Listening to every heart
While I've read of both female and male mutilation via several cultures, sometimes I begin to wonder at the aspect of those who have not suffered any form of mutilation, and somehow primally "need" the form of pain in order to feel that they "belong" to their "culture".
Certainly, it seems to be a source of continuous ritual from parent to child, in order for their culture to exist.
So I question whether or not the story you related, Karen [although I didn't read it as I didn't want to experience the pop-ups] begs the question whether or not this young man ever experienced circumcision...and further begs the study of finding out whether people who do experience such cultural "approved" techniques, such as circumcision, find a need or necessity to further decorate their bodies with tattoos, mutilation, holes, etc.
While, of course, it is all up to "choice" of a person to express their independence, even upon themselves, artistically or otherwise, I agree with the "how are you going to explain this to the grandkids" question.
I could barely explain the sudden need, decades ago, to get my ears pierced, as much as I fear needles. But it was apparent that pierced earrings were going to be in style long after clip-ons, and from all accounts, were more "comfortable" to wear than clip-ons.
One of the things I find to be extremely sad, however, is that these young people feel that they have a need to "speak out against society" and mutilate their bodies as a "symbol" or commentary against how they feel society has leveled the playing field against them.
"Custom will reconcile people to any atrocity." George Bernard Shaw
Hopefully there will come a time in the near future where children will be able to talk to their parents, not as peers, but as a wise mentor...and learn that it is ok NOT to always follow the crowd.
Now, while there are a lot of sisters out there who will agree with me that "it's my body, I can do what I want...", it's also a decision of that individual, and it's ok NOT to do some of the things to ones body that seem so prevalent today.
It is going to take continued analysis, as well as understanding to know why we do what we do.