Pleasing god (God prefers it to be done without general anaesthetic) and you invite your friends round to watch.

4) Pleasing Anna (because men get less enjoyment and therefore take longer to orgasm)

Did I miss any?

MegBusset Mon 26-Jan-09 15:16:49

If circumcision is that great, why aren't adult men queueing up to have it?

mamamila Mon 26-Jan-09 15:19:37

since none of you anti-women are going to be circumcised or have your sons circumcised why do you care if others chose to?

ProfRichardDawkins Mon 26-Jan-09 15:22:57

"It's not just Jewish boys who are circumcised. My DP is Jewish and so are my DSSs and they are all circumcised, but so is my (100% British) father and plenty of Muslims I know. And Americans."

Anna - You seem to be confused about religions and nationalities.

I haven't been round the block as much as Anna so have insufficient penises/lovers on which to compare.

For me circumcision seems barbaric. A bit like having a baby's ears pierced. It's a cultural thing that I completely can't relate to.

onager Mon 26-Jan-09 15:29:10

"since none of you anti-women are going to be circumcised or have your sons circumcised why do you care if others chose to?"

So we shouldn't object to ANY child abuse or any evil in the world if we don't plan to do it.

mamamila Mon 26-Jan-09 15:31:15

i was about to say exactly same re: ear piercing! i wasn't in a huge rush to have dd's ears pierced but dp's family couldn't grasp why we were waiting and i gave in at 8 months, when we came back to uk i was shocked at the number of tutting and negative comments towards mutilation and freedom of choice, as the majority of females do end up piercing their ears at some time or other.
friends have told me that in spain ear piercing is offered in the maternity ward

mamamila Mon 26-Jan-09 15:35:38

well how many circumcised males see themselves as victims of abuse?

georgimama Mon 26-Jan-09 15:37:22

Can we try and get past the idea that circumcision is child abuse? Because it really isn't. You may consider it unnecessary, but it is not abuse. Unless it is abuse to perform the heel prick test, or immunise babies.

There are perfectly good reasons for doing it. They aren't good enough to convince most posters on this thread to do it, but fine, no one is trying to.

If anti-immunisers posted that immunisers were child abusers we'd have thread upon thread upon thread about it.

RobertPattinsonComeToMomma Mon 26-Jan-09 15:38:31

To the OP: It's not illegal and it's got nothing to do with you so I would butt out.

However if your friend doesn't want it done and she is the child's mother, then where's the argument? last time I checked, parents make those decisions, not grandparents so if she's set against it she should say it's not happening, end of! I have had to do this many a time with my ILs!

My own intuition would tell me that the foreskin is probably there for a reason and therefore should be left alone but I wouldn't presume to tell another parent what to do with their son.

onager Mon 26-Jan-09 15:42:37

I think if you stick needles into babies for fun and not for the purposes of immunisation that is an arrestable offense.

So if most do it for reason 3 ("pleasing god") and do it without general anaesthetic because god likes it that way and it's more interesting for the crowd watching then it isn't justified and is abuse.

Whatever one thinks about the ritual, if one reads the OP's dilemma, the issue is a bit clouded.

It's an emotive issue, but the OP's friend should discuss it with her DH. She obviously married into a Jewish family, and frankly it's a bit late in the day to be querying his religious beliefs, in my opinion.

If the dilemma was, for instance, whether to send the child for religious education as one partner wanted the child to be brought up in a particular faith, then both should respect each other's opinions.

And I think there is much more to this than meets the eye. I cannot believe that religious stuff was not discussed already with this couple.

(and I know a number of Jewish mothers who are uncomfortable when the bris is being done, but think that's fairly normal)

BonsoirAnna Mon 26-Jan-09 15:56:38

I am not remotely confused between religions and nationalities. Both religions and nationalities are cultures.

georgimama Mon 26-Jan-09 15:58:15

"So if most do it for reason 3 ("pleasing god") and do it without general anaesthetic because god likes it that way and it's more interesting for the crowd watching then it isn't justified and is abuse."

Fortunately the law doesn't agree with you. It is perfectly legal to perform this procedure for entirely religious and cultural reasons, and quite right too.

Start a petition on 10 Downing Street if you don't like it. This government is super at attempting to ban things with shoddily drafted legislation, they'll jump at the suggestion I'm sure.

Watoose Mon 26-Jan-09 16:07:41

Georgimama, you seem pretty set against people making duff comparisons on the thread - so why exactly do you find immunisation and heel prick tests so valid in your defence?

It's ridiculous.

Surely if it were comparable, all babies would be routinely circed at birth - oh but hang on, they're not. Does that tell you something?

Watoose Mon 26-Jan-09 16:08:48

...or perhaps you think they ought to be? hmm

bloss Mon 26-Jan-09 16:09:23

Message withdrawn

georgimama Mon 26-Jan-09 16:09:57

It is a duff comparison, that was rather the point of me making it.

The fact that all boys are not circumcised at birth tells me that this is not a Jewish country (in fact even there they wouldn't be done at birth).

At no point in this thread have I attempted to make out circumcision is an imperative for good sexual health. All I have done is try to point out to the hysterical mob antis that it is not abuse.

georgimama Mon 26-Jan-09 16:10:57

What bloss said.

Well done bloss.

bonsoir -- was that directed at me?

TheFirstLiffey Mon 26-Jan-09 16:13:44

I think you should have a little bit more respect for the Jewish way of doing things.

Female circumcision is totally different and it is ludicrous to compare the two. In fact by comparing the two you risk 'normalising' female circumcision and making IT seem less barbaric.

