Thinking Aloud about the Bay Area Intactivists

In the kaleidiscope of pro-intact, anti-circumcision activism, or intactivism, the opportunities to influence the debate, the community and the parents of the children we are trying to protect are varied and straightforward. However, there can be perils, too.

Whenever one of the many groups who plan and stage protests, actions and initiatives steps out on its own without consulting either its vested members or the wider community who may support it, it runs the risk of losing support and participation – not to mention credibility. Simply doing something (as opposed to nothing) doesn’t mean all that much unless it is thoughtful, considered and planned smartly. There are ways to do this efficiently. There are ways to make stuff happen sooner rather than later. But the planning and consultation phase to assess impact (internal and external) of any action cannot be skipped.

It is with these principles as a backdrop that I have withdrawn from the work of the Bay Area Intactivists. The group does not work smartly, but operates from a place of rage against the culture that condones circumcision, and anger at the community of opposition who, as they see it, is ineffectual and insufficiently, well, angry. Hence, they do things without consultation or considered preparation and planning.

It’s important to take the long view at certain stages. It is also important to seize the moment. But it is unquestionably important to have all the troops on board whenever the moment comes to carry out that long-planned, carefully orchestrated effort, like getting new laws on the books, or scrambling the membership to carry out a last minute protest, for instance, when a particularly loathsome opponent is in town on short notice.

To the leadership of the [San Francisco] Bay Area Intactivists, I say, also, pick your fights, guys. Don’t be reckless. Above all, don’t overlook your allies in your zealous effort to make a point.

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“Circumcise @Oprah” protest … Thank you, @GlenCallender

Glen Callender loves his foreskin. I love the size of his balls. Wow! Thanks, Glen, for sticking it to The Woman!

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“It’s a Boy” is a movie that has broken some very thick ice on a very difficult subject in Germany, of all places, and in other countries. Although I haven’t been very active in recent months on the issue, circumcision has become very high profile in Europe and in the United States as governments have been confronted with grass roots efforts to ban or regulate the practice.

Watch “It’s a Boy” by Victor Schonfeld

As we’ve worked to redefine this involuntary act on infants and children as sexual violence and a devastating betrayal of Western concepts of free will, others have fought back. “It’s a Boy” is another piece of the puzzle to document what circumcision is and what must change. Yes, this video costs $$. But it is a small price to pay to support the filmmaker, distributer and cause to end infant and child circumcision. Please spend the $2.99 for yourself or someone who needs to see it.


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AAP: “Wash Your Hands Clean of the AAP”

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BAY AREA INTACTIVISTS: American Academy of Pediatrics receives well-deserved SHAME Award

The Bay Area Intactivists gives the American Academy of Pediatrics its SHAME Award in recognition of the AAP’s new pro-genital cutting policy statement. And then sad hilarity ensues.

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