The Other Side of the Glass

Part One was officially released June 2013 in digital distribution format. To purchase to to If you were a donor and want to download your copy send an email to

The trailer

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Heterosexual Men to Undergo Circ to Prevent HIV

Yep, that's right -- RECOMMENDED by the UN health agencies. UNbelievable.

This is one of those things that actually shocks me -- I feel the anger rise up and then where to go with it? So, collapse back to the place of numb anger for the decisions that are made for political reason but that profoundly, irreversibly violate and harm others . .. this time men and young boys. All I can do in this moment is my sardonic reporting. LAlign Rightook at this child's tortured face -- he will never be the same. He is being brutalized .. . to prevent HIV in a country where children are soldiers in civil wars. I have to go cry.

Full article with my comments in red. Meanwhile, also in the news today -- the UN Peacekeeping trip to Sierra Leone:

Sierra Leone: UN Peacebuilding Commission Ends Maiden Field Trip With New Insights

The first-ever field mission from the new United Nations Peacebuilding Commission, set up to prevent countries emerging from civil war and other conflicts from slipping back into bloodshed, has returned from Sierra Leone with a clearer idea of the challenges now facing the once strife-torn state, the delegation leader said today.

The full story about circumscizing heterosexual males to prevent HIV:


U.N. health agencies recommended Wednesday that heterosexual men undergo circumcision because of "compelling" evidence that it can reduce their chances of contracting HIV' ;

I am so curious -- how many of these decision-makers are circumcised and if not, will they be? Did this child give "informed consent"? Did his parents? We can't spank a child without state involvement, but government can do this? This makes me nuts!

But World Health Organization' name experts said men need to be aware that circumcision is only partial protection against the virus and must be used with other measures.

It would be important to know what the other measures are -- my trust would be down.

"We must be clear," said Catherine Hankins of UNAIDS. "Male circumcision does not provide complete protection against HIV."

Reaaaally? Got it. Clear as day. I think we have learned what it is that causes HIV. And, so, is it worth what other issues it will create? Oh, say .. like, anger and volence?

Studies suggest 5.7 million new cases of HIV infection and 3 million deaths over 20 years could be prevented by male circumcision in sub-Saharan Africa, the agencies said.

Hmmm ... sorry, to be the realist, but so, where will these men live and work and care for the children they father who will die at an alarming rate?

The Bill Gates Foundation says that 1 billion, yep, that's ONE billion dollars spent in one African country to improve the health and environmental conditions to improve maternal and infant mortality rates could save 700,000 lives. WITHOUT BUILDING ONE HOSPITAL. Today, the cost of the war in Iraq is 413 billion.

Still, men and women who consider male circumcision as an HIV preventive method need to continue using other forms of protection such as male and female condoms, abstinence, delaying the start of sexual activity and reducing the number of sexual partners, she said.

Hmmm. Really?

Otherwise, they could develop a false sense of security and engage in high-risk behaviors that could undermine the partial protection provided by male circumcision, the agencies said.

Ah, ha ... would this be part of the "experiment"?

Men also should be warned that they are at a higher risk of being infected with HIV if they resume sex before their wound has healed. Likewise an HIV-positive man can more easily pass on the disease to his partner if the wound is still unhealed.

The recommendations were based on a meeting earlier this month in Montreux, Switzerland, where experts discussed three trials — in Kenya, Uganda and South Africa — that produced "strong evidence" of the risk reduction resulting from heterosexual male circumcision.

Riight... I bet the men will just line up at the door based on that proof. I wonder if they have a "choice" about it.

"Based on the evidence presented, which was considered to be compelling, experts attending the consultation recommended that male circumcision now be recognized as an additional important intervention to reduce the risk of heterosexually acquired HIV infection in men," a joint statement said.

The agencies said much depends on the situation in a given country, and little general benefit will result in countries where the HIV epidemic is concentrated among sex workers, injecting drug users or men who have sex with men.

This is where it is epidemic, but it will be good for everyone. Ok..... the ole "if it helps one (too bad for the thousands it hurts)".

The public health impact is likely to be most rapid where there is a high rate of HIV infection among men having sex with women.

"It was therefore recommended that countries with high prevalence, generalized heterosexual HIV epidemics that currently have low rates of male circumcision consider urgently scaling up access to male circumcision services," the agencies said.

More study is needed to determine whether male circumcision will cut the transmission of HIV to women.

God, help us!

