whatever reason, he was circumcised anyway. Some are suggesting that his tragic death was directly resulting from his circumcision. His doctors feel that it wasn't.
That's not really what this post is about. I tend to avoid the topic of circumcision because I feel it is a personal choice the parents make, much like deciding to get an epidural while in labor, or perhaps the decision to go straight to a c-section as a way to avoid labor. Whatever the reasons, people have them, feel passionately about them, and decide to go ahead with it. Does it matter if I disagree? Not one bit.
The real issue that has me fuming, frustrated and just plain disgusted are some of the comments people have been leaving on blog posts about this topic. I can't even access The Navelgazing Midwife's post about telling anti-circ people to "STFU" already because my internet filter won't allow me to. The Spirited Doula also talked about it, and was equally shocked and horrified by the comments.
Anytime a baby dies, for any reason, it's a tragedy. But to blame the parents, say they're "stupid," and especially to say you're not sorry for them and that "they got what they deserved" literally makes me want to smack someone in the head. Hiding behind the anonymity of the internet, people are free to make remarks, some of which are absolutely the cruelest things I've ever heard. Ever.
Other commenters were blasting the mother for her remarks on the situation being 'in God's hands,' and used that opportunity to lambast her on her assumed religious beliefs as well. This segues into another slam on the spiritual beliefs of parents who circumcise.
It almost makes me want to delete my blog and give up on childbirth and parenting issues forever, I am so disgusted.
It does remind me of one blogger (I am trying desperately to find a link; maybe someone can help me - here is the link , in case someone is interested) who was very passionate about birthing issues and homebirth. Then she had a difficult home birth herself, only to decide to give it all up after being disillusioned with the astounding hubris some hardcore advocates had over the subject. When I read this, I was saddened by her decision and it was hard to comprehend. Now I understand.
I've had frustrating conversations on my blog and fan page about people I know - even people I don't know - having unnecessary inductions or c-sections for no reason, and all manner of other things in pregnancy and birth. The best you can do, we concluded, is to offer the information, and if they decide not to take it, walk away. Because, really, it's not our business. How is the topic of circumcision not the same?
That same "gentle" approach to birth and parenting could apply to advocacy, too. In-your-face activism, whether it be about breast vs. formula feeding, vaccinations, or co-sleeping is not going to get anyone anywhere. If you want to be an advocate, do so in a respectful, productive manner. Ultimately it's not your business what parents decide to do, or not do, with their son's penises. You can respectfully educate or inform, but if they still want to go ahead and do it, that's their decision. There are plenty of ways to constructively direct that passion: but doing so as a hateful bigot - cloaked under the guise of advocacy - isn't one of them.
I am pretty active on birth boards that represent a cross-section of women, some who are informed, some who aren't. One thing I try not to do, ever, is come across as superior or fear-mongering. It's a very fine line, and ultimately if they want to follow my advice, heed my suggestions or click on my links, that's their decision.
This whole situation makes me wonder, sometimes, if perhaps we aren't jumping to conclusions about situations and letting our egos get in the way. Were we there when a home birth went wrong? No. Were we capable of making a sound medical diagnosis at the time? No. We need to be very careful before we demonize all doctors, all mothers, even, who make decisions that we ourselves would not have. This puffed up and inflated opinion just comes across badly, and I can see sometimes where Dr. Amy's criticisms of birth and parenting advocates come from.
Another commenter argued, rightly, that by spewing attacks and vile comments that it was only giving people like Dr. Amy and her group ammunition. And I totally agree. I would love to see some of these "advocates" step up to the plate and admit they were being harsh and insensitive. Regardless of their opinions, they were not there, and to the best of my knowledge, are likely not doctors. Even if they are, until you can provide your own professional, first-hand diagnosis, perhaps you'd be wise in following The Navelgazing Midwife's recommendation to "shut the ---- up."
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