That was my thought on Saturday when I was crossing Pennsylvania Avenue in our nation's capital and I observed an anti-circumcision parade. Wow, you don't see that every day, I thought to myself. They were shouting and holding up signs. I couldn't get very good pictures with my cell phone but here you go:
|One of the other signs said something about "whose penis is it anyway?"|
I know this is a departure from my regular blog topics, but I just feel this burning need to discuss my thoughts on the matter. So here goes: I appreciate the passion behind the parade. I think it's great when someone feels so strongly about something they're compelled to march through the streets of a crowded city holding up signs and yelling. I wish I felt that strongly about more things!
And I get the whole supposed "loss of sensitivity" argument and even the "genital mutilation" argument. BUT, what I don't get is the hypocritical nature of the "don't make decisions about my body" argument. Aren't *they* trying to make decisions for other people's bodies by saying circumcision should be illegal?
There are lots of choices that parents make for their children that have long-term or permanent effects. Like choosing whether or breast or bottle-feed or what kinds of foods kids eat, whether or not they'll have immunizations and whether or not they take vitamins. They choose what kind of carseat to use and whether or not there will be guns in the house. They might choose to get their young child's ears pierced or to get their hair cut into a mohawk. Or how about this? They might even make their kids march in an anti-circumcision parade (and yes, there were kids riding tricycles alongside their parents.) Who knows what kind of long-term psychological effects that could have!
Parents make all sorts of choices for their kids and whether or not to circumcise is just one. I'm all for educating parents about pros and cons of such a decision but ultimately I feel like the final say rests with the parents. And in addition to the whole parental choice thing, let's not forget the religious and cultural significance here. Circumcision goes WAY WAY back. Thousands of years. As a matter of fact, when I chose to have my sons circumcised back in the late 90's and early 2000's, I remember that one of my justifications, as a Christian, was that God had His son circumcised.
There aren't too many venues where you can discuss this sort of thing, so that is one reason I chose to address it here on my blog. I'm very interested to hear my reader's thoughts on the matter.