Not Your Father’s Circumcision

by Marinka on January 29, 2009

I think that if you have your son circumcised at birth, you are making a huge mistake and are giving up a fantastic discipline tool for no good reason. I’m sorry, I know that the truth hurts. As do circumcisions, especially when performed later on in life. Which is what, and I apologize in advance for ending the sentence in a preposition, I am getting to.

So the mommy blogosphere has been abuzz lately with the circumcision debate. To cut or not to cut, that is the question. It went from Dooce to Momversation to (my favorite) Finslippy to Her Bad Mother and let me tell you, it’s fucking exhausting. The moral chest pounding is deafening. I was half expecting The Bloggess to weigh in with foreskin fashions or something.

It’s either a really bad idea to get a circumcision or a fantastic one, depending on many factors that you can discuss ad nauseam, but that basically narrow down to “I’m right and you’re a moron and possibly a child abuser.” I’m paraphrasing, of course.

Fortunately, I can offer some guidance on the issue:

I didn’t circumcise my son, but I threaten to, when necessary.

“What’s that? You don’t want to take out the garbage? Let me just dial Bris-on-the-Run!”

“Please put your clothes away! No? Hello, Foreskin-be-Gone!”
Ask yourself–why would you give up such an important discipline tool so early in your child’s life. I mean, you wouldn’t give your kid a car at birth, would you? No, you’d wait until your child “earned” it, by showing responsibility, and you know, getting a driver’s license. Same thing with circumcision. Get it at birth and you can never threaten it again. Not unless you want to appear like some kind of whack job.
Think about it. Perhaps there are circumcision-reversal services that can help if you didn’t wait for my wisdom in the first place.
Your son will thank you for it. And so will America.
* * *
And now to lighten the mood, I will share the song that my son has been singing non-fucking stop all week, in the hopes that you will sing it all week and I will thereby be released from its grasp:

We will
We will
Rock You!
Sock You!
Drop You!

Flush you down the toilet, See if you enjoy it!

We will
We will
Rock you!

One year ago ...

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{ 52 comments… read them below or add one }

SweetPeaSurry January 29, 2009 at 8:09 pm

I wouldn’t even know where to BEGIN with a debate of this kind.

I’ve only ‘seen’ circumsized … well you know where I’m going with that.

On to the song, Oh no way, it’s not getting stuck in my head. I had the stoopid Mamwich commercial stuck in my head for four solid months.

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P.K. January 29, 2009 at 8:10 pm

I actually consider myself the ultimate expert on this subject: two sons — one circumcised, one not. (Not to mention two husbands — one circumcised, one not.)

Please don’t beg, though, because no further details will be forthcoming.

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for a different kind of girl January 29, 2009 at 8:11 pm

OK, my son (circumcised) has been singing that damn song for weeks, and I thought he was incredibly creative and perhaps penned that himself, but apparently not (unless he recorded and released it nationwide without my knowledge)(which, considering he still calls me in to see if he’s “good enough” after using the bathroom, and is always around me, I highly doubt it), so now I wonder where they’re hearing it.

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Heather, Queen of Shake Shake January 29, 2009 at 8:18 pm

Neither of my sons are circumcised and I frequently chase them around the house with a carving knife until the do what the hell I told them to do.

Nothing scares the shit out of them more than a amateur homeopathic circumcision.

Plus? Who needs to buy bath toys when your sons have a foreskin to stretch and play with? It’s truly economical.

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OHmommy January 29, 2009 at 8:28 pm

I wish I knew about the internet when pregnant with my son.

That is all.

PS. Saw you comment on the momversations thingy… awesome. High five *slap* my hand.

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Melissa January 29, 2009 at 8:41 pm

Every few years this debate seems to poke its little head out and everyone gets all twisted up about it. Looks like I’ll have to go and see what it’s all about this time around…

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blognut January 29, 2009 at 8:50 pm

Good point – I wish I had come to you on this before I had my son circumcised.

By the way, thanks for giving me back that song. I had finally shaken it off and replaced it with Shout by Tears for Fears.

