A Student's Worldwide Tour

Travis Wisdom, a student of Women's Studies, has embarked on a worldwide tour to educate about the history of circumcision.

Travis will be in British Columbia tomorrow, April 30th.

Causing a Stir in San Fran

A man is hoping some legislation will be presented on November's ballot in San Francisco for the people to vote to decide if male infant/child circumcision will be illegal within the city for non-medical reasons. I'm happy to see the major news stations carrying the story, but saddened and angry at the comments from the public I'm reading in response to this story. I'm so angry at peoples' ignorance on this subject, matter of fact, that I should probably apologize for the dripping sarcasm before you read it.

Here are some comments I read on ABC News Facebook page this morning:

Mind your own business. Besides that, it is much more sanitary.

So I'm going to assume this person has never heard of soap and water.

oh dear lord this guy must have a mental condition!wasteing time on such stupid topic if you not want it then dont do it with all the damned trouble all ofvover the south , high gas prices he has to be brain dead for sure!

A mental condition? Yes, it's called compassion. This man cares about the babies being cut, and so do I. And of course it's completely understandable to be more worried about gas prices than altering forever someone's body without their permission or consent. And that's great logic, "if you not want it then dont do it" (punctuation not mine) but once you cut it off, you certainly cannot glue it back on. What's a person to do when they grow up and decide they *do* want it as part of their body?

Really? People are barely getting by and THIS is an issue? The government has no business getting in anyone's pants...infant or not!

The *government* has no right deciding what goes on in someone's pants? Right. Only the person who owns the pants should decide what goes on in his pants, not even his parents.

Only in the land of fruits & nuts would this seem like a good idea. Big govenement at its best at trying to extend their authority in places that they don't belong.

Well this comment is probably one of the most intelligent. They resort to name-calling and homophobia. And I got news for you, it's not the government trying to protect the children of this country, it's a man named Lloyd Schofield. The government *should have* been protecting children all along so that people like Lloyd can concentrate their efforts on other issues.

so tired of people imposing their beliefs on other people..

I am too! I am very tired of people imposing their beliefs on another, especially a non-consenting baby or child!

Why are we even debating whether or not circumcision is legal? This should be a non-issue from the start. We should never be handing our children over to greedy doctors to have healthy body parts cut off! We are supposed to be civilized. What is so civilized about torturing babies?

And here is the absolute best of them all and really reflects on this particular person's reasoning abilities:

Not every man wants to look like a snufalapagus or smell like one

She was probably watching Sesame Street while her son was being mutilated by a doctor. (Yes, it was a "she" who said this... obviously she doesn't have to worry about this because females are protected from being cut up at birth in this country.)

Why do we need to inflict this "choice" on children before they are capable of understanding what is happening to them? Is it really that horrible to have to wait until they're 18 years old and let them decide for themselves what they want done to their bodies?

If you're interested in reading more of the ignorant posts on the ABC News thread, click here.

***UPDATE: May 18, 2011
Just got word San Francisco accepted the petition to outlaw circumcision on minors. This WILL be on the ballot in the fall!

No Circ Pledge for Expectant Parents

I have no idea why it won't paste properly on the blog but if anyone wants the "cleaned up" version please feel free to send me your email address and I'll get it out to you right away. Let me know if you want all 3 versions or just one: for expectant parents, for parents/guardians, for doctors.



and _____________________________________,

parent(s) or legal guardian(s) of baby

due to be born _______________________________________

do swear on this date __________________________________________, 20______ that I/we will not consent from the child's birthday forward to having my child undergo the procedure known as circumcision.

Circumcision is the removal of healthy tissue on the tip of the penis known as a foreskin. A foreskin, or prepuce, serves many important functions that I/we want my child to enjoy the benefits of.

In addition, I/we also pledge to properly care for my intact son. I/we will go by the rule of “Intact, don't retract.” I/we will clean only what is seen. I/we will not retract my child's foreskin and I/we will not allow or consent to any medical professional, babysitter, caregiver or any other person to do so as well.

I/we claim for above named child his natural birthright to a whole, intact body.


Parent/Guardian Signature

Parent/Guardian Signature

NO Circ Pledge with optional doctor acknowledgment

I wrote this for someone this morning. Please feel free to copy and use it. I am freely giving permission for anyone to use my words and share it with anyone who is interested in signing a pledge for their son. You may make modificiations according to your particular situation. With a few changes this could be also written for a daughter. If anyone wants the original text file emailed to them, please drop me a note at intactivist.net@gmail.com and I will send one right out to you. I made two versions, one with a space for doctor's signature indicating they have received a copy to keep on file in the doctor's office.


I, _______________________________________

and _____________________________________,

parent(s) of baby named _______________________________________

born on this date________________________________________

do swear on this date __________________________________________, 20______ that I/we will not consent to having my child undergo the procedure known as circumcision, from this day forward.

Circumcision is the removal of healthy tissue on the tip of the penis known as a foreskin. A foreskin, or prepuce, serves many important functions that I/we want my child to enjoy the benefits of.

In addition, I/we also pledge to properly care for my intact son. I/we will go by the rule of “Intact, don't retract.” I/we will clean only what is seen. I/we will not retract my child's foreskin and I/we will not allow or consent to any medical professional, babysitter or caregiver or any other person to do so as well.

I/we claim for my child his natural birthright to a whole, intact body.


Parent Signature

Parent Signature

Physician's signature indicating this document is on file for this child:

Physician Signature Date

No Circ Pledge

Send your email address to intactivist.net@gmail.com and I will send out the updated, neater text file of this form right away. There are 3 versions: for parents/guardians, expectant parents, and one to be kept on file at the doctors office. Use this form as needed, change it to suit your particular situation, and feel free to distribute it for use by others. ~Monica



and _____________________________________,

parent(s)/guardian(s) of baby named _______________________________________

born on this date________________________________________

do swear on this date __________________________________________, 20______ that I will not consent to having my child undergo the procedure known as circumcision, from this day forward.

