Much to the chagrin of circumcision advocates who spend endless hours trying to convince you that circumcision is a "non-issue," circumcision is highly controversial, and a guaranteed attention getter.
No parenting forum, webpage or Facebook group is complete without the obligatory circumcision thread, which always asks a question to the effect of "Are you pro or anti-circumcision?" Or "Circumcision: For or against?", and which is usually coupled with some sort of "NO BASHING!!!" warning.
These threads and the pages they're on are something of a paradox; asking for "no bashing," they posit a question that, because of its very nature, will elicit just that. Answering "no" or "anti" is going to be perceived as "bashing" by those who are "pro." Parents who circumcised their children invariably say "it's none of your business!" as they brag on a public parenting forum about having had their children circumcised.
But I digress, and I've already written a separate post about mommy pages and the "no bashing!!!" phenomenon.
"Do you support or oppose circumcision?" asks many a thread on public parenting forums, but this kind of bifurcation ignores many important factors that are relevant to the debate.
For example, is there a medical need? Are other alternatives available? Have they been tried? Shouldn't surgery be reserved as a very last resort?
As a thought experiment, let's replace "circumcision" with any other medical procedure.
Are you for or against appendectomies?
Do you support or oppose coronary bypasses?
Are you in favor of gall bladder removal?
Suddenly, medical necessity becomes relevant, and whether you're "for or against" becomes a moot point, doesn't it.
Am I for or against circumcision?
I am against the forced circumcision of minors unless there is a legit medical need for it, and all other alternatives have failed.
This is standard medical practice governing all other medical procedures though.
If informed, conscientious adult males choose to be circumcised for non-medical reasons, I have no problem with this.
The foreskin is not a birth defect. Neither is it a congenital deformity or genetic anomaly akin to a 6th finger or a cleft. Neither is it a medical condition like a ruptured appendix or diseased gall bladder. Neither is it a dead part of the body, like the umbilical cord, hair, or fingernails.
The foreskin is not "extra skin." The foreskin is normal, natural, healthy, functioning tissue, with which all boys are born; it is as intrinsic to male genitalia as labia are to female genitalia.
Unless there is a medical or clinical indication, the circumcision of a healthy, non-consenting individual is a deliberate wound; it is the destruction of normal, healthy tissue, the permanent disfigurement of normal, healthy organs, and by very definition, infant genital mutilation, and a violation of the most basic of human rights.
Without medical or clinical indication, doctors have absolutely no business performing surgery in healthy, non-consenting individual, much less be eliciting any kind of "decision" from parents.