You might logically assume that the little guy must have some sort of life-threatening condition or dangerous disease to be scheduled for surgery... any surgery.
But you would be wrong.
Today, Chase is being forced (against his mother's wishes... and quite probably his own) to be circumcised.
Sounds innocuous, right? Little boys are circumcised everyday. If you are a dude reading this, chances are pretty good that you've been circumcised. But Chase's case is not quite so innocuous as you might think. There's a lot more to this so stick with me. Here's some backstory:
Chase was born in 2011, when his mother signed a legal agreement which gave the baby's father (the two were not married and separated about a year after Chase's birth) permission to have him circumcised. Years later the surgery had still not been performed. The mother changed her mind, partially because Chase's age would require the surgery to be done under general anesthesia and all of the risks associated with it (including risks of brain damage and even death... a lot to ask a mother to sign off on when the surgery is not medically necessary). So, Heather Heronimus (Chase's mother) took her toddler son and became a fugitive for several months. She was finally found and arrested in May. She was then told by a judge that she would not be allowed to leave prison until she signed a consent for her son's surgical procedure. Still wearing handcuffs and weeping, she was finally coerced into signing the consent. The judge also gave full custody rights to Chase's father.
A lot can change in four years. What might have seemed like a cavalier and routine procedure when her child was born, seemed much more traumatic and dangerous and unnecessary as her child grew. Perhaps, Heather had become more educated on the risks and potential side effects of surgical circumcision. Or maybe her toddler son seemed more like a more sentient individual, maybe his body seemed more his own than it had when he was an infant in arms. Regardless of what transpired in those interim years, Heather was convicted enough to go into hiding to save her child from the consequences of the invasive procedure.
The consent form was signed under mental anguish and the threat of remaining imprisoned. Don't believe me? Take a look at this sobbing mother as she is forced to sign...
The tears and handcuffs make nice accessories for that prison jumpsuit, don't you think? Really completes the ensemble.
Is consent given under extreme duress really consent?
I don't think so, and neither does Heather's conscience.
Some time today, doctors will strap little Chase's body to a table, put him to sleep, and remove a healthy and functioning part of his body. They will perform this medically unnecessary and unwanted surgery on a minor patient. Sure they have all of the legal paperwork, but the means by which the paperwork was obtained seems horrifically unethical. And there's the terrifying fact that a third party with a piece of paper can have ultimate control over a little boy's bodily integrity.
If this had been an excision performed on a girl, the hullabaloo that ensued would have rocked the whole world. We would have heard from doctors and politicians and human rights activists from all over. They would have been crawling out of the woodwork in droves. Chase's father wouldn't have been able to find a single solitary doctor in this country to even contemplate performing the surgery.
But male mutilation? Nobody bats an eye. In fact, large portions of the population are looking at Chase's mother like she's fruitier than the third fruit salad to show up at the neighborhood potluck.
It seems pertinent to point out here that there is a federal law prohibiting female circumcision, which is a big-time huge glaring double standard, not to mention a direct violation of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution (That's the one that includes the Equal Protection Clause providing equal protection under the law to ALL people regardless of class or race or gender or... well anything).
Why is female genitalia considered so much more sacred than men's? Little girl's private parts are protected by federal law, while little boys' privates are traumatically mutilated as routinely as I sip my morning coffee. If men and boys don't have the right of personal bodily integrity, what rights do they have? Where are the mobs with their pithy signs and catchy chants of "My body, my rights"? Chase is about to get his wee-wee chopped for no good reason other than his daddy wants it... and people think his mama is the crazy one.
Maybe Chase just forgot to check his "male privilege" card at the door.