BonsoirAnna Mon 26-Jan-09 16:14:00


Watoose Mon 26-Jan-09 16:16:13

'Can we try and get past the idea that circumcision is child abuse? Because it really isn't. You may consider it unnecessary, but it is not abuse. Unless it is abuse to perform the heel prick test, or immunise babies.'

I don't see what you mean - the level of benefit in each scenario is massively distinct.

If the 'abuse' that is immunisation is mitigated by being necessary

and circumcision is not necessary

your argument just falls to bits.

I'm sorry but I do think it is - technically - abuse. Well meant abuse sometimes, yes - but still abuse.

combustiblelemon Mon 26-Jan-09 16:19:39

I wouldn't pierce a baby's ears. Circumcision is a much bigger procedure with a much greater impact.

georgimama Mon 26-Jan-09 16:19:55

Lots of people don't think immunisations are necessary. There have been hundreds of threads about it.

Lots of people think circumcision is necessary, for all the reasons that have been spelt out here.

My argument doesn't fall to bits at all. It is one thing to say you disapprove of a practice or wouldn't do it yourself but that doesn't mean that it is child abuse.

As I have already said, and will say again, if you're that bothered about all the poor little "abused" Jewish boys, lobby your MP.

Why sit here banging on about it? You aren't going to change anyone's mind.

ProfRichardDawkins Mon 26-Jan-09 16:21:14

"It's not just Jewish boys who are circumcised. My DP is Jewish and so are my DSSs and they are all circumcised, but so is my (100% British) father and plenty of Muslims I know. And Americans."

Anna - But can't you be 100% British and still be circumcised? Or 100% American, Muslim and circumcised etc? Your post simply doesn't make good sense.

bloss Mon 26-Jan-09 16:24:50

Message withdrawn

BonsoirAnna Mon 26-Jan-09 16:27:17

I don't know what you are fussing about. It's perfectly clear.

ProfRichardDawkins Mon 26-Jan-09 16:29:07

Anna - Well actually a lot Americans and Brits are Jewish. And your distinguishing Jewish boys from your British father seems to overlook this fact.

Watoose Mon 26-Jan-09 16:29:43

I feel my argument still applies whether circumcision is occasionally necessary (and perhaps it is) or not - most children don't need it or necessarily benefit from it.

Most children do benefit from immunisation.

And quite apart from all that - I'm not arguing against it particularly for medical reasons but from a cultural perspective - ie that it is done for cultural or religious reasons and that has no practical justification whatsoever imo (can someone give me one maybe - plenty of medical back up offered, but none explaining that)

BonsoirAnna Mon 26-Jan-09 16:30:13

Sure, everyone can (and probably does) have more than one lot of cultural heritage. Nothing I said or think negates that.

georgimama Mon 26-Jan-09 16:33:15

I think anyone on this thread who was Jewish has long since run off, understandably. But as you said, you think it has no justification whatsoever, so what is the point in anyone attempting to explain it to you? I wouldn't bother personally.

If you actually want to understand something and have your understanding increased and your preconceptions challenged, why not do some research on the cultural significance of circumcision in the Jewish or Islam faiths, rather than getting all judgy on here?

Just a thought.

ProfRichardDawkins Mon 26-Jan-09 16:34:31

Anna said: "It's not just Jewish boys who are circumcised. My DP is Jewish and so are my DSSs and they are all circumcised, but so is my (100% British) father and plenty of Muslims I know. And Americans."

What was the relevance of your circumcised father being 100% British. Did you mean to say he is not Jewish because that would have made sense.


bloss Mon 26-Jan-09 16:35:33

Message withdrawn

Watoose Mon 26-Jan-09 16:35:53

Are you angry? You sound really pissed off with me. Sorry if I've pissed you off.

I don't think I'm 'getting all judgey', I'm asking a question because I'd like someone to explain to me why doing something like that in the name of religion is so important as to negate the actual pain it causes.

I'd really like to know because I lack the understanding you think I ought to display.

BonsoirAnna Mon 26-Jan-09 16:36:02

The relevance is that many people from many cultures (not just Jews) can be circumcised... eg...

Watoose Mon 26-Jan-09 16:36:10

That was to Georgi

Watoose Mon 26-Jan-09 16:39:15

'As for the cultural thing - well, for most people it is tied up with theological reasoning.'

- which I'd like to understand.

'And I think it's pretty clear that you not only don't share their religious beliefs, but are not prepared to tolerate a different view on this point...'

- I'm not sure how this is clear? I have asked people to explain, I have left it open for explanation and discussion and it's a genuine enough question - i'm not trying to be tricksy!

' How could anyone satisfy you if you don't agree about the religion;'

-see above, where did I say that?

'and you don't accept that this is an issue where one can respect a different view? Where does one start? '

- Again, where did I say any of that??? How are you making these presumptions? hmm

Watoose Mon 26-Jan-09 16:40:51

If anything i am admitting my own ignorance - that makes me ignorant, of course, but not necessarily anti being educated otherwise.

That's why I ASKED!

bloss Mon 26-Jan-09 16:43:44

Message withdrawn

bloss Mon 26-Jan-09 16:49:15

Message withdrawn

bloss Mon 26-Jan-09 16:49:57

Message withdrawn

georgimama Mon 26-Jan-09 16:50:15

I'm not specifically angry at you. I'm angry at the suggestion that 13.3 million Jews and 1.6 billion Muslims are all child abusers.

Bubbaluv Mon 26-Jan-09 16:57:01

Could someone explain what is the significance of circumcision in the Jewish/Islamic faiths?
I think it might add something to this debate.