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Little Miss January 29, 2009 at 8:54 pm

Oh, man! Where were you 18 years ago??? Now where did I put that superglue?

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the mama bird diaries January 29, 2009 at 9:03 pm

Incredibly thankful at this moment to have girls.

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ms. changes pants while driving January 29, 2009 at 10:10 pm

i was going to leave a comment, then i started reading your “comment rules and guidelines” that shows up when you click to comment and now i’m all kerfuffled. i swears, it’s like you and vodka mom are conspiring to … uhh… what’s the word… distract me. yeah.

oh.

something about i’m never having boys so i’ll never have to decide.

and i’m doing a giveaway on my blog. come over and enter yerself.

uhhhh….

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Ann's Rants January 29, 2009 at 10:24 pm

I don’t know if you just changed your comment form, or if I finally paid enough attention to read it. I was going to say something about clitorectomies, but now I’ve thought better of it.

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anymommy January 29, 2009 at 10:37 pm

Since I’ve already, um regaled you with my views on this subject, I’ll just say, brilliant. How do I start over and renew my options? Superglue?

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Maggie May January 29, 2009 at 11:44 pm

the word ‘intact’ gives one pause for thought.

my son is not circed! i couldn’t do it.

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StatMama January 30, 2009 at 12:19 am

You know, my three year old son – who has extreme difficulty saying things as simple as “juice, please”, sure can sing that damn song almost perfectly. It’s got to be on a commercial or something, that’s all I can figure.

And now I sound like an awful parent for not monitoring what my children watch every waking second the TV is on. Oops!

And I just blogged about circumcision…around the 12th of January, I think.

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Christine January 30, 2009 at 1:11 am

You evil woman! That song is awesome! Damn it!

Nice twist on the circumcision debate. I never though of that… I think it could work on the husband too.

(neither hubby or son have been cut… yet (evil laugh))

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Belle January 30, 2009 at 2:04 am

I find that this threat works a lot better for me;

If you don’t tidy your room, I will pull your foreskin over your head!

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Belle January 30, 2009 at 2:17 am

BTW – Way to go for your opinion on momversations. You are absolutely right of course.

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Kylie w Warszawie January 30, 2009 at 2:20 am

My sons are not circumsized. This really had nothing to do with me. Had my husband been circumsized, I’m sure all 3 boys would have been. But since my husband is not (and he is one of those, “You’re a child abuser and mutilator! How could you do that to a poor innocent child?”), the boys are not either.

Plus we live in Europe, where it’s not usually done unless it’s for religious reasons.

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Braja January 30, 2009 at 3:35 am

All I had to do was read the title and I’ve got Rod Fucking Stewart singing “The First Cut is the Deepest” over and over in my head. Thanks, you thoughtless goddamned sadist….

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PinkLizzy January 30, 2009 at 4:21 am

At least your son is not singing himself to sleep with “I love cricket, yes I do…I love cricket, it’s so cool…I love cricket, yes I dooooo” over and bloody over.
He’s not circ. So appaprently boys with all bits intact love weird/repetitive/annoying songs God love em.

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Jeanne January 30, 2009 at 5:16 am

After a lot of arguing and angst, my daughter and her partner decided to have my grandson snipped — only to find out that his penis was too large to fit into the contraption.

Thank you, Marinka! As his only known living grandparent, I’ve been longing to share that, but even in a blog it’s kind of hard to work into a conversation.

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K January 30, 2009 at 5:29 am

I just think all the fighting is silly. I’m pretty sure it’s work out either way and I thoroughly enjoyed your take on it.

I personally just let my husband make the decision – he was more familiar with the equipment in question.

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Blue January 30, 2009 at 6:04 am

LMAO…circumcision as a consequence is intoxicatingly fabulous. i see its uses in many situations including child rearing, spousing, mediation (oh well, I guess if you’re going down this consequential road, it’s not really mediation – but whatever), negotiation, general conversational emphasis, oh the list is building as i write. either way, thank you for opening my eyes and broadening my horizons; exactly what any worthy blog should accomplish.

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momcat January 30, 2009 at 6:34 am

I don’t even have to use circumcision as a threat. Just threatening to go in the bathroom when they’re bathing is enough of an incentive. Sick hey!

