Paul Mason, the Tasmanian children's commissioner, wants to outlaw infant male circumcision and take away yet another decision from parents who, from where I'm standing, have the ability to make well-informed decisions according to their family's beliefs and health. Yesterday's Sun Herald reported that Mr Mason is unhappy with the fact that even though the law protect girls from female circumcision, parents are free to "go around willy-nilly chopping up bits of their sons."
Many believe that there are no medical reasons for or against male circumcision (although I have heard reports siting scientific proof that the wife of an uncircumcised husband is at greater risk of cervical cancer). The way I see it is this. If there's no proven reason why we should circumcise our sons and there's no proven reason why we shouldn't circumcise them (the law currently states that male circumcision does not constitute unlawful wounding, ill treatment or child abuse) then why should parents not be left with the right to choose?
As parents, we've had countless choices taken away from us and many more on the way. If we follow along the path of many other countries, including New Zealand, smacking our own children will become a punishable offence, taking away yet another personal decision, which is for parents only to make.
If this country is a democracy, it's doing a great job of pretending not to be. We shouldn't have to shroud the fact that we did or did not circumcise our sons with secrecy. There should be no shame surrounding each family's approach to discipline (obviously as long the children aren't being abused).
Each of us are individuals, therefore we parent differently. Here's a thought; what about if the extremists stopped crying wolf about the private, personal decisions we're each 'allowed' to make. I hate using the word discrimate but it's pretty applicable here. How fantastic if they stopped discriminating against those who make their own choices and have healthy, happy families for doing so.
I think our government has let the fight for a 'happy' life go too far. We've got to stop taking the right to make decisions based on personal preference away from people. Otherwise, where will it stop?