Danish Minister of Children and Equality Open for Debate on Circumcision


Early March, Manu Sareen, Danish Minister for Children, Gender Equality, Integration and Social Affairs opened for a debate of circumcision of healthy boys. It happened on the direct radio show Call the Government, when a curious listener raised concerns about why healthy boys are not protected from circumcision, just as well as girls are.

Skærmbillede 2014-03-17 kl. 22.23.51Having learned more about circumcision of boys during the past year, I admit to have become aware that the matter may not be as clear cut, as I have previously thought. That is why I have changed my stance, because it does harm many men’s sexuality and does have some physical consequences. Even though it’s wrapped in a religious context we have to dare to take this debate about circumcision as well…. I fully respect other people’s religiousness, but that does not mean that I in any way accept that one can do anything in the name of religion. That makes this debate immensely difficult, but one has to dare to take it.

His party Radikale Venstre, a social liberal party, has passed a resolution to ban circumcision of healthy boys. However the members of parliament are not obliged to work actively for the parties resolutions and have negleted to do so up until now.

Listen to the show here (in Danish) at 28 min.

Inspired by other great Danish voices for children’s genital integrity and autonomy Intact Denmark has worked hard for the past year to make a Danish age restriction on circumcision of healthy boys a reality. Being the founder and chairwoman of the organisation, I am personally very proud of the results we have achieved so far.

Anti-circumcision thank you note


NOT-letter

N. sent me this beautiful note in response to reading my piece An Insight into the Danish Circumcision Debate, which Continue reading

Circumcision of boys is mutilation


In Denmark the debate about circumcision of boys is raging. It has reached the headlines of national news papers as well as the opinion pages in the local ones.

Politicians, commentators, medical experts and children’s rights advocates are debating the issue. In 2013 circumcision without medical indication reached the Danish media more than 200 times. Less than one month into 2014 it looks as though that number may quadruple at the very least during the year to come.

If all goes according to plan, Denmark is less than a year from a total ban on circumcision of healthy boys. Intactivist are working for an 18 year age limit for elective genital surgery.

Support Intact Denmark’s work – donate here. Every little bit helps.

1597118_10202827902075973_1920636240_oOn 22nd January 2014 Dahir Jama Roobleh posted in local Danish paper Fyens Stiftstidende “Circumcision is not mutilation, Lena Nyhus, Chairwoman of Intact Denmark, an organisation which fights to ban circumcision in Denmark. Dear Lena, you must respect and accept our action, which is performed by Jews and Muslims. Do not interfere with our faith!”

Circumcision is mutilation

Dear Dahir Jama Roobleh

“Do not interfere with circumcision of boys, it’s a religious act performed by Jews and Muslims”,  you wrote to on 22nd January 2014.

I do not mind explaining why Intact Denmark – Against Circumcision of Children and I would not even consider abandoning the issue. We are an organisation founded by people with Jewish, Muslim and Christian backgrounds. Some of faith, some not. We are all of the opinion that the child has a right to it’s own body, a right to protection against mutilation, a right to a personal choice of religion and in particular the right to choose whether that religion should include saying goodbye to their most sensitive body parts.

Parents do not hold ownership rights to their children, they have the obligation to care for them. That does not give them the right to cut functioning parts of their children’s genitals.

Chairwoman Lena Nyhus - Intact DenmarkYou may not know it, but this Tuesday (21st January 2014) the Danish National Board of Health ended a hearing on “Guidelines to Circumcision of Boys), in that context the Danish Medical Association, the Danish College of Medical Practitioners, the National Council for Children, the Danish Family Planning Association, Children’s Welfare and a number of other super talented professionals have taken a stance on circumcision of boys in addition to Intact Denmark, naturally.

In common for all the answers to the hearing I have had a chance to see is the opinion htat circumcision of boys without medical indication is mutilation. As simple as that. An opinion shared with 85% of the Danish population. We must have legislation to protect the children now.

Join Intact Denmark and support the organisations efforts. Press here.

Allow me to explain why:

Children are persons in their own right. They have rights. They have the right to their own bodies. They have a right to their own religious beliefs. Those rights are strictly personal and every bit as inalienable as your personal rights and mine. That means that I may not amputate part of your healthy body. That means that I may not force my personal cultual, religious and aesthetic preferences on you. It also means that you may not do that to your children.

The religious freedom is personal. It does not include the right to carve your religion into the body of another human being. Not even if this human being is your own child.

Of course the adult man who understands consequences and riscs should be able to choose circumcision if he wishes to say goodbye to half of the sensitivity of his penis. Of course he should be able to choose to mark his religion or culture on his body. That is his choice. His free right. His human right.

The basis of our life in a democracy is the respect for each persons human rights. That is why I interfere in the question of circumcision of boys. That is why the members of Intact Denmark have entrusted me with the position of Chairwoman.

