Elizabeth Broadbent

Why You Should Never Ask If Someone Has Circumsised Their Child

Posted on November 28, 2017

Generally, parents discover their son’s gender when the sonographer points out the tiny wiener. She usually draws a big, big circle around it and writes IT’S A BOY!!!!, arrows indicating said wiener just to make sure absolutely nothing’s left to the imagination. And as soon as the parents see that tiny wiener swinging in the metaphorical breeze, they start talking. Should they have their precious little snookums circumcised?

Some say yes, snip that nasty foreskin off. Others are more like, cutting off part of a newborn baby is child abuse. And so they wrangle on, genital cutters on one side and self-righteous intactivists on the other. It needs to end. We need to stop. Everyone needs to calm the fuck down, shut the fuck up, take a seat and stop caring about other people’s kids’ penises.

Photo by Daiga Ellaby

Photo by Daiga Ellaby

There are lots of arguments for leaving your precious bebe intact. You’re cutting off an integral part of his sexual organ, about 15 square inches of it. There’s no medical reason for it, and only 77% of baby boys get the snip nowadays - so you don’t have to worry about locker-room ridicule. On the other hand, the Mayo Clinic claims that over the course of their lifetime, half of all be-foreskinned boys will develop a medical condition related to said foreskin. The American Academy of Pediatrics says you should cut, and so does the CDC. It helps prevent urinary tract infections! (Well, if you cut 100 boys you’ll stop one UTI.). It stops penile cancer! (Well, if you give 300,000 boys the snip, you’ll prevent one case). It helps protect against some STD nastiness. And its biggest benefits are seen in the prevention of HIV transmission. Sometimes. At least, it looks that way in countries with much higher HIV rates than the US. Anyway, it’s just a tiny flap of skin and baby hardly feels it, because he gets sugar water and yes a painkiller at least most of the time. And it looks better. Okay? It just looks fucking better.

And then maybe you’re Jewish or Muslim and none of this matters because God told you to cut off part of your kid’s wiener. And you want to listen to God, so you cut off part of your kid’s wiener.

Your job? Forget all of this shit. None of it matters unless you’re debating the status of your own kid’s penis. Because caring so deeply about another kid’s penis is about fifteen miles into creeper territory. And the only thing creepier than caring about some other kid’s penis is asking about some other kid’s penis. “So, did you decide to circumcise?” said no one without an agenda ever.

And that agenda is either pro or con, and that person is attempting to draw you into an argument about kids’ wieners, during which you will frantically try to recall statistics while you dance around actually uttering the word “penis.” If your mommy group gets into this one, watch the fuck out. Because somebody’s Jewish, with aforementioned mandate from God and all that. And someone else thinks that religion isn’t a reason to perform genital mutilation. Then all of a sudden you’re arguing about Hitler and Nazis and oh sweet baby Buddha this is not what you wanted when you woke up this morning.

Photo by Alex Hockett

Photo by Alex Hockett

Besides - and let’s be brutally honest here - the appearance and function of some kid’s wiener is nunya. As in “none of your fucking business.” You have no right to know if my sons got the snip, if they’re hanging elephant trunks, or if they don’t have penises to begin with because they were born female. Unless the penis is attached to your child, you have no right to speculate on it. Or about what may or may not have happened to it, how it may or may not work in the future, and if it does or does not look like Daddy’s (double ick - if you don’t need to know about a kid’s circumcision status, you really don’t need to know what his dad’s got going on below the belt).

And, ironically, when we get into circumcision, no one thinks of the children. Would you want a group of barf-stained, goldfish-dispensing, yoga-pants’d women discussing the appearance and possible future functioning of your genitalia? I don’t think my seven-year-old would be cool with that. Because it’s his fucking penis, which is his fucking business, not yours. Children do have a right to privacy. Respect it.

Photo by Edward Cisneros

Photo by Edward Cisneros

Basically, if you talk about circ’ing, you’re just going to end up yelling back and forth about stuff you don’t have a right to discuss anyway. You’re never going to convince anyone, because there are good arguments on both sides. Plus someone’s going to veer off into conspiracies about docs making bank on it or needing human foreskins for cosmetics, and then suddenly the conversation’s leapt from that to Hitler. And you don’t want to be a creeper. So shut the hell up about circumcision already. We’ve all decided what we think. And we don’t give a fuck what you do.

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