Intactivism: Week in Review July 2, 2011
This past week has seen many intactivists in Gay Pride events across the Unted States. New York City. Chicago. San Francisco. Seattle PrideFest. There is even a YouTube video of the San Francisco Intactivist Contingent.
The British Columbia Pride Parade and the Vancouver Pride Parade are coming up later this month. The Canadian Foreskin Awareness Project (CAN-FAP) is sponsoring marching units at those pride parades. Check out the Intactivist Calendar for more information on upcoming intactivist events.
Parents, protect your babies. Support intactivism. The following list includes blogs, articles, and websites of interest to Intactivists that were published in the past week. This is a running tally of the ones I found interesting.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
NORM-UK: Circumcision 'Like having your tongue but not being able to taste': NORM-UK members on BBC Radio 4
The radio program "Broadcasting House" featured contributions from NORM-UK members. The men discussed the harm caused by their circumcisions and their efforts to restore their foreskin.
Dr Momma Peaceful Parenting: Pennsylvania Mother Charged For Bloody Chicken Sacrifice; U.S. Baby Blood Sacrifice Continues
A mother following the Palo Mayombe religion was charged with child neglect and cruelty. The mother held an initiation rite that included a chicken sacrifice and feeding the chicken's heart to her daughter. There was a large outcry over the barbarism of the religioius rite. Why isn't there an equal outrage over the blood sacrifice of cutting off a healthy part of a baby boy that is widely practiced in the US? No one seems concerned that the mother's right to practice her religion was restricted.
Heeb: Breaking: ‘Foreskin Man’ #3 Trailer Claims ‘They Hate Us Because We’re Blond’
Heeb talks about the new Foreskin Man comic. They appear to be apprehensive considering how offensive they thought the second Foreskin Man comic was. After reading issue 3 of the Foreskin Man comic, I have no idea why the trailer has that statement.
Salem-News: Jewish Circumcision Opponents Grow More Vocal
A number of Jewish people opposed to infant circumcision are stepping forward and speaking up. For example, the Jewish Circumcision Resource Center of Boston, Massachusetts, or JCRC, (not to be confused with the Jewish Community Relations Counsel) released a Message to Jewish Americans that addressed questioning circumcision from a Jewish point of view.
The Jerusalem Post: Anti-circumcision call gets London Jewish representative fired
Board of Deputies member, Rebbecca Steinfeld, was removed for speaking out against infant circumcision in an op-ed article. “If we oppose female genital mutilation, has the time not come for us also to oppose male-genital mutilation?” she asked in the article. Apparently, the Board of Directors is not ready for dissent or new thoughts.
International Coalition for Genital Integrity: South Africa Medical Association calls infant circumcision unethical and illegal
The Human Rights, Law & Ethics Committee of the South Africa Medical Association’s (SAMA) issued a statement that it is unethical and illegal to perform circumcision on infant boys for HIV prevention. The Committee expressed serious concern that not enough scientifically-based evidence was available to confirm that circumcisions prevented HIV contraction and that the public at large was influenced by incorrect and misrepresented information.
Choose Intact: Flawed Circumcision Defense: Harold Witkov
A critique of an essay by Harld Witkov. The author takes a rational look at the emotional and ad hominem attacks made by Witkov against intactivists and others advocating for genital integrity for all children. The author makes a case for individual rights, such as to an intact body.
Monday, June 27, 2011
Pharyngula: Something has stirred up the anti-circumcision brigade
PZ Myers writes another mixed article about infant circumcision. He says that he opposes infant circumcision, but then he belittles the efforts of intactivists, who he calls "obsessive notes." This latest article takes time to attack the data offered by the pro-circumcision side. But he does not offer up any real reasons to support his claim that intactivists are overstating their case.
One Yawn: A Matter of Perspective: Maternity Unit Shut Down
A parody showing how male infant circumcision should really be viewed: "A hospital in Wayne County, Pennsylvania, has had their maternity unit shut down after reports of child abuse by staff members was brought to light."