Watoose Mon 26-Jan-09 16:58:44

Bloss, no way man, it's cool smile

You haven't made me feel bad, I thought you were very reasoned and pleasant too.

Geordimama - 'child abuser' connotates many awful, shocking and nasty images and I didn't want to imply (as OP perhaps did) that anyone is a 'child abuser' although I see that the phrase can be used gramatically to describe someone perpetuating an act of abuse...a bit different in its inferences though.

I believe that many people - parents, Jewish, Muslim, otherwise - are kind, loving, wonderful people, who wish their children no harm whatsoever.

But I do take issue with one particular act carried out ritually against children, and i hate the act rather than the people committing it as I don't believe they think it is harmful or cruel or wrong.

Asi said earlier I think often it is simply misguided rather than abusive - in that no harm is meant or intended.

I do believe the act abuses the child it is done to though. Can you see where I am coming from? That's why I want further to understand the motives.

Watoose Mon 26-Jan-09 16:59:04

Bubbaluv - that's exactly what I'm trying to say.

Watoose Mon 26-Jan-09 17:00:22

Asi said earlier I think often it is simply misguided rather than abusive - in that no harm is meant or intended

Sorry that should say 'malicious' or similar in place of 'abusive'

Watoose Mon 26-Jan-09 17:01:43

In fact in almost every case, not malicious

Not intentionally abusive

Much as someone who pierces their baby's ears isn't doing it because they hate their child. iyswim...

georgimama Mon 26-Jan-09 17:04:28

Well, good old Wiki has a lot of the issues covered here including the debate we have been having.

I haven't read the whole thing myself yet.

Watoose Mon 26-Jan-09 17:05:02

Thanks - i might have a read once tea is made.

AtheneNoctua Mon 26-Jan-09 17:17:17

Bloody Hell, Urban Dad, I don't have a single drop of Jewish blood in my heritage and I find your OP shocking.

What gives you the right to tell other people what they should or should not do with their children.

Go to a doctor. Get some valium, man. And chill out...

However, some people earlier down said that ultimately this is a decision to be taken by the mother and the father, and that it is the father's place to stand up to his family and inform them of their joint decision. I agree with this. And as for technique, I think you have demonstrated here that you are not qualified to advise on this matter.

dooit Mon 26-Jan-09 17:22:19

Just my thoughts.........Why is it now illegal for people to snip the tails of their newborn jack russell puppies in this country but legal to allow an unqualified person to snip the foreskin off your newborn son? Doesn't make sense really does it?

Bubbaluv Mon 26-Jan-09 17:25:18

Doesn't seem to explain much. Basically just says that the Judaism/Islam require it. Why is what I need to know.
Historically there have been some pretty barbaric practises carried out in the name of religion and most of these have been abolished (at least in the western world). Other arbitrary religious laws (dietry for e.g) have continued becuase there is no down-side to them.
I'm just not sure where in the spectrum this sits, and without an understanding of the purpose of circumcision within a religion I can't get any further.

I know one friend of mine had her boys circumsised because she prefered the way it looks - and she has undertaken a vast (and I mean vast) personal survey to reach this concusion. I persoanlly think that is just sick. Kind of like my DH insisting our (hypothetical) daughter got a boob job at 16 because he likes big tits! Eurgh!

thirtysomething Mon 26-Jan-09 17:27:18

am Jewish by birth and would never, ever inflict this on my son. debate didn't arise in our case as family assumed that as DH isn't Jewish it just wasn't going to happen (and it didn't). However I've often thought a compromise would be to say yes, I'll have him circumcised but undera anaesthesia in a medical setting (as I know loads of little boys who end up having it done at age 5plus anyhow for medical reasons). But also agree if either parent is against this sort of religious practice the other parent should respect it as it's such a huge thing to inflict on a child.

Monkeytrousers Mon 26-Jan-09 17:35:06

I don't know Athene, you might not agree with the way he put it - we are all capable do speaking out of turn if something really pisses us off - but I think everyone of us has the right to discuss the rights and wrongs of putting children through unnecessary surgery for religous or cultural reasons. It's what the whole debate with FGM is about!

I know male circumcision isn't mutilation in the way female GM is (though is somehow ironic to me how the 'vanilla' male version of verson of this is supposed to improve sex, while the whole point of female 'circumcision' is to prevent her from ever deriving pleasure from intercourse) but it is still a very radical way to stamp a religion on someone a week after they are born, isn't it?

ProfRichardDawkins Mon 26-Jan-09 17:45:56

Anna Yes, but can't you be British and Jewish? If yes, 'not just Jews are circumcised but Brits too' makes no sense whatsoever. Did you mean Christian? Or did you mean to say he is not Jewish? Because being British does not indicate what religion someone might be.


ProfRichardDawkins Mon 26-Jan-09 17:46:08

Anna Yes, but can't you be British and Jewish? If yes, 'not just Jews are circumcised but Brits too' makes no sense whatsoever. Did you mean Christian? Or did you mean to say he is not Jewish? Because being British does not indicate what religion someone might be.


BonsoirAnna Mon 26-Jan-09 17:54:21


jabberwocky Mon 26-Jan-09 18:33:20

bubbaluv, the religious reason given is that it is the ultimate sacrifice to God.

UrbanDad Mon 26-Jan-09 19:51:05

Just so you know why I posted and why I am "interfering" - my friend asked me for advice and her family situation means she no support on her side except for her friends. She felt like she was being bullied by her DH's family and we discussed how she could convince them it's not going to happen. The feelings about it being "barbaric" etc. were her some of her less choice words on the matter (and I concur). She was even scared about leaving her son on his own in the care of her DH or DH's parents in case they get it done while she's out (maybe a bit paranoid there, but it's a newborn and her first kid).

