Parents, respect the genital integrity and autonomy of your children
I am an intactivist because I want to see the day when parents respect the genital integrity and autonomy of their children. If surgery is not medically necessary to correct a birth defect or disease, then the child should not be cut, period.
I am a son who was circumcised shortly after birth. I do not like it. I hate my circumcision. Many young men who were circumcised also do not like that part of their sex organ was cut off. Thanks to the Internet, more young men are learning what circumcision does. It removes erogenous tissue from the penis. The foreskin is there for a reason and these young men are upset that it was removed before they were old enough to object.
I do not harbor ill will towards my parents for letting them circumcise me. I was born well before the Internet. In those days, doctors were like high priests. If a doctor said something, people listened without question. Times change, fortunately. The Internet is a great equalizer and has toppled the revered doctors from their pedestals. People are more inclined to investigate their options than they used to. I would like to believe that my parents would not subject me to an infant circumcision if I were born today.
Many parents justify the circumcision of their offspring by saying that the boy's father is circumcised and he is fine. Some parents even claim that they never met anyone who did not like having a circumcised penis.
It does not matter to me what my father's circumcision status was. It also does not matter that my father or other men may be happy having less than a whole penis. How those men feel about their body is their choice. And, that choice should not have been forced on me. I would have preferred to have my parents respect my body and not remove one of my most sensitive parts.
I frequently encounter parents (mothers in particular) who say they they are being attacked or being called bad parents when intactivists speak up for baby boys. I witnessed one such event on Facebook earlier today. I felt like I witnessed a drive-by shooting. An intactivist mother posted a video of an infant circumcision and wondered if anyone could watch that video and still want to circumcise their baby boy. Two mothers who were friends of the poster got defensive and accused others of attacking them for their decision to cut their sons. After some name calling, they unfriended the original poster, who had conducted herself in a very civil manner.
Why did these mothers take such offense from a genital integrity message? Were they feeling guilty that they had subjected their children to such abuse and harm? They took offense when none was intended nor made. They had closed minds and were not willing to consider that they had harmed their children or could do better by reexamiing circumcision.
I just want to go on the record and say that parents are not bad parents for having their kids circumcised. Although, many parents act like they are being called bad parents when information on the harm of circumcision is given to them. It is my belief that it is their guilt that is talking.
Some parents start talking trash about how the children are theirs and they can make any decision that they wish. At that point they have crossed the line. Children are not property. There was a recent case where a father branded his children with the letters "SK," which are the initials for "Seamands' Kids." Sorry, but parents do not own their kids. They give them birth, keep them healthy, and, hopefully, educate them to become adult members of society. Their bodies should not be permanently altered and disfigured for non-therapeutic reasons.
But, there are parents who dig in their fee when shown evidence that they harmed their children. These parents forget that their children are people, too. Cosmetically altering the genitalia of a child based on personal preference disrespects the child and his autonomy. The 1950s are long gone. Circumcision is not needed and is harmful to children and the adults they grow up to be. All children deserve to grow up with intact genitals.