Circumcision is the removal of healthy tissue on the tip of the penis known as a foreskin. A foreskin, or prepuce, serves many important functions that I want my child to enjoy the benefits of.

In addition, I also pledge to properly care for my intact son. I will go by the rule of “Intact, don't retract.” I will clean only what is seen. I will not retract my child's foreskin and I will not allow or consent to any medical professional, babysitter or caregiver or any other person to do so as well.

I claim for my child his natural birthright to a whole, intact body.


Parent Signature

Parent Signature

What would YOU vote if you lived in San Fran?

Another Comparison

The top picture shows a normal, healthy penis with foreskin retracted. Note the smooth skin on the glans.
The second picture shows a circumcised penis where you can see the scars & dried skin.
In the picture of the circumcised penis you can see how much skin is removed in a circumcision.

These pictures are from Wrecking Boy's Journal under the entry titled: I Am The World That Hides The Universal Secret Of All Time.

Photo of Prepuce

Here is another great picture showing the function of the prepuce.

And on the bottom is a comparison of circumcised penis with full on keratinization going on. It certainly does not look comfortable at all, for either partner!

These photographs comes from Wrecking Boy's Journal. Feel free to go read the entire article as it's very informative. He asks that links are not made directly to the pictures on his article due to overwhelming bandwidth issues.

Facebook Police Ban Another Anti Circ Photo

Tate Wright, advocate for genital integrity, signed onto Facebook to find this note along with the realization a photo was removed depicting circumcision rituals that was meant as an anti-circ/pro-genital integrity message.

Here is the note that Facebook sent:

You uploaded a photo that violates our Terms of Use, and this photo has been removed. Facebook does not allow photos that attack an individual or group, or that contain nudity, drug use, violence, or other violations of the Terms of Use. These policies are designed to ensure Facebook remains a safe, secure and trusted environment for all users, including the many children who use the site.
If you have any questions or concerns, you can visit our FAQ page at http://www.facebook.com/help/?topic=wphotos.
The Facebook Team

It's ironic Facebook would mention their intentions are to protect children, since this photo was uploaded just for that very reason ~ to protect children. These circumcision rituals are performed on minor, non consenting *children* all over the world, including the United States.

According to Facebook, it's quite alright to *do* this to children, but certainly not for them to *see* it in a picture. (I maintain they are condoning it because of the many circumcision pictures they allow to remain on the site, see below for one example.)

This is one of many intactivist pictures I've heard of being removed for violations of vague Facebook rules, along with other human rights issues being depicted in pictures. Most recently there was a picture of two men kissing which caused quite a stir in the Facebook community.

Apparently now Facebook is not allowing advocating for children's rights as seen in pictures.

Here is the photo in question:

And Tate's graphic, which was put together by someone who wants to see this barbaric ritual come to an end so no more children suffer, is removed, but the one below remained for many weeks, despite having been reported many times to Facebook for promoting violence *towards children*.

Clearly the children in these pictures are not happy about what's being done to them and you certainly get the sense that their human rights are being violated. Why is one allowed to remain on Facebook but the other violates the TOS?

Welcome to Cherie Raymond!

I'd like to take a moment to let you all know Cherie Raymond of Natural Mama NZ has joined the Intactivist blog as our official graphic designs support person! Which is really, really good, since my knowledge of this is very limited.

You'll be seeing the face of the blog changing for the better because of Cherie. She's already started working on a proper graphic / logo for the blog so we are better recognized when we post around the internet.

Thank you, Cherie, for agreeing to help here and especially thank you for working with the control freak who publishes this blog... you're awesome and we're very grateful to have you here!

Cherie is located in New Zealand and is available for online graphic design work and can be reached through the blog's email address.

Compleat Mother ~ free article to share

Female Circumcision. Male Circumcision. Is There A Difference?©
by Karen Squires

"In looking at both Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and Male Genital Mutilation (MGM), it appears that there is no equal protection under the law for male infants and boys under the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Illegal to perform FGM, fine to perform MGM. Yes, willful destruction of the primary male sex organ is unethical. Or is it much more than unethical?" -Ken Derifield of The Intact Network

In the June 2, 2002 issue of The Salt Lake Tribune there is an article titled African Girls Suing Parents Over Circumcision. As I read it, I wondered how many others reading the article were reacting the same way I was. Did they see the same similarities between female and male circumcision. Were they wondering how we can be so blind as to not see we do the same thing everyday here in the U.S. to our baby boys?

Over the years I've read news articles, magazine stories and watched television documentaries on circumcision rituals in other countries. The images show boys, 12 years old, or around that age, being held down, legs apart, crying, as they are circumcised. I would look at the expression on the boys face and just cringe. How could the adults do that? How could the parents allow that to happen? My instinct is to protect my children. If anybody held one of my sons down like that, with a knife in hand, I'd be on top of them, attacking, saving my child.

When I read about, and see images of girls being circumcised, I react the same way. Some parents want their sons circumcised. If they had a girl would they want her circumcised? Genital mutilation is genital mutilation, male or female. A rose is a rose is a rose. Is there a difference between female and male circumcision?
Is there is a difference between our male babies being circumcised, and the older boys being cut in other countries. Lets talk about it and we'll see they are not so different.

Circumcision in the U.S. was started at the end of the 1800's in a vain attempt to stop or lessen masturbation which was blamed for dozens of diseases with unknown origins at that time.* Tens of thousands of girls were also circumcised (removal of the clitoris) for the same "reason." This was also recommended and found in U.S medical journals as late as 1959.

The goal in circumcising boys was to reduce sexual feelings. This was accomplished by damaging the penis as much as possible, without jeopardizing procreation. Most of the sensuous nerve endings were removed, exposing the remaining near surface nerve endings for destruction over time, and removing the natural mobility of the penile skin system. Changing the fully functional, sensuous, and mobile male sex organ into a desensitized, dowel-like organ was the desired result. Male circumcision remained very limited in the U.S. until new excuses were invented in the 1930's and 1940's.

