I Circumcised My Son Out of Love

227

The decision of whether to circumcise my son or not was the hardest parenting decision I have made in my nearly five years as a parent. As a Jewish mother, I was especially torn because even though I'm more culturally than spiritually Jewish, the tradition in my culture made it very hard for me to consider not making the cut.

Almost from the moment we found out the baby had boy parts, my husband and I dreaded the idea that we had to make this choice. And yet, I'm glad we had the choice to make.

One woman's crusade to end circumcision is having repercussions all over the country, though the bans have only been truly explored in the Bay Area (where it's on the ballot this fall) and now in Santa Monica, California.

It's repulsive. For so many reasons.

As a Jewish parent, I take great offense to the notion that somehow one woman's distaste for a cultural practice could derail something we Jews have done since the dawn of our faith. It's unconscionable that something Jews and Muslims feel is commanded by G-d would be banned by the government.

But there are even health reasons for doing it. The American Academy of Pediatrics has always taken a neutral approach to the issue, but even they are amending their recommendations to stress the health benefits a bit more, namely the role of circumcision in preventing HIV transmission. They aren't outright recommending it, but they're saying it's a choice every parent ought to have. And it's one San Francisco and now Santa Monica would like to take from us.

Never mind that the potential ban is anti-Semitic (which it is). Never mind that the potential ban completely ignores any health benefits circumcision gives. Mostly, this is an attack on personal freedoms, on our ability to dictate what is right for us and our family. I hated making the choice, but I am glad I had the choice to make.

The fact is, part of being a parent is making hard choices. If we start banning all the things we find distasteful and unnecessary, we would be banning everything from earrings to braces and beyond.

I hated everything about making that choice. I hated talking to our pediatrician on the phone for a total of three hours. I hated crying when I thought of both choices. And I hated feeling cultural pressure to do something I didn't necessarily think I would do otherwise. But in the end, standing at the bris, I felt strong. Even as I also felt my heart breaking (I was eight days postpartum!) and had tears streaming down my face, I realized it was a good thing. What we did, we ultimately did with intention and love, in a ceremony standing right beside him. We did it because we love our son and want him to be part of our cultural history. We did what we felt was right for him.

This is the same way any parent makes a choice. You hold your breath and you hope it's the right one. What you don't do is become so self-righteous and sanctimonious in your own choice that you invalidate the choices of others.

I respect and love my friends who chose not to circumcise, but I expect that same respect and love in return. I thought just as long and hard and did just as much research as they did. I hated making that choice, but I was glad I had one.

Do you support the circumcision ban?

circumcision

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Pua Smith

Amber-->As I previously stated, STDs is not a good argument to circumsize. I, honestly, can't stand it when people use that as a reasoning of why circumcision is better. That and how "unclean" it is to not be snipped. While I respect a person's choice to do it or not, those are two things that are easily argued against so I'm not sure why people insist on using those "points" in a debate.


Katie-->Men have made claims that after circumsicion (as an adult) their sexual pleasure was, in fact, decreased. The foreskin actually is the most sensitive part of the penis.

Rose Pomplun

This is sick. It is your sons penis not yours. His body his choice. You have no right. Should all little girls get their clitoral hood cut off when they are born? No! Same with boys.  These poor baby boys are being mutilated daily. If you truly loved your son, you would leave him WHOLE!!

KTMOM KTMOM

no

nonmember avatar 20fairy

Just an FYI, circumcision was at one time practiced to help STOP little boys from masturbating. It was thought that removing that extra sensitive skin would help stop young boys from getting unwanted erections. I agree that just because this is common and has been going on for ever that people don't bother looking at what the are doing and WHY they are doing it.

Krist... KristinRox

No I dont support it. I think its giving the government the choice rather then leaving the choice to the parent. Its fine that that woman doesnt like it.. if she doesnt like it she shouldnt do it. But why take away everyone elses rights because she doesnt agree with it? Why is she making it her mission to take the rights away from people? If people are able to give away their rights to make a choice about this.. then what will be next?

Naji Wench

The choice is being taken away from the parents and put where it should be...with the owner of the penis. It is NOBODY'S right to choose to remove another person's body parts. Nobody is saying that a jewish man cannot have himself circumcised. What is being said is that the systematic and ritual mutilation of infants should be stopped. We have outlawed it for our daughters, now it's time to extend that same protection to our sons.

mrssu... mrssundin

Just an FYI, circumcision was at one time practiced to help STOP little boys from masturbating. It was thought that removing that extra sensitive skin would help stop young boys from getting unwanted erections. I agree that just because this is common and has been going on for ever that people don't bother looking at what the are doing and WHY they are doing it.


Your actually buying this hook line and sinker you have to be a moron to believe this!!!  Circumcision was started during the bible times by God what does that have to do with master bating???  To me its up to the parents if you can abort a baby who's body isnt yours to abort and kill then why not be the one making the choice for your son to be circ???  I see no difference between the two...

Cyneva Dalton-Vazquez

There's nothing 'loving' about cutting off part of a baby's penis. But it's definitely true that "Custom will reconcile people to any atrocity."

Cyneva Dalton-Vazquez

"I think its giving the government the choice rather then leaving the choice to the parent."


This isn't a choice that belong to parents. It's not their penis.

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