I've been following Matt Walsh for a while now.
Because, although I know he is unpopular, particularly in leftist circles, he makes some very interesting points concerning children and their bodily autonomy.
From the get go, I want to make it clear that I do not agree with every single point Matt Walsh makes. He and I disagree on gun control, for instance. He believes there should be zero sex education in schools. He believes that nobody, even consenting adults, should be allowed to transition socially or medically.
Where he and I tend to agree is pushing back on this idea that children can give informed consent to be put on puberty blockers, such as Lupron, and that teens who aren't yet of the age of majority, can consent to life-altering surgery, such as double mastectomy and genital surgery.
*MY* stance in all of this parallels my views on male infant circumcision; a child cannot give informed consent to elective, cosmetic, permanent, irreversible surgery that radically changes the mechanics of his genitals for the rest of his life. An adult man who is of age of consent, however, should have the right to choose to get circumcised, if indeed, that's what he wants.
Matt and I diverge on this point; he believes that NO ONE should be allowed to alter their bodies radically, EVER. To which I say, at some point, you're going to have to let adults make their own decisions. I fully support an adult person's right to live as they want, and alter their body as they see fit. This includes circumcision, as well as surgery to alter one's genitals radically and even double-mastectomy. It's none of Matt's, or anyone else's business what a person wants to do to their body to live life as they want.
Matt Walsh has recently released a documentary called "What is a Woman?" where he questions gender ideology and the "affirmative treatment" of children, and it's causing waves on social media. Of course there are people who don't want you to see it. Some people don't want you to watch American Circumcision "because it's full of antisemitic hate." However, in my opinion, there being people who don't want you to see something is even all the more reason why people SHOULD see it.
Arguments stand or fall on their own. If Matt's arguments are weak, they'll be refuted. If they're not, then people will have to consider his points. The fact that people desperately want you to NOT see it, attack Matt with accusations of "transphobia" and "bigotry", before even watching the film, tells you that maybe, just maybe, the man might have something important to say. I see people attacking Matt as a "transphobic bigot" as no different than people attacking intactivists as "antisemitic nazis." All empty ad hominem meant to discredit and distract from the points being made.
Intactivists, I ask, what do we think about the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), or any other American medical institution that promotes the "medical benefits of male infant circumcision"? The CDC? The AMA? We insist that they're wrong because they contradict the consensus of medical institutions around the world; that male infant circumcision is unnecessary, and may even be harmful.
Matt Walsh is in a similar position; he stands and questions medical organizations who promote the idea that children who are gender non-conforming should be put on puberty blockers and on the path to medical transition before they can even give informed consent.
Medical organizations have been wrong before. Medical institutions taught Galen's mistaken works on anatomy for 1000 years before they were questioned, and anyone who did was ridiculed and labeled a heretic. For the longest time the WHO listed homosexuality as a mental illness, and now they don't.
Just because medical institutions condone, promote or otherwise recommend a practice does not necessarily mean that practice is correct or backed by science. Some practices may be in fact backed by pseudo-science as is the case with male infant circumcision. There may be financial incentive behind promoting "affirmative therapy" in children, and that's because transitioning a child early guarantees a medical patient for life, requiring a rash of surgery and hormones for life.
"It's difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it." ~Upton Sinclair
If we're going to stand up and question the practice of male infant circumcision, then surely, it stands to reason that we need to question double mastectomy, orchiectomy, hysterectomy, or radical surgery on otherwise healthy individuals who aren't yet of the age of consent. Surely giving children puberty blockers, drugs that are normally given to sex offenders to chemically castrate them, warrants introspection.
If removing a child's foreskin is a problem, because it's invasive, elective, removing normal, healthy tissue, then surely removing a teen's breasts and penis and testicles before they're even 18 is an even bigger problem.
Why isn't anyone questioning this? Why is everyone just smiling, nodding and going along? Is it because people are afraid of being vilified as "transphobic bigots?" In the same way people who question circumcision are called "antisemite nazis?" Is that what people are afraid of?
