Genital Autonomy Conference 2014


genital-autonomy_0
Have you registered for the 2014 Genital Autonomy Conference in Boulder, Colorado? I’ll be speaking about the Scandinavian progress on Saturday and I would to see you – yes you! – in the audience.

– Lena

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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!

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

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.

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

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

Circumcised radio host: ‘It’s pure torture’ (Full translation)


By Kjeld Koplev, Radio Host / Journalist
(Full translation of article published in Danish daily Politiken 07/18/2012)
Translated and published by Lena Nyhus / IQvixen with permission from the author

Kjeld KoplevPhotographer: Miriam Dalsgaard

Kjeld Koplev
Photographer: Miriam Dalsgaard

Circumcision is an interference into the sex life of the Jewish man and should be stopped immediately.

The signature Anders Jerichouw (AJ) writes in the editorial of Politiken 07/15/2012 that circumcision of Jewish boys is the family’s way of passing on love.

I find that it is pure torture! Cocksure, AJ claims that the circumcision causes no harm. I say, that the torture I was exposed to when a Rabbi cut off my foreskin without anaesthesia   – and without medical experience or training – inflicted lifelong psychological trauma on me.

The Rabbi who yielded the knife also inflicted a castration anxiety that has stayed with me ever since.

I cannot in any way see that circumcision has the least to do with love. Continue reading

Our two latest memes


When Umut Decided Against Circumcision Cognitive dissonanse

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

Make your mark – memes against circumcision


by Lena Nyhus

Send me your very best ideas

Chose any angle you might want to;


male genital mutilation (MGM)

female genital mutilation (FGM)
human rights
health benefits
sexual dysfunction
or some other issue close to your heart
wrack your brain and come up with an ingenious wording – short, concise and to the point. An intact body is a human right – regardless of gender, cultural background and parents religion.

Send your ideas to justasnip@hotmail.com and if you are lucky Svend Eide Joensen or one of our other great designers will transform your text to the next great meme for the cause.

Perhaps your text will turn 100.000+ heads for intactivism (< click to see Svend’s powerful visual) in 12 hours just like Svends did.

Oppose religious branding


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

 

Fantastic! We have our second meme. This time designed by Svend Eide Joensen. He has chosen to address genital mutilation aka circumcision – regardless of gender – committed in the name of religion.

In some cultures it is claimed that genital mutilation is commanded by God in order curb sexuality, heighten cleanliness or demonstrate allegiance to the religion. Either way it is not only an assault on the child; an assault it could die or become permanently injured from. It is also a violation of the persons religious freedom.

Parents rights to religious freedom end where the child’s rights to religious freedom and an intact body begins.

Oppose genital mutilation aka circumcision on Twitter


twitter-bird-light-bgs

By Lena Nyhus

A lot of great people do an enormous job opposing genital mutilation aka circumcision on Twitter. It’s simple and they make a difference. So can you.

It’s all about hashtags (#), use the rights ones and you’ll be right there bang in the middle of the  conversation. The best ones are

#intactivist, #intactivism, #circumcision, #genitalmutilation,
#i2 integrity x intactivism, #humanrights, #FGM Female Genital Mutilation,
#MGM Male Genital Mutilation, #foreskin, Continue reading

Does pain and suffering have a gender bias?


Circumcision / genital mutilation on Wikipedia

Circumcision / genital mutilation on Wikipedia

Reading article after article on genital mutilation and circumcision one thing appears striking – boys do not get mutilated, girls do.

That is to say both girls and boys undergo involuntary  permanent amputations of parts of their genitalia – often without anaesthesia – but when girls are subjected to these  incidents we call it assaults. Continue reading

Although disagreeing with Ayaan Hirsi Ali on male circumcision..


By Lena Nyhus / iQvixen

Now don’t get me wrong, I think Ayaan Hirsi Ali is an incredibly bright and brave woman who makes a true difference in the world and I thoroughly respect her work, but while I completely agree with her opinion on female genital mutilation (FGM) I reserve the right to disagree with her stance on male genital mutilation aka circumcision.

Following the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendation to allow a nick in the clitoris as a symbolic alternative to more intrusive female genital mutilation rituals (the lesser of two evils argument) Ayaan Hirsi Ali voiced a strong counter argument; allowing any ritual even a nick – which is still genital mutilation by the way – is sending a signal that we as a society accept the basic premise, that women are inferior beings with an evil sexuality that should be harnessed. Of course, any society that considers all humans created equal cannot accept such an attitude; as Ayaan Hirsi Ali has put it on a different occasion ‘Tolerance of intolerance is cowardice‘.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Read Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s response to AAPs FGM recommendations here

But as right and just Ali is on the stance against FGM, she is wrong – both factually and morally – when claiming that male genital mutilation is less invasive.

