Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sunday Surf: Circumcision Edition

As promised, I've been collecting intactivist links for my discussion with my husband and I'm sharing them all together here! They are in no particular order (except maybe the order in which I found them), but I'll try to include some sort of information about each one. I didn't actually dig through all of these sites, so some of this is just a first-glance review. Some sites just didn't interest me further than that (and so I would suggest a serious redesign!).

I did put a lot of work into compiling the list (and another list you'll find at the bottom). I also marked a few favorite links with bold, red asterisks. **

  • 10 Reasons You Should Rethink Infant Circumcision - if you have some biblical reasons in mind for circumcising your son, this is the list for you!

  • **The Guggie Daily: If Only - Ooooh man. If you really want a solid personal-experience story that will hit home like a load of bricks... read this story. Seriously. I thought I might use this as my first line-of-attack in the intact argument.

  • Doctors Opposing Circumcision (D.O.C.) - is a very medically official looking site (visually boring). However, it is Physicians for Genital Integrity. You can find a list of D.O.C. publications and letters as well as recommended books, websites, and videos. They talk about medical school curriculum and offer a link to online viewing of Whose Body, Whose Rights? (I'll add this sites link to the bottom of the list as well.)

  • Saving Penises - This is a much more parent-friendly, visually appealing website. They offer a list of resources and links. They also sell a big Info Pack about circumcision. It isn't terribly expensive, but even if you can't afford it - they'll send you one!

  • As Nature Intended - touts "helping parents to have a natural and gentle beginning. They push for Intact & Breastfed - Organic. I like their slide show at the bottom which has some interesting facts I didn't know. I've also now found another link from here that I'll add to the end of the list!

    Stop Infant

  • Circumcision Information and Resource Pages - "are an Internet resource that provide you with information about all aspects of the genital surgery known as circumcision." They offer a Circumcision Reference Library (technical material) and Circumcision Information Pages (parent-friendly material).

  • Sex as Nature Intended It - This site is EXPLICIT! If you're wondering how being intact (or not) might effect your son's sexual health (and his mate's) as an adult, then this site is worth a viewing. Be warned, however, that there are video clips that would definitely be considered flat out pornographic. And I'm talkin' illegal in my state! However, they go with a fascinating list of the Top 10 Ways Circumcised Penis Harms Women!

  • Circumcision Resource Center - looks like a very neat, professional website by this nonprofit organization. They also offer a nifty slide show (at the top this time) with some tidbit facts. It includes a photo of an infant being circumcised.

  • Intact America - is also a not-for-profit organization and their website is also very neat and professional. In fact, they also have a slideshow with factoids!

  • The Male Infant Circumcision Information Site - looks to have plenty of information, but is not a very attractive site. They link back to the info packs I mentioned above from Saving

    circumcision amputates 50% or more penile nerves

  • Students for Genital Integrity (SGI) - This is a group that formed to join the forces of organizations (and people) speaking out against not just male genital mutilation (circumcision), but also female genital mutilation (female circumcision) and intersex genital mutilation ("sex reassignment" surgery on intersex children). I've watched some documentaries on IGM and would never presume to know what gender my child would be if they were born with both or an incomplete / confusing set of genitals. At least, not now that I know more. This group actually also lists routine episiotomy as forced genital cutting! I like these people!! They have a page for SGI chapters, but the page is broken.

  • The Intactivism Pages - looks like a great big brochure at first, with minimal graphics. The page drags down forever. The site is just not put together well at all! I like their URL, though: Circumstitions. Cute.

  • Videos about Circumcision - was mentioned on D.O.C. earlier. This a collection of videos that might not be what you expect. There is a link to a 35 minute documentary titled Mother, Why Was I Circumcised?. They also provide links to films about Female Circumcision.

  • **Circumcision Decision Maker - looks to be a pretty cool (fun?) site. It offers a step-by-step click-through decision-making process. You begin by stating whether you are considering adult or child circumcision. You then click the reason behind your consideration of the procedure. The next screen has you narrow down that reason. Once you click on that, you're given... basically the explanation why your concern isn't actually valid. (For instance, if your concern is hygiene, care of an intact penis is given to show that circumcision is not a solution.)

