However, it just so happens that around January 1st of 2013, I officially decided I want to make a point to stop participating in the polarization of America.
To quote Jimmy in one of my favorite movies, That Thing You Do, “I….. I quit. I quit. I quit…”.
In other words, I am choosing to see both Democrats and Republicans as good people.
I am rejecting the belief that “the other side” is completely irrational and/or evil, no matter how extreme or overzealous I am conditioned to believe they are, thanks in part to pseudo news channels like CNN and Fox News.
That goes for whatever “the other side” happens to be, not just political affiliations: pro-life vs. pro-choice, pro-gay marriage vs. anti-gay marriage, attachment parenting vs. supporters of the “cry it out” method, gun control reform vs. no gun control reform…
Basically, on all of these controversial issues, the side I am now on is technically… neither. Because I now publicly associate with the third party in favor of removing the “vs.” between the two polarizing sides.
Granted, I still have my personal opinions of how I feel about these polarizing topics, but I am much more interested in attempting to help tone down the collective angst regarding all the controversial issues that divide America.
I am tired of adding to the noise of two extremely polarized camps preaching to their own choirs.
With that being said, I was pretty skeptical a couple of months ago when I was approached by Susan Terkel, one of the authors of the then-upcoming book, The Circumcision Decision: An Unbiased Guide for Parents.
Knowing that my collection of blog posts on circumcision had put me in the hot seat with dozens of my readers, on several occasions, I had officially decided to retire from ever writing about circumcision again.
Then I received a preview copy of The Circumcision Decision in the mail. After reading it, I decided I actually wanted to participate in promoting the book, as much as possible.
In fact, I was so passionate about this book that the authors asked me to write a blurb for it, which is printed on the very first page, as well as, the back cover of the book:
“With grace, wisdom, and class, The Circumcision Decision impressively presents both sides of the story in such a balanced narrative, that some of us who have already made up our minds beforehand may now find ourselves challenged by the flip side.”
I proudly associate my name with The Circumcision Decision and am pleased to announce it was nominated as a 2012 finalist for the Books For A Better Life Award: Childcare/Parenting.
This book, which is now officially published and available for sale on its website, is the perfect answer to the circumcision controversy and, more importantly, to any soon-to-be parents of a son who are trying to best educate themselves on deciding whether to circumcise their son, or to leave him intact.
My guess is, no matter which side of the circumcision decision a parent lands, reading this book will simply give them the courage, confidence, and closure on how they honestly personally feel about circumcision to begin with.
“Foreskin fibroblasts are used to grow and cultivate new cells that are then used for a variety of purposes. From the fibroblasts new skin for burn victims can be grown, skin to cover diabetic ulcers, and controversially it is also used to make cosmetic creams and collagens. One foreskin can be used for decades to grow $100,000 worth of fibroblasts.”
The article goes on to specifically name SkinMedica, selling for over $100 for a 63-oz. bottle, which was made famous by Oprah Winfrey.
On Plasmatic.com, a review of SkinMedica confirms the foreskin myth to be true as well.
The question isn’t whether or not foreskins are used to make facial cream. The question is… do you care?
Let’s say you found out whatever brand of facial cream you use is made from foreskins, would that keep you from buying it again?
My guess is no.
The exception might be if you happen to oppose circumcision; in other words, you’re an intactivist. Then it might bother you.
But I predict if you’re okay with circumcision, you’re okay with what your facial cream might be made from.
As for me, a guy who happens to not use facial cream, I support a parent’s right to choose circumcision, especially for those who do so for religious reasons, and I believe in the importance of the separation of church and state, therefore opposing any attempts at passing laws to ban circumcision in our country. (Like in San Francisco last year. Not cool!)
So by default, I’m all for foreskins in facial cream. It’s better than just throwing them away or burning them in an incinerator.
Still to this day, I don’t know what ever happened to mine, back in 1981 when I was circumcised… Though I bet my mom tried to save it in a scrapbook.
If you are a soon-to-be parent of a baby boy who has been trying to figure out whether or not circumcision is right for your son, then the AAP’s statement is good news. Now you can have some closure on this subject.
Circumcision it is. Done.
But if you are an Intactivist, one who actively campaigns against circumcision, then the American Academy of Pediatrics’ revised circumcision stance is bad news:
After all, it means that an organization that most parents would find to be respectable and trustworthy is justifying an unnecessary tradition of genital mutilation.
The AAP’s revised policy takes away the credibility of what Intactivists have been trying to tell us all along.
So much for the neutrality of this article: I’m not an Intactivist, by the way.