More study also is required to find out whether male circumcision will reduce HIV infection in homosexual intercourse, it said, but it said promoting circumcision of HIV-positive men was not recommended.
"The recommendations represent a significant step forward in HIV prevention," said Dr. Kevin De Cock, director of WHO's HIV/ AIDS'
AIDS department. "Countries with high rates of heterosexual HIV infection and low rates of male circumcision now have an additional intervention which can reduce the risk of HIV infection in heterosexual men."

Increasing male circumcision in areas where it the procedure is rare will result in immediate benefit to the men circumcised, but it will take years before there will be an impact on the epidemic.

"Immediate benefit ... it will be years before there will be an impact on the epidemic." We'll see what happens in other areas of living.

Although the rate of circumcision varies considerably from country to country, globally an estimated 665 million men, or 30 percent of men in the world, are circumcised, the statement said.

The agencies said the risks involved in male circumcision are generally low, but can be serious if the operation is performed in unhygienic settings by poorly trained, ill-equipped health workers.

Ah, say, like in Africa?

Priority should be given to providing circumcision to age groups at highest risk of acquiring HIV because it will have the most immediate impact on the disease. But, it said, circumcising younger males also will have a public health impact over the longer term.

It gave no estimate how much providing the service would cost, but said more money would be needed, but that donors should regard it as "an important, evidence-based intervention."

NO estimate for the cost!?!? WHO is deciding this and WHO the h*** is paying for this? WHO's F**king agenda is this?!? Well, I am sure it must be much more cost effective as well as science-based -- these things always are, you know. And, of course, if it saves one person ....

Call me a cynic ... but is the US involved and is there oil in Africa? Seems more like an effort to create a new havoc, and oops, so many died of infection, and now the violence and rape have gone up.

Does hearing and reading news like this make anyone else boil? Such moments of disbelief and dispair as what is happening to others.


bellybreastandbaby said...

Reading this initially made me want to curl up and die. I can't belive that this is the recommendation (actually I can) I think they look at this and see it as an easier way out, not a better way out. And it is even more rediculous after all of the people who have spoken out against that study and said that circumcision was not the answer and why it was a crap study, I don't see how this evidence is "compelling"; pretty uncompelling if you ask me.


P.S. I love the slide show!

Baby Keeper said...

Dear BellyBreastandBaby --
you are clearly very empathetic ("made me want to curl up and die.") That is what the infant or person is most likely feeling -- as per regressive healing work this is very acurate and consistent. IF we were to begin to empathasize with the newborn baby and to FEEL, our society could not possibly do any of the interventions and abuse done to newborns -- unless medically necessary and then it would be done with such awareness and great care that the effects on the baby could be greatly minimized. And imagine --- until the late 80's anesthesia was not used on babies.

Thanks so much for your post and the feedback on my side presentation.

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"Soft is the heart of a child. Do not harden it."

A public awareness reminder that things that happen behind the scenes, out of our sight, aren't always as rosy as we might think them to be. Perhaps its a restaurant cook who accidentally drops your burger on the floor before placing it on the bun and serving it to you. Here it's an overworked apathetic (pathetic) nurse giving my newborn daughter her first bath. Please comment and rate this video, so as to insure that it is viewed as widely as possible, perhaps to prevent other such abuse. -- The mother who posted this YouTube. How NOT to wash a baby on YouTube Are you going to try to tell me that "babies don't remember?" There is no difference to this baby's experience and the imprinting of her nervous system/brain and one that is held and cleaned by the mother or father either at the hospital or at home? By the way, this is probably NOT the baby's first bath. The nurse is ungloved. Medical staff protocol is that they can't handle a baby ungloved until is has been bathed (scrubbed if you've seen it) because the baby is a BIO-HAZARD -- for them. Never mind that the bio-hazard IS the baby's first line of defense against hospital germs.

Missouri Senator Louden Speaks

Finally, A Birth Film for Fathers

Part One of the "The Other Side of the Glass: Finally, A Birth Film for and about Men" was released June, 2013.

Through presentation of the current research and stories of fathers, the routine use of interventions are questioned. How we protect and support the physiological need of the human newborn attachment sequence is the foundation for creating safe birth wherever birth happens.

Based on knowing that babies are sentient beings and the experience of birth is remembered in the body, mind, and soul, fathers are asked to research for themselves what is best for their partner and baby and to prepare to protect their baby.

