Friday, September 21, 2012

Wishing They Were Left Intact: Adult Men Discuss Their Circumcisions

The author of the article starts:

When I write a piece on circumcision in any forum, including here on Everything Birth Blog, inevitably, someone will explain that if circumcision were such a big deal, men would be speaking up, not just “crazy moms.”  I know men in real life that wish they hadn’t been circumcised, but speaking out about it can be embarrassing, humiliating or just plain difficult. Sure, some men don’t realize the impact their circumcision has had on their lives. Others, like my husband, do understand but choose not to discuss it. As my friend, Jon Stevenson, from Michigan said, “I wish I was uncut, but don’t feel like there’s much else I can say about that…”

Yet, there are other circumcised men who are as vocal as the Intactivist women I know. There are men who are able to tell their stories. It took me all of a few hours and a single “internet shout-out” to find them.

On learning that you were circumcised:
Men expressed a variety of reactions to learning they were cut. Generally, they had to figure it out on their own, which saddens me even more, that boys seem to not even be entitled to an explanation that they were born with protective skin and nerve endings that they no longer have. I wonder how strange it must be to feel that you know your body only to discover it had been altered shortly after birth. Jeff Hodapp from California discovered he was circumcised when he was about 8 or 9 years old. He recalled his initial confusion, “I was looking at an anatomy book and it showed an intact penis and a circumcised penis. I immediately identified with the circumcised one. I didn’t read the page, I put the book down and walked away thinking that there were two types of penises.” I learned that often, men realized what was done to them in school. Imagine learning something so profound about such a significant part of yourself, while surrounded by peers in a classroom…

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