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A Call for Sensitivity in Discussing Circumcision

Article here. Excerpt:

'Since I used to be pro-cutting and am now adamantly opposed to it, I remember which messages I used to scoff at, and which messages actually got me to listen. I couldn't identify with the horror of the procedure until I learned about it in a non-judgmental manner.

When I became increasingly interested in the cause this past year, I sought out other intactivist “converts” like me but encountered sparing results. Most acquaintances and friends with whom I’ve spoken understand why I feel passionately about the issue and agree its practice should end, but few of them ever actively supported circumcision.

I’ve met a similar lack of representation in communities of more outspoken intactivists. I feel almost envious of the instinctive horror that these people rightfully experienced when they learned what circumcision meant. I feel guilt for having needed evidence to understand that the permanent alteration of male infant genitalia with a scalpel should be—at the very least—harshly questioned. Still, I am endlessly relieved that I gained this knowledge before becoming a mother and letting a mohel amputate large amounts of sensitive tissue from my son’s penis by default.

As abhorrent as circumcision seems to most intactivists, we must remember to withhold our judgment and our anger in order to be productive in our cause. I’ve personally struggled with such emotions, and I certainly haven’t overcome their presence in my life. However, I know how to handle these feelings in a way that lets me communicate with pro-cutters, and I believe that’s an imperative step in promoting the intactivist movement.

Circumcision exists because of institutionalized regulations on normality rather than specific parental wrongdoings, but combating it requires loud voices from supportive individuals. For this reason, we must forgive our opposition before we can sway them. Otherwise, we will never be open enough to garner their support.'

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