The film is designed for midwives, doulas, and couples, particularly fathers to work with their caregivers. Doctors and nurses in the medical environment are asked to "be kind" to the laboring, birthing baby, and newborn. They are called to be accountable for doing what science has been so clear about for decades. The mother-baby relationship is core for life. Doctors and nurses and hospital caregivers and administrators are asked to create protocols that protect the mother-baby relationship.

Men are asked to join together to address the vagaries of the medical system that harm their partner, baby and self in the process of the most defining moments of their lives. Men are asked to begin to challenge the system BEFORE they even conceive babies as there is no way to be assured of being able to protect his loved ones once they are in the medical machine, the war zone, on the conveyor belt -- some of the ways that men describe their journey into fatherhood in the medicine culture.

Donors can email to get a digital copy.
Buy the film at

The film focuses on the male baby, his journey from the womb to the world and reveals healing and integrating the mother, father, and baby's wounded birth experience. The film is about the restoring of our families, society, and world through birthing loved, protected, and nurtured males (and females, of course). It's about empowering males to support the females to birth humanity safely, lovingly, and consciously.

Finally, a birth film for fathers.

What People Are Saying About the FIlm

Well, I finally had a chance to check out the trailer and .. wow! It's nice that they're acknowledging the father has more than just cursory rights (of course mom's rights are rarely acknowledged either) and it's great that they're bringing out the impact of the experience on the newborn, but I'm really impressed that they're not shying away from the political side.

They are rightly calling what happens in every American maternity unit, every day, by its rightful name - abuse. Abuse of the newborn, abuse of the parents and their rights, abuse of the supposedly sacrosanct ethical principal of patient autonomy and the medico-legal doctrine of informed consent, which has been long ago discarded in all but name. I love it!

In the immortal words of the "shrub", "bring it on!" This film needs to be shown and if I can help facilitate or promote it, let me know.

Father in Asheville, NC

OMG'ess, I just saw the trailer and am in tears. This is so needed. I watch over and over and over as fathers get swallowed in the fear of hospitals birth practice. I need a tool like this to help fathers see how very vital it is for them to protect their partner and baby. I am torn apart every time I see a father stand back and chew his knuckle while his wife is essentially assaulted or his baby is left to lie there screaming.
Please send me more info!!!!
Carrie Hankins
CD(DONA), CCCE, Aspiring Midwife

Thanks for sharing this. It was very touching to me. I thought of my brother-in-law standing on the other side of the glass when my sister had to have a C-section with her first child because the doctor was missing his golf date. I'll never forget his pacing back and forth and my realizing that he was already a father, even though he hadn't been allowed to be with his son yet.

Margaret, Columbia, MO

In case you don't find me here

Soon, I'll be back to heavy-duty editing and it will be quiet here again. I keep thinking this blog is winding down, and then it revives. It is so important to me.

I wish I'd kept a blog of my journey with this film this past 10 months. It's been amazing.

I have a new blog address for the film, and will keep a journal of simple reporting of the journey for the rest of the film.

I'll be heading east this week to meet with a group of men. I plan to post pictures and clips on the film blog.

I'll keep up here when I can -- when I learn something juicy, outrageous, or inspiring related to making birth safer for the birthing baby.

Review of the film

Most of us were born surrounded by people who had no clue about how aware and feeling we were. This trailer triggers a lot of emotions for people if they have not considered the baby's needs and were not considered as a baby. Most of us born in the US were not. The final film will include detailed and profound information about the science-based, cutting-edge therapies for healing birth trauma.

The full film will have the interviews of a wider spectrum of professionals and fathers, and will include a third birth, at home, where the caregivers do a necessary intervention, suctioning, while being conscious of the baby.

The final version will feature OBs, RNs, CNMs, LM, CPM, Doulas, childbirth educators, pre and perinatal psychologists and trauma healing therapists, physiologists, neurologists, speech therapists and lots and lots of fathers -- will hopefully be done in early 2009.

The final version will include the science needed to advocated for delayed cord clamping, and the science that shows when a baby needs to be suctioned and addresses other interventions. Experts in conscious parenting will teach how to be present with a sentient newborn in a conscious, gentle way -- especially when administering life-saving techniques.

The goal is to keep the baby in the mother's arms so that the baby gets all of his or her placental blood and to avoid unnecessary, violating, and abusive touch and interactions. When we do that, whether at home or hospital, with doctor or midwife, the birth is safe for the father. The "trick" for birthing men and women is how to make it happen in the hospital.

Birth Trauma Healing

Ani DeFranco Speaks About Her Homebirth

"Self-Evident" by Ani DeFranco

Patrick Houser at

Colin speaks out about interventions at birth