  • **The WHOLE Network - I can not believe I almost left them out of the list!! it looks like they use the same template as Saving Penises, but they do have different pages and such. I love The WHOLE Network on Facebook and have found them very inspirational! Sometimes their wall posts make me laugh. Then my husband asks me what is funny and I am given the opportunity to share it with him. So he's been getting bite-sized amusing chunks of intactivist statements for weeks! This proved quite helpful with the final argument, as I will explain shortly...

  • **peaceful parenting (aka Dr Are You Fully Informed? is a good starting point to research circumcision. This site is just generally an awesome resource for parenting issues anyway! This particular post offers a list of links for books, websites and articles.

  • **Natural Parents Network: Holistic Health Practices / Circumcision - of course this site is near and dear to me! I volunteer with them. This link will take you to the NPN resource page with links on this topic. Some of them I have already included, but you may find a better explanation of what the page offers from there. You can also see articles on the site about circumcision at this link.

Here is how our "argument" went once I finally brought up the topic: "Hey babe... You ready to talk about circumcision?"

Him: Sure.

"You want me to start telling you reasons not to or do you want to tell me your reasons for circ and I'll argue against them?"

Him: How about we just don't circ and you have to clean it?

"Sure! But you only wipe it like a finger. You do NOT retract."

Which led to a short discussion of the proper care and development of an intact penis. I thanked him. Didn't I tell you it would go easy? :-D

I had been reading him funny little tidbits from The WHOLE Network on FB like this one:

Susan Blustein writes: I was driving today, stopped at a light, when the guy in his car next to me gestured for me to roll my window down. I live in a place where that's fairly safe, so I did. He points at the bumper sticker ("his body his choice stop infant circumcision") & emphatically is like, "OMG! Your sticker! I love that! I totally agree!" I told him some stuff (to look up FB pages like this or Celebrities Against Circumcision wink nod), he shouted, "On me! They took too much skin!"

I said, I know, hairy shaft, amirite?

"Yeah! Thank you for what you do!" And the light changed. What do you think of that?

Years of bumper stickers & I finally get a reaction lol.

If you're gearing up for an argument and really have it out, you may want to be prepared for a possible result... Your husband may wind up with some new feelings about his parents mutilating his genitals. This can be a difficult place to be, psychologically and emotionally speaking.

Upon realizing something was missing that the rest of elephants the world over had all along...

For this reason, or perhaps if you've convinced your husband to the side of intactivism well enough, he may wish he could restore his foreskin. Well, he can! It can be done, though obviously not to the original form and function entirely. If you go back and read the explicit link I included, you may really want this for yourself as well. Here are some links about foreskin restoration that were recommended to me (in a group conversation) by someone that has already done a lot of research:

  • What is Foreskin Restoration? - this appears to be one blog entry from Restoring Tally, an ordinary guy who had to confront his prostate and circumcision problems. This site chronicles his journey in dealing with these issues. He has had prostate surgery and he is restoring his foreskin.

  • - This link was also linked from Restoring Tally. It is "The place to find out about foreskin restoration." They offer forums with which they have created a community of men devoted to foreskin restoration.

  • TLC Tugger - looks to be more of a store offering the products used to restore foreskin. I now know of at least one wife of a man working toward restoring his foreskin. Why? Because it will better their sex life! Isn't that reason enough? I think so!

  • **Uncircumcised: Foreskin Restoration - I dig this article! It is really long and honestly, I skimmed one of the pages. However, this guy talks real talk (he doesn't use the word penis much) and shares his *own* perspectives and experiences. He also shares some old, broken links, though.

I've also recently changed my verbiage. Rather than NOT Circumcising, we ARE leaving our son intact. This helps normalize the idea of the intact penis rather than assuming that circumcision is the norm. It isn't anymore.

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