If you feel that the practice of infant male circumcision is abhorrent and should stop, please know that you CAN make a difference! There are a lot of ways you can help and you can do as much or as little as you are able. If your efforts save even one baby from this surgery, then your efforts will have been very worthwhile!
After all, a person’s a person, no matter how small.
Here are ten ideas to get you started. Which one will you pick first?
1. Educate yourself about the anatomy and functions of the normal male foreskin… what it is, how it works, why it’s there, how it benefits the male who owns it and his future sexual partner. The first thing we need to do is normalize the foreskin again and understanding its value and function is a great place to start.
2. Educate others… Pass on your knowledge to your partner, family, friends, acquaintances, your child’s physician and anyone else who will listen. Be gentle. Being harsh, judgmental or aggressive usually doesn’t help, but being passionate is good!
3. Lead by example. Keep your own children intact. Be sure to inform family members, babysitters, day care providers and anyone who may care for your child about proper intact care. Answer any questions, provide further references, show why you made an informed decision.
4. Complain! Send letters of complaint to hospitals, clinics, medical boards, and physician, nursing or birthing groups that perform or condone circumcision, whether they’re public, private or military. Contact insurance companies to urge them to stop paying for circumcisions.
5. Get online! Scout out pregnancy and parenting blogs, websites and groups and share some informative links and be a voice for genital integrity whenever someone asks for opinions on this topic. Make sure you present factual and accurate information, and back it up with great links where people can learn more for themselves.
“All truth goes through three stages: First it is ridiculed. Then it is violently opposed. Finally, it is accepted as self-evident.”
~ Arthur Schoepenhauer
6. Share your opinions. You might write your own blog post, Facebook Note, or share a tweet or status from intactivist groups such as these on Facebook: The Whole Network, 4ERIC, Boys Deserve Better, Saving Our Sons, and Intact America, among many others. Be sure to link to informative sites when writing an article or commenting online. Motivate others to take action too. Thank those who present factual information on the normal anatomy and functioning of the natural intact penis by supporting their stance or even just ‘liking’ their post.
7. Donate to a non-profit intactivist organization, if you can. No amount is too small. The Whole Network will send information packets to people or medical offices for you, so if you hear that a provider has not been foreskin friendly, help them get educated on the whole penis by donating an info pack. Donate intactivist books, cards and DVDs to birth centers, childbirth educators, doulas, pediatricians and libraries in your area. Donate an intactivist baby onesie or other item for raffles and prizes at local events.
8. Visit baby fairs, hospital birth classes, birth centers, La Leche League meetings, prenatal yoga classes, parenting groups and similar groups to offer factual circumcision information. Volunteer to get them some if they don’t have any. If they do, ask else what you can do to help.
9. Distribute information! Make or copy circumcision information cards and handouts to post on free bulletin boards, in medical office buildings, doctor’s waiting rooms, elevators, restroom stall doors, book stores etc. Some people tuck cards inside baby boy newborn onesies or into newborn diaper packs when they’re at a store. Stretch your imagination when considering how to get the message out.
10. Wear it! Put an intactivist bumper sticker or magnet on your vehicle or hang it on your office wall. Post a banner on your Facebook wall. Wear an anti-circumcision bracelet. Wear an intactivist shirt yourself or put one on your little one. You can find some by Made by Momma.
Whatever you do, show compassion. This is a touchy subject for a lot of people, especially men. In order to agree that it’s best to keep their son intact, many men must first accept that something has been taken from them. This is a process for some. We don’t want to make anyone feel bad about what may have been done to them or to others in the past; we just want to prevent another boy from having to undergo this needless surgery. We want the cycle to stop.
If you do any one of the things above, thank you. You may not immediately see the fruit of your efforts, but you may have planted a seed of knowledge which may spread and go on to save more babies than you’ll ever know. When you know better, you do better.
What have you done to help keep babies intact?