Dadvice #7: A Skeptic’s Letter To Intactivists
I have enjoyed this past week or so as we’ve debated “pro-circumcision vs. Intactivism.” You all have enlightened me. I respect your cause. In fact, I would like to officially crown you the winner.
You win, in the sense that I now see “staying intact” as a legitimate and respectable alternative to circumcision.
You win, in the sense that you seized the opportunity to use the comments sections of both Dadvice #5: How Is It Natural To Circumcise Your Son? and Dadvice #6: Is Circumcision Unnecessary And/Or Immoral to inform not just me, but anyone curious enough to watch our debate, with a plethora of knowledge that we normally would not have exposure to.
You win, in the sense that you have proven that Intactivists can make a powerful presence and be very persuasive.
(In regards to me being curious to hear from those who oppose circumcision but are pro-choice regarding abortion, I realize now that was completely fruitless. I forget that those who are pro-choice don’t regard a fetus as a human life because of the technicality that he or she hasn’t either passed through the birth canal or been surgically removed via C-section. So you’re right; there’s really no comparison.)
In the end, however, I am still sticking to my beliefs on why I personally support circumcision, for the very reasons I have already explained. So while you did win the debate for the world to see, you didn’t win me over.
That’s not a lack on your part; you can’t help my resoluteness.
Throughout our debate, I have asked professionals (doctors, medical students, and an owner of a day care) for their personal takes on the necessity of circumcision; not hinting at my own stance before inquiring them. All their experience-based answers reflected my own beliefs.
If not, I would have been willing to change my mind on this.
Therefore, I believe it’s fair to say that I have been pretty open-minded to what is a new concept for me: Intactivism.
And I guess that’s what bothers me about Intavistism. I don’t see how as its subscribers you are open-minded to any other viewpoint on this: Either all or nothing.
It’s been made pretty clear to me now that unless I vow to circumcise my next (yet to be conceived or born) son, then I am ultimately making a selfish, prideful, self-serving, immoral choice.
Go back and read all the comments on those two posts. Notice how few Intactivists had any words or even tones of encouragement. (Some did.)
But for the most part, I was shouted at (indicated by ALL CAPS, re-occuring italics and exclamation points!) and spoken to in a sharply condescending tone.
It has been demonstrated to me that in the blogosphere, Intactivists have power in their large presence, but overcompensate their passion and zeal in a way that comes across as bullying. Yes, bullying.
Not that I am offended. I instead find the whole thing to be such a curious event.
I am convinced that the comments left on a blog post can easily send a stronger message than the one the actual author writes. The way the majority of Intactivists have chosen to represent themselves, as a whole, is clear for anyone (including those readers who pondering Intactivism) to go back and read.
I think with a better bedside manner, Intactivists could really get their point across in a way that is not so loud that we “cutters” can not hear it. I question your approach, not your morality or your competence; like I feel you have done towards me.
That’s my constructive criticism; though again, ultimately, the way Intactivists have represented themselves in my comments sections is not the reason for my refusal to convert.
This is not an emotional experience for me. It is for you. I think that’s where the disconnect is between us.
Sincerely, I thank you for what I have learned about circumcision from you. These deep discussions have indirectly caused me to think of other hot button issues (or at least strangely moral ones) like “how young is too young to medicate a child for ADHD and/or depression?” (Obviously, I’ll be publishing that one soon, along with one about how questioning if surgical birth control, getting snipped, is like playing God.)
No matter what, we’re still cool. I enjoy being your frenemy. Let me know the next time you’re in Nashville; I’ll let you buy me a Starbucks.
Your Open-minded, Yet Barbarically Cut Fellow Parent,