Words of Wisdom and Encouragement

"If for a while the harder you try, the harder it gets, take heart; so it has been with the best people who have ever lived." -Jeffrey R. Holland 

Be brave, my heart. <3 Have courage, my soul.

If you feel you don't fit in, in this world, it's because you're here to build a better one.

"Even after all this time, the sun never says to the earth, 'You owe me.'
Look what happens with a love like that - it lights the whole sky." -Hafiz, The Gift

May you always see the light, even in the darkness.

Surround yourself with people who love you for being you.

May the voices that cheer you on, always be louder than those that don't.

Wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it.
Right is right, even if only YOU are doing it.

Today, a caterpillar. Tomorrow, a butterfly.
Don't lose hope. You never know what tomorrow will bring.

"Let them judge you. Let them misunderstand you. Let them gossip about you. Their opinions aren't your problem. You stay kind, committed to LOVE, and free in your authenticity. No matter what they do or say, don't you dare doubt your worth or the beauty of your truth. Just keep on SHINING like you do." -Scott Stabile

"Hate has caused a lot of problems in this world, but it has not solved one yet." -Maya Angelou

"The coolest people I've ever met have the most colorful pasts. They've lived lives of risk, made bad choices, learned lessons, explored, and they're not afraid of being real. Tattered tapestries woven of similar threads, they're my kind of people - my favorite shades of crazy." -Stephen L. Lizotte

Self-help
How to stop time: kiss.
How to travel in time: read.
How to escape time: music.
How to feel time: write.
How to release time: breathe.

What's the greatest lesson a woman should learn? That since Day One she's already had everything she needs within herself. It's the world that convinced her she did not. -Rupi Kaur

Everyone wants to be the sun to lighten up someone's life; but why not be the moon to brighten in the darkest hour...

Now and then it's good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.

"The best thing you can do as a father is make sure they see how you love their mother." -Matthew McConaughey

Sometimes it's okay if the only thing you did today was breathe.

People inspire you or they drain you. Pick them wisely. -Hans F. Hansen











Family's Professional Photos Delivered with a Hilarious Twist



We've all invested in something that didn't pan out to be as great as we thought it would be... big or small, there's something most parents have looked back on and wished they could have a do-over. For Pam and Dave Zaring of Missouri, it may be their most recent family photos. After Pam says she went many months upset because their "professional" photographs were not being given to them, the portraits finally arrived in the mail. And what she found is worth a whole lot of good hearted belly laughs -- at least $250.00 worth.

"This is NOT a joke," Pam shared with her Facebook friends in a public post. "She said the shadows were really bad [...] and that her professor never taught her to retouch photos."

The internet is ablaze with laughter over the finished product, that the photographer added her copyright watermark to, saying she "stands by her work" and the funds will not be returned.

As of this writing, the family has yet to receive their original photographs.




Be a Lady



“Be a Lady,” they said...

Remove your body hair. Shave your legs. Shave your armpits. Shave your bikini line. Wax your face. Wax your arms. Wax your eyebrows. Get rid of your mustache. Bleach this. Bleach that. Lighten your skin. Tan your skin. Eradicate your scars. Cover your stretch marks. Tighten your abs. Plump your lips. Botox your wrinkles. Lift your face. Tuck your tummy. Thin your thighs. Tone your calves. Perk up your boobs. Look natural. Be yourself. Be genuine. Be confident. You’re trying too hard. You look overdone. Men don’t like girls who try too hard.

“Be a Lady,” they said...

Wear makeup. Prime your face. Conceal your blemishes. Contour your nose. Highlight your cheekbones. Line your lids. Fill in your brows. Lengthen your lashes. Color your lips. Powder, blush, bronze, highlight. Your hair is too short. Your hair is too long. Your ends are split. Highlight your hair. Your roots are showing. Dye your hair. Not blue, that looks unnatural. You’re going grey. You look so old. Look young. Look youthful. Look ageless. Don’t get old. Women don’t get old. Old is ugly. Men don’t like ugly.

“Be a Lady,” they said...

