So…how’s your penis?

Spending the day home sick, I was surfing the web, catching up on my reading. The headlining story over at Salon is a dense, 3 page article written by a father discussing the battle of wills that popped up at his son’s birth regarding circumcision.
I skimmed over it last night, read some of the response letters and then wandered back up to David to once again bug him with questions about his penis, his thoughts on circumcision and to generally confuse him with my interest (it was also brought up in a book recently so I asked him all kinds of questions then as well. My feeling is that since I do not have a penis, I should ask someone with a penis about penis related issues). This afternoon, as I was reading the story I found myself getting angrier and angrier. For me, it wasn’t so much about the circumcision, the medical issues or the religious implications, I was pissed at the people involved.
The mother did her research, read up on the subject and decided she did not want this done to her child. She went to her husband, they discussed it and he agreed. Now, this is his account, he makes no mention that she bullied him in any way, they discussed it, he did his research they made their decision.
He then calls his parents and they freak out on him. They use tradition as their excuse and emotional blackmail as their weapons. That made me angry, sure, his parents are portrayed as toddlers screaming to get their way for no reason other than they want their way.
What really pissed me off? What pissed me off was that he laid down and rolled over and changed his mind and then made his wife go through with a procedure for her son that she did not want and is arguably one of the most unnecessary that we do.
When you get married your obligation is to your spouse and children above all others, even your parents. Period. I know it’s a juggling act at times to keep everyone happy (hell, it’s especially a juggling act when you have a spouse AND your parents are divorced because suddenly you’re juggling 3 sets of interests, not just two). I know we all have this deep seated urge to keep our parents happy, it makes our lives easier, but sometimes you have to say “NO” and you have to say it loudly.
To have capitulated to his parents, to have betrayed his own wife like that, it’s a terrible thing. I don’t have many opinions on the whole circumcision thing, I don’t have a penis and I don’t have a son. If I had a son, however, I would probably choose not to have the procedure done. I can think of no reason to cut off part of my child’s body, i just can’t. I would expect that should the situation come up, I would be able to have the discussion with the child’s father and that would be that. Our parent’s would have nothing to do with the discussion because it is not their child and it is truly none of their business what happens to someone else’s baby’s penis.
If I were Neal Pollack’s wife, i would seriously consider leaving. That he considers his parent’s emotional blackmail a stronger force than the betrayal she felt is indicative of so much.