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.

13 thoughts on “So…how’s your penis?

  1. But most cultures don’t snip at all and never have and there is no epidemic of dirty, unhealthy penises going on. Hindus don’t, Buddhists don’t, Much of Europe doesn’t. Their penises are fine.

  2. It’s only cleaner if proper hygiene isn’t observed.
    Meanwhile, I can see how this would piss you off. It pissed me off. I’m glad I never had to decide on this issue.

  3. I actually made the decision with the last of my children, he was premature and I felt that the risk of infection was simply too great. So far, there has been no trouble with it. Honestly, I was much younger with my first two, and did not consider what I did with Jake – that were there a post operative infection, some of which can be especially virulent, my son would be far more traumatized by the loss of his penis then any family discord that may result from my breaking of tradition.
    I agree with H about the wife – if this is what happends over circumcision, then what other decisions would the husband let his parents hijack? Scary.

  4. Great, thanks for asking! I’m cut and my two boys are as well. I would agree that uncut is fine if the upkeep is done. But to me it a question of how much effort you want to put into keeping that bugger clean. It’s much easier when it’s cut. I know I have a hard enough time cleaning my youngest when he’s kicking and screaming about it. Just last week I told him that I have had enough. Next year, when he turns eighteen, he’s going to have to do it himself.
    Too bad about that husband. It seems to me that if they can come up with a simple procedure to remove the foreskin, they should also have one for putting in a backbone.

  5. man, that guy who wrote the article is a total dipshit. i would seriously consider not having any more kids with him if i were his (ex) wife.

  6. I think the issue about him listening to his parents is the most troubling of all.
    It’s not customary in my culture, although we are very big on piercing a girl’s ears within days of her being born.
    Then again, my parents wouldn’t have a saying about what I do with my baby.

  7. so I actually went back and read this article. it sounds like to me the husband said let me think and he was torn between religous tradition(that yes his parents totally pushed onto him) and the wifes wants. I read that his first opinion was one of not caring and then after talking to his parents issues came up. Issues that could matter to him, but his wife didnt want to understand him. I think that the wife should be more understanding that a Jewish man would want his son to get snipped. I think the problem with this was the husband didnt decide his own view before talking to other people. he basicly played his wife versus his parents.

  8. okay, you make a good point, Jones. She knew he was jewish when she married him and that’s something they should have talked about.
    From my point of view, he seemed to care less one way or another and it was something she cared a great deal about. it was not until he talked to his parents that his opinion became stronger.
    Also, I’ve been doing a non-scientific survey of the new parents of boys at work. There are surprisingly few circumcisions. All of the parents I asked (an incredibly small amount) said they just didn’t see why it would be necessary to do it, or that they felt it was an ordeal they’d rather do without.

  9. Sorry, as I gay circumcisee who has sucked a million dicks, I so prefer the circumcised ones because they never have this oderifous buildup that can take just a few hours to manifest even with a superhygenic guy.
    Plus they just found out in Africa (or India) that HIV transmission is much less from woman to man if the man is circumcised. They’re subisidizing them now
    And aesthetically, for me there is no comparison. I personally find the hood ugly. But I know many men who feel just as strongly the other way.
    I certainly don’t think either way it’s something for anyone to leave one’s spouse over. It’s not a giant deal, period.

  10. The giant deal isn’t circumcision; it’s betraying your wife, the mother of your child, in favor of your parents’ opinion.

  11. the thing is he didnt make his mind up before talking to his parents. he did ask for time to think. I dont know I guess having a snipped penis makes me unable to see why this guy is hugely evil beside the faults he has that I listed before.

Comments are closed.