On Monday the Los Angeles Times offered a typical analysis of infant male circumcision. There are many points to address from this story, so I’ve broken them up into multiple posts. (Posts 1, 2, and 3.)
FOR nearly all of Nada Mouallem’s pregnancy, she and her husband, Tony, had a running argument. She wanted to have their son circumcised. He didn’t. “Many days, I’d go off and research all the pros. He’d go and research all the cons. Then we’d get together at night and fight,” she says.
For the Mouallems, family tradition and religion were not factors. “We kept those separate and focused only on the scientific reasons,” says Tony Mouallem, who was against circumcising his son because he didn’t think it was necessary. Plus, he’s not circumcised. “You have to work a little harder to keep it clean, but that’s not a big deal.”
His wife, Nada, however, worried about the responsibility of keeping her newborn’s penis clean. She thought circumcision would help reduce the risk of infection and disease. “I wasn’t keen on my baby having a surgical procedure, but then I thought, why not if we can offer him more protection?”
In the end, Tony sided with his wife. Their son was born Feb. 10, and was circumcised the next day. Tony held him during the procedure. “There was no bleeding and he didn’t even cry,” he says. “I’m still not convinced it was medically necessary, but I didn’t want to burden my wife with the worry of cleaning it. And maybe it will be easier for him in the locker room.”
Choosing surgery over responsibility is the abdication of an obligation when having children. No one states that an intact penis can’t be kept clean. Even ignoring the absurdity that it’s more difficult to clean in his early years when his foreskin adheres to his glans and shouldn’t be retracted, keeping your children clean and eventually teaching them to care for themselves is parenting. Anything else is the selfish subjugation of the child’s needs to the parents’ whims. In this case, that whim is further discredited because the father presumably understands how to keep an intact penis clean.
Post Script: This most fits the “typical” analysis. These “balanced” articles always contain a couple who can’t decide. And the couple always chooses “yes”.