Factually:

How foreskin functions

Cutting away the foreskin Continue reading

Co-moderator wanted


It is time to end genital mutilation (aka circumcision) worldwide, regardless of gender, cultural background or parents religion.

Just a Snip is part of a global movement and at the moment we are coordinating the efforts of intactivists from all around the world with that one common goal. Continue reading

An Insight into the Danish Circumcision Debate


By Lena Nyhus
Published in The Jerusalem Post
10/15/2012

See the original piece here

To many Danes the case is simple; any man or woman may do with their own bodies what they see fit, but no one should be allowed to make decisions about non-medically warranted procedures on behalf of anybody else.

In the article “Assault on Jewish customs in Scandinavia,” which appeared in The Jerusalem Post on October 8, Magnus Frank paints a bleak and unfortunately rather biased picture of the current debate regarding the circumcision of un-consenting boys in Denmark.I find it imperative to present the Israeli public with a broader view on the debate than the one offered by Frank. Persecution of minorities, i.e. anti-Semitism, is a very serious issue and an offence that the authorities in Denmark take a very strong view on indeed, which Magnus Frank probably knows very well. I am also sure that he is well aware of how rare an offence it is in Danish society, which is widely inclusive and in fact highly secular.Speculating that the media and a wide variety of the debating Danish public may have ulterior motives in the ongoing discussion regarding circumcision is an unnecessary and unproductive approach to the debate and frankly it only serves to demonstrate that Frank may simply lack proper arguments for his point of view.

The majority of the voices raised against circumcision have three main points: firstly, the basic human right to an intact body. When there are no medical reasons to perform surgery on a child, any procedure must be considered an assault.Secondly, research has shown that in societies such Denmark’s where good healthcare and high hygiene standards prevail there are hardly any medical benefits from circumcision. When it comes to preventing STD’s, for instance, a much more effective approach is the simple use of condoms.

Thirdly, there is the concern that if there are any risks the child may suffer health or sexual consequences from the circumcision immediately after the procedure or perhaps later on in life as an adult, it should be prohibited.

This is a debate about the individual’s freedom of choice, about avoiding the infliction of unnecessary pain and suffering for non-medically warranted procedures and about the prevention of health and sexual complications later in life.

It should be noted that Prof. Morten Frisch’s study, which was questioned by Frank, has incorporated a number of measures to ensure the statistical validity of the data as well as peer review, which is of course the very reason it was deemed fit to be published in a respectable international medical journal in the first place.

Prof. Frisch’s study suggests that a significantly larger number of circumcised men report sexual problems than do their intact peers. In addition, women in relationships with circumcised males report sexual problems more frequently than do women with intact partners.

Therefore Prof. Frisch has found it vital to call for further studies. It is paramount to understand the potential consequences of circumcision.

The majority of the circumcised subjects in the study were not of Muslim or Jewish origin.

It is my understanding that if the study were to be transferred to for instance US, it indicates that approximately 10 million American men maybe more and their respective partners suffer from sexual problems that are less frequent among their intact peers.

Important to the understanding of the Danish debate is also the simple fact that circumcision is not a common procedure in Denmark, so it is primarily performed by the Jewish and Muslim community and in connection with medically warranted circumstances.

It would be fair for an outsider to assume that the Danish debate might well have xenophobic undertones, however that does not appear to be the case. Rather the case is simply that the majority of Danes place a very high value on personal freedom of choice and are naturally sceptical of non-consensual non-medically warranted procedures.

Mr. Magnus Frank brings up another interesting point in his piece, namely that the circumcised males in Denmark supposedly generally enjoy “a much higher level of education, income, and living compared to the average Dane.”

While that may be true of the Jewish population in Denmark (I have never seen studies to prove it, but am inclined to think that it may very well be correct) it is unfortunately not true when it comes to the Muslim population in Denmark.

Multiple studies have shown that while young Muslim women in Denmark generally excel in the educational system, the young Muslim men fail to follow their example. So I am inclined to think that the ability to achieve a high level of education, income and standard of living does not depend on the amputation of highly specialized and sensitive skin in the genital area but rather on other cultural factors.

In Denmark it is regarded deeply unacceptable to inflict pain or abuse on children – any pain or abuse. Therefore children’s rights are protected throughout the legislation, universally banning for instance spankings and other forms of physical acts of violence against children. The legislation also protects the children from psychological abuse and it protects girls from non-medically warranted circumcision procedures also known as female genital mutilation.

Boys do not currently enjoy the same right to bodily integrity under Danish legislation as girls do. A recent poll indicates that a majority of the Danish population finds that it is time to ensure the boys equal rights.

To many Danes the case is simple; any man or woman may do with their own bodies what they see fit, when they reach adulthood, but no one – not even parents – should be allowed to make decisions about performing permanent non-medically warranted potentially harmful procedures on behalf of anybody else.