Sunday, March 18, 2012

Joseph4GI: One Year Later

Today (March 18) marks the day I started this blog. Not knowing much about how blogs even work, I decided to dive into the world of blogging. I had decided I've ranted and raved about circumcision long enough, that it was time to start organizing my thoughts somewhere, and that perhaps a blog was the next step.

When I started this blog, I had absolutely no experience blogging. But now, it's been a year, and though I've learned a few things here and there, I'm still learning as I go along. There are still a few things I don't quite yet understand, and I'm sure there is a whole lot more that would make my blogging experience easier and more convenient if I knew about it.

There have been other experienced bloggers who have given me pointers along the way. Thanks to them I have learned about customizing URLs, the importance of graphics and some of the gadgets that Blogger has to offer. Users that have been following me may have noticed that I have a new banner (I've only recently learned how to make one and implement it on Blogger, yay...), a favicon, and that I'm slowly building my blog's brand.

Current Stats
To mark my blog's first anniversary, I've decided to share some of my stats to show how far I've come.

Since I've started my blog there have been many ups and downs in views relative to how much I post, and how much impact they have. Readers will note a few prominent spikes this week.

My most read blog post is "Circumcision is Child Abuse: A Picture Essay," followed by my post on the San Francisco Circumcision Ban proposal, and my post "Where Circumcision Doesn't Prevent HIV." My post "PLANNED PARENTHOOD: Mutilated is the New "Normal" is actually quite new, only written at the beginning of February (last month), but as you can see, it has quickly shot up the list within the past few weeks.

My audience seems to be mainly from the United States, though I also get some readership from other English-speaking countries, such as the United Kingdom and Canada. The other countries are an interesting mix; I don't know *why* Japan is just below the US, but above the UK, and Australia is below Germany and India, for example. There are more Firefox users than Internet Explorer users, and Windows users outnumber Mac users, for whatever that is worth.

Overall, my stats indicate that my readership has grown since I've started blogging. I've got 76 posts, and 40 users who are following me openly. (How many are following me secretly? Who knows!) I'd say, not bad for my first year as a novice blogger...

Are you a frequent visitor to this blog? Do you like what you see? Do you have a Blogger account or any other way to "follow" me openly? Add me to your blog list! I know I have more readers that are not on my followers' list. Come out, come out, wherever you are! :-)

Where To From Here?
There is so much more I could be doing, and I hope to learn more about it so that I can improve this blog and increase its visibility. I'm considering possibly changing the blog's name, possibly giving it a proper home on a WordPress or Drupal site, maybe adding other gadgets, possibly a donate button and links to Amazon, but these are only just ideas; they may or may not be brought to fruition in the future. There is a lot I need to consider first, not to mention learn. (Blogger is difficult enough for me!)

So What is This Blog About?
My name is Joseph Lewis, and I am an activist for human rights. My main interests include equal rights. By extension, I am very active in speaking out against the forced genital cutting of healthy, non-consenting minors of any sex. I've chosen the handle Joseph4GI for my online intactivism. Joseph4GI stands for "Joseph for Genital Integrity," and I started this blog mainly as a way to organize all of my thoughts regarding circumcision, particularly the circumcision of infants. On it, readers will find my random rants and musings on circumcision and intactivism.

There are plenty of pro-circumcision "information resources." Additionally, the so-called "benefits" of circumcision are given plenty of attention on all manner of news outlets. In addition to posting my rants and musings, I aim to present information the mainstream media omits, circumvents, or otherwise leaves out.

Up front, I don't pretend to have any kind of "neutral point of view" when it comes the subject of circumcision. I am dead against the forced circumcision of healthy, non-consenting minors, male or female, and I make no exception for "religion" or "culture." The only time that a child should undergo surgery is when there is actual medical or clinical indication, and all other methods of treatment have failed. (This also happens to be standard medical practice.)

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 normal, natural, healthy, functioning tissue, with which all boys are born.

Unless there is a medical or clinical indication, the circumcision of a healthy, non-consenting individual 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 individual, much less be eliciting any kind of "decision" from parents.

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.

I speak out against the forced circumcision of healthy, non-consenting minors in any way, shape or form. Please do not conflate my disdain for the forced circumcision of minors with a belittlement of circumcised men, or a hate for Jews. 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 whole of the intactivist movement, thank you.

To read more about who I am, I have a dedicated blog post readers can view here.


  1. Congrats Joseph ! ! !

    I always say this to my friends whatever their tasks are:

    Keep on the good work.

    Be proud of yourself.

    And whatever you do, do it by living the process Happy. It's not worth to do anything if you're not happy or if you're angry.

    Life has many good things to offer and we are the only ones who can decide whether to be happy or unhappy.


  2. Thank you for your kind words, Manny. You have no idea how much I appreciate them. Cheers to you too!

  3. I'm so glad you're doing this Joseph! You're a big blessing to intactivism. I hope you continue doing this so that this atrocity and fraud fades away due to new awareness and due to all the good protest and condemnation of it.

    And it's certainly OK to be an 'angry intactivist'. Something is very wrong if people who are otherwise thoughtful and sensible DON'T become angry at this vile practice inflicted on the healthy helpless (as well as on the healthy hapless--> older girls and boys). In this matter of a religion-based, religion-blessed atrocity and fraud (infant circ sexual mutilation), here in this sick, violent, religion-damaged US, I know that the vast majority of non-Jews (who are themselves often or usually so religion-damaged) are terrified of Jews, and that's NOT GOOD.

    I'll follow all your good exposés and writings and tell others about you and them.

    The following is not so much for you Joseph as it for others:

    "The world needs anger. The world often continues to allow evil because it isn't angry enough."

    - Bede Jarrett (1881–1934), _The House of Gold_

    1. Thank you for that saying! My sentiments exactly.

      Nothing ever happened while people stood around and hoped their problems went away.

      I believe that part of the reason circumcision continues in the US today is because for years the conversation has been stifled by the fear of being called an "anti-Semite."

      I think that this blackmail is getting rather old now; circumcision is not exclusive to Judaism. Actually, the overwhelming majority of circumcision operations that happen in the US (approximately 97% or so) are secular, non-religious procedures that go on in hospitals. It is annoying and pathetic that people try to act as if circumcision were this uniquely Jewish possession.

      I'm not circumcised, but one of my circumcised friends has asked rhetorically, and this has stayed with me:

      "What is the mark of YOUR COVENANT doing on MY PENIS?"

      Non-Jews most certainly have the right to protest an indelible mark of a religion they nor their parents even belong to, nor ever planned to belong to.

      And even Jews have the right to protest a mark of a covenant they now don't care about as adults.

      The fact of the matter is that religion has lost its validity as an alibi for genital mutilation, and there is no better example of this than female circumcision, where it is also thought to be a matter of religious rite of passage for many people.

      People should not shy away from pointing out a crime against humanity, simply because it happens to be a sacred cow for some.

      The time has come to view the forced circumcision of healthy, non-consenting minors for what it is; genital mutilation and the violation of the most basic of human rights.

  4. ¡Happy birthday to your blog!

  5. Happy birthday & congrats!! Great work!