Sunday, June 13, 2021

TikTok Mother Claps Back at “Mom-Shaming” With American Idiocy

To quote a certain mother on TikTok, “So I was going to leave this alone, but, I’m not.”

You know, I used to be one of those intactivists who would hop on each and every time some mother posted about their son’s genital mutilation online. Back when I used to be an angrier intactivist, I would wait on Twitter, wait in Facebook intactivist groups for others to post links to mothers talking about their son’s circumcision. I would go and lay into them, pulling out all the stops, making sure I did every thing I could to make sure it stung.

But then, I realized my time could be used more productively.

Once a child has been mutilated, there’s nothing we can do about it, and chances are a parent’s mind is already made up and their ears are deaf to anything we tell them. So why bother?

There is merit to posting on these threads though; while the mother may be trying to justify herself and may be hardening herself to any information we post, there are other moms reading this, and somebody’s got to be setting the record straight.

So while I no longer go “circumcision mom hunting,” if I see BS, I will call it out when and if I can. Sometimes I go on there, and there are already others commenting, which is great. And sometimes, what can I say, I’m a busy family man and I can’t get sucked in to every circumcision shit-storm some attention-seeking mom whips up on social media.

Still, if I see straight up verifiable idiocy, I can’t help but dig in.

I’m going to be polite about it, I’m going to refrain from making personal attacks, but I’m still going to call BS out whenever I see it.

Mother on TikTok Doubles Down on Idiotic Alibis
So like, I was scrolling down my Facebook newsfeed, and I saw this video that someone decided to take from TikTok and upload to YouTube.

I thought “TikTok? Not TikTok…” I had never had a TikTok account, mind you, I swore I’d stay away from that place if it’s the last thing I did.

But there I go, like the weak idiot that I am, and I click on the link. I watched the whole thing and I was like “No. This shit just can't fly.”

Her TikTok handle is right there for everyone to see. (I'm not going to post it on here... if anyone wants to go comment, I'm'a let you do the work.)

So there I go, downloading the app for this shit, making my Joseph4GI profile just so that I can comment. Thoughts going through my mind are… "what if I get banned like on Twitter because my posts are reported as 'harassment' or what not?"

Whatever, I thought, I’ll just post and leave.
 Like, I’m not going to call her names for doing this, I’m going to give this mother the benefit of the doubt; I’m a father too, and I completely understand that we all just want the best for our children. But she is repeating verifiable bullshit and I just have to call it out.

I went in the comments section for this video, and while there were some voices of reason there, there were also other moms repeating the same old BS to justify themselves.

I went to town making my comment, which on TikTok has to be made in a series because of the character limit.

TikTok is a funny place, because even after a user has blocked you (I can tell she blocked me because I could no longer see the video…), TikTok still notifies you when others reply to your comment on the video that supposedly “doesn’t exist.”

I decided I’d log out of TikTok and never log in ever again, because it just seems like another black hole I can get sucked into, but other intactivist users I know tell me that, as is usually the case with mothers flaunting their son’s circumcision on social media, the mother is intent on calling whenever someone tries to present her with information “mom-shaming,” and she’s blocking users and deleting comments that don’t agree with her.

Well, I may not be able to post to the TikTok video anymore, but nothing will prevent me from calling this woman out here.

Again, keeping it respectful.

Point by Point Response
What I’m going to do is post the transcript to her short video here, addressing what she says point by point.

Let’s begin with her opening lines:

“So I was going to leave this alone, but, I’m not.”

She should have left well enough alone. I could have left this alone too, but, as with her, I’m not.

“We’re not gonna mom-shame on here. OK?”

This is an interesting opener; it’s almost as if she was expecting backlash. But I ask, what does she consider “mom-shaming?” On the one hand, calling her names would be wrong. That’s no argument and no one deserves that. But is “mom-shaming” hurling insults? Or merely posting information that does not validate her position? There is a difference.

