Monday, July 29, 2013

Something BAD is going to happen!

Has anyone out there NOT seen "Ferris Bueller's Day Off?"  I think that's a fairly safe pop culture reference to make, meaning I'm assuming/hoping even the young kids today have experienced the joy of seeing that great movie at least once.  (Yes, this will tie into circumcision in a few moments believe it or not.) 

My wife and I have had a running joke over the years that she's the Ferris in our relationship and I'm the Cameron.  In case you don't remember, Cameron is the one that Ferris has to drag kicking and screaming to ditch school, take in the art museum, the baseball game, the parade, and all the other fun stuff they do.  Why is Cameron such a stick in the mud?  Because he's worried something BAD will happen.  This is captured powerfully in Cameron's fear of his father finding out he's driven the prized Ferrari that he ultimately admits is more important to his father than Cameron himself.  When the car gets wrecked at the end Cameron finally faces his fear and realizes no matter what happens it can't be nearly as bad as he imagined it might be in his mind.

As I've gotten older and realized how important it is I don't pass this "worrying" quality on to my children I've become more motivated to figure out where exactly these feelings come from.  In short why have I been worried something bad would happen from a very, very young age?  Hmmmm.  Sure I got bullied a bit in grade school but I was a worrier even before that.  I had my share of conflicts with my parents but nothing to go on "Oprah" about.  Hmmmmm.

OK, I know some people are going to think this is crazy but here it is: I think if you take a little baby only a few hours or a few days old away from his mother, strap him down to a plastic restraint, and cut off part of his dick, it traumatizes him.  Trauma embeds in memory.  (See previous posts or read current scholarly articles in mental health if you doubt this.)  While that trauma was not something I remembered consciously it made what you might call an impression on me.  I never really felt "safe."  I was always waiting for something bad to happen (still am on bad days.)  I'm just saying that maybe I felt that way because when I was a defenseless infant some asshole cut off part of my dick without asking my permission.  I mean if that won't destroy your trust in the world I don't know what will.

I know, I know... Your husband is circumcised and he's "fine."  Your boyfriend is circumcised and he's "fine."  You yourself are circumcised and you're "fine."  All that I ask is that you seriously think about how this might impact other baby boys and think twice before you subject them to trauma they will have to continue to deal with their entire life.  Why not let your baby boy have a default Ferris setting (life is fun) instead of having the default Cameron setting (life is gonna screw ya if you're not careful enough)?

The irony of all this of course is that US medicine constantly offers a plethora of reasons why something bad WILL happen if you opt not to circumcise your child.  Forget about the fact that the vast majority of men in the world are intact and just fine; in the US you are taught to believe that if you don't circumcise your son women won't want him, he'll get the ultra rare but scary sounding penile cancer, he'll get shmegma and annoy nurses who have to care for him when he ends up at a nursing home, and God knows how many other ridiculous rumors I haven't even heard.  Well guess what?  My son has been intact for six years and nothing "bad" has happened.  Not to mention the fact he's happy and blissfully unaware of how lucky he is to have all of the body parts he was born with.  It is my sincere hope he grows into a Ferris, just like his mom.

I hope this doesn't sound whiny or like I'm using circumcision as a crutch for mistakes I've made in my life.  I'm happy with who I am and the person I am still becoming.  I just think it's important to think about where fear comes from.  I felt a lot of fear when my wife and I made final preparations to quit our jobs and travel the US and beyond, but you know what?  It didn't stop me from doing the things I want to do.  As of 8/2 I'll be unemployed and a full-time blogger, writer, and adventurer.

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