I’ve written about this briefly before, but today I want to dive in a little deeper. I know this post will cause some debate. That’s okay. Talking about things can never be bad. Just please, let’s try to keep it civil.
Ever since I started Single Dad Laughing more than two and a half years ago, I have been approached by all sorts of zealots and extremists for various causes. Some of them passionately encouraged me to write in support of their views, others have threatened to destroy my name and blog if I don’t jump onto their bandwagon.
The strangest of all of those, to me, are the ones that I really have nothing to do with. Like when a group of extreme breastfeeding mothers threatened to sweep the internet and ruin me to all parent groups everywhere.
When I got those messages (some of which were very recent), I laughed. I could just hear it, “boycott Single Dad Laughing because he’s a horrible human being! He refuses to write about the need to breastfeed!” And then I laughed again as I wondered if they even knew that Noah is adopted. That boy hasn’t had a breast in his mouth yet, and hopefully he won’t for another decade. Or three.
And then there’s the anti-circumcision group. They’ve made similar threats.
In fact, these two groups (who I have my suspicions are often one and the same) have approached me multiple times, sometimes nicely, sometimes horribly, and have by far been the most vocal of all the extremists. They’ve had their eye on my platform, and feel like I owe it to them to use it on their behalf.
See, I had my son circumcised. Circumcision was what I grew up with. I never thought twice about it. It’s just what you did.
And the truth is, I’d like to write about my experience circumcising Noah. It wasn’t pleasant and it made me take pause and rethink the practice in general. Without getting into too much detail, they didn’t have him completely numbed, and his screams from that day still haunt me.
But I can’t write about that. Not honestly. Because, you see, the topic is such a hot one that the anti-circumcision people might take my story and run with it and put me on their list as a notable person in “their camp.”
But I’m not in their camp. And I’m not pro-circumcision, either. I simply have a story and perspective that I wish I could share but I’ll never share because I don’t want to deal with the aftermath. I honestly haven’t done enough research to make an honest decision about it, nor do I want to until the time comes (if it ever comes) that I have to look at that choice again.
And if that day does come, I don’t even know where to look, if I’m being honest (and please don’t send me content to research, I’ll just toss it). Searching the internet for the truth about circumcision is like searching the internet for the truth about religion. There’s a lot of passionate people on both sides who are flinging a lot of half truths and a lot of mud in each other’s directions. The extremism of it all is enough to sour any new parent, I would think.
And so I will tell you all that I simply don’t give a crap about it. One way or the other.
I don’t care how much data you show that circumcision is the worst thing on earth. I’ve seen enough to know that the majority of the people who are vocal about it are mothers. They’re not the men who had their foreskins whopped off as children. Sure, there are some, and yes some of them are also vocal about it, and some of them it has affected, and some of them wish they still had every bit of their penis in place, but the vast, vast majority of circumcised men don’t give a crap, just like me. I’m thankful my parents had mine taken off.
I also don’t give a crap how much data you show me that circumcision is just fine, almost always undamaging, and how people later in life suffer emotionally and physically if they’re not cut. I just don’t care enough to be extreme myself about something so many people have been so extreme to each other about.
My entire experience with circumcision lies in two points of data for me.
1) My son’s circumcision did not go well and was traumatic.
2) A friend of mine was not circumcised as a child, and he hated that about himself so much that he had it done when he was older, which was really traumatic for him and caused lots of complications.
See why I don’t care? I can’t base anything off of two conflicting points of data, and everything else out there that I’ve seen is so extreme that I don’t want to touch any of it.
And breastfeeding isn’t any better. It seems that there is this group of moms who spend their entire waking moment swapping their kids onto their breasts with one hand and perusing the internet trying to make every mom who doesn’t breastfeed (or doesn’t breastfeed until their child weans themselves) feel like the world’s biggest failures with the other.
Breast is best! Breast is best! Breast is best!
A handful of people are chanting it so loudly that they’ve somehow made themselves appear as the majority. And I don’t care for that. Ever.