I was bullied as a child for being poor and having red hair. Both were out of my control, with the latter being normal and part of who I am. My childhood would’ve been easier if neither fact had been my reality. A postcard in today’s PostSecret shows why I don’t mind either.
The argument that healthy children should be circumcised to avoid being mocked in the locker room is flawed because such mockery is neither guaranteed nor as (permanently) harmful as circumcision. (It’s even less likely now that more children are being left intact.) If the child is mocked for being normal, it doesn’t have to be damaging. Good parenting works better than circumcision at building self-worth.
The other side of the postcard is here.
6 thoughts on “Forgiving (and Ignoring) Bullies”
Does that ever really happen? I was born at the absolute zenith of American circumcision mania, and when I was in high school and junior high, and I can’t remember a foreskin in the locker room eliciting any kind of commentary. And it wasn’t because nobody had one. If you throw in the ten percent or so of American parents opting out of circumcision in the ’60s with the percentage of foreign born kids in the school, foreskins were everywhere. I don’t think we considered them any more exotic than the cafeteria’s Wednesday taco option.
I think the locker room argument is part of the pro-circumcision myth that says “Your child will never see a foreskin or wonder what it’s like to have one. Your child will live in a world where only freaks have foreskins.” Well, that sure as hell isn’t the world I grew up in, and as you point out, our country’s ever-declining circumcision rate makes it even less likely that any child is ever going to grow up to live in that world.
Tony, your second link is broken.
I was born in the early ’70s. I don’t think the locker room argument is much more than myth for most males. When I was in school, no one ever changed in front of others before or after gym class in the locker room. I never encountered any nudity, much less mockery for that nudity. The entire argument is silly.
People who are for mutilation for the sake of conformity are fools. Why pander to the ignorant?
I grew up when the circumcision rate was 90% nationally, with a foreskin. In my town, it was more like two thirds were circumcised. I never ever saw anyone made fun of for his circumcision status.
I don’t forgive or ignore circumcision bullies on the net. I throw a punch back, and hit them with medicine, science, and logic. I think that is the best way to expose their behavior, get them to think, and have other people thread through the trail, to sort out what is right. I use a lot of comparisons. People can relate better, if you can show the absurdity through comparing it to something simple that they know is true.