Intactivists at the U.S. Capitol, March 2009. Photo by Danelle Frisbie
As my thoughts began to stray from work this morning, I began pondering other pressing issues. I looked at the As Nature Intended page and spent some time analyzing the way we intactivists differ from many other forms of activism.
For starters, one of the premises behind intactivism isn't pushing people to DO something, but to merely DON'T do something: cut newborn babies without medical need.
Don't cut your baby's genitalia. Don't destroy the most sensitive part of your child's body. Don't put non-consenting minors through painful surgical amputation procedures that are not medically justified.
Just simply, don't.
Thus, being an intactivist (even on the sidelines in your own personal way) is one of the easiest things in the world to be: simply do not consent to the sexual abuse of babies and children. It's actually quite easy today to not want your child strapped down and cut apart. Intactivism is not always pushing for action on the part of others, but for informed omission.
The stronger intactivism becomes, the less cash will need to flow around it. It is very costly to print materials, provide resources, attend expos and conferences, invest time away from work, place billboards, run ads, provide intact care workshops, and to have the research that surrounds intact awareness exposed. All of this is not subsidized by anyone but intactivists themselves.
But once intactivism [and the human rights of all babies] catches up to being the very normal thing it should never have stopped being in the first place, the movement will need less and less money, and the nation on a whole will spend less money on a damaging and unnecessary surgery. There will be less prepuce amputation surgeries, less insurance payout, less post-operative complications, less doctors visits, less repeat surgeries, less time away from work for parents, less failure to thrive, less "colic," less problems all around. Once "intact" becomes the perfectly normal, sane, human stance for ALL human beings, our need for cash will be nil. Intact children do not need shelters, billboards, new technologies, modern machinery, lawsuits, medical attention, or many of the other things that other forms of activism require. When all children are left intact, it reduces the need for a huge amount of cash flow (both on the personal level for intactivists, and on the national level for health care and insurance payouts).
Yet the most interesting thing of all is this: our main goal is to become obsolete. Those of us who are really fighting this fight from the depths of our hearts (which, I assume, is all of us), want to see this world free of any kind of child abuse and non-consensual genital cutting. This means we are aiming to someday become as unnecessary as activists who say no to skull trepanations, or those who want to keep Atlantis from sinking into the ocean. Once the United States has become reasonable about keeping babies whole, NO ONE will need to be reminded that they should keep knives away from their newborn baby's healthy, functioning genitals. To fulfill the goals of intactivism, we must someday (hopefully soon!) become unnecessary.
If we are to support this one extraordinary activism movement -- we must not hesitate to start doing extraordinary things! So get out there. Start speaking up!
Clara Franco is the director of the National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers Mexico chapter. Read more from Franco (in Spanish) at Mexico Intacto, follow at Mexico Intacto on Facebook, or find Franco's work in English also at:
Is the Pain of Circumcision Truly "Brief"?
Circumcision: The Most Twisted Logic in the World