Save yourself. Be pure. Be virginal. Don’t talk about sex. Don’t flirt. Don’t be a skank. Don’t be a whore. Don’t sleep around. Don’t lose your dignity. Don’t have sex with too many men. Don’t give yourself away. Men don’t like sluts. Don’t be a prude. Don’t be so uptight. Have a little fun. Smile more. Pleasure men. Be experienced. Be sexual. Be innocent. Be dirty. Be virginal. Be sexy. Be the cool girl. Don’t be like the other girls.


“Be a Lady,” they said...

Don’t talk too loud. Don’t talk too much. Don’t take up space. Don’t sit like that. Don’t stand like that. Don’t be intimidating. Why are you so miserable? Don’t be a bitch. Don’t be so bossy. Don’t be assertive. Don’t overact. Don’t be so emotional. Don’t cry. Don’t yell. Don’t swear. Be passive. Be obedient. Endure the pain. Be pleasing. Don’t complain. Let him down easy. Boost his ego. Make him fall for you. Men want what they can’t have. Don’t give yourself away. Make him work for it. Men love the chase. Fold his clothes. Cook his dinner. Keep him happy. That’s a woman’s job. You’ll make a good wife someday. Take his last name. You hyphenated your name? Crazy feminist. Give him children. You don’t want children? You will someday. You’ll change your mind.

“Be a Lady,” they said...

Don’t get raped. Protect yourself. Don’t drink too much. Don’t walk alone. Don’t go out too late. Don’t dress like that. Don’t show too much. Don’t get drunk. Don’t leave your drink. Have a buddy. Walk where it is well lit. Stay in the safe neighborhoods. Tell someone where you’re going. Bring pepper spray. Buy a rape whistle. Hold your keys like a weapon. Take a self-defense course. Check your trunk. Lock your doors. Don’t go out alone. Don’t make eye contact. Don’t bat your eyelashes. Don’t look easy. Don’t attract attention. Don’t work late. Don’t crack dirty jokes. Don’t smile at strangers. Don’t go out at night. Don’t trust anyone. Don’t say yes. Don’t say no.

Just “Be a Lady,” they said.



Author Unknown

Intact Billboard During FGM Trial in Michigan




Help us bring this billboard to Detroit!

Over the past year we have received many requests to host a quality, pro-intact billboard in an ideal location in Detroit during the next year while the FGM trial takes place. While we do not typically feel that the exorbitant costs of billboards in less-traveled areas are worth the payout (especially when traveling billboards cost a mere fraction of the amount and are seen by just as many in large metropolitan areas; or maternity expos at large venues reach thousands of expecting mothers for pennies-to-the-dollar of a billboard), this is one exception.

The FGM case is a landmark one that is sure to receive national media attention, and is an ideal time to draw the connection between all forms of genital cutting. In addition, the trials take place in a Michigan location that is deep in the heart of a cutting culture (see Jonathon Conte's map here). For these reasons, we set out to accept template designs, and a number of ideas and examples were presented. Through various focus groups and public forums, a billboard (its wording, colors, domain, and image) was selected that reflects genital autonomy for all, and stirs people to think about this subject from another perspective in the midst of the FGM trial. Please feel free to message the Saving Our Sons Facebook page with questions or concerns you have.

• The neutral colors of baby's fingers wrapped around an adult's finger represents babies of all sexes, and reinforces the message that all babies deserve protection.

• The tag line 'Say NO to Infant Circumcision' was chosen because it will not be lost on viewers. While we prefer to use the term 'forced genital cutting' or 'genital mutilation' over its euphemism, most in Michigan (and the U.S. at large) agree that female genital cutting/genital mutilation is wrong, and the phrase does not stir the same emotional response in people. The concern is that they would see it in relation to the trial taking place and think, "Yes, cutting girls is wrong..." not making the bridge in thinking to this being about boys and intersex babies too. Because this is a billboard (not a personally held sign or face-to-face interaction), it needs to quickly move people to think and be curious enough to check things out themselves. A professional billboard is needed that will result in the most awareness raised in a positive manner, the most parents empowered with information they've not previously been privy to, and, ultimately, the most babies saved.

• The color of text was chosen because it has been shown in graphics studies to be most quickly read and retained by the human brain, and because it reflects the culturally-stereotypic color for boys.