In female circumcision, the goal is to ensure chastity by eliminating the girls' sex drive by removing the sensuous nerve endings in her external genitalia. The most common form of female circumcision is the removal of the entire clitoris, including the unseen shaft or root, creating a deep hole where the organ was located, and cutting away the labia minora (inner labia). The male foreskin is analogous to the female foreskin (clitoral hood) and labia minora. The loss of sensuous nerve endings and motion to the penis penile mobility is quite similar to this form of female circumcision. In some cultures one of the labia majora (outer labia) is also removed, the other outer labia is stretched over the wound, sewn, and holes punched through the now hidden female external genitalia for the passage of urine and menses. This is called infibulation.

Some girls have bled to death, died of infections or other complications. Some of our boys have bled to death, died of infections, gastric rupture or other complications. Damage is created in both cases.

Female circumcision is a custom. Circumcision of our baby boys is a custom. The American Academy of Pediatrics policy on circumcision concluded by saying "however, that it is legitimate for parents to take into account cultural, religious and ethnic traditions..." I disagree. In countries where girls are circumcised because of those reasons we shudder at the thought and consider the practice barbaric, so why is it okay to take those into consideration here.

Kenya has outlawed female circumcision. Anyone who circumcises a girl under age 18 years old can be fined $650 and may spend a year in prison.

This practice is obviously being carried out against the wishes of the girl. Why would anybody want that done to them? I would never agree to it being performed on me or my child. Would you? When we allow our baby boys to be circumcised should we be fined? After all, the baby is too young to be asked for their permission. If we waited until our sons were older and asked them if they wanted to be circumcised, what do you think they'd say? It's their body, not ours. The older boys we see are held down against their wishes. Our baby boys are strapped down on a board, their legs apart. They can't move. They are helpless.

When older boys and girls are circumcised it is often done without anesthesia or medication to ease the pain. Until recently our baby boys were not offered pain medication either. The pain is so intense that enough pain medication cannot be injected. Even a little Prilocaine or Lidocaine (and EMLA cream) given to an infant can result in nerve damage, brain damage or death (Canadian Nurse, Aug. 1994). Even now some Dr's perform the procedure without pain medication. If the baby does receive medication it is only during the procedure, and does not eliminate all the pain. The pain persists for days, and any friction, contact with urine and normal erections are painful for weeks. The baby gets nothing during the healing time.

Some believe there are medical reasons to circumcise our babies. There are none, not one single reason to routinely circumcise girls or boys, of any age. Today there is not one medical association in the entire world that recommends circumcision.

For every 100 circumcised males in the world there are 21 circumcised females. Routine circumcision is unethical to say the least, whether it's a girl, an older boy, or a baby. So before we all gasp in horror at what is going on over seas maybe we should look at what we are doing right here in our own country.

*A university of Chicago study (Journal of the American Medical Association) Found that males who are circumcised masturbate more often than intact males. More friction is necessary to excite the few remaining deep nerve endings of the desensitized penis. So much for that initial "reason." Like the masturbation myth, the later excuses have all been found to be false.

Find out more about circumcision by reading Complete, As Nature Intended. Available FREE via the internet in a pdf file. You'll need Acrobat Reader® to view this file. Acrobat Reader® is available free on the internet. Please email us for this pdf file and we'll email it to you. If you need a booklet please send $3.00 plus $1 S+H to: The Wise Mother, 1905 West 4700 South #402 SLC, Utah 84118

My deepest thanks to Ken Derifield of The Intact Network for contributing to this article. He can be reached at the following address; The Intact Network, 703 E. Walnut St. Washington, IN 47501
e-mail intacnet@dmrtc.net

FREE ARTICLE: You are free to publish this article on websites and print publications. You can also email it to friends and/or associates. We just ask that you include this information with the article and let us know where you published it. This article first appeared in The Wise Mother magazine, published in Salt Lake City, Utah. http://www.thewisemother.com email thewisemother@yahoo.com

We have more articles than can fit in our print edition. If you would like to have them emailed to you every Monday please sign up!

Finally on Twitter!

@Intactivist on Twitter... I am still setting up the account, but we're ready to have people follow us there.

There is a permanent link on the right hand side of the page to find us on Twitter or Facebook.

And as always, you can follow the blog several different ways & you can email me directly at intactivist.net@gmail.com with any questions, comments, rants, or submissions for publishing.

So much for my day off... I find myself on the computer and working on getting more material for blog posts for the upcoming week since the plans for today changed with the massive amounts of rain we got this morning!

I'm accepting submissions for upcoming blog posts! Be sure to send yours in today!

Intactivist Overheard

Quote from an intactivist mother in the United States:

To do a surgery on the sex organs of a baby for cosmetic and future sex-related reasons is a bunch of pedophilia. LADIES, I AM SAYING IT! I am tired of beating around the bush. Cutting and handling of baby genitals is medicalized pedopilia. I am telling you, I am straight up telling this to people now. Spread the word that circ is sick. It is no longer an argument of is it cleaner, better looking, the parents choice, etc. We've moved beyond that. Circumcision is here because the biggest pedophiles: Mr. Kellogg and Mr. Graham. They were such sickos that they created hospitals to torture, mutilate, and purposely traumatize children with genital torture and cutting... PEDOPHILES. And I am losing it, I can't take this country much longer. If a bill doesn't pass I'm moving to Denmark or any other place that has zero culture of mutilation. AND, for the record, I am tired of talking about it and having to educate and convince people not to f-ing cut up their own babies genitals. I am tired of talking about other peoples babies genitals. They should care more about protecting their baby from profiteering knife-wielding doctors.