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Scary Mommy January 30, 2009 at 6:42 am

Damn it. Wish I had kept mine uncut, just to threaten a “Bris-on-the-Run.” Shit.

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Amy@Bitchin'WivesClub January 30, 2009 at 6:47 am

My opinion is that you get your little boys circumcised if their Daddy is. All 3 of my boys got it done and we have no regrets.

I just have to get a little more creative in my threats… maybe by threatening to get them lobotomized?

Amazingly, I’ve never encountered an uncircumcised one in all my, ahem, “travels.”

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Smores for Breakfast January 30, 2009 at 6:48 am

omg the clip or not to clip debate is the stupidest. its so none of my biz what people do with their boys penis. geez.

Now besides the wheels on the bus go round and round, I have we will rock you. thanks. ; )

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*Akilah Sakai* January 30, 2009 at 6:53 am

I don’t care if a mom and/or dad decide to snip. It’s their business and no one is wrong or evil for doing so. Same with breastfeeding. If you don’t do it, who gives a shit?! That’s that mom’s personal business and no one elses.

People get their panties in a bunch over things that are really none of their business. If a parent wants an infant’s nipples pierced and a tattoo of “mom” on their tiny shoulder, then I’d understand all the hoopla!

My son got snipped. I made sure they’d allow me in the room when they did it so I’d have him in my arms one second after it was done.

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SoMi's Nilsa January 30, 2009 at 7:36 am

And *this* is the reason you are one of the few mommy bloggers I read. Because you do not sound righteous in your opinion. And you’re damn funny. IF a family chooses to circumsize, my only advice is not to invite friends to the bris. Seriously. I’ve been to one too many. Not pretty. Especially when the men faint. I kid you not.

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Z January 30, 2009 at 7:44 am

This might be the best take on this internet-buzzworthy issue I’ve seen so far! (Not that I’ve really been paying attention, having never had a foreskin myself and not yet having someone growing inside me that may develop one…)

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derfina January 30, 2009 at 7:46 am

Too funny. My first son was circumcised at birth and the other wasn’t because he had so many other medical problems at the time, I did not want to put him through the added pain. Eighteen years later, he came to me and said he wanted to get a circumcision because his girlfriend had creeped out over his ‘weird’ looking willy. I’ll tell you something. It is MUCH easier and evidently MUCH LESS PAINFUL to have it done as an infant, and that it is much easier AS A MOTHER to have to care for. I now know that particular piece of his anatomy much better than mommy needs to.

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Cindy January 30, 2009 at 8:05 am

My son was circumcised at birth, since it’s nothing to do with religion in our family I guess it’s just for looks?
I’m glad I’m a girl (sometimes)circumcision or menstration?

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Tracey January 30, 2009 at 9:00 am

Hmmm. The Illinois version goes something like this:

We will
We will
Rock you
Sock you
Body-oddy-ock you.

Flush you down the toilet.
Hope you will enjoy it.

For. Ev. Er.

Not sure why it has the Forever part as it doesn’t fit. Midwest kids are weird…

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Deb January 30, 2009 at 9:03 am

I am not circumcised!!!!

Oh yeah. I’m a girl. Doesn’t count.

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peajaye January 30, 2009 at 9:08 am

foreskin –
pros: less pain; more natural; increases size of penis.
cons: cheesey smell; more likely to get caught in zipper; makes penis look more like a hooded beast than a friendly, one-eyed monster.

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Kate Coveny Hood January 30, 2009 at 9:33 am

I didn’t even think about it as a serious decision. We just figured it was “the norm” and had both boys “done.” (we’re sheep apparently)

Then my best friend had this huge internal struggle over it and ultimately decided not to circumcize her twins. I felt a little guilty for my lack of soul searching regarding what is kind of the most important part of anatomy as far as a man is concerned. So I’m like the Holly Golightly of circumcision. Who knew?

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Jodi January 30, 2009 at 10:22 am

No, this isn’t my father’s circumcision because thanks to my TMI stepmother I know that my father is not circumcised. Thanks, Fran, I have that image burned into my brain now.