She is scared to leave her DS alone with her DH shock wtf?

Did she not realize she was marrying a Jewish man? hmm Did they not discuss these issues before getting married/having children?

memoo Mon 26-Jan-09 20:17:14

urban dad, by saying things like..

"it's child abuse pure and simple"

you offend many parents like myself who have had their son circumsised because of medical reasons.

Given this, do you not think it would have been better to be slightly more sensitive in your OP

lingle Mon 26-Jan-09 20:46:26

Hi UrbanDad.

Yes, I was in your friend's position (so really this should be post number 2 not 259 on this thread).

When I was pregnant with DS1, DH (Jewish, from family of Holocaust survivors, non-observant) and I were driving home one dark night. He said: "I've been thinking more about circumcision and I'm coming round to thinking that we should do it".

So, firstly, I thanked my lucky stars that it was dark so he couldn't see the expression on my face. Then I went quiet. Then I decided that if he mentioned it again I would research the law on the issue (ie who has to consent - can you research this for your friend by the way?).

It was scary - it was as if he had suddenly turned into someone else. I felt very protective towards the unborn child.

Luckily, it dawned on him after a few days that the child was not Jewish and this brought him round to my point of view, which he realised was all the stronger for being expressed through silence. Having accepted that the child was not being invited into the religion, this made it easier for him to tell his family that it wasn't going to happen.

His grandma later asked whether DS1 was circumcised. he said "no". Grandma said "you should have done it - it's dirty not to". To my astonishment, mild-mannered DH said: "It's none of your business grandma".

He told me later that Grandma has a great respect for people who know their own business and butt out of that of others. He had clearly been preparing an appropriate line for when the inevitable question was asked.

So in summary:
1. the husband is probably going through a bit of a phase like DH did caused by awareness of impending fatherhood - she should be kind about it - the family are probably going through something similar. It may be a delayed reaction to him marrying out. It's hard for them. They will probably settle as our family did once the deed is not - or NOT done I should say.
2. As a back-up plan, your friend should establish for certain that she has the legal right to refuse to circumcise. If she is breastfeeding she won't be leaving the boy with them in infancy anyway will she? But suspicions of this nature are pretty extreme aren't they, pregnant or not?
3. The fact that the child will not be Jewish is probably the best argument.
4. "It's our business" is probably the other best argument.

Anyway, all DH's relatives love our boys, accept them as they are and I certainly would not hesitate to leave them with their relatives. They have held back from telling DS1 (6) the sadder parts of the family history. Do you think your friend might need to learn a bit more about her DH's culture? Respect cuts both ways after all. Their distress should be treated with understanding and compassion. The child is lucky to have two religious heritages and Judaism has a lot going for it. For a start, they have a much better attitude towards presents! (one each day during Hannukah rather than 10 at once as we do at christmas). She must make it clear that she is not turning the child completely away from that part of his heritage. DS1 has "My First Passover" books, etc from the relatives. She should learn more about their point of view and the reason for their distress and make it up to them in a way that doesn't involve chopping foreskins off.

DrCronin Mon 26-Jan-09 21:27:35

Actually, thats not true Richard (hello, btw). As you well know someone who identified themselves as 'British' in the first instance is more than likely to be of anglo saxon descent and also christened CoE, even if they are lax christians.

ProfRichardDawkins Mon 26-Jan-09 21:35:01

DrC Hello. I would describe myself as British but I am not of Anglo Saxon origin nor was I christened C of E.

thirtysomething Mon 26-Jan-09 21:37:56

don't get that Drcronin - i'm a British Jew, and proud of both these heritages. Why does saying I'm British first make me more likely to be Christened C of E exactly? When I was a child I was taunted at school by a very nasty little girl who said I couldn't be British if I was Jewish. have never forgotten it.

ProfRichardDawkins Mon 26-Jan-09 21:40:58

thirtysomething. Thank goodness. Someone who sees what I am getting at. smile If you look a bit down the thread BonsoirAnna was insisting that I was being fussy.

thirtysomething Mon 26-Jan-09 21:48:34

I see what you mean Prof Richard. I do find that implication offensive. There are lots of ways of being British, lots of ways of being Jewish/Muslim/Christian, and everybody's individual mix of nationality, religion, culture, traditions etc informs their choices about stuff such as the issue being debated here. Am gonna find another thread now as I can see I'm going to get offended by the implication I'm not 100% British if I'm Jewish.

lisalisa Mon 26-Jan-09 22:39:35

Onager - "its more interesting for the crowd if no aneasthetic is used"


Are you for real?

Someone tell me this poster is a troll? Please?

Monkeytrousers Mon 26-Jan-09 23:04:15

She is taking the piss, Lisa. Please tell me you dont actually think MN is full of respectable maniacs?

LynetteScavo Mon 26-Jan-09 23:10:53


jasper Mon 26-Jan-09 23:27:50

OP is NOT talking about medical reasons.

dooit, good point

Kevlarhead Tue 27-Jan-09 00:31:18

AFAIK, circumcision is useful if you're a medieval middle eastern nomad with no/limited access to washing facilities interested in removing a body part it's possible to get sand stuck underneath with all the attendant scratching/bleeding/infecting/abcessing that situation may bring.

Think of it as a sexual fitness enhancer, or a device to ensure people's lineage is not interrupted by their knobs being too black and runny to function...

