chop it off or leave it on? | a talk on circumcision

Fashionably, most of my friends back home have children. Healthy, beautiful, strong babies. And- since we’re talking about Eastern Europe- completely wholesome babies, with their foreskins still attached to the respectively appropriate parts. Apparently unfashionably so.

That is why last why, when somebody brought it up as a thing to plan for their unborn son (you know- nursery? check. Stroller? Check. Diapers? Check. Midwife? Check. College fund? Check. Clipping off some extra skin? Still to arrange), I got curious.

There were several people visiting, sitting at the kitchen table and we were all listening to a talk about the last minute things that still need planning. All good, fuzzy and exciting. And then somebody mentioned the penis thing- which would have gone unnoticed save for my European brain and my big mouth uttering the dreaded word. “WHY?”

There were no hidden thoughts, no value judgements passed, no secret intentions behind my question. I just wanted to know why they thought circumcision has to be done. I wouldn’t argue with religion, but what if that is out of the question? I know there’s been plenty of research that proved no medical advantage to having a naked dick. I know that sexually, the extra inch does not make any notable difference (um, I really do know. All my (few) boyfriends before were European-born, therefore fully hangin’, get my drill? And although I ended up marrying my perfect man, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t because of his circumcised weenie). So then, why?

The conversation fired up, and I was surprised to see how seriously opinionated everyone in the room was.  We went through tradition and the fact that earlier heals better than later. But when it came to ugliness (lucky for us, none in our generation will ever have to sleep with “that”, I was thinking in my head) or sense of inclusion (really? THAT’s what he’ll need to worry about in a room full of other dudes? That THEY don’t like his penis?), I felt like I was witnessing double standards in the making.

The more I heard, the more I was having a deja-vu. The very same people would have no problem shunning the promoters of superficial esthetic values (for example, the media influencers who decide a girl needs to look anorexic to be beautiful). They openly criticize the mothers who encourage their daughters to be living dolls, or pageant queens, at the expense of their self confidence. They think natural is cool. And I agree with all of this. And yet, they fired up over an unborn’s baby foreskin, and decided almost unanimously that the first girl/boy little baby will sleep with some years from now will be superficial and therefore will get too scared of his turtle- and back off.

I say this (not that my opinion matters, but we all have one): let the kid be and, more importantly, let his penis be. If some day he’ll decide naked is better that not, help him have the clipping done. But don’t chop now for the sake of 15-years-from-now standards. People change, trends change- you never know what girls will be into in 2030.

Plus, no turtle stays in the turtleneck if a hot someone is coming close enough for a look… Trust me.

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4 thoughts on “chop it off or leave it on? | a talk on circumcision

  1. Cristina says:

    ai dreptate Dana ,eu locuiesc in Turcia dupa cum stii ,unde se practica aceasta circumicizie din motive nestiute nici de ei,ca e traditie ca e religie,….noi dupa cum stii avem un baiat caruia nu i-am ales nici o religie noi(eu crestina si sotul musulman fiind),am lasat totul la alegerea lui cand va fi apt sa faca asta, si asa cum m-a sfatuit un preot roman,copilul va trebui sa primeasca educatie in ambele religii….Dar…am jurul meu si persoane care au facut aceasta operatie din motive de igiena,si auzind acestea am intrebat pediatra ce parere are despre aceasta operatie(sünet se cheama aici)….pediatra nestiind ca noi suntem de religii diferite nu a vrut sa isi dea cu parerea spunand doar ca e devreme sa vb despre asta,dupa vreo cateva vizite i-am spus direct ca noi avem religii diferite si copilul nici una dar ca ne intereseaza daca aceasta operatie este bine de facut din motive de sanatate…si ne-a spus NU categoric,(asa am aflat ca ea nu apartine de nici o religie),dupa spusele ei,aceasta operatie se face doar in caz de necesitate cand apar pb de genul infectiilor….pb este cum ai spus si tu….cum sa fiu eu mai diferit de celalalt daca toti sunt asa si eu trebuie sa fiu la fel…..noi am decis sa nu o facem avand in vedere ca nu exista nici o pb ,totul decurge normal (fiul meu are deficienta de G6PD si efectuarea unei operatii cu anestezic nu este atat de usoara)… sincer iti spun ca ma oripileaza numai gandul ca niste copii atat de mici sunt supusi la astfel de proceduri doar pt ca asa e traditia…nici nu vreau sa ma gandesc la fetele din Africa care trec prin aceasta circumcizie(banuiesc ca stii despre ce este vb),pur si simplu pt ca asa spune traditia…

  2. danasandu says:

    Cristina, bine-ai venit pe blog si saru’mana pentru primul comentariu oficial 🙂
    Circumcizia in tarile din vest se face pentru ca prin anii ’70 cineva a decretat ca e mai sanatoasa (si poate ca atunci era, avand in vedere ca obiceiurile de igiena erau altele si lumea, well, se spala mai rar). Cei mai in varsta spun ca atunci se facea direct in spital, imediat dupa nastere (cum se dau, in Romania, gaurile pentru cercei), fara sa se solicite acordul parintilor.
    Eu sunt de acord ca un penis circumcis e mai… chipes- da’ cine sta sa se uite indeajuns incat sa merite o operatie estetica???

    (Circumcizia feminina e alta treaba, si-am sa vorbesc separat despre ea- ma framanta si pe mine foarte tare, de cand am studiat problema in amanunt pentru o lucrare de cercetare. Stay tuned).

  3. Ecaterina A says:

    I decided: in the same way we pierce little girls’ ears before they leave the hospital when they’re born, we should circumcise the boys. To me it looks and feels better…
    But, really, we don’t need a party for the schmuck!

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