So, San Francisco is trying to ban circumcision
So, San Francisco is trying to ban circumcision. Here in he UK, cutting is relatively uncommon, and generally only done for religious observance. In the US, circ is far more the norm, and apparently the City by the Bay has had it up to *here* with it. To be honest, I don’t care either way about the issue – my husband decided we weren’t going to do it, and since he has the penis, he got the deciding vote on this matter. What is annoying me about the matter is people going on and on that parents should respect that it is their son’s bodies, and they have no right to decide what happens to it.
My son, left on his own to make his own decisions about his life, would die of starvation and dehydration within 3 days. 24 hours a day, I make decisions for him. I decide when he eats, and what he wears, and whether he takes a bath at night or not. I put sunglasses on him when it is too bright outside, and add a blankie when I think he is cold. I run his life, because I have to. Believe me, some days I would like to just tell my 3 month old kid ‘You sort yourself out for the day, Mummy is going to the spa!’, but I can’t, because if my husband and I don’t make decisions for him, decisions over his body, he would die.
While I personally think circumcision isn’t needed, I’m not going to call a parent a monster for doing it, and I’m certainly not going to accept legislation which hinders a parent in doing something they feel strongly about, whether it be for religious reasons or not. Now, some say it is abuse. Some say it is tantamount to torture. Some say it’s just like female circumcision, which is outlawed. And I am not sure how to respond to these people. Do I show them the files of kids I have worked with in the past who *were* legitimately tortured by their parents, and are still in mental wards over it? Do I introduce them to women who were mutilated through female circumcision not for religious or outdated hygiene purposes, but so that they would be unable to feel sexual pleasure when they were older, and ask those ladies if getting a small flap of skin removed is the same as them being held down at the age of 9 or so and having a large portion of their external genitalia removed, often with unsterile instruments and no pain relief, the same? Or do I simply remind them that every single action or inaction I take on the part of my child is making a decision for them, and I am just trying to do my best to raise my kid in a positive manner. Do I tell them that as they tend to dislike when people make decisions for them through legislature (I wonder how outlawing abortions would go over in SF?), and that this legislation is no different – it is taking away the rights of the parents over their children’s bodies.
For what it’s worth, by the group’s own stats over 90% of kids born in SF leave the hospital without getting the snip. You would think they would see it then as the non issue that it is, and work towards something else – keeping school lunches healthy, or outlawing the show ‘Toddlers and Tiaras‘ (kiddie beauty pageants are far more traumatic in my opinion than getting your weiner sliced, but that’s just me).
When my kid gets older, he’ll make decisions over what foods to eat, and what he would like to wear. As he gets even older, he will decide if he would like to get a piercing or tattoo. He’ll have autonomy over his body. But for now, that responsibility is my husband’s and mine. We are in charge of him, all of him. To take away that ability is to take away our right to choose. San Francisco, you know better.