Some fellow intactivists contacted me and asked why I had signed this statement. They argued that many of the „so-called antisemitic statements“ listed in that statement would be basically true and the genital autonomy movement shouldn’t try to mute voices who would speak out these „truths.“ I was irritated to see some intactivists being trapped in a tunnel of bad arguments that doesn’t lead to success. I wonder what these intactivists really want to achieve.
After all, we intactivists are talking about human rights for ALL CHILDREN, the children of Jewish and Muslim parents included. (If we excluded them by treating them specially because of being Jewish, for minimizing the chance of being accused for antisemitism, THAT would be antisemitic, indeed.)
So if we want to change systems globally in order to protect ALL CHILDREN from genital harm, we should always remember that we need to frame our arguments in a way that doesn’t alienate the very people we want to convince that they’re doing wrong.
Who is the opposite site?
- Physicians who continue to use pseudo-medical reasons for circumcision on boys.
- Politicians who refuse to protect boys from genital mutilation while they have already implemented female protection in the laws.
- Parents who continue to force genital mutilation on their children for any non-medical reasons.
So we’re addressing the PPP. And none of them will listen if we insult them in any way.
P1 – Physicians
As I see it, it will be the best step to convince P1 (physicians) firstly because there’s so much bulletproof evidence now that there is no pathological phimosis as a legal medical indication in newborns and children, even up to adulthood. So physicians have to check every single case and use less destructive treatments in the first place. I am so happy that Germany finally has released Phimosis Guidelines for the medical profession in 2021 which are now „state of the art“ and therefore are binding for doctors. This also is a first way to invalidate the German Circumcision Law because it at least requires doctors to treat „lege artis.“
P2 – Politicians
Then we should convince P2, the politicians, that boys deserve the same legal protection that girls already enjoy. This double standard has to be ended.
P3 – Parents
After that, P3, the parents, will no longer be able and find doctors who practice the genital mutilation of their children. Of course, a criminal law does not protect in itself. There will always be people who break the law – and will have to be punished accordingly. That much is also true for all other forbidden criminal offenses in all countries.
Jewish politicians, clergymen, and parents play A ROLE in the whole circumcision drama, of course, but NOT THE ROLE. There are countries with high circumcision rates where no Jewish person has ever had any influence. Of course many orthodox Jews raise their voices, fearing that otherwise they will have to face the fact that they themselves were victims and may have perpetuated this ritual. (This is what I call „Collective Cognitive Dissonance.“) There are undoubtedly Jews, Muslims, and, in general, parents from genital mutilating communities who want to resist their community’s pressure to circumcise their children who would welcome having a legal basis for opting out of genital mutilation of their children.
But no matter what religion or non-religious worldview someone has – you won’t make them listen to your arguments if you blame them for being a victim or a perpetrator. So focusing on conspiracy theories or myths when arguing about genital mutilation DOESN’T HELP AT ALL.
It’s all about children worldwide, not about Jews. This is why I signed the Statement.
- Eliyahu Ungar-Sargon: How to Deradicalize a Movement
- Ryan McAllister: An Elephant in the Genital Autonomy Movement