Intactavism Challenged– Guest Post by Meredith

This weekend will begin my 5th Session at Sacred Mountain Midwifery School. Each month we are given personal homework on top of our regular homework. I was assigned a topic in our circumcision debate. I have to be Pro-Circ. If you know me you will know how hard this has been. Since you don’t know me I will tell you about this emotional struggle I have had.

Growing up I never knew what circumcision was or what it meant. Even after the partners I have had over the years, I was still naive to the subject. It wasn’t until I became pregnant that I familiarized myself with the subject. We did not know the sex of the baby I was carrying so we wanted to educate ourselves on all topics. I came across circumcision photos taken by Patti Romos and my decision was made. The terror on that sweet boy’s face was enough for me.

It didn’t take any persuasion to get my husband on board. He was horrified by what was being done and confused by what was done to him. He vowed never to harm our future sons. We then began educating ourselves with facts and statistics so we would be prepared when family or friends questioned our choice.

Fast forward. My son is now 8 months old and completely whole. Each day I thank my husband for keeping him intact. I have been working on my debate project. Surfing the web for Pro-Circ information and facts. Each day I read it I become sad and discouraged. Reading things like “clinical and neurological testing of the ventral and dorsal surfaces, as well as the glans, and detected no difference in penile sensitivity between circumcised and uncircumcised men.” I became very angry when I read this:

“Separation of the prepuce from the glans during development is completed in the 5th month of gestation [Diebert, 1933]. The foreskin has no role after birth.”

How can I know what I do and present my class with such flawed studies? Such false information? I have become sad and withdrawn. My husband tries to encourage me by telling me “This will just make you more passionate and knowledgeable about intactivism.” I am not swayed and continue to struggle.

Then one night it comes to me. A solution to my emotional struggle came to me as I was watching a video by Ryan McAllister called Circumcision: An Elephant in the Hospital. In the video he compares 3 photos. One of a young boy being circumcised, one of a young girl being circumcised and one of a baby boy being circumcised. They all have the same agony across their faces. Each are feeling the same horrific pain. In that moment I knew how I would approach the debate. I would argue Pro-Circumcision but in my own way.

I will be arguing pro-Female Genital Cutting (FGC) but carefully avoid telling people I’m referring to females. In this I hope they might assume I’m referring to males and then reveal that I’ve been arguing for females the whole time. I am doing this in the hopes that people will see how unnecessary and ridiculous circumcision is on any gender. How though they are different sexes the procedure causes the same harm and disfigurement. I know a lot of people don’t think that FGC and RIC go hand in hand. They argue that FGC is so much worse and horrific than RIC could ever be, I politely disagree.

Each involve cutting of the genitals without consent. Both are done for religious beliefs or the thought that the end result “looks better.” On both sexes this custom remove erogenous tissue and is justified by supposed health benefits. With this I have found that all the fighting and education I am providing about RIC should be extended to the other sex. The extreme forms of FGC are not commonly practiced and the most commonly practiced forms are generally equal to or less severe than male circumcision. Many people think that all female circumcision is the removal of the clitoris, hood and labia and sewing up of the vaginal opening and are very surprised when they find out most of the time it’s just the hood or labia.

We should be working to protect the rights of all infants not just males. Our laws should protect all infants, not just females. I think our country’s views of equal rights need to be reevaluated. How can we protect one and not the other?  Our country says by law that a woman has the right to choose what to do with her own body, even if it means ending the life of a person who didn’t get to choose. So then why are we still not protecting a mans right to choose what to do with his own body? Men are forced to have their penises cut without consent, we do this when they are too little and small to fight back or say “No.”

Studying and preparing myself for this debate has made me more passionate about intactivism but not just keeping little boys whole. I have had my eyes opened to keep all our children whole. Isn’t that what intactavism should be about? Protecting the rights of all children not just one sex or another.

There are some great charts that outline the similarities between FGC and RIC provided here:

http://www.fgmnetwork.org/intro/mgmfgm.html

http://www.circumstitions.com/FGMvsMGM.html

http://www.circumstitions.com/FGC-stitions.html

10 thoughts on “Intactavism Challenged– Guest Post by Meredith

  1. Crunchette, thank you for the wonderful post, and for sharing the torment of being assigned such a topic. You are a decent and very smart lady, and the solution you decided upon is truly brilliant.
    Best regards,
    Alfred.