BBC News Health: Debate circumcision ethics call
NORM-UK calls to end infant circumcision. A group of circumcised men is calling on British doctors to debate the ethics of the procedure at the British Medical Association conference this week. NORM-UK is exercising its political right to protest. The group wants British doctors to recognise circumcision as major, irreversible surgery that should not be carried out on new-born babies.
The Jewish Week: Circumcision Is Out Of Vogue: An Orthodox Rabbi Agrees
"In short, circumcision is a marketing nightmare; outside of a deep commitment to Judaism, based on a biblical command, there’s no good reason to do it." But the rabbi still believes Jewish babies should be circumcised. "I’m a Modern Orthodox rabbi who talks a great deal about the place of Judaism in the 21st century. But increasingly I’ve come to realize that circumcision is incompatible with the times, as is much of Judaism. But that’s fine; Jews should be proud of how different we are. In an era of unprecedented individualism and hedonism, Jews declare that community is critical, even for an eight-day-old baby. We take pride in a ritual that affirms that sexual desire is not meant to be left unrestrained, but must be shaped by values of fidelity and devotion. When others seek endless comfort, we are willing to say that doing the right thing might be painful, but it’s still worthwhile."
The Jewish Daily Forward: A Modest Proposal
"Personally, were it not for my Jewish heritage, I would never circumcise a child of my own." So says the author. He proposes a milah circumcision instead of the more damaging periah circumcision. The boy will still have his genitalia altered, but the damage will be less extensive. He notes that the original convenent was most likely a milah circumcision.
Male Circumcision and HIV: GEORGETOWN Univ.: Child Circumcision: an Elephant in the Hospital
A professor at Georgetown University filmed a lecture on genital cutting and how the US culture looks differently at genital cutting based on the sex of the victim. We abhor female genital cutting, but condone male genital cutting, which we benignly call male circumcision so that it does not sound as bad as it is.
International Coalition for Genital Integrity: Jewish Group Questions Circumcision, Cites Harm
The Jewish Circumcision Resource Center issued a statement to Jewish Americans last week to encourage critical thinking about circumcision and dispel various cultural misunderstandings about the practice. “We want Jews to know that in this country and abroad, some Jews do not circumcise their sons. Circumcision is a choice, and now that we know the serious harm caused by circumcision, there are strong reasons to forgo it,” said Ronald Goldman, Ph.D., Executive Director. Dr. Goldman is the author of Questioning Circumcision: A Jewish Perspective, endorsed by five rabbis.
The Daily: Cutting Checks: Deep pockets of 'intact-ivist' fueling anti-circumcision movement
A profile of Dean Pisani, co-founder of Intact America. Dean provides much of the financial support for Intact America. When he was faced with the circumcision decision for his son, he learned of the harm caused by circumcision. He prefers to be a behind-the-scenes intactivist, donating over a million dollars to the battle for genital integrity of all children.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
SF Weekly: Foreskin Activist Glen Callender Talks Circumcision and Performs Astounding Feats With Fruit
Canadian Glen Callendar is the founder of the Canadian Foreskin Awareness Project (CAN-FAP!). He takes every opportunity to speak out in favor of the foreskin. SF Weekly interviews Glen, who offers insights on why circumcision is wrong and why men are better off having a foreskin.
Health Kicker: Circumcised and Hate It: A Man's Perspective on Circumcision
A man is very angry at his father for having him circumcised behind his mother's back and against her wishes. He is restoring his foreskin, which makes him angrier as he realizes just how much damage his circumcision did. His anger is palpable. And all because he had part of his penis cut off when he was born. The question is, why are not more men upset that they had penis reduction surgery when they were born?
Babies, Boobs, and Blasphemy: Which Is More? 30 or 1,000?