Note from Intactivist.net: This frustration is all too common. People who are involved in this movement really, truly care about the children they are desperately trying to protect. Sometimes it gets to the point where we explode because it seems no one is hearing us. I heard another conversation where someone asked why does it seem like "intactivists" are crazy or sometimes even rude... that is not the intent at all. The answer given to this person was that it's just that we know too much, we know and we're trying to tell you, and we can see it so clearly for what it is, and we just want to protect children.

Strapping a baby down, or holding it down as is the case in many a bris, and then ripping apart that child's genitals and slicing parts off... does this really seem like a *sane* thing to do? Think on this for a moment, really meditate on it. Don't you agree that this should not even happen?

Mama's Boy, a poem for an intact boy

Mama's Boy

by Jill Galano © 2011

just fresh from my mommy's womb, not even a few hours old
the nurses came to ask about circumsion, though mommy had already told them no.
they asked several more times just to be sure, maybe mommy did not make it clear

she said no once again, and hoped that was enough because there was no way
she would hand me over and let them take me away

away to be cut with a very sharp knife, on my tender newborn baby skin ~
especially for no reason at all, except for the fact its been done many times over the years,
and to say no is just simply something many are not strong enough to do,
but they would probably change their minds really fast if they could hear the screams coming from their precious
baby boys, and see the downpouring of tears.

how could it be that this is ok? that doctors and nurses cut babies each day
yet Mothers who say NO! they mock and turn their heads away?

And for those who are not educated, surely you must know that they are cutting precious babies
each and everyday, offering no reasons that make any sense, yet you still hand your babies over and say OK?

so thankful my mommy knew from the start, that nobody, nowhere would be able to change her heart~
I am her precious baby boy, made perfectly from head to toe ~ one day I will thank her for loving and protecting me always,
and from my first day of life, being strong enough to tell them NO!.

Sarah's Journey to Bris Shalom

My Unexpected Journey to Bris Shalom

As a Jew I grew up thinking circumcision was normal. All of my younger cousins and the sons of family friends were circumcised. All of the children I babysat for were circumcised. The sound of a wailing baby at a Bris was something familiar – as was the apparently peacefully sleeping baby afterward. In fact, the first time I saw an intact baby boy I thought he looked strange.

When I was a teenager, my father started complaining about circumcision. He would say things like “I don’t understand why, in a world full of pain, we choose to put our baby boys through even more pain.” It was only when I was pregnant with my son and had a serious conversation with my father about circumcision that I discovered he would not have wanted to cut a son of his own. He said to me, "There is enough pain in this world, why would anyone want to inflict pain on a newborn baby so that pain is all he knows of life."

Although I grew up as a conservative Jew, learned to read Hebrew, had a Bat Mitzvah, and even kept kosher for a while, I gradually became a more secular Jew. I discovered a reconstructionist synagogue in Miami and loved the Rabbi’s philosophy that “Judaism is like you grandmother’s attic – you take things down and try them for a while. You keep what works in your life and put the rest back.”

Then, I moved to Gainesville and met my husband. A non-Jew, a heathen, an atheist. Yet he has more integrity and a stronger moral base than many of the very religious people I know. He also has his foreskin. When our relationship became serious we talked about how we would raise our children. Although he was totally on board with raising our children as reconstructionist or reformed Jews, he was adamant that they be left intact. I was fine with that, but I also really wanted to be able to honor deceased relatives through the Jewish tradition of giving a Hebrew name if we had a son. I just hoped we wouldn’t have a son.

We got pregnant after five years of marriage. I prayed for a daughter so that I wouldn’t have to face criticism from my family or search for a Rabbi who would do a baby naming without a Bris Milah. We had a baby boy. I called the Rabbi at the reconstructionist synagogue I had gone to in Miami and discussed our decision not to circumcise and our desire to have a baby naming ceremony. He agreed to do a naming ceremony for our son. We went to Miami when Devin was 3 months old and had a beautiful baby naming ceremony with most of my family and many family friends in attendance. To my surprise nobody criticized our decision to keep Devin intact.

It was only months after we had made our decision that I began researching circumcision. The videos of circumcisions looked like torture and made me sick. I think I was impacted even more by my research because I had never even considered not circumcising my son until I met my husband. I made the decision to keep Devin intact so he would look like his father (as if a child’s penis could ever look like an adult’s) and to eliminate what I thought was a slim chance of circumcision complications or penile injury. How little I knew! Complications and death from circumcision are actually common and the procedure alone is penile injury. I wonder what would have happened to my son had my in-laws not made the decision to keep my husband intact. Would I have unknowingly mutilated my son so that he could look like his mutilated father? It frightens me to admit that I probably would have. My awareness of the luck of our decision to keep our son whole makes me even more dedicated to spreading my story and promoting Bris Shalom so that other children will be spared.

Here’s what I’ve learned about Bris Shalom since then:

http://www.jewsagainstcircumcision.org/ is the primary website I've used to get information about Judaism and circumcision. There is debate among biblical scholars about whether circumcision was even part of Abraham's covenant w/ God. Here's an article on that http://salem-news.com/articles/november172010/genesis-deciphered-hn.php Even if it was part of the covenant, the Hebrew term Millah (as in Bris Milah) means to snip or clip, not to remove or amputate. There is a different word in Hebrew that has that meaning. Here is an article on how Bris Milah evolved from just a small slit to allow a few drops of blood to fall (like a pinprick) to snipping off only the part of the foreskin that hung past the end of the glans (so there was no forcible separation of foreskin from glans) to the modern Bris Millah that looks much like a typical circumcision as performed by a doctor http://www.cirp.org/library/history/peron2/. IMO even if you are a religious Jew, your child is not. He will have to make the choice to as an adult whether to abide by the mitzvoh or not. I am a reconstructionist, secular Jew. My son, Devin is nothing yet. He is just a child. If he chooses to be a conservative or orthadox Jew in the future that will be his choice and he can have a Bris Milah at that time. His body, his choice. Here is a collection of articles and websites related to Jews who choose to keep their sons intact http://www.drmomma.org/2009/06/circumcision-jewish-fathers-making.html Here is a facebook page for Jewish parents who plan to or have kept their sons intact http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=141962229156708&ref=ts

Written & contributed by

Sarah Rockwell

Care of the Intact Penis

I could write this blog post in one word:


That is literally what you have to do to take care of your intact baby boy's penis. Nothing at all.