It shouldn't be "transphobic" or "bigoted" to want to question invasive medical treatment and radical surgery. It shouldn't be controversial to question chemically castrating, giving mastectomies and radical genital-altering surgery to healthy, minors who are incapable of giving informed consent.
One would think that before considering radical surgery a patient need to be equipped the the information, all the pros and cons, before making an informed decision, yet somehow suggesting this is controversial.
One would think that doctors exploiting the transient naïveté of youth to get them to agree to radical surgery would be seen as medical fraud and deliberate child abuse.
And yet, here we are.
How far does Matt Walsh Buy his own arguments?
The above being said, however, I do wonder how consistent are Matt's arguments that we should not perform surgery on healthy, non-consenting minors. He is certainly insistent that healthy children cannot consent to chemical castration, double-mastectomy or radical genital altering surgery. And yet I wonder what his thoughts are on circumcision?
It is my surmisal that, given that he has rather conservative values, he either sees no problem with male infant circumcision, or actually advocates for it, and that cognitive dissonance and cultural blinders simply disallow him to see the inconsistency of condoning male infant circumcision, while opposing double-mastectomy and bottom surgery for underage individuals. In these conversations, conservatives often coin the term "genital mutilation" to express their disgust at genital surgery on minors.
In a very recent video (today is June 14th, 2022), Matt engages in a monologue that, were it about the foreskin, you'd think he was an intactivist. It is a response to a journalist who critiques his film "What is a Woman."
Here is the excerpt from the transcript:
"The primary complication of cutting off a woman's healthy breasts is that, *you've cut off a woman's healthy breasts.* The complication is that you've removed a piece of her body, a piece of her, and you've done it on the theory that it will help her be a man, even though, she could never be a man, and chopping off her breasts will bring her no closer to manhood, than she was when she still had them.
The fact that there are, allegedly "only," "additional complications in 12% of cases" does not rescue you from this fact, it's the surgery itself that's the problem. Even if everything goes "perfectly well" when you're cutting the breasts off of a woman, you're still cutting her breasts off, and that's the issue. You are removing healthy body parts, and often you're doing this to young girls who would not even be allowed to legally get tattoos, because they've been judged "too young" for it."
Though Matt would most likely be loathe to admit it, what he says parallels the issue of male infant circumcision. He's on to something. He's so close! He's nearly there. If only he would follow through with his own logic and condemn the forced circumcision of healthy, non-consenting minors, he'd be consistent. If he actually believed what he said, I think he'd be an intactivist.
Male infant circumcision advocates often cite the "low complication rates". That's not the problem. That you're cutting off healthy tissue from a child's penis IS the complication. This is precisely the point intactivists have been trying to drive home for decades. The fact that it's "only 2%" does not rescue circumcision advocates. 2% of 1.4 million babies is STILL 28,000 babies with complications. The risks include infection, partial or full ablation, hemorrhage and even death.
It's circumcision itself that is the problem. Even if everything "goes perfectly well" you're still cutting off part of a child's penis, you're removing healthy, functional flesh from children who aren't legally allowed to get tattoos, and that's the issue.
This is the problem with male infant circumcision, and it would be nice if people like Matt Walsh followed through with his logic and applied it consistently. It's too bad that cultural blinders and cognitive dissonance will most likely disallow him apply his own logic.
Matt Walsh Trips Over Male Infant Circumcision and Fails to Recognize It as a Problem
In yet another video, Matt gives a speech at the Western Conservative Summit.
He highlights the failure that was John Money's horrible experiment gone wrong (starts at 15:55), but somehow manages to gloss over the very procedure that resulted in David Reimer's castration.
Poor Matt, I feel so sorry for him.
There are so many things he gets right, and yet, he falls into his own trap of wanting to preserve his own world view.
"He (David Reimer) was circumcised for phimosis," he said. A condition that can't be observed in newborns because the foreskin is fused to the head of the penis in most newborns.