I don't think it's particularly applicable in the UK though, given it's a conspicuously non-desertlike land enveloped in perpetual drizzle.

I'd call it an unecessary medical procedure, that carries more risk than not doing it.

kitkatqueen Tue 27-Jan-09 00:56:04

Would this help your friend?

feel a bit sick... expression on babies face. sad

kitkatqueen Tue 27-Jan-09 01:01:03


Good Luck to your friend.

zazen Tue 27-Jan-09 01:09:36

Why not get the child initiated into the mother's church - after all they had their wedding blessing there.

Then the answer is that we are bringing him up in her faith, as the father hasn't been practicing for 20 years, and one faith is better than none (especially when circumcision is involved, no?).

They of course could involve the little boy with the lapsed religion of his dad, but in a way to build compassion, not faith (with it's attendant covenants).

If this was a girl we would all know where we stood: for me I see no difference, girl or boy - and having a piece of you lopped off for God/s is just crazy IMO - like puppies' tails and ears for Crufts.

BlueSapphire77 Tue 27-Jan-09 07:52:04

Having read the first and last pages of this thread, i would like to stand and be flamed lol

My DS1 has been circumcised. He was a baby when it was done and it was done under anaesthetic.
His father also had the procedure done. Penile cancer runs in his family you see.....

Apparently circumcision removes this risk? I have just given birth to DS2 and do not want to have it done, what does that make me? A bad mum? DS1 and DS2 have different fathers btw.

Bring it on i'm ready grin

Watoose Tue 27-Jan-09 08:09:59

God, Kitkat, I kind of wish I hadn't seen that - though I do think people who think it's a good idea ought to look at it. sad

It's actually much worse than I thought.

candyfluff Tue 27-Jan-09 09:57:25

i think it should only be done for medical reasons.end of

bloss Tue 27-Jan-09 10:12:47

Message withdrawn

lisalisa Tue 27-Jan-09 10:19:21

Bloss - I've seen loads done. My 2 ds's were done . Neither cried much - more crying when nappy taken off.

This debate brings back a lot of memories actually. My first every post on MN about 6 years agon was on such a thread. Although the thread was largely anti like this one it was a bit more balanced and wiht the antis more ready to listen to other views and at least repsct them. I think this thread reflects a bit how mn has become of late - more threatening, harsh and less of a plesaant place to be . Is jimjams still around as I frsit met her on teh other thread 6 yrs ago and she impressed me greatly with her respect for my right to circumcise even though she did not agree with the practice itself. That was my intro to MN having never been on internet chat sites . It is a shame that so much of that tolerance and open mindedness appears to ahve been lost....

Bubbaluv Tue 27-Jan-09 10:20:09

Surely the easy answer for the OP is that the child is not Jewish (non Jewish mother) and so there is no real argument for circ on the basis of ritual or religion?

lisalisa Tue 27-Jan-09 10:23:37

bubbaluv - completely agree that no need for religious reasons for child to have circumcision. In fact a mohel would not perform one any way!!!

needsomesunshine Tue 27-Jan-09 10:27:11

You will find that people of european heritage are the only ones that dont routinely circumcise. I am christian black british of african heritag and it is something that we just know has to be done, the same for muslim and jewish faith people. there was a documentary recently saying americans normally have it done as well. my view is that as long as it is done when they are babies there is nothing wrong with it. every one i know that has had it done is not distressed about it or thinks its a problem as an adult. on the contrary, if you are from a culture where most people have had it done it causes problems if you havent. my sister in law is white british and she thinks its much better . i think you have to be respectful of other peoples religions and views. obviously some people have it done for medical even cosmetic reasons but if you are going to get it done its better when they are babies.

needsomesunshine Tue 27-Jan-09 10:32:20

btw lisalisa, rabbis make alot of money from circumcisions of non jewish boys so i dont know where you got that idea from.If you look into it you will find that the muslim, jewish and some christian faiths say that a child should be circumcised. op why dont you ask people that have been circumcised how they feel about it and base your decisions on that.

lisalisa Tue 27-Jan-09 10:57:40

needsomesunshine - what rubbish! A mohel first asks if the child is halachically jewish and if not, declines. Our mohel did not take any money for the circumcision at all. It is a mitzvah from the Torah ( a commandment which is a good thing to carry out is the translatin of "mitzvah") and as such many many mohels will not charge. There is one very famous mohel in N16 who walks miles to circumcise on jewish holidays when teh car cannot be used. His longest walk - from N16 to NW11 just to fulfill the mitzvah. And for no money.

I do not know about other types of circumcision providers. I can only comment on orthodox providers. And they may charge money if it is their only form of income as that is wholly permitted. The point is that most of them do not charge.

needsomesunshine Tue 27-Jan-09 11:09:43

lisalisa-im glad that you are passionate about this debate but i am not speaking rubbish. i have 4 boys and three of them were circumcised by an orthodox. the last one by a community nurse. whether you believe it or not that is a fact.

Bubbaluv Tue 27-Jan-09 11:14:09

needsomesunshine, Until recently (last 20 years I would guess) it was the cultural norm in Australia. That has completely changed there though. I see no reason why a custom like this would be continued just for no good reason. Obviously in Aus, there was a huge number of circ'd Dads who chose not to circ their sons as they are now better informed.

It is hard to argue against a decision based on faith becuse the very nature of the adherance to a religion requires you to suspend logical/mortal decision making and place your trust in the decisions handed to you by a higher power. It's the whole point of faith. Cultural norms, however, can, should and are examined and questioned over time and changes occur. So instead of asking circ'd men if they have a problem with it, maybe we should ask them for logical reasons why an outdated custom should be continued.

pooka Tue 27-Jan-09 11:32:37

Lisalisa - I am sad that you sad at the thread. Genuinely.

