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Response to Michael Dulin

December 24, 2017

Michael Dulin developed an anti-circumcision campaign that seeks to equate circumcision with FGM. Dulin uses photos of himself and other men with the slogan "Genital mutilation isn't only done to females. It was done to me."

Dulin is convinced that the very word "circumcision" is the problem, the one obstacle that prevents the intactivist movement from achieving success. He's spent a few years trying to convince intactivists that if they would just stop using the "C" word altogether, that the general public would quickly gravitate to their side and feel the same horror toward the procedure that they do toward FGM.

Earlier this year we posted a response in the form of a chart that enumerates distinct differences between circumcision and mutilation. Apparently our post was brought to Dulin's attention last week, and he replied, addressing me specifically.

Michael, I offer you my appreciation: first for sharing a link to our post, and second for replying without using personal attacks. You have a level of integrity that other intactivists would do well to emulate.


Creating a response was a challenge, since your words of advice have no resonance with me. About my own circumcision I have no conception of harm or abuse or pain or loss or grief or fault or comfort or closure. You're speaking a foreign language that I don't grasp. It's as if you're giving advice on how I should cope with my favorite baseball team winning the World Series. What you consider a violation and a curse is to me a medical and sexual enhancement and a great blessing.

And I'm hardly alone. The overwhelming majority of circumcised men report no negative feelings about their penile status. [1] Many uncircumcised men and their partners agree that we aren't missing anything. When intactivists angrily demand that parents and doctors "stop cutting babies," our reaction is bewilderment - because a child's medical care is a matter strictly between his parents and the medical professionals. Frankly, it's none of your business.

One idea of yours that connects with me is that people are being ignorant or misled. You have been misled, Michael. The evidence for harm is derived from studies that have questionable methodology or results that aren't applicable. In other words, the evidence is built on a foundation of quicksand. When examined and scrutinized, the evidence dissolves. My colleagues and I document this slippery foundation and reveal it to the public. Our posts provide facts, evidence, reason, and sober analysis. [2]

Rather than try to refute our "Circumcised" vs "Mutilated" chart, you cited the chart as evidence in your appeal to your fellow intactivists. I've observed with some amusement this internal debate regarding a word that literally means "to cut around." A change in terminology won't change the facts about the procedure. If you could erase the "C" word from the face of the earth, it wouldn't elicit the public response that you seek. To be clear, I don't need the "C" word in order to justify the procedure. Foreskin removal is a simple, common procedure with an array of medical benefits. [3] Removing the foreskin during infancy is simpler and easier, with greater benefits, fewer complications, and a quicker healing time than if the procedure is performed during adolescence or adulthood. [4] Parents have a right to choose foreskin removal for their infant sons.

Everyone associated with my group that manages our website and Facebook page - the parents, doctors, nurses, and other concerned citizens - are firmly opposed to mutilation. There is never any justification for mutilation, and anyone who mutilates or otherwise harms a child should be locked in prison. Unlike foreskin removal, mutilation has no medical benefits - only harm. Unlike foreskin removal, mutilation actually is a human rights violation.

To equate circumcision with mutilation is absurd, offensive, and obscene. [5] While females aren't the only victims of genital mutilation, [6] you are not a victim. You weren't harmed or abused. You weren't mutilated. Your parents authorized a beneficial medical procedure, Michael. If you're uncomfortable with that fact, it's not my problem.

I have seen no evidence to validate claims of harm. The medical benefits are real - whether or not you choose to acknowledge them. You can print your message on a thousand signs and a million t-shirts. But parents will always have the option to circumcise their infant sons and provide them with a lifetime of medical benefits.

[1] YouGov survey of American men, January 31 - February 5, 2015

[2] For example, see The 16 Foreskin Functions, The Styrofoam Vagina, Sex as the Researcher Intended it, and A Flawed Study on Autism. [3] Circumcision Policy Statement; American Academy of Pediatrics; August 2012. Newborn Male Circumcision; Canadian Paediatric Society; September 8, 2015

[4] Manual for early infant male circumcision under local anesthesia, pp 4-6; World Health Organization; February, 2011

[5] Amber Randall, "Activist Speaks On How She Survived 'Highly Demonic' Female Genital Mutilation; The Daily Caller; October 21, 2017

[6] Male genital mutilation would involve procedures such as penectomy and castration - performed for non-therapeutic reasons and and certain or likely to harm the functions of the genitals. Also read this article if you dare: FlameHorse; "10 Grotesque Examples of Male Genital Mutilation"; Listverse; August 25, 2013


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