PK commented above that, “I actually consider myself the ultimate expert on this subject: two sons — one circumcised, one not. (Not to mention two husbands — one circumcised, one not.)

Ironically, I am in the same boat. Two husbands: the first a crew neck, the second a turtleneck. Two boys, each matching his dad.

I didn’t want to circ the first boy but I was whacked out on pain meds after a C-section and let his dad decide.

During the second pregnancy, my husband and I told the OB early on that if the baby was a boy there would be no snippity-snip-snip. The doc actually looked at us and asked “Why not? Aren’t you circumcised?” My husband sputterd and turned pink and said, “Is that relevant?”

Then, in the hospital, the damn bitch nurses still tried to take my baby and peel his carrot! When I said no they actually argued with me! I puffed up and went all momma-tiger on them. Near about drew blood.

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Christy January 30, 2009 at 10:24 am

If we have a son he’ll not be cut, but I’m not sure if we’ll tell my family because they’re really adamantly for it. Why they would care about my future kids genitals is a subject I care not to think too deeply about! Now I’m going to play some music really loud music in my house in the hopes that WE WILL ROCK YOU leaves my brain.

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Aimee January 30, 2009 at 10:38 am

Both of my boys are ciced. But now I wish they weren’t b/c of your wonderful ideas!

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Domestic Goddess (In Training) January 30, 2009 at 10:46 am

Where were you when my sons were born and everyone said to snip it? If I would have known I could use that foreskin for good instead of… well… for nothing… I would have kept them!

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Heinous January 30, 2009 at 12:19 pm

It’s stuff like this that makes me love you a little more each day.

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Maura January 30, 2009 at 12:26 pm

I have absolutely nothing to contribute to this conversation, but I couldn’t leave without telling you that I almost fell on the floor after reading “Bris-on-the-Run!” Brilliant! If I were a mohel, I’d be all over that.

You know, as he gets older and starts to doubt that you would do that, or that such a thing even exists, you should get business cards printed up and leave them in places where he can find them.

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Kia (Good Enough Mama) January 30, 2009 at 12:39 pm

I like your reason way better than the moral high ground reasons. I’m flipping through my yellow pages right now, looking for a doc to dig up LM’s foreskin and sew it back on…

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ella January 30, 2009 at 1:18 pm

What is it with that fucking song?
We have the optional lyrics of Rock you
Sock you
Biddy-biddy-bop you…

Which just typing them makes me want to punch someone. I think I’ll go hang around the playground and teach my CA kids some NY street smack.

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WA January 30, 2009 at 1:34 pm

Maybe I read this too fast, but does this mean Dooce wishes Freddie Mercury had a vasectomy? Cause she’s not alone on that one, baby.

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Kwana January 30, 2009 at 3:45 pm

How funny are you?! Love it. I did the go for what you dad has theory.

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shopgirl January 30, 2009 at 6:21 pm

Ok – not even going to go there with a cut/uncut comment – ok so I lied. My “gays” tell me that uncut is totally sexy. hmmm…. I prefer tidy – but that’s me….

As for the song? yes, thank YOU and thank Walmart for keeping that damn song in my head!!!

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peajaye January 30, 2009 at 6:37 pm

lorraine bobbit. there, i said it. i kept waiting for someone else to mention her, but i don’t have all day.

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Marinka January 30, 2009 at 6:41 pm

Peajaye–is she related to Lorena Bobbitt?

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Threeboys1mommy January 30, 2009 at 7:58 pm

All three boys have hoodies.

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Tasha January 31, 2009 at 8:09 am

Hoodies….I love that. My son has the hoodie, too. I’ll have to remember that circ threat. It sounds like a good one.

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meonb February 2, 2009 at 12:17 pm

This is a great idea, however the the conclusion is faulty because it is based on a false premise.

You can do both.

There is no dotted-line on the male organ which says where to cut. You can circumcise your children at birth, and still circumcise them again later. Tighten it up, remove an additional amount of his erogenous tissue. Just say when.

This is perfectly legal.

In my opinoin, if the sky opened up and rained down justice, this would happen to all circumcisers.

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