The Reimer twins were NOT born with "phimosis," no child ever is, as non-retractability of the foreskin is normal in 99% of boys at birth. The boys were not being "treated for a condition," they were perfectly healthy. The other twin was not circumcised. He mysteriously survived until his suicide.
It's almost studious; justify circumcision while condemning the resulting castration, which wasn't Money's fault. Money raising David as a girl? What a monster. The needless, elective, purely cosmetic procedure which resulted in losing David's penis? That's just fine.
There is nothing EVER wrong with boys at birth. That is, unless it's doctors wanting to offer their "solutions." Money's "solution" to turn David into a girl was a solution to a problem caused by another unneeded "solution" to a non-existent problem. To coin a phrase, "Robbing Peter to Pay Paul."
Circumcision is another elephant in the room, and Matt is not yet ready to address it.
He is so close. So darn close! And yet he misses it.
If mutilating the genitals of a child who cannot yet give his full consent is a problem, then male infant circumcision is RIGHT OUT.
Matt maligns parents who would let a doctors put their child on puberty blockers, give them bottom surgery etc. and rightfully so. But he glosses over the one procedure that produced a case like David Reimer in the first place.
Nothing screams cultural blinders, nothing screams cognitive dissonance, nothing screams willful ignorance than causally glossing over the one thing we do every day that can and does result in boys losing their penis, while protesting that gender affirming surgery is genital mutilation.
My only guess is that Matt is circumcised and has had any male children he has circumcised, so he must find some sort of justification for what he did and what was done to him, while at the same time condemning the despicable experiment that was John Money's forcible transition of David Reimer. At the same time, condemning parents making these "decisions" for their children.
I'm not trying to defend parents "transing" their children; giving puberty blockers to kids and giving them " gender affirming surgery" when they can't actually give fully informed consent is horrendous. But if Matt seriously believes we shouldn't mutilate our children at a time when they're unable to give their informed consent, he has got to talk about the elephant in the room that is male infant circumcision.
In any other case, reaping profit from non-medical surgery on healthy, non-consenting individuals constitutes medical fraud. Without any medical indication, doctors have no business performing surgery on healthy, non-consenting minors, let alone be giving parents any kind of "choice."
The risks of male infant circumcision include infection, partial or full ablation of the penis (see David Reimer), hemorrhage, sepsis and even death.
The same reasons why we shouldn't be giving puberty blockers or genital surgery to healthy minors are the same reasons we shouldn't be circumcising healthy, non-consenting newborns.
If Matt is serious about genital mutilation and the well-being and rights of children who are too young to consent to elective non-medical surgery, he has GOT to talk about the genital mutilation that goes on every day in this country.
Otherwise, he doesn't actually care about the rights of children, informed consent, medical fraud, or charlatans profiting off of pseudo-medicine, and his concern for child abuse rings hollow.
I speak out against the forced circumcision of healthy, non-consenting minors in any way, shape or form. I make no exception for "religion" nor "cultural practice" of any kind. Please do not conflate my disdain for the forced circumcision of minors with a belittlement of circumcised men, or a hate for Jews.
In this blog I criticize circumcision advocates and expose information about them that is not always revealed to the public. Some may argue that I am engaging in ad hominem. However, I'm only pointing out conflicts of interest, and this is not ad hominem. The following is an excerpt from Wikipedia's entry on ad hominem (4/22/2012):
Conflict of Interest: Where a source seeks to convince by a claim of authority or by personal observation, identification of conflicts of interest are not ad hominem – it is generally well accepted that an "authority" needs to be objective and impartial, and that an audience can only evaluate information from a source if they know about conflicts of interest that may affect the objectivity of the source. Identification of a conflict of interest is appropriate, and concealment of a conflict of interest is a problem.
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.
"Born healthy, except for a condition called phimosis". Wonder where Walsh got that information, because AAP, textbooks and most online resources give correct information. Not even the notourios Brian Morris describes nonretractable forskin of newborn boys as medical problem. I am sure that this conservative father of four have circumcised his sons and that is why there is no, and will be no questioning from him, of this cruel practice.ReplyDelete