We read some bizarre comments on the YouTube video of the IntactoRage meltdown that occurred outside the AAP Conference in Chicago last month. We'll take this opportunity to correct some of their misunderstandings about us.
THE COUNTER PROTESTERS DO NOT HAVE AN ARGUMENT FOR CIRCUMCISION.
Our response: That’s correct. Since intactivists have ignored our statement following the 2016 San Francisco counter-protest, we’ll say it again. And we’ll repeat it until they understand. The reason we don’t have arguments in support of circumcision is that we aren't pro circumcision. We are Pro Parents Choice. Although we don't promote circumcision, we defend parents who choose it, doctors who perform it, and men who appreciate it.
Our purpose in traveling to Chicago was twofold.
(1) support the heroic AAP doctors who help keep children healthy
(2) expose the organized intactivist harassment campaign
THE COUNTER PROTESTERS DID NOT HAVE ANY FACTS.
Our response: We have plenty of facts. We had a binder overloaded with scientific studies, medical documents, articles, definitions, and photos. We compiled pages of comments from circumcised men, uncircumcised men. and women experienced with both. We prepared for a serious and substantive debate, but our opponents had no interest. Intactivist leaders warned the minions not to engage us, not to speak with us, not even to acknowledge us. The few verbal interactions were marked with insults and other derision.
THEIR HANDOUTS ARE HATEFUL ANTI-INTACTIVIST PROPAGANDA THAT ARE FILLED WITH INTACTIVIST QUOTATIONS.
Our response: We agree that our handouts include hateful propaganda! Our handouts contain unaltered screen shots of posts and comments by dozens of anti-circumcision activists. We seek to bring public awareness to the vicious harassment campaign, and the comments destroy their "peaceful parenting" veneer. Their indignation that we publicize their own words is quite revealing, and they have only themselves to blame.
THEY STALK, HARASS, AND OBSESS OVER INTACTIVISTS.
Our response: It is the height of irony for an intactivist to accuse us of obsessing and harassing, since those words succinctly describe the anti-circumcision movement.
We monitor anti-circumcision pages and groups. We work behind the scenes to warn and assist the targets of their harassment campaign. That isn't stalking. The leader of the Blood Stained Men tracked down a nurse who posted about circumcision on her Facebook page. He drove 800 miles to film her inside her medical office. That is stalking.
THEY ARE TROLLS PAID BY THE AAP OR THE JEWISH COMMUNITY.
Our response: No one hired us. No one paid us. We volunteered our own time and spent our own money to travel to Chicago to support the pediatricians. This year we notified the AAP leadership of our plans, and they expressed their appreciation. But we didn’t coordinate with them, and no one offered compensation or a reward.
THERE WERE NO LITTLE CHILDREN AT THE COUNTER PROTEST.
Our response: An event with graphic images, profane language, and fake bloody crotches is not an appropriate venue for young children. We observed sporadic supervision on the other side. At one point a toddler nearly ran into the street while his mother was protesting. This same child played perilously at the top steps of a water fountain, and he could have suffered a serious injury.
The temperature in Chicago was very hot – 88F/31C both days. Several children were without hats and there was little shade. By the afternoon they looked tired and overheated, and they didn’t appear to get much to drink. Rather than serve as day-long billboards to please a parent, our children would have been hunting for dinosaurs at the Field Museum, playing in a swimming pool, or enjoying the view from Skydeck Chicago.
THEY HAD ONE TEENAGE BOY, WHO LOOKED UNHAPPY.
Our response: Actually there were two teenagers: one on Saturday and another on Sunday. Both boys asked to participate, and both were thrilled to hold signs and stand up to adult bullies. While impressionable young children will uncritically adopt whatever attitudes their parents teach them, a teenager is old enough to better understand the medical, sexual, and ethical issues so that he can form his own opinion.
SEVERAL CIRCUMFETISHISTS SUPPORTED THE COUNTER PROTEST.
ONE OF THEM CHOSE NOT TO SHOW HIS FACE THIS YEAR.
Our response: The individual mentioned attended our 2016 San Francisco event, but he was unable to participate in person this year. Rest assured that he will join us again.
Rather than engage in a substantive debate, our adversaries dismiss us with pointless insults. A "circumfetishist" derives sexual satisfaction from the act of circumcision or from viewing circumcised penises. We won't dignify the accusation. We’ll simply note that we aren’t the ones who sneak peeks at diaper changing stations. We aren’t the ones who report the genital status of naked boys playing at a clubhouse pool. We aren’t the ones who ask mothers to post photos of their children's genitals. Intactivists are the ones who seem determined to examine every boy’s penis.
INTACTIVISTS HAVE COMPILED INFORMATION ON THE COUNTER PROTESTERS.
Our response: Intactivists have done more than gather information. To retaliate against us for exercising our freedom of speech, they've repeatedly threatened to tell our employers that we support child abuse. This is not an idle threat, as they have harassed medical professionals in a similar manner. And earlier this year they contacted relatives of one of our team members in an attempt to embarrass him.
THE COUNTER PROTESTERS ARE ATTENTION SEEKERS.
Our response: We don’t seek attention for ourselves. Our goal is to end the harassment campaign. Toward that end we seek to make the public aware that intactivists routinely threaten medical professionals, bully parents, and shame happily circumcised men.