The best way to remember this is:

Intact, don't retract.
Only clean what is seen.

Forcible retraction of a foreskin that is not yet ready to be retracted can be very damaging and is certainly painful for the owner of the penis.

At birth a newborn's prepuce (foreskin) is fused to the glans (the head) and it is very important that the caretakers of the baby understand this is normal. The foreskin protects the head of the penis.

Detachment of the foreskin happens gradually and will normally be fully retractable anywhere between 2 and 18 years of age, with variations in different individuals.

There is something else that can happen to your little boy that might appear alarming but I assure you, is also completely normal. It's called "ballooning". When the foreskin begins to detach but still has attachment at or around the end, the boy's penis will appear to balloon out when he urinates. If you see this happening to your son, do not retract! It's working on detaching on its own, exactly the way it's supposed to.

There is no need for a doctor's visit for this very temporary condition, unless you see definite signs of infection or irritation, which might indicate a need for a soothing cream or antibiotic. If there is no irritation, *leave it alone*. Ballooning can happen at any time during the period of detachment.

Please feel free to email if you have further questions or do some research online to verify I am correct in my advice.

Lindsay's Letter to Her son

Letter to my circumcised son

Dear Hunter,

Do you know that your father and I tried to conceive for almost a year and had no luck? When I did get pregnant with you, I was so happy. Words cannot even explain it.

I was so careful during my pregnancy, maybe even overly so. I researched many aspects of having a child, but one aspect fell threw the cracks. We didn’t know if you were going to be a boy or a girl. By the way I “knew” you were going to be a girl. Seems silly now, I know.

At the hospital I filled out all the paperwork and one was for circumcision and I am ashamed to admit it, but your father and I didn’t think anything of this at the time. We thought of a few things a little before though…one being every male is pretty much circumcised. Two That there were health benefits(reduced infections and diseases) . Three, no doctor would perform this unless it was a needed preventative measure.

I have made many mistakes in my life and none I would really change but this one. I would take that consent form and rip it to shreds. I sadly admit I didn’t read the fine print and it was kind of confusing, but again, I just went to number 1,2,3 and sign away I did.

I birthed you and held you close to my chest after your birth. I was in shock you were a boy. Later the next day after lots of snuggles, I handed you over to the doctor for your circumcision with no apprehension at all. Frankly I think because I was brainwashed and like the saying goes “ignorance is bliss”.

You were gone awhile and when you came back to the room you seemed “ok”. I changed your bloody diaper, but again I figured this was a means to an end. This would protect you. We took care of your penis exactly as we were supposed to: always pulling down the remaining skin and using lots of Vaseline.

It wasn’t until check ups when the doctors had to detach your skin that was reattaching that I was sent into my first shock. You screamed a horrid horrid scream and you bled.

One time I took you over to your grandparents, so you grandmother can attest to the sight we saw in your diaper…quite a bit of blood. More than a little. I almost took you to the doctor and maybe I should have, but the doctor said a little bleeding was fine. I think he should have been more specific, because looking back it was more than a little. We dealt with these reattachments for a while.

When you were maybe 9 months I met some mothers who were intactivsts and did NOT believe in circumcision. One actually said that the procedure was one of insanity. I took great offense to this. How dare she…I was protecting you, not harming you.

I defended circumcision for months after that…until one day I sat down and really dug into research. I cried and I cried. These “crazy” intactivsts were right. I was shocked, absolutely shocked to find out the AAP doesn’t recommend routine infant circumcision. They said the potential benefits(so not guaranteed) DID NOT outweigh the risks. WHAT? Why are doctors performing this surgery then.? All other surgery on children the opposite is true. The benefits outweigh the risks.

I was shocked to find out that in many other countries circumcision is just not done(except sometimes for religious reasons). In Europe the Circumcision rate is almost nil. What, again! Then I read about the little boys that died from this surgery. DIED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I guess even though I knew it was a surgery, I didn’t view it really as a surgery. If that makes any sense.

So, I knew after all this, that no other boys would be circumcised. So now came the hard part, convincing your dad. Although, to be fair, it wasn’t as hard as I thought. Maybe it would have been if you DID NOT have complications, but since you did, he agreed after a few discussions.

I did have apprension about saving your brother…I mean I knew no matter what we would NOT circumcise him, but I didn’t want you to think we cared more about your brother. He kind of just got the luck of the draw being the youngest. I know that sucks and isn’t a good enough reason FOR you, but it is what I have.

I want you to know though, that in protecting your brother, I was also apologizing to you . I was saying, I do this for him, but I do it for you too. Maybe that won’t make sense to you, but it did in my head. I loved him enough and you enough to save him. I will regret that I didn’t save you and didn’t look into this matter more closely. I am hoping you will forgive me and knowing your nature you will. I have saved a few other babies from circumcision as well. Those babies are for you too. I do this in your honor. Of course I do this for them, but you are always in my mind when I handle this delicate subject.



Written by Lindsay, who I made acquaintance with on Facebook. Thank you, Lindsay, so much for sharing your letter to your son. I wish you healing.

Howard Stern is an intactivist

While Ron Low was being interviewed by Howard Stern, Howard stated *several* times that he believes circumcision is wrong and that he thinks we should not do this to babies.

Howard, whether you admit it or not, you ARE AN INTACTIVIST. :-)

Anyway, great job Ron! I'm just tickled that Howard goes into the sexual aspects of what circumcision robs from men.

