A Heartfelt Christmas Gift: Apologizing to our Sons

by Jeanice Barcelo
with guest, Marilyn Milos

Today, Marilyn Milos was the guest on my radio show. As the mother of three boys -- all of whom were circumcised -- Marilyn understands first-hand how a mother could unconsciously make the choice to hand her baby over to be brutalized and sexually violated.

Yet, when she witnessed an infant being circumcised first-hand (during her nursing training), she experienced a harsh wake-up call, and her life has never been the same.

Marilyn is a leading voice for the human rights of babies and has worked tirelessly to educate people about the horrors of circumcision. She is the founder and executive director of the National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers and has been credited with initiating the International Genital Integrity Movement.

When I asked Marilyn what she did to help heal the damage that was done to her sons, she shared a letter that she wrote to her boys. I found the letter very touching, and wanted to share it with all of you.

This Christmas, may all mothers and fathers of circumcised sons awaken to the violence they have subjected their babies to. And may we heartfully apologize for the unconscious harm we have done, thereby healing a great deal of the damage.

Here is Marilyn's letter to her sons:

For [my sons],

You know that, if I could take one thing back in my life of many mistakes, it would be the circumcision of my sons--the gravest mistake of all! It is the pain and trauma inflicted upon you because I didn't know enough to protect you that will save untold numbers of other babies from the same suffering. It will never be enough because it won't be you and your brothers that are spared. Still, I hope, as witness to your betrayal and trauma, it will help you to heal your most profound wound. And, I know you, too, will help protect the next generation.

With my deepest apologies and my greatest love,


No mother should ever have to write such a letter to her son and no son should ever have to read it. Still, every mother does the best she can with the information she has at the time, so this work of apologizing for our actions is important to our sons and to us as well.

And, I now have four intact grandsons...so we can make a difference in our own lives, in our own families, and in our world!



More with Jeanice Barcelo on her site Ecstatic Birth Maui and radio show

For more information:
Mothers speak of son's circumcision
Dealing with Regret
Restoration - The Uncircumcising of men
Protect your Intact Son
Raising Intact Sons
For Fathers: Matching Penises

If you circumcised your first son, and would like to keep future sons intact, or make a difference in the lives of your grandsons or boys born around you, please join other parents in our Facebook discussion.


  1. she had to witness a circumcision for her training? I am about to start school for nursing, am I going to have to witness one too? I ABSOLUTELY REFUSE!

  2. Hi Ashley!
    I am also a nursing student. I refuse to participate in the mutilation of a non-consenting person's genitals. It is not ethical, it is amoral. I have written a letter to my school/professor explaining that it is against everything I believe, it is against my morals, it is against ethics. It is a violation of human rights.

    Check these sites out:





    Good Luck, don't give in!!! You are RIGHT to object!




Related Posts with Thumbnails