Like most parents who have decided to circumcise their son, I am not and have never been passionate about the subject of circumcision.
However, on three different occasions now, I have explained what propelled me to choose circumcision:
When it was all said and done, I had no problem saying this to Intactivists:
“You may be right.” It’s just that ultimately, I don’t care if they’re right. What’s done is done.
It became evident to me that the only way I could find shelter from the tidal wave of violent comments I received in those three Dadvice articles was to A) repent of the sin of circumcising my son, B) start using The Dadabase as a platform to preach Intactivism, and C) make an oath to not circumcise my next son, should I ever have one.
That sort of parenting extremism simply turns me off to their ideas, as valid as some of their points may be.
The vibes I have received from most Intactivists have been saturated in condescension, sarcasm, and prejudice.
I realize that stating my opinion on this today is only throwing gasoline on the fire; further perpetuating the frenemy relationship I have with Intactivist readers. Maybe I’m just curious to see if Intactivists will collectively be clever enough to learn how to be relevant in how they communicate with us unbelievers?
Will Intactivists kill me with their kindness? Will they prove me wrong when I say they are condescending to those of us who do not believe the same way as they do?
Yes, it will be a train wreck. No, Thomas the Train will not be involved.
Of course, since we seem to love watching train wrecks, while downplaying them each as a “stupid guilty pleasure,” we fund and endorse these ridiculous reality TV shows that we are ashamed to admit we like.
This upcoming Extreme Parenting show will be featuring parents who endorse co-sleeping, elimination communication (no diapers or potty training), unschooling, and non-vaccinating.
By using my administrator tools for The Dadabase last week, I discovered that some random person found The Dadabase by Googling, “Why do Caucasian parents share their bed with their kids?”
Accordingly, I want to thank that mysterious parent of Asian, African, or Middle Eastern descent for helping me realize something about myself:
I’m a Caucasian (mostly) and therefore I’m more likely to be involved in attachment parenting. That includes, but is not limited to, the following:
The anti-circumcision movement, co-sleeping, natural childbirth, home birth, breastfeeding, homeschooling, support of organic and local foods, and babywearing.
Until this week, I never put it together that attachment parenting is largely a white people thing. And when I say “white people” I don’t mean it in neither a superior nor a derogatory way.
It was about two years ago that I read the satirical blog and book, Stuff White People Like, which helped me differentiate the cultural quirks of Caucasian Americans compared to the minorities.
(Granted, most of us are aware that Caucasians are the minority of the world and eventually will soon no longer be the majority of America.)
So to quench my curiosity on the connection between Caucasians and attachment parenting, I asked my readers, via The Dadabase Facebook wall. The most interesting answer I received was this:
“I’ve been a nanny/caregiver for over 20 years and your question about parenting styles of different races is interesting. I have seen different styles between the white, Hispanic, black and Asian people I’ve worked for. The co-sleeping for example was allowed in the white and Hispanic families but not in the black families; VERY prohibited in the Asian family. The co-sleeping families even wanted their children to sleep with me when staying overnight but the other families would have flipped at that suggestion.”
There. It’s confirmed. Caucasians are more likely to be involved with attachment parenting. (See Maggie Gyllenhaal’s character in the movie Away We Go, between 1:25 and 1:40 of the clip featured at the bottom of this article.)
But as some pointed out on The Dadabase Facebook wall, it’s not so much about race as it is about culture. Good point.
I’m in the middle of reading an awesome book called Microtrends, which opened my mind a bit to something I never really had thought about before:
“Race scholars contend that race is an experience, not a fact.”
Here in Nashville, it is quite common to see Chinese girls adopted by Caucasian parents, who interestingly pass onto to them their Southern accents. As those girls grow into teens and adults, are they truly Asian in any cultural sense whatsoever?
Am I any less “white” just because my maternal grandmother is a dark-complected Mexican? Technically, I’m something like 75% white. But the fact I eat hot sauce with every single meal is something I picked up from my Caucasian dad, not my Hispanic grandma.
The real question is, how culturally Caucasian am I? If it’s in regards to Caucasians and their link to attachment parenting, then I would say I’m a lot less white than I used to be.
My wife and I started out being all about having a natural birth, exclusively breastfeeding, using cloth diapers, mostly co-sleeping… all that good stuff. Yeah, none of that actually worked out for us.
It’s pretty funny now; seeing that I’m huge advocate of incorporating the “cry it out” method.
But the three of us did become vegetarians along the way. So score a few “Caucasian points” for me on that one.
But over all, if attachment parenting is a Caucasian thing, then…
I’m turning Japanese, I think I’m turning Japanese, I really think so!