• The IntactBaby.org domain brings the ubiquitous term intact front and center, and is short and sweet. The website can be formatted to have material on the trial, and its relation to male genital cutting at the forefront while the billboard is in place.

We are not expecting to raise enough for a digital billboard, which costs significantly more, so we are currently opting for a less expensive print billboard, in a prime location, heading into Detroit, as close as funding will take us to the courthouse. This will likely be $8,000 for 1 year. We have been in contact with several billboard hosting businesses for specific quotes and location options, and will update below with progress to goal and specifics as this is determined.

Should we not receive enough funding for a billboard, those who donate will have the option of receiving their donation back as a refund, or have this go toward the SOS Odyssey Traveling Billboards and Rallies that will take place during the trial in Detroit. The SOS Odyssey costs approximately $1,000 per 4-5 cities covered for 3-4 event coordinators heading things up, and reaches between 20-80K commuters per day, depending on location.

Thank you for your generous donation to erect this intact billboard before the trial begins!




Individuals and Businesses Supporting the Intact Billboard in Detroit

★ Michelle and Chris M.
★ Jennifer R.
★ Jennifer and Chris D.


Also at YouCaring


Related Graphics














Positive Birth Affirmations

By Neve Spicer © 2018


Positive Birth Affirmations 

Regularly practicing positive birth affirmations during pregnancy can have a powerful effect on your mind and body when it comes to birthing your baby. They can help you to achieve the calm and controlled birth that you want.

There is nothing 'airy-fairy' about positive affirmations. Just ask sport psychologists. They are well aware that an athlete's frame of mind directly affects how their body functions. Confidence and positive belief improve physical performance. This principle holds even truer as a woman progresses through labor; her calm and confident mindset help her uterus (aka Wonder Muscle) to function optimally. This, in turn, creates the best chance of a quick and easy delivery. 

But here's the thing:

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) research has shown that around 80% of our 'self-talk' (ie, our internal dialogue) is negative. Our beliefs are imprinted on us from an early age but, sadly, these are often negative. It’s very common for women to have fears and negative assumptions surrounding birth. Perhaps these stem from inaccurate stereotypes on TV, or women sharing birthing 'war stories'. Either way, they are neither necessary nor helpful.

The good news is that we can literally reprogram our brains. It's actually pretty simple. Afterall, our brain can only hold on to a few pieces of information at a time. By repeating positive affirmations, they soon 'squeeze out' the negative thoughts, leaving your subconscious pleasantly full of positive beliefs about birth. Emotionally, you'll notice a sense of confidence and calm as you approach your baby's beautiful birth.

I'm passionate about positive birth affirmations. They played a powerful role as I birthed both of my children. (Pictured is the moment my second child, Dara, was born into water at home. It was a beautiful experience.) That's why I chose to bring together the most gorgeous and effective affirmations that I could find. Here they are, below, in one place accompanied by the stunning birth art of Amanda Greavette.

How to get the most out of these affirmations:

• Read through the list of affirmations.
• Choose the statements you like the most.
• Cut them out and put them somewhere obvious (eg, walls, mirrors, or in your handbag)
• When you see them, say them!



Neve is a natural birthing advocate and mother-of-two. She blogs at WeTheParents.org.


Positive Birthing Affirmations (Printable Poster)

Positive Birthing Affirmations (Printable Poster)



Should I Circumcise My Son? The Pros and Cons of Infant Circumcision



New to the subject of infant circumcision and the benefits of the prepuce (foreskin)? The following are resources many families have found useful when looking at the subject for the first time. They are meant to be a starting point into deeper investigation and further research that is widely available today. If you only have a short period of time to spend on this topic, a blue star marks films with physicians' statements who are in practice today, as well as medical professionals' materials.

