Posted to INTACT-L email discussion group June 13, 1999
by Susan Peer (Parents of Intact Sons)
I did the Healthy Family Fair at our mall this weekend with Lisa from the Lancaster area (3 hours away). Her first show. Incredible. People are just so funny. Our area has a high cirk rate. It's 79% at the local hospital but is probably higher than that because the babies go home at 24 hours old and are sometimes cirk'd later at their Peds' office.
In my setup I use the Intact Boy Doll sitting in the middle of my table with a NOCIRC baby T-shirt and no pants on. This got a A LOT of attention. I mostly stand behind the table and try to make eye contact with everyone who passes. I give them my very "open face" look. I smile and am very pleasant and non-threatening. I usually say, "Hiya." If they stop and come over, I'll say, "I'll bet you're wondering what this is all about." Then I hand them my 3X5 card with the "Benefits Of Being Intact" on it. It's large type and easy to read quickly.
On one side it says:
Benefits of Being Intact
1. There is no additional pain, trauma or surgical risk for the newborn.
2. The foreskin is the natural protective covering for the glans, or head of the penis. It prevents the glans surface from thickening and desensitizing.
3. The loose foreskin covers the longer shaft of the erect penis.
4. The foreskin plays an integral part in sexual pleasure.
5. The individual retains the right of choice.
6. By refusing circumcision, you give your son a more gentle beginning, the gift of his whole body, and all of the sensitivity and feeling that nature intended.
Parents Of Intact Sons
The other side says:
Believe it or not, this card is the same size as the foreskin that is absent from an adult penis when infant circumcision has been performed. This represents as much as one half of the skin of the adult penis.
GC Denniston, MD
(Permission to copy granted if entire text is used.)
I constantly make comparisons between male and female cirk. The attitudes are identical. Better looking, cleaner, less infections, etc. In Africa they think normal female genitals are ugly, dirty, smelly, etc.
Of course some people just ran by with their eyes fixed ahead of them. Some parents holding little boys' hands actually took the long way around in back of us to avoid looking at our table. Many people start laughing when they realize what we're all about.
One very big 20+ guy stopped dead and said "Whoa" real loud, and then kept walking.
One woman almost ran her stroller into another lady because she couldn't take her eyes off of the table.
An older man went into Spenser's Gifts (across from us) and watched us from the other side of the glass for 10 minutes.
A Jewish man said, "I can't believe there's an organization for this" and "It's too late for me." I said, "You had no choice." He said, sadly, "I may have voiced an objection, but nobody paid attention."
One lady said, "We were talking about this in church this morning." (!) I said, "This is the reason Christ came - we don't have to do blood sacrifice anymore." She said, "You go, girl."
One teenage girl wrinkled her nose and said, "Ew." Her boyfriend said, "It's called freedom of expression." (meaning me)
One Asian woman picked up the 3X5 card and said, "My son will be very glad to read this."
A man (30 ish) said he was cirked at 21 for "no damned good reason." I said, "You're mad about that." He said, "Yeah, I am," like he just realized it.
Two big black guys (football players, I think) stopped and one slowly shook his head and said, "Your boy is swingin'." (the half nude doll) I said, "Proudly!" They laughed and walked away.
Three real cool-looking older teen guys stopped. Baggy shorts, piercings, dyed hair. One said, "How did this all start here?" I told them that people thought it would stop young boys from masturbating. He said, "So it started because of stupidity." Exactly. They took all of the information. He said, "I'm gonna be a father someday." Love it. You can never go on any preconceived notions on people.
A video photographer from a TV station covering the fair said (laughing), "Oh, I've got to get footage of this," but wouldn't take any materials. He said, "You're weirding me out, the less I know the better."
The best was a beautiful Hindu woman who told me they don't cirk because the body is sacred. She also told me she and her husband were both 15 when they married and both virgins. She said they both bled for their first sexual intercourse. She said to make sure I tell my sons what to expect. She said it was very meaningful to her and her husband and bonded them together. Then her family came over. The husband was good-looking and the kids, all teenagers, were very cute. A wonderful family.
The worst was the "Nurse Manager" for the Maternity Unit for the hospital. She said I was forcing my opinion on people. I said I am only talking that parents are forcing their opinions on their babies by cirking them. I told her that the thing mothers keep telling me is that they regret doing it, that they didn't have enough information to make an informed choice. She said they have to remain neutral. I said they need to give info on normal structure, function and benefits of being intact. Those are facts, not opinion. She kept making comparisons between breastfeeding and circ. ("We can't make the moms feel guilty ...") I said that's not valid, breastfeeding involves her body, cirk does not. Anyway would you feel that way about the mom "choosing" not to use a car seat? Not make her feel guilty? Then we got in a fistfight (in my mind). Actually, in the end she wound up taking my information and the new video, "Facing Circumcision," by the Nurses for the Rights of the Child. (I donated it.) She promised to view it and maybe add it to their video collection for the new moms to see. Good chance it will be used, it features doctors talking about cirk, half are pro, half are against, so it's "balanced." She would get back to me this week. I will see her at the next Coalition Meeting if she doesn't.
A chiropractor scheduled me to do a presentation for 11 of his expectant mothers.
One mom said we should have a pamphlet for older (teen) intact boys. Got to talk to Marilyn [Milos] on this one.
Lisa came up with a great idea. There is a college in our town that is very stong on women's issues. She said to join forces with someone doing outreach on FGM, get an Intact Black Girl Doll and do a table together. Have the half nude "kids" sitting next to each other.
What do you think?
What a great day.
P.O. Box 2512
San Anselmo, CA 94979-2512