As parents, we can only make informed decisions, and make better future decisions from hearing newer, better information. Sometimes we make mistakes, and it’s only human. But good parents should want to hear new information so as to not make the same mistake in the future. The presentation of newer, better information so that we could make better decisions in the future should not be construed as “mom-shaming.”

Yet it seems to be “mom-shaming” any time a mom makes the decision to circumcise, and others present information that debunk her reasons for allowing it to happen.

“We’re not gonna mom-shame here” seems to be code for “Don’t post anything that makes me have to second-guess my decision, because it makes me feel ashamed.”

No one ever wants to learn we made the wrong decision, especially something as irrevocable as cutting off part of our children's’ genitals, but how are parents supposed to make better decisions if this information is forbidden from being presented?

 “If you wanna get your son circumcised, that’s fine. If you don’t, that’s fine.”

Invariably, mothers that are trying to justify their own position of having had their sons circumcised want to frame it as “just another parental decision.” Diapers or cloth, processed baby food or food made in-house, circumcision or intact organs, tattoos and piercings or clear unpierced skin. Zelda ears or not. You know? The usual.

Though it’s true that parents must make many decisions for their children, not every decision parents make in regards to their children is justified merely because “parents must decide everything for their children.”  A parent may decide to give cigarettes and booze to their children. And why not, “my child, my choice,” right?

But talk of “the big parental decision” is a red-herring.

Reaping profit from performing elective, non-medical surgery on healthy, non-consenting individuals already constitutes medical fraud. Without medical or clinical indication, how is it doctors are performing surgery on healthy, non-consenting minors, let alone giving parents any kind of “choice?”

This mother is under the delusion that she’s entitled to a “choice,” as are many others. It benefits doctors who perform male infant circumcision.
The question must be asked, what other elective, cosmetic, non-medical "options" can doctors offer parents for their healthy, non-consenting child?

Now begin the alibis:

“My issue is, I got my son circumcised because I don’t want him to have any issues in the future because I’m not that ‘what if mom.’ I don’t want that “We’ll we’re gonna let this happen and then see how it goes. NO. We’re gonna go ahead and take care of the situation, while we can.”

So much to unpack here.

First off, what “situation?”

A disease indicating a cure is a situation. An injury or deformity requiring surgical correction is a situation. Anatomically correct organs every child is born with are not a “situation” that needs “taking care of.”

Her “issue” is hypothetical non-issues.

In essence, the “issue” is imagined.

It’s interesting she wants to frame herself as not being a “what if” mom. There are so many “what ifs” that she chose to ignore when she put her son through this.

What if her son got an infection?

What if her son started hemorrhaging?

What if her son went into septic shock?

What if her son grows up to have painful erections?

What if her son grows up to resent that his penis was cut to assuage the concern for “issues” that may not even manifest in the future?

Did she stop to think about that?

No. This whole video is mostly about justifying what she did and not feeling “ashamed” for having made a permanent decision on her son’s body. That’s what’s kinda frustrating about this video; she wants to make it about “him.” The poor child doesn’t have a say in what happens to his body. This is all about getting validation on social media.

“And he did perfectly fine. Dr. said he didn’t cry or anything like that.”

The doctor would tell her that. Why does she believe him at face value? Has she not seen videos of the procedure on YouTube? Children don’t just “not cry” during the procedure. And even when they don’t, who is she trying to fool? There are videos on YouTube of mothers changing their children’s diapers for the first time and the uncontrollable crying that ensues after the local numbing wears off. She’s either dense or she hopes her viewers are.

“But do you really trust your teenage boy to wash down there and, get all in where he needs to get to make sure it’s clean? NO. I’m sorry, I’m not gonna trust my son to do that…”

This is probably the most telling part of the video.

It’s almost as if she has forgotten the hygiene issues she has to worry about as a woman every month. A teenage girl needs to learn to wear pads or insert tampons, how to dispose of them properly, not to mention clean up after herself and her surroundings. But she “can’t trust a teenage boy to wash down there.” Right.

Perhaps we should assume good faith; after all, she doesn’t have a penis, let alone an intact one.

