"What to Expect When You're Expecting" Highlights Circumcision Controversy


The question of whether to circumcise is front and center in the new film “What to Expect When You’re Expecting ” which has an all-star cast that includes Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Matthew Morrison, Chris Rock, and Dennis Quaid. The comedy-drama (heavier on the comedy) follows five expectant couples as they prepare to face parenthood.

“What to Expect When You’re Expecting” is well done, with solid acting and a fast-paced script that keeps the audience laughing. For circumcision critics, it is a slam-dunk in terms of pop-culture attention to this issue. Jules (Cameron Diaz) is an LA celebrity who is determined not to circumcise her son despite the protestations of the baby’s father Evan (Matthew Morrison). When a tabloid magazine prints that Jules won’t be circumcising on its front cover, the couple’s tensions over the issue escalate. The circumcision issue is not merely addressed in passing. It is a major plot point in the film.

“What to Expect When You’re Expecting” represents a major shift in the way popular culture is addressing circumcision. In the past, circumcision has been the butt of jokes. Here the arguments against circumcision are highlighted with little credence given to the alleged benefits. In Jules we see the real direction of our country on this issue—away from routine infant circumcision and toward a more natural and thoughtful style of parenting that has no place for it. If the trend away from circumcision has gone unnoticed by some in Middle America, this film will certainly bring it to their attention with humor and thoughtfulness.

“What to Expect When You’re Expecting” will appeal mostly to women in their 20s, 30s and 40s, who can appreciate a lighthearted look at getting and being pregnant today. It is just these women who are on the frontlines of the circumcision issue. It is not an overstatement to say that this film will likely have a degree of impact on American circumcision rates.    


  1. Replies
    1. (sorry for using the "reply" function, I can't find the "post comment" one)

      Sweet! I was worried when I heard of this film, that it would have ignorant stances or ignore the issues, like how they handled CIO and MGM on Desperate Housewives (ugh, it made me stop watching the show). I might even watch the movie now (it still looks cheesy as hell but hey).

  2. roger desmoulinsMay 20, 2012 at 1:53 AM

    Hollywood finally makes a movie that does justice to the intactivist breeze blowing over family life for the past 25 years!

    The script was written by two women.

    The pro-circ bias of American films and sitcoms has been carefully documented on www.circumstitions.com

  3. So what happens? Do they circumcise or not?

  4. Movie doesn't seem to be getting good reviews, so it may not have as great of an impact.