In the past decade, the Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that 30 babies have died from drop-side crib accidents. This number of baby deaths has spurred a recall of cribs. It is estimated that every tear over 100 baby boys die for circumcision related reasons. This is over 1000 deaths related to circumcision for the same period where 30 babies die from crib deaths. Where is the outrage? Why are people upset about crib deaths, but not circumcision related deaths?
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Instinctive Parenting: No need to get snippy
A mother writes about how she instinctively knew not to circumcise her son. As time passes she confirmed that it was a good decision to leave her son intact. "It is of my opinion that as parents we make choices, but choosing to remove a natural part of our child’s body, risking their life in the process for aesthetic reasons is not a choice I can stand by and support."
The Daily Independent: Michelle Teheux: Proposed circumcision ban brings discussion
"Few Americans are aware that we live in the only country that routinely circumcises for non-religious reasons. It is, essentially, a cultural custom so firmly entrenched that most people don’t even make a conscious decision about whether to circumcise their sons. They sign the paperwork without even considering leaving their sons intact." "We don’t let parents decide to give their infants tattoos or similar body modifications. We quite rightly say these sorts of decisions should only be made by the individual upon adulthood. We should let males decide whether they wish to have their foreskins removed once they’re grown up. My guess is very few would make the choice to have the most sexually sensitive part of their body removed, but it would be their choice to make."
Heeb: Interview with Matthew Hess of ‘Foreskin Man’
An interview with the creator of Foreskin Man by Heeb. Matthew Hess tries to dispel the accusation that he is anti-semitic. He also tells about the third issue of Foreskin Man, which was recently released.
Babies, Boobs, and Blasphemy: Child Circumcision: The Elephant in the Hospital
The video of the Georgetown University professor's lecture on genital cutting cannot be posted too much. The video is great. The professor does a good job of explaining genital cutting, for both boys and girls.
Thursday, June 30, 2011
JewSchool: Interview With the Creator of Foreskin Man
Filmmaker Eli Ungar-Sargon interviews Matthew Hess, the creator of Foreskin Man and the man behind MGMBill.org. Matthew Hess explains the reasons driving his Foreskin Man comic. He says that he is not antisemitic. He is only trying to show that infant circumcision is unreasonable and needs to stop being done.
Friday, July 1, 2011
Beyond the Bris: Blood, Sweat & Tears Lead Singer Protests Infant Circumcision
Los Angeles performer Jason Paige wants the audience of his one-man comedy show to realize his song about his botched bris isn’t a joke. He has a skin bridge, which is a common circumcision complication where a portion of the cut skin attaches to a portion of the penis such that the skin forms a bridge.
The Merseyside Skeptics Society: Circumcision: Genital Mutilation Under Another Name
A rational look at the cultural practice of male genital cutting. The author makes the point that male genital cutting, or circumcision, is not a decision that is up to the parents. It is a personal choice. The person who should make the choice is the person whose body will be altered.
Saturday, July 2, 2011
The WHOLE Network: Advocating Genital Autonomy: Methods of Intactivism in the United States
An introduction to the genital autonomy movement, which is an international social movement to change cultural norms away from genital cutting of children. Intactivists advocate genital autonomy by disseminating information about: (1) the intact body and the functions of the genitalia; (2) the damages of child genital surgeries that continue throughout adulthood and worsen with age; and (3) the ethical dilemmas associated with all medically unnecessary genital modifications.
Salem-News: CIRCUMCISION: Motivational Changes in the Meaning of the Word of God
The reality of infant circumcision is shocking, once realized. Circumcision has changed through the years, although the name remains the same. The author chronicles how the rite of circumcision has changed from prehistoric times to the present.
The Salt Lake Tribune: Abolish the ‘unkind cut’
Our cultural blinders allow us to inflict upon men what would be considered atrocities if they were inflicted upon women. Is it inherent sexism? A prime example is genital cutting. Most states and the federal government have laws prohibiting female genital cutting. But genital cutting is a practice that is permitted, and often celebrated, for males.