Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Foreskin: Don't Go Commando Without It

Just wanted to share some anti-circumcision graphics that I came across recently and a quick anecdote.

First the anecdote: So I'm recently divorced, and have started dating again for the first time in eleven years. Since I began dating, I've quickly come to the realization that early-twenties me knew who she was and what she wanted and talked openly about those things.  Mid-thirties me really knows who she is and she'll talk about anything important to her including intactivism, even on a first date.
Hey, I just met you, but this ain't crazy. Circumcision's wrong for babies.
Here's kind of how the conversation went:
Date: Tell me some things you are passionate about.
Me: Of course my kids (that's pretty much a given), health and wellness, natural living, eating organic/whole foods, vegetarianism, avoiding toxins, libertarianism, circumcision . . .
Date: You're passionate about circumcision?
Me: No, I'm highly against infant circumcision. Are you circumcised?
Date: Yes
Me: Did you know that when babies are circumcised they don't receive any pain medication and the foreskin that is removed, for no medical reason whatsoever, has 20,000 highly sensitive nerve endings?
Date: I had no idea. 20,000 nerve-endings gone? 20,000 nerve endings cut with or without pain meds sounds horrific.
Me: I know. That's one of the reasons why I'm so against it and why I feel so passionate about it.
Date: I heard they circumcise baby boys, so they are easier to clean.  That has never made much sense to me.
Me: One of the reasons that infant circumcision continues is because doctors, heedless of their vow to do no harm, make big money off the procedures, and then they can sell the removed foreskin tissue to labs and cosmetic companies for even more profit.  It's all about the money.
Date: That is really messed up.
Me: I know, right?
Then, the date proceeded like we had just been talking about movies we liked or something equally benign.  Later, he asked me out again.  I'm not sure if I'll go, but I like that I was able to speak my crunchy, little mind to someone I had never met before, and he didn't say I was crazy. HE ASKED ME ON A SECOND DATE!  The End.
Now on to the graphics:   
This great anti-circ graphic is from Intact OH.  "Foreskin: don't go commando without it.  The foreskin protects the glans from injury, and the urinary meatus from contaminants.  So play outside with no pants on.  It's got you covered." 

And, I found another anti-circumcision someecard on Mama's Milkies to add to my collection.
 "He's circumcised and has had no problems!" said the parents of the boy who had a normal penis at birth that had no problems either.
Ash writes, "This argument has always confused me. 'My son is circumcised and he is just fine!' But... He was just fine at birth too and you still had him restrained and had part of his penis amputated, so... You can't really use that as your defense. That's MY defense. He was JUST FINE when he was born too. So why mess with it? 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it!'" I agree, Ash, I very much agree!!!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Fair Trade Cloth Diapers?

I pity the man who wants a coat so cheap that the man or woman who produces the cloth will starve in the process.  ~Benjamin Harrision
This morning I was reminded of this Benjamin Harrison quote, that I first saw on my friend Christy's facebook wall a few years ago. It really struck me as being timeless . . .a bit of wisdom from a 19th century American president still very relevant to our 21st century society.

I don't have a lot of money, so I really have to make the money I do have count. I understand the desire to be frugal, I really, really do.  However, for me, the peace of mind of buying fair trade and knowing where what I buy comes from is well-worth it. As I've said in previous posts, I believe that every dollar I spend casts a vote for the way I want things to be.

In a world where your purchases have more influence than your political vote, it's imperative that you take all factors into consideration before pulling out your wallet.
Quote: Scott Umstattd     Image Source: Fair Trade Wire
Here's how I want things to be: I want all people to have the opportunity to make a fair living.

Here's what I don't want: I don't want to purchase items that were made by child labor, slave labor, workers working in deplorable conditions and/or making pennies a day.  I don’t want anything that allows the few to get extraordinarily rich on the backs of the very poor.  If I can’t afford something fair trade, I’d prefer to go without than to buy something cheaper that I know was produced by an exploited labor force.

Cheap Knock-off Cloth Diapers from China

The discussion that spurred my memory of Benjamin Harrison’s wise words was about knock-off cloth diapers from China. It seems some cloth-diapering mamas are frustrated that they can no longer get inexpensive, Alva diapers from China, because they violate a Pending U.S. Patent held by Julie Ekstrom of Kanga Care the designer of Rumparooz, Lil Joey, and Eco-Posh cloth diapers. While I applaud them for choosing cloth diapers over disposible, my questions to these moms are these:
  • Is the little bit of money you saved by buying knock-offs from China, really worth it  knowing that 
    . . . the design was stolen from a working mother from Colorado? 
    . . . the labor practices and conditions where these knock-off are produced are questionable at best?
    . . . the quality and fit is not as nice as the real thing?  
    . . . they are made in china? 
  • Do you really want to trust something made in china to lay against your baby’s skin night and day?
  • Why not spend a few more dollars, have a few less diapers in your stash, make your own or buy your diapers second-hand?  

Want to know more? Here's a more detailed explanation from One Lucky Mama about  why not getting knockoff diapers from China is not a bad thing: Why I Won’t Sell Chinese Cheapie Cloth Diapers