Dear mom and dad,
In a few short weeks your grandson will enter the world and become part of our family. He will receive unconditional love from his parents and we will watch him grow from infant to child to boy to man. I will do anything and everything I can to protect him, guide him and make sure he becomes a responsible, caring person and I will respect him and the things he chooses in life. I always felt that you raised me with the same goals in mind but this experience has made me realize this was not true and started before I was even a few days old.
I was excited when I found out we were going to have a baby. I was even more excited when I found out it was going to be a boy. It was not long after we found out we were having a son that we were asked if we were going to have him circumcised. I thought the question was odd and answered by saying yes. Sarah quickly answered by saying we weren’t sure. The trip home was a little awkward as I asked her why she answered that way. It was something we had never discussed before because, having been circumcised myself, I assumed we would have it done. She said she had looked into it a little and didn’t find any reasons to have it done. She asked me to look into it too and I reluctantly agreed, still assuming we would do it.
Sarah shared with me what she had found. Needless to say, I was stunned. Shocked. Saddened. Angered, and many other words. It wasn’t the facts that angered me. It wasn’t that I’m not experiencing sex to the fullest extent because of the nerve endings that I’ve had removed. It wasn’t that all the supposed medical benefits of circumcision have been disproved. It wasn’t even the excruciating pain and torture that babies go through having it done. What made me angry was that all the old wives tails for cutting off a healthy part of my body show a complete lack of respect for me as a human being and a lack of parenting skills on your part.
One of the most common reasons for circumcising boys is because it’s cleaner. Were you thinking that you would not be able to teach me to clean myself or I couldn’t learn? Or were you worried you would not have the time, patience, skills, or energy to clean your child?
Did you worry that I would get urinary tract infections? Maybe Sarah has shared with you that she occasionally gets UTI’s. Do you know how she gets rid of them? She takes antibiotics. Antibiotics! No doctor has ever recommended we cut off part of her vagina and even if one did she wouldn’t do it. Why did you think that preemptive amputation was better than a little trip to the doctor? Were you once again too busy, or lazy to do that?
A lot of men want to circumcise theirs sons so they will look like them. Dad, I have never seen your penis. Nor do I want to. Nor do I care if mine looks anything like yours. Nor do I care if my son’s looks anything like mine. That is weird. That is creepy and that is wrong.
Some parents seem to think that their son will be made fun of in the locker room if he is not circumcised. I’m not going to lie. We made fun of lots of kids in the locker room. We made fun of Joey Rodriguez for not being circumcised. But we also made fun of Billy O’Malley for having red pubic hair. We made fun of John Turner for having acne all over his body. We made fun of Dan Rogers for not having hair under his armpits. I was made fun of for the scar I have from having my appendix taken out. Boys make fun of each other. It’s what we do. Myself and everyone else understood this and didn’t let it bother us. I don’t care how much I might have been made fun of for having a foreskin, it wouldn’t have bothered me and I wouldn’t have wished you had it cut off when I was born.
Apparently it was believed that being circumcised would reduce your risk of STD’s. You know what else does? Using condoms. Until I was married I used protection every time. I feel so hurt that you didn’t respect me enough or trust me enough to be safe and take care of myself. I have some friends that have gotten STD’s and you know what – they’re all circumcised. Didn’t really work for them did it?
By now you’re probably feeling like bad parents or that I hate you. Well you’re not and I don’t. I love my son and I will not do to him what has been done to me. I’ve learned from your mistakes and will give my son a better life than I was given. I hope you can respect that.