September 1, 2019
This past weekend a follower and frequent visitor to the Circumcision Choice Facebook page objected to our accusation that intactivists don't do anything about female genital mutilation (FGM). While intactivists claim to care about FGM as much as circumcision, we have observed that they just hijack the FGM issue in an attempt get their circumcision obsession on an equal footing.
The intactivist movement talks the talk, but they don't walk the walk. Having held more than 300 protests against circumcision, intactivists have never protested against FGM. They have no cards to hand out explaining how FGM is harmful or what people can do to help the campaign. They have no signs stating: "HER BODY, HER RIGHTS" or "HOW DARE YOU CUT HER CLITORIS" or "IT'S NOT THE FAMILY VULVA" that would correspond to their anti-circumcision signs. While raising tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to benefit intactivist groups and campaigns, they haven't raised one dime to benefit Daughters of Eve, Equality Now, or any other group that fights to assist FGM victims and end the atrocity.
Our page follower made three attempts to disprove our statement.
First we suggested that he make a public post calling his fellow intactivists to fight FGM and help victims of FGM. While he did make a post on his page, he simply asked his intactivist friends to declare that they oppose FGM to the same extent that they oppose circumcision. This attempt completely missed the point of our accusation. To repeat: While intactivists say that they oppose female genital mutilation, they don't do anything about it. (In fact their actions are counter-productive, since they hijack any online FGM conversations and try to divert the discussion to their circumcision obsession.) As one would expect, dozens of intactivists chimed in on his post declaring their fierce opposition to FGM. Not one explained what steps they have taken or plan to take to end FGM. Ironically the post proves our point. Next, he posted a link to an article in The Guardian that featured a photo of women protesting against FGM. He triumphantly declared that the photo constituted proof of intactivists protesting with anti-FGM signs. We pointed out that neither the caption nor the protesters identified themselves as "intactivists", and there was no evidence that they opposed circumcision. This was simply another attempt to hijack the anti-FGM movement, in this case to pass it off as part of the intactivist movement. Finally, in desperation our page follower wrote the message "END FGM" on what appears to be a sheet of cardboard or cardstock. He went to the headquarters of a local Muslim organization and had his son take a photo of him displaying his hastily-made sign and two larger, more legible intactivist signs. Uploading the photo to the internet, he offered the photo as proof that your Circumcision Choice team is wrong about intactivists; that they really, truly care about ending FGM.
Bless his heart.