I do question circumcision for cleanliness and cultural reasons - I just don't get it. I think it is wrong.

But I wouldn't argue vociferously against circumcision where it is required for religious reasons. I still don;t understand it, but then I don't really get religion. I have no religious faith, so of course cannot truly understand the practice.

I suppose my point is that if someone says they are doing because their religion specifically requires it, then that is their faith requirement. But a lot of the posts on here have referred to cleanliness, Anna referred to sexual pleasure, and others have mentioned aesthetics. And I vehemently disagree with that standpoint when it comes to infant circumcision where the child has no ability to consent.

pooka Tue 27-Jan-09 11:33:12

Bubbaluv put it much better than me.

needsomesunshine Tue 27-Jan-09 11:33:52

but bubbaluv we should also show respect for other peoples cultures. if you mean outdated you are surely not using modern, as example, british culture as an example of how wonderful modern culture is. the highest rate of teenage pregnancies in europe, 50% of households led by single parents, less family time due to sunday working, the credit crunch. im glad ive got my faith and culture and that i am bringing up my children in a christian faith. i think more people should follow a religion and the positive guidance that it sets out.
none of my family or friends have been harmed by circumcision and that is my basis for debate.

Bubbaluv Tue 27-Jan-09 11:54:40

needsomesunshine, modern British culture has it's problems, but I bet there are significant;y fewer teenage pregs now than there were a couple of hundred years ago - because we have greater knowledge and understanding and society has changed. There a probably fewer single parents as well.
I'm simply saying that cultural norms need to be examined and not just accepted as ^ how it's always been^ or they cannot be justified and therefore do not demand the respect of either the people within that culture or those viewing it from the outside.
Otherwise, your argument could be used to justify female circ' and surely you wouldn't say that's ok becuase it's a cultural thing?

lisalisa Tue 27-Jan-09 12:33:47

Pooka - I hav been saddened by a lot on MN recently and i am the type, having been here so many years, that usually hmmat the type of threads like "Isn't MN horrible place today?" etc. I usually think " well if its so horrible then go elesehwere etc". Having been here 6 years however it is a biggish part of my life now and a place where I have always felt free to post what I need and say what i want safe in the knowledge that everything is

1 anonymous

2 debated fairly and no grudges held/personal attacks made.

In last month or so have not felt like that at all.

I have felt insiduous undercurrents here which make me uncomfortable. I hate to put words in lulumama's mouth but I get the feeling its what she felt on this thread too but couldn't put her finger on. It's what crept into the Gaza threads too - more of an attack rahter than reasoned debate.

maybe that is why lulumama expressed her wish to get back to the more cosy midwifery threads but having read widely around MN in last few days also searching for a more affable and companionable place to me I rather doubt she will find sanctuary anywhere here at the moment.

Or for the MN of 6 years ago or even 6 months ago....... [ as a case in point we had some intense debates about israel into lebanon in 2006 but it never reached the point it has now]. things are changing here.....sad

Lulumama Tue 27-Jan-09 12:36:52

lisa, i often think twice or even three or four times about posting my religious background here after the last few weeks. but i was moved to comment by the aggressive nature of the OP and the disgusting language used. I have also removed my profile for the time being, as felt too accesible. Reading some more of the extreme views here recently, I have felt less safe and secure, not that i thikn particualry I am important enough to be singled out, but I do feel i have to be more careful.

lisalisa Tue 27-Jan-09 12:53:32

lulumama sad sad sad.

I agree sadly , again, about your profile. Having stuck my neck out on the GAza threads I am glad I have no profile posted and certainly no pics of me or my kids. I think you have to be extremely careful nowadays about this type of thing as the climate has chnaged palpably and for worst. In last month alone over 154 anti semitic attacks taken place in my area alone sad.

I watched your comments on the OP and could read the shock and distaste coming through your posts. Sometimes I think it isn't worth posting in response and sometimes I think its so very necessary. Good on you for taking up this particular cudgle.

Watoose Tue 27-Jan-09 13:00:01

Nobody should have to do that Lulu sad

Every culture contains elements I disapprove of including my own

I've nothing against Jewish people whatsoever and it's shocking to think people are attacked.

I didn't read the Gaza threads apart from the Rev situation but I gather there was some nastiness.

Sorry you are being made to feel anxious.

Lulumama Tue 27-Jan-09 13:10:35

thank you both.

lisa, i know there is heightened security in the synagogues and schools in the north west too. it is scary, because the situation in the middle east does lead to an increase in anti semitic attacks. it happens every time. that is reality.

MN might well be a more measured place, but you don't know who else reads/lurks/googles. who might not be so measured.

there might well be things we all disapprove of iwthin all religions, but hopefully they would be broached in less insulting terms. i appreciatre circumcision is bound to raise high feelings, but there are ways of approaching the issue without being base and insulting.

Bubbaluv Tue 27-Jan-09 13:24:45

I think you were really brave to post here Lulumama. Thank you for not just sitting back in the face of such aggression.

pooka Tue 27-Jan-09 13:30:24

In my defense I have actually been on the previous gaza threads, expressing my distaste a at the nasty undercurrent of anti-semitism that seems to be prevalent at the moment. And to query what the anti-israel posters would like israel to do in the face of the concerted and prolonged terrorist attacks against them.