“…and on top of that, when he’s like 80 or 90 years old, I don’t trust the nursing home, the nurses or himself to take care of himself, cuz I have known people that work in nursing homes, and they don’t wash themselves properly down there and get multiple infections.”

This last part is rather convoluted bunkum.

Men AND women struggle to clean themselves in old age, especially if they become senile and unable to care for themselves. If you can’t trust the nursing home and the nurses working there to do their job and look after the elderly interned there, who can you trust? If a nurse is incompetent and won’t clean an intact man, shouldn’t she be fired for not doing her job?

No. Grandpa should be circumcised and geriatric caretakers shouldn't be expected to learn natural male anatomy.

Like nurses must clean up feces, urine, and vomit, and they must clean out grandma's vagina, but don't make them come near grandpa's intact penis. Oh, no!

She says she has known people that work in nursing homes and “they don’t wash themselves properly down there and get multiple infections.” She probably means to say that according to the people she knows, the *men* don’t wash properly and get multiple infections.
In all honesty, I think she's just making this up as she goes along. Every mother who wants to justify herself for doing this knows *someone* who has had, or whose child has had “problems,” or "someone" who "works in a nursing home" with horror stories. Like 80% of men in the US are circumcised. Where on earth are all the intact boys and men coming from?

Another reality; only boys and men with problems go to hospitals. You won't hear of all the intact boys and men who aren't "suffering" because they don't go to the doctor. Doctors and nurses will tell you about other problems they see in patients. Appendectomies and gall bladder removals day in and day out. Every patient that goes to the doctor goes there for some sort of "problem." But no one says "You should have his or her appendix out because I see tons of patients at the hospital who need it." Or "It's better to remove his or her gall bladder right now. So many patients come in to get those removed."
All of these "I know someone who blah blah blah" stories are nothing but ad-hoc/post-hoc special pleading non-sense.

For those of you who don't understand logical fallacies by name, ad-hoc/post-hoc means "justification after the fact." "Special pleading" means when you want to make a special case for yourself.
But let's just give this mother the benefit of the doubt; this raises the question of why weren’t the nursing home workers doing their job properly to begin with.

She doesn’t mention anything of what happens when women get infections and have hygiene problems.

It is common for older women to get hysterectomies, as having a uterus and ovaries is a risk for fibroids (noncancerous growths inside the uterus), endometriosis (a painful disorder in which tissue similar to normal uterine lining grows outside the uterus), and cancer of the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, or cervix. Does it make sense to perform a hysterectomy on a newborn to prevent problems for her near the end of her life?

No. It doesn’t.

The foreskin has function. It protects the glans in the uterus and in early childhood years. It has the most erogenous part of the penis. It keeps the glans moist and supple; without the foreskin, the glans becomes dried out and desensitized under layers of keratin. The foreskin provides a buffer zone during masturbation and helps stimulate a woman during intercourse. The expanding foreskin accommodates the shaft; removal of the foreskin can result in painful erections if too much skin is removed.

How does it make sense to destroy these functions and possibly ruin a man’s sex life so that caretakers “don’t have to clean it in his 90s?”

It’s nonsense.

Of course, we’ve heard the whole “when he’s 90” canard before.

Can she be forgiven for not actually having researched the prevalence of circumcision globally, and how intact men fare in geriatric care in the UK, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy, Belgium, France, pretty much the rest of Europe, not to mention Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and pretty much the rest of South America?

Maybe she can be forgiven for failing to notice the absence of an epidemic of “issues” in the rest of the world where most men, upward from 70%, aren’t circumcised?
She is American after all, and information in America seems to gear American parents toward circumcision.

And that’s the other thing that bothers me about this whole thing. All over her thread she repeats over and over “I’ve done my research, I’ve done my research,” when clearly she hasn’t.

If she did, she would know that not a single medical organization in the world recommends male infant circumcision, not even the American Academy of Pediatrics. She would know that in 2012 the AAP reviewed all existing medical literature on the topic and concluded that “the benefits are not great enough to recommend male infant circumcision,” and that “the true incidence of complications after male infant circumcision is unknown.” You can’t “do your research” and arrive at a more reasonable conclusion than the most respected medical organizations on the planet.

