This week is the 21st Annual Genital Integrity Awareness Week in Washington D.C.!
Everyone gets all warm and fuzzy and virtuous feeling when they speak out again female circumcision. I mean, what kind of sick cretin would mutilate a baby girls vagina?! Now that’s a cause all enlightened Americans can rally around, without fear of controversy or taboo. Let the old fashioned pitchfork-clad marching villagers take to the streets and confront the third world barbarism that advocates cutting babies begin! YEAH!!
Then someone inevitably mentions, ‘Well.. what about baby BOYS? Don’t they deserve protection from genital mutilation as well?” This is when the pitchfork wielding villagers generally start getting nervous, sputtering asinine excuses of why cutting a boys sex organ is “different” than cutting a girls, and half of them (generally the insecure males with mutilated penises and / or the guilty moms who allowed their sons to be mutilated) start getting angry or defensive.
Suddenly the crystal clear, controversy-free topic of cutting an innocent child’s sex organ = BAD gets somehow complicated. What makes it complicated? Well simply because in one case it’s happening to girls, and in the other it’s happening to boys. It’s the same exact thing – genital cutting. Sex is the only difference. So to say genital cutting is bad for girls because they are girl, but acceptable for boys because they are boys, well, let’s face it: That is the very definition of sexism.
Saying genital mutilation is child abuse if it’s to a girl, but a “parents choice” if it’s a boy is as ignorant as the argument that it’s murder if it’s a free white, but “property damage” if it’s a black slave.
When different human rights standards are given to different human beings based on skin color, sex, or religion, it’s what is commonly known as “an injustice”.
And that is what the Genital Integrity Awareness Week is all about. Educating. Enlightening. Informing. And confronting the sexist ideals that say abusing and permanently mutilating a little boy in his sex organ is acceptable simply because he is a boy.
The Mission of Genital Integrity Awareness Week
From March 24 – March 30, 2014 the folks at StopInfantCircumcision.org will be hosting marches and meet ups, raising awareness and taking a stand for genital integrity regardless of sex. Their goal is to:
1) To raise public awareness of the basic human right to genital autonomy of all individuals, regardless of sex.
2) To raise public awareness of the damage inflicted by forced genital cutting, of boys, girls and intersex persons.
3) To celebrate the prepuce (‘foreskin’) and its many functions, thereby changing the cultural mindset on the natural male body.
4) To raise public awareness of foreskin restoration options for the thousands of men who have been impacted by forced genital cutting.
5) To disperse research based information on genital autonomy and genital cutting to a large body of individuals in Washington D.C. – students, educators, tourists, lawmakers, politicians – who take this information ‘home’ with them to their own circles of influence.
6) To call upon congress to stop denying male and intersex minors equal rights under law to protection from forced genital cutting by broadening the female genital cutting law of 1997 [18 U.S. Code §116 http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCODE-2011-title18/html/USCODE-2011-title18-partI-chap7-sec116.htm] and thereby be inclusive of all individuals without regard to sex.
eBook by Domestic Geek Girl on the Way
I have only written two blog posts on circumcision on my blog, but they have garnered quite a bit of attention. I have received more e-mails than I can keep up with asking for help in a debate, or answers to an argument, or information on some aspect of routine male circumcision.
Now, I am not an expert on this topic, by any means. I am simply a passionate mom, with a knack for research and an insatiable love of reading and organizing information into palatable and easily digestible segments. But if my information hunting and gathering is helping other mommies out there, I won’t stop!
The “make an eBook from your mommy blog” craze is currently at its height, and while I don’t care to throw another generic book onto the pile, I do like the idea of working on a handbook for moms who feel overwhelmed by the many websites out there and lack the time to sort through the information.
So over the next few months, I’ll be blogging about circumcision from time to time, tackling issues that frequently come up in debates or discussions, and providing answers in an easy to read format. After I’ve posted enough information, I’ll be finalizing the posts into an eBook format for download!
The book will be in an “Intactivist Answers to Circumcision Arguments” outline, so feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and send me a list of pro-circumcision arguments you’ve encountered, and I will get to work on answering them! (Example: Circumcision is cleaner. He should look like his father. Etc. etc.)
In the meantime, if you are in need of information or would like to get involved in the intactivist movement, check out some of my favorite resources below!
An international network of attorneys and supporters that addresses the multi-faceted issue of genital mutilation of children, particularly the practice of male circumcision. Attorneys for the Rights of the Child (ARC) is a non-profit organization founded to secure equal protection for, and broaden judicial and public recognition of, children’s legal and human rights to bodily integrity and self-determination
Bloodstained Men are a group of intactivists extremely active in speaking out in their communities. Bloodstained Men & Their Friends invite all people of goodwill to join them in protest against the herd circumcision of men, wherever it occurs in the world.
A place to learn about those who fund, promote, and profit from circumcision. Please remember that with any “wiki”-style site, anyone can edit or add information. Be sure to verify the reliability of cited references rather than take everything at face value.
The Circumcision Information and Resource Pages are an Internet resource that provide you with information about all aspects of the genital surgery known as circumcision. CIRP is essentially divided into two parts: The Circumcision Reference Library contains technical material, medical and historical articles, and statistics. The Circumcision Information Pages contain a more readable collection of information, suitable for parents and educators.
Circumcision Resource Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization with the purpose of informing the public and professionals about the practice of male circumcision. Their mission is to raise awareness and facilitate healing.
The Doctors Opposing Circumcision website. D.O.C. is an organization of physicians, and others who are opposed to non-therapeutic neonatal circumcision. D.O.C. has members in 50 States, 12 Canadian Provinces and Territories, and in nations on six continents.
Foreskin restoration is the process of expanding the skin on the penis, using non-surgical methods, to create the appearance of a natural foreskin (prepuce) covering the glans penis. This site covers information and resources for those seeking foreskin restoration.
Intact America works to protect babies and children from circumcision and all other forms of medically unnecessary genital alteration, whether carried out for cultural conformity or profit, in medical or non-medical settings. They seek to achieve their goals through education, advocacy, public policy reform, and the empowerment of supporters, partners, and volunteers. Intact America offers several documents available to print and distribute among college campuses, local supermarkets, baby fairs, friends, family members, pediatricians, general practitioners, OB/GYNs, and professors.
An amazing resource which contains a collective and comprehensive database of all intact related materials available to the public. The Intact Network serves to unify advocates for genital autonomy coming from a wide range of backgrounds, experiences, groups and current locations in life.