Saturday, May 23, 2020

The Coronavirus and the Complexity of the Intactivist Movement

It's always interesting to hear male infant circumcision advocates try to write off intactivists as being this way or that way, of belonging to this party or the other, of espousing these views or those.

It's a defense mechanism to try and associate a group of people with whom one disagrees, with another group of people that are basically a pariah of society.

Attempting to tarnish the reputation of a person making an argument, without having to refute what they are trying to say is the signature move of a person with weak arguments.

If you can't attack the argument, attack the person, AKA "ad hominem."

There are many variations of smearing tactics; guilt by association, poisoning the well, "no true Scotsman," division and construction just to name a few. I've studiously analyzed every dismissal tactic thrown at intactivists for years.

Quite possibly the most commonly used attack against intactivists is that they are all somehow "antisemites." The Godwin's Law (anyone who disagrees with me is a Nazi) attack can't always work because some of the most vocal opponents to male infant genital mutilation happen to be Jewish. So when that happens, you're a "self-hating Jew." (No true Scotsman)

When religious, right-wing leaning types try to dismiss intactivists, a favorite tactic to attempt a "gotcha" moment is by bringing up abortion (tu quoque), except it actually shoots those arguing for "the rights of the child" in the foot. (tu quoque back)

Pro-abortionists can't win the "It's my baby, my choice" argument either because they trip over their own "Whose body? Whose choice?" rhetoric.

"Those who oppose male infant circumcision must obviously be White Supremacist members of the KKK," some might say (guilt by association). Except male infant genital mutilation has become so ingrained in American culture, White Supremacists have actually taken it up as a sign as being "All-American."

The rule is, associate intactivists with the most hated group of people to invalidate their argument.

But associating the person making an argument with a hated group or person is logically fallacious, as it doesn't necessarily invalidate an argument; an argument stands or falls on its own merit.

Why Now?
Why am I bringing this up now?

Why am I talking about the complexity of the demographics of the intactivist movement?

Because at this point in time, there is a number of intactivists who ally themselves with the anti-vax movement, who are associating with Donald Drumpf supporters (this reference should tell any of my readers how I feel about the current president), who are openly espousing the idea that the current pandemic is a "hoax" to try and make vaccines mandatory, who are calling for the immediate calling off of the corona virus lock-downs in the name of "freedom."

And there is no doubt that circumcision advocates are going to seize this opportunity to say "See? Intactivists are all racist Donald Drumpf supporters who probably watch Alex Jones, oppose vaccinations and believe the world is flat."

It needs to be made clear that intactivism, the idea that a person is born with human rights, and that the most precious of human rights is that of the right to one's own body, and that baring medical necessity, doctors have no business mutilating the genitals of a healthy, non-consenting individual, let alone be giving his parents any kind of "choice" in the matter, is not exclusive to any one group.

Intactivism is an idea espoused by people of all walks of life, and no doubt some of them are going to be right-wing drumpf supporters who buy into the idea that the current coronavirus is a "hoax" and that people shouldn't be obliged to wear masks, etc.

The fact that a valid argument is being made by a person who has questionable beliefs does not invalidate the argument; the argument has to be refuted. Attacking the person, and not the argument itself is committing the logical fallacy of "ad hominem."

An argument isn't made invalid merely by pointing out that the person making it belongs to the Republican Party, supports Donald Drumpf, listens to Alex Jones, or is otherwise a member of a group you know people may not like.

It is not helpful that some intactivists are vociferously opposing vaccinations, supporting the current president and  buying into conspiracy theories that the government is trying to vaccinate everyone to make them "docile sheep," that this is "a social experiment to see who follows," but this can't be helped.

(I think it's funny to hear people engaging in mass psychosis accuse others of being "sheep.")

It is a mistake to try and "zero in" on "what kind of people" intactivists are, because intactivism isn't a movement of this or that party, of this or that group of people.