But you know, she can't even be blamed for this; it shouldn't be a parent's job to be on the up-and-up regarding global medical consensus. That should be the job of the doctor. What on earth are they paid millions for? So they can flout being held professionally responsible?

Parents trust doctors in their white lab coats to be the most informed resource regarding healthcare, and it's a shame that American doctors are abusing this trust to reap profit on an elective, non-medical procedure.

She can be forgiven for not knowing what goes on outside of America, she can be forgiven for not doing her own research and trusting her doctor, but can she be forgiven for doubling down on her ignorance and calling it "mom-shaming" every time people try to educate her?

I don’t mean to shame anybody, but willful ignorance is not a virtue.
Making mistakes doesn't make you a bad parent; refusing to acknowledging them does. As parents we should always be ready to admit we've made a mistake, and make better decisions based on newer, up-to-date information.
You can't post a spicy video on social media about something as controversial as male infant circumcision and then claim to be a victim of "mom-shaming" when others react and you don't get the validation you were hoping for.

She ends with this:

“So, we’re not gonna mom-shame on here. Stop thinking it’s mutilation, it’s NOT.”

What she means to say, of course, is she does not want to be made to feel ashamed for having gone through with an irreversible decision. She wants others to stop thinking it’s mutilation because it makes HER feel ashamed.

I hate to say it, but how others feel or think has no bearing; facts are objectively true by virtue that they can be observed and verified.

Without medical or clinical indication, “mutilation” is precisely what slicing off a normal, healthy part of a healthy, non-consenting minor is.

She needs to stop calling naming facts “mom-shaming.” That the facts are what they are do not blame those pointing them out.

And, to coin a phrase, she needs to stop thinking circumcision isn't mutilation; it is.
Private Parental Decisions Aren't Private on Social Media
Finally, I want to close with this, because it seems some parents don't seem to understand the way the internet works:
If you don't want others "shaming you" for your poor parental decisions, if you don't want others “getting in your business," posting said "business" on social media, where others are likely to comment, is prrrrrobably not a good idea.
C'mon. This should have been a lesson learned from the MySpace era. 

This isn't meant to be a "mom-shame."

It's meant to be educational.
It may be too late for this mother's child, but it's never to late for other children.

This post is full of links to legit news articles and resources for parents who are actually looking into this issue.

I hope this mother finds this post and learns something, and if she still refuses to learn, I hope other parents find this post and that they learn.
If at least one parent becomes informed and spares their child needless risk and mutilation, I will be glad to have written this post. If she finds this, I genuinely wish you and your child the health and happiness.

Mission Statement
The foreskin is not a birth defect. Neither is it a congenital deformity or genetic anomaly akin to a 6th finger or a cleft. Neither is it a medical condition like a ruptured appendix or diseased gall bladder. Neither is it a dead part of the body, like the umbilical cord, hair, or fingernails.

The foreskin is not "extra skin." The foreskin is normal, natural, healthy, functioning tissue, present in all males at birth; it is as intrinsic to male genitalia as labia are to female genitalia.

Unless there is a medical or clinical indication, the circumcision of a healthy, non-consenting individuals is a deliberate wound; it is the destruction of normal, healthy tissue, the permanent disfigurement of normal, healthy organs, and by very definition, infant genital mutilation, and a violation of the most basic of human rights.

Without medical or clinical indication, doctors have absolutely no business performing surgery in healthy, non-consenting individuals, much less be eliciting any kind of "decision" from parents.

In any other case, reaping profit from non-medical procedures on non-consenting individuals constitutes medical fraud.

The risks of male infant circumcision include infection, partial or full ablation, hemorrhage and even death. (See links above and below.) Since male infant circumcision is elective, cosmetic procedure on healthy, non-consenting individuals, any risk above “zero” is unconscionable. 

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