★ Functions of the Foreskin: Drmomma.org/2009/09/functions-of-foreskin-purposes-of.html

★ Intact vs. Circumcised: A Significant Difference in the Adult Penis: Drmomma.org/2011/08/intact-or-circumcised-significant.html 

Why did circumcision start as we now know it in the U.S.? Hear from some original doctors on the matter: Savingsons.org/2012/07/circumcision-to-reduce-mens-sexual.html

Faith Considerations on Circumcision (resources by/for Jews, Christians, and Muslims): Drmomma.org/2011/01/faith-considerations-on-circumcision.html

Peer reviewed research (studies published in medical journals): Drmomma.org/2007/01/circumcision-studies.html

★ Are there medical benefits to circumcision? Read national medical statements from around the world: Drmomma.org/2014/08/medical-organization-position.html

Physicians' thoughts within the medical field today: FB.com/IntactCare

Well researched books written on the subject: http://astore.amazon.com/savingsons.org-20

Dr. Ryan McAllister's Georgetown University video lecture, Elephant in the Hospital (also included on DVD in the info pack below): http://www.library.georgetown.edu/gelardin/showcase/entries/circumcision-elephant-hospital

Dr. Christopher Guest's video, Circumcision: The Whole Story: http://youtu.be/SeAXantm4tE

Whose Body, Whose Rights? Award-winning circumcision documentary: SavingSons.org/2017/01/whose-body-whose-rights-circumcision.html

The Real Reason You're Circumcised from College Humor: Collegehumor.com/video/6966989/the-real-reason-youre-circumcised

Penn & Teller: Bullsh*t Circumcision Episode: SavingSons.org/2013/03/happy-birthday-penn-jillette.html

★ Intact Care: Drmomma.org/2009/06/how-to-care-for-intact-penis-protect.html
Circumcision Care: Nocirc.org/publish/pamphlet5.html

The two most common forms of circumcision in North American today: 

Gomco: Savingsons.org/2011/01/neonatal-circumcision-video-for.html

Plastibell: Drmomma.org/2009/08/plastibell-infant-circumcision.html [Note that the Plastibell is the type of circumcision most often referred to as a 'no-cutting' or 'no-blood' method.]

Outcome Statistics (Circumcised vs. Intact): Drmomma.org/2010/01/cut-vs-intact-outcome-statistics.html

Men speakSavingSons.org/2017/04/men-speak.html
Facebook conversations by men: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.487363627949430.115346.166998263319303

Over 250,000 men are restoring some of what was lost to circumcision. It improves sex in a wide variety of ways. Google 'foreskin restoration' and check out any of these resources: Savingsons.org/2009/10/foreskin-restoration.html

8 articles published at Psychology Today: Savingsons.org/2011/10/psychology-today-circumcision-series.html

For those with older sons who were circumcised: 
Public Page: FB.com/FutureSons 
Discussion Group: FB.com/groups/FutureSons
Related items from others with circumcised sons: Drmomma.org/2010/05/i-circumcised-my-son-healing-from.html 

What does this have to do with WOMEN? 
SexAsNatureIntendedIt.com
Book by same title: http://astore.amazon.com/savingsons.org-20

How Male Circumcision Impacts Your Love Life: Drmomma.org/2009/10/how-male-circumcision-impacts-your-love.html

Women's Health and Male Circumcision Resource List: Drmomma.org/2009/07/how-male-circumcision-impacts-women.html

HIV/AIDS and the African Trials: AIDSCirc.org and the HIV resource page: Drmomma.org/2014/01/hiv-aids-circumcision-resources.html

50 Reasons to Leave it Alone: Drmomma.org/2010/11/50-reasons-to-leave-it-alone.html 

If you'd like to join a community of parents (many with both circumcised and intact sons) to ask questions while making your decision, you are welcome to the Intact: Healthy, Happy, Whole group. Everyone is welcome to this safe-space community group.


The Info Pack (includes a DVD with several videos and full length articles); the smaller Expecting Pack; Postcards for friends; or have a professional exchange online correspondence: Savingsons.org/p/info-pack.html

Informational items (cards, stickers, bracelets, etc.): Savingsons.org/p/info-cards.html or at Etsy: Etsy.com/shop/SavingOurSons

Questions? 
Please feel free to email SavingSons@gmail.com at any time. Several clinicians volunteer time to field questions, and if we're not able to answer, we'll seek out a place to go for further information.

If you find these resources to be of use, please help support Saving Our Sons and work we do. We continue solely by volunteers' time and generosity. See current needs at: Savingsons.org/p/sponsor-son-waiting-list.html or give directly: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=VQSSUQFGLFZXQ


The Penis: Sex Education 101 with Marilyn Milos



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