Just one little pet peeve of mine, Howard... it's not "uncircumcised" if you live with your original foreskin.. you are intact. Uncircumcised is a man who has restored his foreskin.

WARNING: Adult language.

This is acceptable?

A picture of a freshly circumcised infant penis. How can anyone look at this and think we need to have this done? How can anyone think this is normal?

Photo by: Patti Ramos

Trauma to Soft Tissue Theory

I am an anti corporal punishment activist (search "Swayseeker corporal punishment" on the internet.)

Calcium can be laid down from corporal punishment. Could this apply to circumcision where there is stress and anger from chafing at the circumcision injury? See below:

Recently I contacted The Anger and Stress Management Centre of South Africa and gave them this information:
Adelle Davis, in Lets Get Well, tells us this: "It is now generally accepted that severe crippling arthritis is a psychosomatic illness resulting largely from unconscious accumulated anger" (for example, the beaten pupil is not allowed to express his anger to the teacher beating him or her). Dr Hans Seyle found that emotional stress (corporal punishment is very stressful) and harm to soft tissues produced by hitting and so on can cause calcium to be laid down in the damaged soft tissues of the body of animals. Dr Seyle produced the counterparts of such human diseases as arthritis and hardening of the arteries in this manner. Diseases such as scleroderma myositis, dermomyositis and bursitis have in common calcification of soft tissues. The tissues may become calcified following such slight injuries as bumping into furniture, pressure of brassiers and so on. It seems to me that many could be suffering permanent damage due to excess calcium having been deposited because of corporal punishment and this permanent damage could be causing anger.

The Anger and Stress Management Centre of South Africa agrees with me that stress can cause many diseases.

In my view the combination of stress and hitting is particularly bad.

Calcification at the circumcision site?

Eddie Miller (Swayseeker - find me on the internet)

A reply Eddie got in regards to soft tissue trauma:

Mr. Miller,

I must admit that I am certainly not an expert on Corporal punishment and its effects in regards to trauma in the subcutaneous tissues. However, in researching the issue of soft tissue calcification, there would certainly seem to be many correlations to the results of corporal punishment and the results of trauma from injury to the tissues. It is well known that calcifications can develop in the muscle tissues from bleeds induced by trauma such as sports and injury. The healing process can result in calcifications in the muscle and soft tissues resulting in decreased strength and pain. It would seem reasonable to me that an injury induced by trauma from a blow delivered for corporal punishment purposes could also result in calcification to the tissues damaged. There are no studies that I was able to find that specifically targeted the injuries that result from corporal punishment.

Medical Director
Clinical Trials of Texas, Inc.

Stop Genital Mutilation

These are the faces of intactivism.

Patricia ~ You did a beautiful job. Thank you for the work you put into this project.

Video is produced by:
Patricia Alejandra Figueroa

So what exactly does an intact penis LOOK like?

This morning I realized there are still many women here in the United States who still don't have any idea what an intact penis actually looks like. Many women in this country haven't even seen one *in person*.

Before you click, please read: Although these images are most definitely naked men and would be considered adult material, they are NOT porn.

There are plenty of penis pictures on our sister site... warning, again, this is NSFW but it's not porn... just some healthy beautiful penises, both cut and intact. Anyone may submit photos to be displayed here anonymously.

On this blog itself there are plenty of comparison photos as well:

Another Telling Shot

Frenulum Comparison

Cut and Uncut

Keratinization and Circumcision Status

Another Comparison

Cut Vs Uncut

Photos of Prepuce

Also, someone referred me to a gallery of photographs of men on Circumstitions. Take a good look, ladies. There's really nothing weird at all about these men. In fact, I think the foreskin makes it more interesting. These men have a special secret place on their bodies, just as women do. Why do we feel the need to cause men to be *exposed* constantly? The glans is intended to be *internal*. Let's leave it that way.

The Three Zones of Penile Skin

The Three Zones of Penile Skin

Visit this webpage to see pictures that very clearly show how extensive the male foreskin actually is. Extremely educational.

They Cut Babies, Don't They?

Some history of circumcision in the United States

Did you know that circumcision first became widespread in the U.S. as a cure against "self-pollution" a.k.a. masturbation, thought that the time to cause brain damage? And that one of its biggest proponents was Dr. J.H. Kellogg, of cereal fame? (I am never going to look at my cornflakes the same way, again!) He had a fascination for pushing genital mutilation on others:

"In younger children, with whom moral considerations will have no particular weight, other devices may be used. Bandaging the parts has been practised with success. Tying the hands is also successful in some cases; but this will not always succeed, for they will often contrive to continue the habit in other ways, as by working the limbs, or lying upon the abdomen. Covering the organs with a cage has been practised with entire success. A remedy which is almost always successful in small boys is circumcision, especially when there is any degree of phimosis. The operation should be performed without administering an anaesthetic, as the brief pain attending the operation will have a salutary effect upon the mind, especially if it be connected with the idea of punishment, as it may well be in some cases. The soreness which continues for several weeks interrupts the practice, and if it had not previously become too firmly fixed, it may be forgotten and not resumed. …

...In females, the author has found the application of pure carbolic acid to the clitoris an excellent means of allaying the abnormal excitement, and preventing the recurrence of the practice in those whose will power has become so weakened that the patient is unable to exercise entire self-control."

from this link: http://www.historyofcircumcision.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=48&Itemid=0

In the 1950's and onward, circumcision was encouraged for other reasons, notably that of "hygiene". Some proponents held that it was a great way to reduce std's (something unproven as of today). Soap and water, people! We do not cut off baby girl clitorises or labia for better "hygiene"...or actually, not any more. The fact is, circumcision was routinely practised against minor boys AND girls in the US., until the 1997 passing of the FGM Bill! I actually know some women who have been circumcised! Until March 30, 1997, female circumcision was a free-for-all. When will our baby boys get the same protection?

