Monday, July 19, 2010


It wasn't until Mindy was pregnant that we wondered what sex our baby would be. We both worried that having a boy would be a little unnerving because, well, we're not boys and we don't have penises. I think I was the one to wonder about circumcision. I asked Mindy what we'd do. We discussed over a matter of weeks and months. We asked your opinions, we asked medical opinions.

The questions were simple, "Why did you circumcise your son?" Most people answered this questions with either a blank look or something like, "because his dad is."

This didn't seem like a good enough reason for us. Considering 80% of the world doesn't practice this genital mutilation, it seemed horrible and barbaric.

Oh, there you go, saying something like, "It's healthier!!!! It's cleaner!!!!" Sorry, but most of the things I've read (and doctors I've talked to) say there's no evidence of this. I mean, yeah, you have to wash it, but it doesn't cause any other problems.

Of course, we worried at our decision because our poor son would already have 2 moms, like he needed some assholes in the locker room making fun of his manhood. We weighed this.

But, I feel like I'm fighting for him. Male circumcision seems no different than female circumcision. Would you alter your little girl's genitals? Would you make your tiny baby go through plastic surgery because you didn't like the way his nose looked? It's cruel.

For the longest time, everyone left Cyrus alone. Or rather, they left us alone. We'd told several nurses in passing conversation that we weren't interested in cutting off part of his penis. I think it wasn't until his latest surgery that the surgeon's nurse came out of the suite to see if we wanted him circumcised because, "it was best to do it while he was out." Mindy and I said, "NO" very loudly and in sync. Actually, I think the surgeon had already asked us before the procedure. A few times.

Today a nurse who's never taken care of our little man (and his proud manhood) said, "Uh, did you want him circumcised?" I waved his hand in the air and did that annoying thing where you make a baby voice and said, "please don't cut my genitals." She said she just wanted to make sure.

Listen up. We may be lesbians, but we know what penises look like. We know the difference between cut and uncut. It's not like we've been changing his diapers for months wondering what birth defect he had; it's not like we were too embarrassed to ask. We're not clueless. We're not Jewish, either.

Since he's leaving soon, it just seems like the question has been coming up a lot. I figured, in the beginning, that they didn't bother people with it unless they asked.

I think we've made the right decision. If Cy wants to be circumcised, he can make that decision. But there's no way I can bring myself to eliminate part of his body when it's not necessary. I don't want him to look at me when he's 14 and accuse me of genital mutilation.

There was a while when Cy had a baby neighbor who weighed only 3 pounds. I saw the doctor come out with a measuring tape... it had to be so big before they could do it. The baby was wheeled away. Minutes later I heard crying down the hallway and the baby was wheeled back in. The parents looked anxiously at the doctor. When he told them it was done, they sighed in relief . And then the doctor smiled and said, "That's the smallest one I've ever done."


  1. I'm so glad to read this post. I went through the same decision process thirty years ago and came to the same conclusion. And look how he turned out!

    You're absolutely right about this. It's not a problem for any men I've known. Good for you for standing up for Cyrus. It's amazing what we accept at "normal" parenting in our culture!


  2. Nope no circumcision here. And in my humble straight female opinion that's a good thing. And dude you'll have to teach him to keep the rest of him clean too. It's not like this is actually a difficult thing to learn.

  3. The "clean" thing originated in the days when you took a bath once a month, whether you needed it or not! Not an issue any more... My husband and I went along with the status quo on our 1st sons from previous marriages. By the time we got together & had our son (at home with midwives)we had done our research & came to the sane (NOT a typo)conclusion - it's purely cosmetic and barbaric mutilation. Studies show, the higher the level of education, the lower the rate of circumcision. Hence Missouri has a high cut rate! lol

  4. Well, we did circumcise our son, but my husband is Jewish. It was important to him. I hated it, but I felt it was his call. However, our 3.5lb son was not circumcised until the day before he was discharged (5lb 4oz). I can't imagine asking a doc to cut a 3 pounder.