Omskæring ér lemlæstelseI will not stop until boys are protected from unnecessary surgery to their genitals, just as girls are under the current legislation.

Thank you for raising the issue in Fyens Stiftsstidende Dahir Jama Roobleh, without your effort I might not have had the chance to inform the papers readers about this issue. I suggest that we arrange a debate, during which we can talk it through thoroughly. What do you say?

In conclusion may I suggest that you try a thought experiment? Imagine a religion which demands that fingers, toes or ears are cut off the children. Would you accept that the neighbours children came to school without their left ring finger (it has fewer funtions than the foreskin by far) or perhaps without an ear? Where would you draw the line?

I claim that you and I would agree on that issue, just as I assume we will, when it comes to circumcision of girls. One does not cut healthy children!

Educating strangers about intactivism succesfully – a ‘how to’ story


1278980_10151661541866717_1740012055_o“I am an activist against circumcision and an educator on the issue. I have many things to tell you about those myths you just told me that will blow your mind and I’m sure that if you hear me out, you will completely change your mind about having your next son circumcised. Could I have your phone number so that I can call you after our appointments?”.

Kelley Heitzman’s brilliant take on intactivism. There’s a lot to learn about how to approach cirumcision education here.

I went to a doctor appointment this morning and usually I keep to myself and don’t chat with people unless they directly speak to me.

A woman walked in moaning and groaning, huffing and puffing as she plopped down on Continue reading

Anatomy of the penis: Penile and Foreskin Neurology


Uploaded to YouTube on 3 Oct 2011by Bonobo3D

Ken McGrath, Senior Lecturer in Pathology at the Faculty of Health, Auckland University of Technology and Mem Continue reading

An Open Letter to the Author of ‘How Circumcision Broke the Internet’


Reblogged from The Good Men Project with permission from Brian Earp – visit the site, it’s highly readable and an enormously important initiative.

September 23, 2013 by

circumcision photo by miss pupik

Brian D. Earp believes circumcision is worth talking about. And he would like Mr. Stern and the editors of Slate magazine to know why.

Dear Mr. Stern,

I recently read your article, “How Circumcision Broke the Internet” for Slate magazine [republished as "'Intactivists' Against Circumcision" in Canada's National Post]. I understand your concern about overheated rhetoric in public debates as well as the misuse of science to support untenable positions. As a scientist and ethicist who studies circumcision profes Continue reading

A man’s point of view on circumcision


Eddy Cameron

A man’s point of view on circumcision.

I truly envy you Ladies. You’re Federally protected from female genital mutilation (FGM) in the United States, I am not. You have all your bits, I do not. I wonder what it feels like to be able to feel everything while I struggled to feel anything.

And yet, you can sit there, typing, with a straight face, extolling the benefits of male genital mutilation.

Remember that these are only words, and my words at that. They cannot harm Continue reading

Every circumcision is botched


Steven Svoboda, Founder of Attorneys for the Rights of the Child explains why every circumcision in his opinion is botched and tells why he got into intactivism decades ago.

Is money an incentive for genital cutting?


Is money an incentive for genital cutting? A new study by health care economists Erin Johnson and M. Marit Rehavi suggests that money plays a very big role when doctors decide which health care measures to offer patients.

Skærmbillede 2013-08-30 kl. 15.24.26

Photo Credit: aesop via Compfight cc

A defense of the foreskin


By Mikael Aktor
Originally published in the Danish daily INFORMATION and on INTACT DENMARK 10th July 2013 and to

If accidents or disease reduce the bodily functions of a child, we do whatever we can to remedy the damage. Why then inflict such a loss on healthy children ourselves?

June 27 was a sad day for Danish boys. On this day the minister of health, Astrid Krag, rejected legislation against boy circumcision on the basis of a newly delivered report from the Health Council. But the report and Krag’s arguments only relate to a very narrow health perspective, they do not deal with the equally important human rights aspects.

I am a member of an association – Intact Denmark, Association Against Child Circumcision – which has as it’s goal to restrict circumcision to persons who themselves express the wish to have it done and who have reached the age of consent. The arguments for this view among the members of the association vary but my own is quite Continue reading

Strong documentary on circumcision


Mischief: Circumcise Me? A documentary on circumcision. Exploring the hows and whys of circumcision, medical pros and cons. Sexual consequences. And finally coming to a conclusion: Should this baby boy be cut – not?

