So let's take a look at this word empowerment. It seems easy to toss around the word empowerment but the reality is that it has become very political and is often over-used. So what does it mean? The second definition of empowerment in Merriam-Webster's on-line dictionary is to enable. But what does it mean to enable? Turning again to Merriam-Webster we find that enabling means to provide with the means or opportunity. So in order to enable a women's decision on circumcision, we need to provide her with the means to make that decision. What exactly is removed during circumcision? Is the foreskin merely a flap of extraneous skin or something more? If we understand the physiological purpose of the foreskin, it becomes easier to make an truly informed decision about circumcision. Would you agree to the removal of a kidney without understanding the function of the kidney and the impact of living with one less kidney?
I just watched a very interesting DVD today about circumcision. I must admit I had virtually no knowledge about foreskins before today and had even agreed to circumcise our first child if it had been a boy (it was a girl). When we planned a home birth with our second, circumcision was no longer a routine procedure performed by the hospital but something that I had to arrange. I told my husband that if he wanted his son circumcised, he would have to make it happen. He did some research and finally decided against circumcision. Here is one short but very interesting blurb about circumcision. Check it out. If you decide to circumcise, that is your decision, but please make an empowered decision.