To mark the enactment of the FGM Bill, and to pressure for the protection of baby boys, last week was Genital Integrity Awareness Week. There were demonstrations held all over the U.S. and Canada, notably, on Capitol Hill.

There are NO and cannot be ANY HEALTH BENEFITS to cutting off healthy functioning tissue! STOP propagating myths and allowing child abuse!

Thank you.

Franny Max

I Love Foreskin

I LOVE foreskin. I wish that were all I had to say. Unfortunately, there’s a comparison to be made, and it isn’t one of two different naturally occurring penises. If it were, I wouldn’t bother to tell people why I liked one and not the other. But, because there is force involved, and because I’m an activist opposing that force, I must also say that I can’t fully enjoy circumcised sex, and why. This is my personal opinion, and not something that anyone has to agree with in order to understand that forced circumcision is wrong; but it is just another example of how forcing amputation on one body effects more people than just the one who was cut.

When I first became sexually active, I wasn’t comfortable touching my boyfriend’s penis. Something was just wrong about it. Even though he said he enjoyed it, I felt that what I was doing must be painful. I didn’t know how hard my touch should be, and the friction creeped me out in a way I didn’t even understand. All it took was ONE stroke of an intact penis and I understood everything! There was no hesitation or worry that I was doing something wrong. It was sexy and fluid. I realized that there was a big difference and I started paying attention. I’ve been lucky that a good percentage of my lovers have been intact, and this is what I’ve learned about myself, and both types of penises.

Feeling connected is what I enjoy the most about sex. In fact, it’s probably 80% of my arousal. Intimacy is the point; the physical acts are just how I get there. So, if I don’t feel connected, the physical act is literally less pleasurable.

I am really oral. Meaning, using my mouth is a huge sexual turn on for me. There is something incredibly intimate about it. This is why I cannot date a smoker. Kissing should be deep and sexy, and the taste of unhealthy lungs really gets in the way of that. When I am giving head, I am not performing a service for the sole purpose of stimulating the penis. I am connecting, and making love with my mouth. I am right there, enjoying everything in the moment. I love to look at it, and smell it, and feel it, and taste it. I’m engaging in a dance with lots of different moves. If the foreskin is gone, my dance has fewer moves; that’s less enjoyable, but not actually the problem.

I’m a very compassionate person. That’s why I speak out against violating human rights. I see a crime against someone’s rights almost as a crime against myself. I’m sensitive, and the idea of pain causes me distress. The idea of a baby being forced to endure pain . . . well, you get the point.

When I discovered how a circumcision was achieved, I was VERY disturbed (read: cried all night). After that, when I gave head to a man who had been circumcised, the physical proof (a scar instead of a foreskin, and possibly other damage) of the torture he endured as an infant was an immediate mood kill. How could I connect with that? I quite literally had to regress myself to an immature place. I had to be me before I understood how circumcision was done. I had to forget what I had learned for a little while. Forget what I was seeing when I wanted to connect by seeing. Forget what I felt when I wanted to feel. This was like a numbing of my senses, a wall against reality. It worked, and I was able to feel connected and enjoy myself, but I was pretending to be a different person. It wasn’t ME connecting; it was the me of a few months, or years before.

As I am further removed from that person by time and change, that task has become harder and harder. The intimacy in that moment is about being fully immersed in the other person’s body. Trying to connect with a constant reminder of parts being forcibly removed from a screaming infant is impossible. Finding someone inside me who can do it is now so difficult I’m tired of trying.

The changes circumcision brings to sex are drastic and vast. I won’t state them all here, but I’ll go over the mechanical ones that affect me the most. Once the man has penetrated, the skin is pulled back to the base of the penis and when there's outward motion, the foreskin is what slides up the penis, NOT the vaginal skin. This keeps the wet inside, whereas, without the foreskin, it is dragged out with every movement and exposed to the air where it dries. Not only is there a risk of drying, but there’s friction too. By the way, the sexually responsive nerves in the vagina are pressure sensitive, not friction sensitive. So, while some women may find friction to be a psychologically arousing sensation that reminds them of what’s going on down there, I find it distracting and often painful.

The foreskin has tens of thousands of nerve endings. When it is pulled back the man has sensation down his shaft, so his strokes are deep and short, which keeps the partners close and intimate. A circumcised man usually wants to stimulate the head by pulling it out to the tighter vaginal opening, because it is the most sensitive part of the penis after the foreskin is removed. These longer strokes create a feeling of being further away, and can cause air to be pulled into the vagina (something I hate).

When I am distracted by all of these uncomfortable sensations and worries, then I am not really connected; I’m not really there. I’m dealing with the stress of the situation in my head instead of being intimate. So, since intimacy is a big part of what makes my sensations pleasurable, then I’m just not feeling as good, sometimes to the point of it not feeling good at all. And don’t forget, all of these differences remind me of WHY, and I’m back again to screaming babies.

It breaks my heart to think that what I have to say would make a man feel bad. Naturally there’s a variable in all men, circumcised or not, and there are lots of other things that make sex good or bad. For a lot of women, the issues here may not affect them as much, or at all. But I have to honestly say that as the genital integrity movement grows, more and more women are realizing why they have at times found sex to be uncomfortable or painful. I share because it’s the truth, and because it needs to be shown that the pain of circumcision isn’t momentary, or exclusive to the circumcised.

Discovering the truth was a pretty dark and painful moment, but luckily I found out about foreskin restoration that same night. It gave me the tiniest bit of solace to know that a man who feels this loss can do something about it. I know it’s not a perfect fix, but when I have to be the bearer of bad news to a man who doesn’t know what he’s lost, I’m so grateful that I can give it to him wrapped in the bright side: it can get better!

Contributed & written by Aubrey, originally published on Restoring Tally, 2011.