But to me that is a different issue IYSWIM - I'm still anti-circumcision for cosmetic or cultural grounds. And I have agreed that the OP was unnecessarily vitriolic and inflammatory (while disagreeing that it is racist).

Lulumama Tue 27-Jan-09 13:31:40

thanks , there were others who were voicing similar opinions. smile

shame you has to be brave in this century to voice your religious persepective/ beliefs

Lulumama Tue 27-Jan-09 13:32:30

pooka, it is the undercurrent that worries me. especially people who are not posting, but simply lurking.

pooka Tue 27-Jan-09 13:36:03

Agreed. Unfortunately I don't think your fears are unfounded. at the moment. Amazing that there can be a thousand years of progress and still nothing really changes.

Lulumama Tue 27-Jan-09 13:36:56

quite <<sigh>>

anyhoo, i was leaving this thread about 2 days ago !!

lisalisa Tue 27-Jan-09 13:39:35

Yes Pooka - it is a different issue. No-one is suggesting you shouldn't post on circ if you disagree with it - or Gaza for that matter - and tbh neither lulu nor I have ever suggested that . What we are disucssing here is something else entirely that has invaded MN.

mamamila Tue 27-Jan-09 13:51:37

just checking back on this thread and sending a high five to needsomesunshine who i think has been very harshly replied to

my sentiment exactly that for many cultures it's just totally the norm to be circumcised and no big deal at all, not being circ would be far more of an issue

i joined this thread as the topic is on the table in our house, me and dp are wondering how we arrange circ if baby is boy as we're aware uk nhs do not offer choice of circ so we're a bit concerned at idea of it being done in a mosque, rather than hospital

DaDaDa Tue 27-Jan-09 13:53:28

As males are born with a foreskin, is it not reasonable to presume that as long as it is functioning properly it should remain intact?

I can understand the cultural/religious arguments (although I don't agree with them) but some of the views on here of the 'it looks better/it feels better for me' type are preposterous. Reverse the genders and consider if they're reasonable.

As for cleanliness, foreskins retract.

mamamila Tue 27-Jan-09 13:58:08

but how about the argument that it's always been done and has to be done for religious/cultural reasons and it's not a big deal. no-one is forcing anyone to agree to circ their own child but i can't see the point in people being so aggressive towards those who do circ their sons
any reasonable adult can understand that some cultures do- end of!

mamamila Tue 27-Jan-09 13:59:17

and lastly- if you cherish your future sons foreskins so much it's obviously something you need to discuss with partner before pregnancy!!

Bubbaluv Tue 27-Jan-09 14:04:10

Mamamila, but some terrible things are done becuase they are long-established cultural norms.
Surely these ideas need to be examined and found to still be relevant for them not to be attacked as unjustifiable? Religious requirements are unchanged so there is no real way to argue against that, but cultural norms? Do these really not need to be challenged? Obvioulsy not saying that aggressive bigotry is the way to go about it, but thechange in attitudes in Aus are a good example of how a cultural norm can be examined and found wanting.

mamamila Tue 27-Jan-09 14:17:53

well i obviously don't class circumcision of babies as a terrible thing so..not sure really about challenging cultural norms. i'm more inclined to respect that other peoples/cultures do things their way and it's my choice to get involved or not
my dp won't use toilet paper (disgusted that we do!) or let dd (18m)eat with her left hand and lots of small things, we've decided not to have a dog here as it would have to sleep outside..
but for instance on issues like smacking children dp agrees with me it's quite wrong, however he's grown up in a culture where any passing adult would be able to discipline a child they saw doing wrong and even small toddlers are never far from a light tap from a branch

Bubbaluv Tue 27-Jan-09 14:27:57

I'm not saying it's terrible, just that (as you have expereinced re hitting) cultural norms are not above examination. Surely cutting off a part of a baby's body warrants at least some thought beyond just "that's how it's done round here"?
Surely it begs the question "But why?"

PadDad Tue 27-Jan-09 15:57:10

I'm glad I've got a foreskin.

Watusi Tue 27-Jan-09 18:14:47

So am I, PadDad, that's really nice for you smile

jellybeans Tue 27-Jan-09 20:41:02

I wonder if eventually circ'd boys will sue their parents for harm? I read something on it once.

AtheneNoctua Wed 28-Jan-09 07:48:27

Do you suppose that means that non circ boys can sue us for neglect? hmm

Good grief where would it end? My DD is probably going to sue me for making her take ballet.

AllFallDown Wed 28-Jan-09 15:25:58

"btw lisalisa, rabbis make alot of money from circumcisions of non jewish boys"

Do they then sacrifice them and drink their blood, too?

Glad to see so many people who haven't been circumcised are willing to brand, for example, my parents as child abusers.

Bubbaluv Wed 28-Jan-09 15:33:28

What do you mean AllFallDown?
I don't think people (circ'd or not) think that the previous generation need to be judged on this matter. It was considered the best thing in those days.

jellybeans Wed 28-Jan-09 16:37:26

Taking ballet is not like having parts of your genitals cut off.

Bubbaluv Wed 28-Jan-09 16:43:18

Athene, she may sue you for not getting her Madarin lessons? wink

AtheneNoctua Wed 28-Jan-09 21:01:42

Oh shit, how old are you supposed to be when you take Mandarin? And is that before or after Latin?

My point was how absurd it would be if grown children could sue their parents have made what the grown children later deem to be the wrong parental decisions. I mean, we'dd all be in jail wouldn't we... unless of course there are some perfect parents out there, which I doubt.