There are intactivists on the left, intactivists on the right, intactivists who support Donald Drumpf, intactivists who support Joe Biden, and even intactivists who vote third party. Some intactivists are pro-abortion, some are pro-life. Some intactivists are pro-vaccines, others are anti-vaxx. Some are pro gun control, others, and I know a few personally, oppose it.

All of them agree on this one point, however; cutting the genitals of a healthy, non-consenting individual is a violation of the most basic of human rights.

Intactivism isn't endemic to any one group of people. It's rather asinine to insinuate otherwise.

This Intactivist
I can't speak for all intactivists, but I for one am an intactivist that makes a distinction between vaccines and medically necessary surgery, versus elective, cosmetic, medically unnecessary surgery. Vaccination is based on sound science, and the proof is in the eradication of diseases like small pox and polio.

Vaccines have been proven to strengthen the immune system against pathogens that cause disease. They do not remove any flesh from the body, and they are recommended by every respected medical organization, unlike male infant circumcision.

I am of the opinion that, intactivists need to be careful not to conflate vaccines, which have been proven to prevent disease, with elective surgery, and even non-surgical intervention like wearing masks, social distancing and washing one's hands, in order to all vaccines and all surgery.

As for this blogger, I am a father to three beautiful children, and I would be devastated should any harm befall them. Coronavirus has infected people within my family and within my own circle of friends, some of whom have died. Having my own children die is frightening, so we all wear masks when we go outside and wash our hands with disinfectant whenever we come home. If a vaccine that has been proven to prevent coronavirus comes out, I will definitely consider it for me and my children, because it will prevent a highly contagious disease with a high probability of death.

This is a related, but bigger topic that warrants its own post, but intactivists also need to be careful that we do not eat our own. If there's anything certain that can be said about intactivists, it's that we are a diverse group of people with often conflicting opinions. It's a sad thing, but time and time again, I've witnessed intactivists falling out with each other, swearing not to talk to each other again because they disagreed on one topic or another.

I myself have been blocked on social media by intactivists who are pro-gun control, and recently, I've witnessed intactivists blocking each other because they disagree on the current lockdown and whether or not the coronavirus pandemic is a "hoax perpetuated by the government to see who is a sheep or not." Can we please stop mixing issues and focus on our common goal? Intactivists eat each other, we keep being split up into different factions and this is why we can't ever get anything DONE. In order to move forward, we're going to have to put our differences aside and work toward our common goal of condemning male infant circumcision for the pseudocience and medical fraud it is.

ANYWAY, I Close with My Mission Statement
The foreskin is not a birth defect. Neither is it a congenital deformity or genetic anomaly akin to a 6th finger or a cleft. Neither is it a medical condition like a ruptured appendix or diseased gall bladder. Neither is it a dead part of the body, like the umbilical cord, hair, or fingernails.

The foreskin is not "extra skin." The foreskin is normal, natural, healthy, functioning tissue, present in all males at birth; it is as intrinsic to male genitalia as labia are to female genitalia.

Unless there is a medical or clinical indication, the circumcision of a healthy, non-consenting individuals is a deliberate wound; it is the destruction of normal, healthy tissue, the permanent disfigurement of normal, healthy organs, and by very definition, infant genital mutilation, and a violation of the most basic of human rights.

Without medical or clinical indication, doctors have absolutely no business performing surgery in healthy, non-consenting individuals, much less be eliciting any kind of "decision" from parents, and much less expect to be reimbursed.

In any other case, reaping profit from non-medical procedures on non-consenting individuals constitutes medical fraud.

Genital integrity, autonomy and self-determination are inalienable human rights. I am against the forced circumcision of healthy, non-consenting minors because it violates these rights.

Genital mutilation, whether it be wrapped in culture, religion or “research” is still genital mutilation.

It is mistaken, the belief that the right amount of “science” can be used to legitimize the deliberate violation of basic human rights.

The views I express in this blog are my own individual opinion, and they do not necessarily reflect the views of all intactivists. I am but an individual with one opinion, and I do not pretend to speak for the intactivist movement as a whole, thank you.


Related Posts:
RED HERRING: The Abortion Debate

Intactivism: It's Not Just for Gentiles Anymore

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