An Iranian father-to-be from London has written to insideMAN to ask for help stopping his wife circumcising their son. His letter to our readers is printed below.
– This is article #96 in our series of #100Voices4Men and boys
Dear insideMAN Reader
Please can you help me?
I am an Iranian man living in London just days away from becoming a father for the first time.
I feel so special about his birth. I feel he is going to be a very precious gift to me. I can’t wait to see him and hold him tight in my arms. As a proud father I would like, to the best of my ability, to protect and nurture him and that includes protecting him from being circumcised.
Unfortunately, my wife disagrees with me and insists that she will have him circumcised just like her son (my step son) from her first marriage. I feel powerless and cannot sleep at night because of this issue. My wife will not listen to the reasons why I want to protect him from circumcision. I have tried to approach her from different angles but I keep hitting a brick wall.
So what can I do?
I come from a diverse family, my mum is an open-minded Muslim, my dad is an anti-religion atheist whose parents came to the UK from Iran in the 1970s, just before the Islamic revolution. I started living in the UK permanently myself 14 years ago and while people think of me as Muslim, because I was born in Iran, I am not. I am an atheist and only believe in balance and justice in the universe.
And now I need help to make sure my son gets the justice he deserves.
As parents I believe we should not stamp our religion, culture, tradition or opinions on our children without their consent. I find circumcision totally barbaric. I strongly believe circumcision trauma leaves a deep blueprint on the subconscious mind and soul of a baby. I believe that human beings are born in a complete form of perfection. If there is a nose to breathe through or a pair of eyes to see, there is certainly a reason for the foreskin to be there. A boy’s penis is the very centre of his manhood, why would anyone want to mess with it and reduce it? I feel very strongly that we should ban circumcision, especially in Europe.
Sadly, for some strange reason, most Iranian women support male circumcision. A good friend of mine who is a highly educated lawyer, born to a Iranian family and raised in the UK, recently gave birth to a lovely little boy. I could not believe her strong views about circumcision. Her main concern was the beauty and the similarity of his penis to her husband! It seems Iranian women take the same approach to circumcision as they have to plastic surgery. They think it’s a nose job!
My mother also supports circumcision, even though she is a very open-minded, flexible, modern woman for her generation. She heard me trying to explain to my wife why I want to prevent our son from being circumcised and she told me afterwards that I should “give in gracefully and let her do it”!
My mum’s thinking is that my wife is going to do it anyway and there is a positive side to circumcision which, according to my mum is this—my baby’s willy will look the same as mine and my stepson’s and prevent any confusion he might feel in future if he compares his penis to ours!
I was so angry and frustrated at the same time, that I couldn’t stop laughing.
I said to her, ”Mum, how often do see me and my brothers and Dad sitting at a dinner table, comparing our bits with each other?” We are, of course, all circumcised. I have never questioned my parents about this because they did what they thought was right at the time. I don’t have strong feelings about being circumcised myself, as long as I can remember I have always been this way, but I have always wondered how it would feel it I wasn’t circumcised and I never heard of an uncircumcised man who wants to have it done.
But now I have the knowledge, I am conscious and I know the fact my father is against it too. I feel I must do everything I can to protect my son. I won’t have any issues if he decides to do it when his is older but that his decision to make, it’s his body and it’s his choice.
But my wife’s mind is made up. She is a Christian woman of Iranian background, so her reasons are not religious, I would say it’s more cultural and mainly cosmetic. She plans to have him circumcised in a private clinic in Harley Street. I cannot begin to describe how distressed I am about the whole thing. It’s almost taking away the excitement of having a baby and becoming a dad.
I am in desperate need of help and support. I’ve been in touch with the charity NORM UK and insideMAN magazine and I’m going to try the NHS too. I’d welcome support from any organisations or charities who understand my point of view and I’d like to know my legal rights as a father. I’d also like to hear from other parents who have been in a similar situation.
Please help me, I want to protect my son from circumcision before it’s too late.
— Picture Credit: Flickr/bgottsab
We have kept this father’s identity anonymous to protect the identity of his son. If you can offer help, advice and support please leave a message in the comment section or email us at [email protected] and we will forward your message to him.
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