Because Sometimes More is More
it just dawned on me that a good family friend is about to have a baby boy
i want to bring up circumcision to her but i’m not sure how to…
any thoughts, intactivist followers?
I have a certain perspective on this, and I hope that I shall be able to explain it here. For me, I feel like it’s important to rid myself of a certain sort of expectation when approaching a friend in this kind of situation. I’m not sure exactly what that expectation would be, but perhaps it’s the presumption that you’re trying to “save” your friend and their baby from something terrible. I know that it’s probably not too far off from how you actually feel about circumcision, but I feel like it might be necessary to put those feelings aside in order to protect your friend from fearing a judgement on your part, and potentially becoming defensive as a result.
So what this actually means on an interaction level would be something like, “Hey, I’ve been reading and thinking a lot about circumcising newborns in recent months. Would you be interested in talking about this, since you’re expecting a child?” After that — if the friend accepts the invitation — I would proceed to explain how this issue came to have an importance for me, and also why it’s an important and delicate decision for expecting parents.
I think this approach echoes the doctrine of non-judgement, which I also consider to be a fundamental element of mutual respect. The fact is, we basically owe this to others when asking them to consider our thoughts and objections to circumcision. Parents hold the ultimate responsibility for their children, and pretty much the ultimate authority. They don’t owe it to us to listen to our advice and suggestions regarding their children. Their desire for autonomy in this arena is both understandable and necessary; even when the government moves to intervene it’s only in extreme cases, and only when parental misconduct escapes the privacy of their home.
I guess the TL;DR version of my thinking is that you can demand genital integrity rights in a political context, but you offer your perspective as a suggestion when it comes to dealing with prospective parents.
Feel free to let me know what you think, you people.