Reader's Letter: To the Intactivist Mothers & Wives

The only words I removed from this reader's letter are anything that could identify people that he refers to since I do not have specific permission to publish their points of view. I am happy to publish this letter from a reader, though, because it addresses the efforts of all the wives and mothers of the intactivist movement and I want to share this with all of us, for there are so many of us putting our energy into this, and getting this kind of acknowledgement every so often gives us a little more encouragement to go on another day. ~Monica

What will the historian of the far future think when they encounter the 20th century English speaking obsession with making the penis bald, almost always without pain reduction? The obtuseness of Masters & Johnson to how foreskin enhances intercourse? The reluctance of parents and doctors to implement the recommendation of the AAP, first made in 1971? The reluctance of People magazine to touch intactivism? They will see us as a seemingly advanced scientific society held in thrall by a neolithic sexual right of passage. As a culture restlessly talking about and exploring sexual activity, but missing a central point. Feminists pounded the table about sexual violence to women in relationships and on the streets at night, but were silent about the sexual violence done to infant boys in every maternity ward.

I know of one American medical school prof who has gone on record as opposing RIC: a fellow who teaches pediatric urology at medical school. The Head of Pediatric Urology at a teaching hospital, an Australian woman who holds no brief for RIC, estimates that about 25% of her caseload is due to circumcision problems. But even she won't take a public stand against it. "Official" and "polite" America still ain't ready for foreskin in the bedroom and locker room.

The American obsession with circumcision has led a surprising number of women of your generation to throw caution to the winds, open the doors to their bedrooms, and risk TMI. I wonder if this struggle is not changing the entire women's culture of sex and the body. Again, this is for future historians to decide. Victory is ours, but it will probably require another 30-50 years, and will be almost entirely due to lay women like yourself.

A Letter to My Son (Lauren's story)

A Letter To My Son
By Lauren Stone © 2011

My Beloved Son,

Before you were born I was already planning all the best things I knew I could do for you. I would try and ensure that you had a gentle birth. I would give you the milk from my breasts although I had no support from my family, because I knew this was best. I would love you with all my heart and protect you from harm.

I read every book I could find on pregnancy and natural child care. I soaked it all in like a sponge. The one thing that I could not find was accurate information on circumcision. My public library hadn’t a single book that mentioned anything negative about it. So I asked men that I knew what they thought was best. I asked both circumcised and intact men. Some said it was good that I was asking questions, some thought I was silly, but answered nonetheless. Surprisingly they all said that it was probably the best way to go. Even my own intact father. My brother had been circumcised. I talked with my doctor who explained that is was a quick, simple, painless procedure and there was nothing to worry about. It was just ‘routine.’ I believed at that point that I was informed. I was not.

When you were taken from me at the hospital and carried down the hallway to a 'sound proof' room something inside me started to panic. A million thoughts were swirling through my head all at once... and then I heard you scream. It was a sound unlike anything I had ever heard in my life.

The hair stood up on the back of my neck and my knees buckled. It felt like my heart was no longer beating and I could feel my face flush and tears start to fall down my cheeks. There was a knot in my gut and I wanted to vomit. I was shaking and I muttered, “Oh God what have I done?” A nurse, almost laughing, said to me, “Oh he’s okay honey, he’ll be just fine and he won’t remember a thing.” I grasped at that delusion for a moment, but I knew that I would never forget it. I would never be the same person again.

When they handed you back to me I could hardly breath. The look on your face was that of shock, pain and betrayal. I held you close to me and whispered through my tears, “Oh my God, I am so sorry. I am so sorry, I am so sorry...”

All the sparkle was gone from your eyes and I knew that I had been lied to. I felt so betrayed and confused. I felt such guilt for having hurt you this way. How could I have not instinctively known that this was wrong? How could everyone in my country, in the world, not instinctively know that this was wrong? Why didn’t even a single person ever say to me that you were perfect as you were and this pain was unnecessary. Or even mention pain at all? I was so full of hatred towards the doctors. They knew what they were doing, and they lied to me. They hurt you and thought nothing of it. I was so full of hatred toward myself for letting those bastards hurt you that way.

I made a choice that wasn't mine to make, one that I wasn't equipped to make, one that I should never have been allowed to make.

Every time I bathed you, changed your diaper, or let you run free, I was reminded of my own guilt, of my own culpability for your suffering. I felt so ashamed. So stupid. So gullible for having believed it was nothing serious.

I close my eyes and I still see the dazed look of confusion in your face. The sound of your screams are seared into my brain. Not a single day has gone by that my heart doesn’t hurt. I am scarred too. But the scars I bear are in my soul.

The more I learned, the angrier and more deeply hurt I became. Especially when I realized the extent of what was taken from you and that it would affect you for the rest of your life. That it would impact your sexuality and your relationships.

I started to tell other moms what it was like, what I had learned, and not to let this happen to their babies. I didn’t want any other babies to be hurt or any other mother to ever feel the way I feel. My pain is what drives me to do something to stop this insanity.

28 years later I am still talking to moms and dads, to grandparents, to anyone who will listen. I don’t ever want another mother to say they didn’t know, or ask why no one told them the truth before it was too late. I think one of the hardest realities a parent can ever face is knowing that their own ignorance caused their child harm.

I saved your brother from the suffering I put you through. He is whole and safe and happy. I protected him because I learned the ugly truth the hard way. At your expense. He is very grateful that I learned to do better.

There is nothing I wouldn’t give to go back and change things. But that isn’t possible, so I work hard to try and save other baby boys from suffering needlessly as you did. I talk and talk and talk so that no other boy will be robbed of his right to a whole body.

So my darling son, I say this to you: I love you now as I have loved you always. I hope you can forgive me for what I didn’t know.



The above letter was written and contributed by Lauren Stone and is copyrighted, and has been published in several places on the web. Lauren asks readers to visit the NOCIRC page for more information about how to help stop the routine and unecessary circumcision of infants.