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.
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.
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 in his own words just what his considerations were in the design process, but before I do, I have a challenge for you:
And without further delay I give you Svend!
Svend Eide Joensen
Thank you for using the meme I created for you. It has been received quite positively and has spread more widely and quicker than I expected.
Most negative comments on it, addresses the US situation, where most people don’t get circumcised by religious reasons.
I want to make it clear, that the meme is primarily a response to the debate in other countries than the US, and mostly in Europe. Besides in the US, most circumcisions are done by religious reasons and in the European debate, one of the primarily used arguments in defence of circumcision, have been “Freedom of religion”.
The health and tradition based arguments, used to support circumcision in the US, is completely another story, which is described well on this blog. For those critics, that is just not the question this meme addresses. The rest of the world is not the US, and thank “god” for that. In the world in general, circumcision IS a religious matter.
The cross is chosen for the simple reason, not to stigmatize Jewish or Muslim people even more that they all ready are many places. Christians perform circumcision on religious reasons too. As an example, a lot of African Christians do it. The cross is also the most widely recognized religious symbol, and to top it off, the most provocative symbol to use in the western world.
It’s a human right to have a personal choice… The meme is simply: “You wouldn’t do this, but genital mutilation of infants is ok?”
Svend Eide Joensen