UrbanDad Thu 29-Jan-09 08:21:27

None of the bluff, bluster and self-righteous indignation of the religious posters who take offence even begins to address the fact that with ritual circumcision there is not even an intention to do it for the benefit of the child (otherwise you would allow the child to decide for himself when he becomes an adult).

Anyway, on what kind of planet does one draw a parallel between decisions parents have to take (such as what physical or educational activity is best for their children) and deciding on no rational ground to chop off a functioning piece of their body and invite the family around to watch and applaud (ugh).

If I decided to chop off the hood of my DD's clitoris, I would be committing a criminal offence and rightly deserve to be put in jail - why should it be different if I did it to a small boy?

Come on - even if you believe in a God, you must believe he gave you the power of rational thought to progress, take what we need from the past and leave the rest behind.

lingle Thu 29-Jan-09 10:01:37

<clears throat, raises hand>

Urban Dad, I am hoping you have not missed my post of 26th Jan in the scrum. As it gives one answer to the question you actually asked.

lisalisa Thu 29-Jan-09 11:52:36

I don't think you will get many responses to your last post UrbanDad other than similar ones to lulumama and I bemoaning the lack of reasoned and respectful debate on MN. As a newcomer I doubt you have read or participated in many but you must be aware of the need for one if you want your posts answered. Oh, and the need to get rid of your appalling language and insinuendos too.

AtheneNoctua Thu 29-Jan-09 15:47:37

I wonder if we can nominate MNposters to bugger off to that moldies site. I'd like to nominate Urban Dad not for the content but for infalamatory delivery.

Some people think you are neglecting your son's best interests if you don't have him circumcised as an infant, when it is not a traumatic experience. The difference between you, UbranDad, and the posters on the other side of the debate is that you are unwilling to respect their point of view.

I have no religeous bond with either Lisalisa or Lulu, but I can respect them and have many in depth conversation with them about nannies and caesareans.

As Lisa points out, this level respect and courtesy is vital to your message on MN. Please try to learn the error of your ways which everyone else can see running rampid through this thread.

Take a deep breath, step back, and when you come back try to debate rather than criticise.

Judy1234 Thu 29-Jan-09 16:10:19

It is a breach of the child's human rights. As a parent therefore you have a duty to prevent it happenning even if you have to hang on to teh child and not physically let it go. They cannot circumcise it without your consent so therefore don't be weak, don't give in to cultural pressure. Send all relevant family members booklets about the barbarity of the practice.

This is an emotive subject but it goes to the root of parenting. A child's body should not be modified whether they are male or female. In the US most baby boys are circumcised. In the UK most are not. We are way ahead of the US on this.

It will affect their sex life and how they feel when having sex for the rest of their lives and any parent that allows it to take place because of some edict of usualyl male based religion should take themselves off for therapy/deprogramming.

thirtysomething Thu 29-Jan-09 16:20:53

I take exception to the enormous value judgement you put on those who have mentioned religious beliefs in their posts, Urbandad, by your comment about them being "self-righteous"!!! If you don't mind me saying so it makes you sound quite self-righteous yourself - the whole point of these debates on MN is that you don't have to agree with other people but you should totally respect their right to hold their own religious/moral/political views - do unto others and all that!

Judy1234 Thu 29-Jan-09 16:31:08

We do not however have to lie by and allow barbaric mutiliation to children's genitals. The good samaritan doesn't walk on by. The morally right position is to intervene whenever gross abuse is done to children. Now I acecpt that in the UK male circumcision is lawful and female which is worse and is very commonly done to girls around here anyway even if they are shipped back first to Somalia and Egypt is illegal but even so I regard mutilation of a boy's genitalia as a breach of his human rights whetyehr done in the name of hygiene or God. it's almost an isult to God given God made him as he was adn then man chooses to alter him and arguably interfer with his sexual functioning for life. Plenty of men who are circumcised wish their parents had not done it later.

CrushWithEyeliner Thu 29-Jan-09 16:31:25

Genital mutilation in children is appalling - feel nauseous reading the justifications and even benefits angry on this thread. All in the name of religion - funny how this aspect of the "tradition" (inflicting suffering on an infant) is so fiercely held on to while others are so not - genuine bafflement there.

jellybeans Thu 29-Jan-09 18:50:01

There is no reason to cut babies of either sex. Why are boys not protected? WHY is it not illegal? I believe it will become so. Religion is no excuse nor is tradition. The worst 'reason' I have heard is 'we wanted him to look like dad', bizarre.

CrushWithEyeliner Thu 29-Jan-09 21:06:18

It is not illegal because of RELIGION - which has been a passport to mutilate, torture and kill yet immediately stops any value judgement in it's tracts from rational intelligent thinkers.
It's a matter of "belief" you see.....

Monkeytrousers Fri 30-Jan-09 17:42:03

Well I don't second that Athene. I don't believe inflamatory delivery if a crime on MN or anywhere else where freedom of speech is practiced.

I can't speal for UD, but from my POV, it has nothing to do with respecting opinions. If it were only a religious opinion and not an act that we were discusing, you might have a point. But the fact is we are talking about actions, not simply words or opinions. I believe in universal human rights, and they transcend culture and religion.

lessonlearned Sat 31-Jan-09 00:30:51

I can't think why any reasoning person would want to hurt a baby or small child for any reason. Please enlighten me if you can.

LynetteScavo Mon 02-Feb-09 23:01:03

To a certain extent I find this similar to my DH wanting my DD to have her ears pinned back. He has sticky out ears, and was teased as a child. Our GP has sugested she has it done aged 5. As her mother though, I really can't jsutify causing her physical pain to make her prettier.

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