“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 the couch. I didn’t look at her but I was thinking “how dramatic is she?”. She started talking to me about traffic and weather, and then she told me she was there to get medicine to keep her off of pills because she is pregnant. She looked very poor, missing teeth, exactly how you’d picture a drug addict to look.
I had no idea she was pregnant so I asked “really? How far along?”, she replied “any day now, 9 months!”. She stood up and showed me her belly and she looked like I did when I was 6-7 months pregnant. That explained the moaning and groaning as she sat down, I can certainly remember the feeling.
I asked her how many children she has and what she was expecting. She said that she already had 2 boys and this was her 3rd boy… I think. She might have said she already had 3 boys and this is her 4th. My gears were already going full speed thinking about what to say to her so I didn’t really hear that part.
All I heard was boy. I asked her “would you mind if I talked to you for a few minutes about circumcision?” And she said “sure” in a very curious way so I continued. I first asked her if she had her other sons circumcised and she said yes. I asked why and she told me it was because the doctor said it’s cleaner and it would look weird if she didn’t have it done.
I realized that I would need a lot longer with her than the 2 minutes we had before the doctor called me back so I said something along the lines of “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?”.
She was very intrigued and said she really wanted to hear what I had to say and gave me her name and phone number. A man walked in and sat on the sofa next to her, they were not there together though, neither of us knew who he was. I got even more excited because I realized that he was about to get some education too, whether he wanted it or not. She said “if it is something that is dangerous for my babies then I really want to hear more about it because I don’t want to do anything to hurt them”.
I said that circumcision hurts them worse than anything else may ever hurt them again in their entire lives. I told her about the brain scans and raises cortisol levels that sometimes never drop back down to normal levels. I told her about the 117 deaths from circumcision in America each year, and told her that other than Israel and Muslim countries, America is the only country who routinely does this to their babies.
She asked “But isn’t it cleaner?”. I said “The man with the cleaner penis is the man who washes his penis on a daily basis. All you need is water and a brain. If we can handle washing our vaginas, there is no reason why we can’t give men enough credit that they are smart enough to clean themselves properly.”
She then asked about it looking normal and I explained that NORMAL penises are the ones that people are born with. Circumcised penises are altered and not normal at all. I said the only reason it looks “normal” to you is because people keep cutting their kids’ penises. I said that 80% of the men in the world are intact and that circumcised men are the minority in the world.
I saw that something was clicking with her and she was soaking it all up, wanting to hear more. The man sitting next to her looked like he had steam coming out of his nose and ears lol, he was obviously not liking what I was saying but he didn’t say a word.
I told her that if having foreskin was so unclean and weird, you’d think that 80% of men would all be in a hurry to be cut, but they aren’t in any rush. I explained how many nerve endings are in the foreskin and about making an internal organ into an external organ, keratinization and becoming desensitized over time from rubbing and exposure.
I explained a little about the gliding mechanism and how it makes sex totally different for both people, and that lubrication isn’t necessary. Then the doctor called me back so the woman, Susan (name changed for privacy reasons) , asked me to please give her a call. When I came out after my appointment she was still waiting, stood up and asked me my name. I told her and then she shook my hand and told me thank you and that she was looking forward to talking with me later.
There is a real chance that I could get through to her but there are a couple of things I’m worried about and I would like suggestions from my fellow intactivists. I know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but she is the backwoods hillbilly type with the drunk husband at home who won’t have a woman telling him what to do with his son’s penis. I get the distinct feeling that she is no stranger to domestic abuse. I believe that if it were just she, I wouldn’t have a problem, but I just feel that she might not be the one who wears the pants in the relationship. What are some points that I should bring up in a situation like this? What didn’t I cover that I definitely should when I call her? Any advice would be appreciated. I feel really good about this, I was meant to cross paths with her today.