  2. One of the arguments that proMGM arguers make is that FGM makes orgasm impossible and MGM does not (for most, anyway) and so that’s why MGM is OK. But there is evidence out there about sexual response after FGM that refutes this. I enjoy Adrian Colesberry’s thoughts on this here http://www.adriancolesberry.com/life/?p=554

  3. I don’t envy the position you are placed in. I’m amazed by the solution you have found! Brilliant. :-) I blogged recently about circ and was happy and surprised by the positive comments my post received. It doesn’t really reflect the reality that the majority of little boys are circ’ed in Eastern Iowa where I live, but I was still glad that some unsolicited people found my post and made great anti-circ arguments. Best of luck to you!

  4. Thank you so much!

    I am a Jewish man, and I resent having been circumcised, and I support a law making circumcision illegal. In 1998, an Israeli group petitioned the courts in Israel to recognize circumcision, even religious circumcision as “criminal assault”, which is illegal in Israel.

    There is a movement of Jews who are questioning circumcision, and working to end this abuse of children. The movement ranges from the religious to the secular, and includes mothers, fathers, scholars, historians, medical professionals, activists, and intellectuals.

    These three articles document some of their thoughts and statements on the subject. The last link is a list of 50+ Rabbis who perform a bris and naming without circumcision. 50 Rabbis is a sign that the Jewish movement to bypass circumcision is real and growing.

    * The Current Judaic Movement to End Circumcision: Part 1
    http://www.intactnews.org/node/105/1311886372/jewish-voices-current-judaic-movement-end-circumcision-part-1

    * The Current Judaic Movement to End Circumcision: Part 2
    http://www.intactnews.org/node/105/1311886372/jewish-voices-current-judaic-movement-end-circumcision-part-2

    * Jews Speak Out in Favor of Banning Circumcision on Minors
    http://www.intactnews.org/node/103/1311885181/jews-speak-out-favor-banning-circumcision-minors

    * Brit Shalom Celebrants by Mark D. Reiss, M.D.
    http://www.circumstitions.com/Jewish-shalom.html

  5. ……. I am a Jewish man, and I resent having been circumcised, and I support a law making circumcision illegal. In 1998, an Israeli group petitioned the courts in Israel to recognize circumcision, even religious circumcision as “criminal assault”, which is illegal in Israel.

    There is a movement of Jews who are questioning circumcision, and working to end this abuse of children. The movement ranges from the religious to the secular, and includes mothers, fathers, scholars, historians, medical professionals, activists, and intellectuals.

    These three articles document some of their thoughts and statements on the subject. The last link is a list of 50+ Rabbis who perform a bris and naming without circumcision. 50 Rabbis is a sign that the Jewish movement to bypass circumcision is real and growing.

    * The Current Judaic Movement to End Circumcision: Part 1
    http://www.intactnews.org/node/105/1311886372/jewish-voices-current-judaic-movement-end-circumcision-part-1

    * The Current Judaic Movement to End Circumcision: Part 2
    http://www.intactnews.org/node/105/1311886372/jewish-voices-current-judaic-movement-end-circumcision-part-2

    * Jews Speak Out in Favor of Banning Circumcision on Minors
    http://www.intactnews.org/node/103/1311885181/jews-speak-out-favor-banning-circumcision-minors

    * Brit Shalom Celebrants by Mark D. Reiss, M.D.
    http://www.circumstitions.com/Jewish-shalom.html
    . . . . ..

  6. I would fail. I would plant my foot firm in the ground and claim conscientious objection. If somebody has to argue pro-mgm, then somebody needs to argue pro-fgm. Tell that to them and watch them throw a fit.

    Kudos to you for having the courage and emotional strength to take this on.

    This “project” is absolutely despicable.

  7. :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)
    Cut: Slicing Through the Myths of Circumcision – A Film by Eliyahu Ungar-Sargon
    http://www.cutthefilm.com :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)
    Beyond The Bris
    http://www.beyondthebris.com :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)
    Israeli Linguist Vadim Cherny: How Judaic is the Circumcision?
    http://vadimcherny.org/judaism/how_judaic_circumcision.htm :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)
    Jews for the Rights of the Child
    http://www.jewsfortherightsofthechild.org/ :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)
    Jewish Voices: The Current Judaic Movement to End Circumcision: Part 1
    http://intactnews.org/node/104/1311886091/jewish-voices-current-judaic-movement-end-circumcision-part-1 :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

What do you think? Leave a reply...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s