Lucking Into Bris Shalom


© 2011 Sarah Rockwell / Beyond the BrisAs a Jew I grew up thinking circumcision was normal. All of my younger cousins and the sons of family friends were circumcised. All the children I babysat for were circumcised. The sound of a wailing baby at a Bris was something familiar–as was the apparently peacefully sleeping baby afterward. The first time I saw an intact baby boy, I thought he looked strange.
When I was a teenager, my father started complaining about circumcision. He would say things like, “I don’t understand why, in a world full of pain, we choose to put our baby boys through even more pain.” It was only when I was pregnant with my son, and had a serious conversation with my father about circumcision, that I discovered he would not have wanted to cut a son of his own. He said to me, “There is enough pain in this world, why would anyone want to inflict pain on a newborn baby so that pain is all he knows of life?”Sarah RockwellAlthough I grew up as a Conservative Jew, learned to read Hebrew, had a Bat Mitzvah, and even kept kosher for a while, I gradually became more secular. I discovered a Reconstructionist synagogue in Miami and loved the Rabbi’s philosophy: “Judaism is like you grandmother’s attic–you take things down Continue reading

I was shocked…


By Eran Sadeh

My name is Eran Sadeh. I am Israeli. I am Jewish.

Eran Sadeh speaking out on circumcision

Eran Sadeh speaking out on circumcision

I was born 43 years ago in Tel Aviv, a healthy baby with a perfect body. 8 days after I was born one man held my tiny legs down while another man cut a part of my penis off with a knife.

I was in pain, I screamed, I bled. It’s over. But the part that was cut off from my penis is forever gone.

36 years later my son was born. Two days before Continue reading

Intersexuality, transsexuality and all the other possibilities – a challenge of perception


by Lena Nyhus

English: From the female and male symbols. Int...

I have always felt strongly about the plight of intersexual people or hermaphrodites as their were called, when I grew up. I have only ever spoken to very few. I have no idea about how frequently it happens, that children are born with genitals that are different from the norm of either female or male. I don’t know anything about how often it happens that people are born into bodies that appear to belong to one gender, but actually feel as the opposite gender either. I’m simply uninformed about these things. One thing I do know Continue reading

Today a child died, apparently because of circumcision – is it selfish to debate that?


By Lena Nyhus

This morning I awoke to the story of Brayden Tyler Frazier. It was reported from numerous respectable sources that his death was caused by circumcision.

Darin Frazier with baby Brayden

I looked into the story and chose Continue reading

NoCirc infomercial – What every parent should know about circumcision


by Lena Nyhus

National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers or more aptly – NoCirc – is an American non-governmental organisation founded by health-care professionals.

NoCirc is dedicated to Continue reading

Penn & Teller on Circumcision


So why do I oppose circumcision? I’ll let Penn & Teller explain it, they’re so much more entertaining than I could ever hope to be. Afterwards you’ll also fully understand why I prefer ‘genital cutting’ or ‘genital mutilation’ to the word ‘circumcision’.

Our two latest memes


When Umut Decided Against Circumcision Cognitive dissonanse

THE VIDEO to Watch about Male Circumcision


Circumcision: An Elephant in the Hospital

by Lena Nyhus

If you want to know more about why more and more people oppose to male routine infant circumcision this is THE video to watch. Afterwards you will understand why the procedure is also known as male genital cutting or male genital mutilation.

Ryan McAllister explains about everything from parental concern, foreskin functionality, HIV and STD’s etc.

100.000+ heads turned for intactivism in 12 hours


by Lena Nyhus

Picketing against genital mutilation aka circumcision (both male and female) is sometimes somewhat of a Sisyphus task (you know, ancient Greek guy doomed to push a rock up a mountain slope in eternity only to see it rolling down again) a lot of hard work and not much to show for your effort.

That’s why I decided to employ memes to do the job. I had a gut feeling that they would be much more effective at catching people’s immediate attention than anything I could write and then maybe, just maybe, I would be able to enter into dialogue with people and be able to persuade one or two to denounce the barbaric practice of cutting into children’s genitals.

I went to the task with great enthusiasm and quickly produced a cute meme with the most precious thing we have in our lives – children.

Hey Kid, don't let them cut... Oppose circumcision - genital mutilation

It is cute isn’t it?

I shared it on our page http://www.facebook.com/justasnip and quite a few places on facebook and Twitter and was pleased to see that it took off quite fast. Within 24 hours I registered that it was shared just about a hundred places. By conservative estimate that gives it a reach of approximately 5.000 people.

That inspired a friend of mine, Svend Eide Joensen, to make a meme of his own.

Oppose religious branding. Say no to genital mutilation aka circumcision. Design by Svend Eide Joensen

A powerful message right?

I posted it to our page and several other places 2 days ago, just like I did with the previous meme. And looked forward to seeing it reach the same levels of fame as the one I made (after a day or two) and it did – within minutes! 12 hours later it had reached an estimated 100.000+ people. It is a powerful message indeed.

The number was reached by adding up the number of views, likes, comments and shares we could access on all the channels we had posted the meme to. Each facebook user has an average of 150 friends, if a third of them see the meme and perhaps 0,2-0,5% share…. Well, there you have it 100.000+ heads turned in 12 hours for the noble cause of keeping children intact world wide.

This will not be the last powerful meme from Just a Snip – on the contrary! – we have found our path.

I’ll let Svend explain Continue reading