Monday, March 18, 2013

Joseph4GI Turns Two

Two years ago today (March 18), I decided to start this blog. With little knowledge about how a blog even works, I decided to dive into the world of blogging. Having ranted and raved about circumcision long enough, I decided that perhaps starting a blog would be a great way to organize my thoughts.

I started this blog having absolutely zero experience blogging, and now, two years later, I'd have to say there is still much to learn before I can call myself an experienced blogger. There are still quite a few things I don't yet understand, and I'm sure if I payed attention, there is a whole array of buttons, whistles and bells that could make my blogging experience easier and more convenient. New tools and software are constantly being invented, but holding a full time job, not to mention tending to my family, I have very little time to sit down and check them all out. Little has changed visually since my last yearly update. 

Current Stats
For my blog's second 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.

Last week, for example, marked one of the highest peaks in my visitor stats.

My most read blog post is *still* "Circumcision is Child Abuse: A Picture Essay," followed by my post on the San Francisco Circumcision Ban proposal. My post "PLANNED PARENTHOOD: Mutilated is the New "Normal" was the third most read article, followed by "Spank the Monkey, Eat Tomatoes, or Circumcision: Your Call", but as you can see, the article regarding the most recent circumcision death that has surfaced has quickly shot up the list to become the third most read article. Mind you, this happened within a matter of two or three days. It's a bit depressing that this is what catches people's attention.

My audience is mainly from the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada, followed by Japan, Germany, Australia, India, Russia, France and the Philippines. There are still more Firefox users than Internet Explorer users, although Chrome seems to be catching up. Windows users still outnumber Mac users. I'm surprised iPad users at are a mere 2%, given its popularity boom.

It looks like I experienced a slump in the last year, but it's picking back up again. Overall, my stats indicate that my readership grew slightly over the last year. I've got 127 posts and 61 users who are following me openly. (How many are lurkers who follow me secretly? Who knows!)

In retrospect, I wrote 51 new posts, a number lower than last year (76). As I have said, my current situation has reduced the amount of time I can spend on my blog. 21 new users have started following me openly (half the number of users last year), indicating slight, but slow growth.

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 lurker 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 to improve this blog and increase its visibility. The only problem is, there is little time and money on my side that allows me to explore these options. I've been pondering a different name for the blog, possibly a donate button, and possibly giving it a proper home somewhere on a WordPress or Drupal site, but these are only just ideas and may or may not be brought to fruition any time soon. If there are any changes, you'll be sure to know about them.

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. 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.

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


  1. I wish you had a way to contact you on your blog somewhere...

    I want to comment something that I really think should be added to your post about the recent circ death, something that I didn't see in the comments on the post--though admittedly I did not read all of the comments.

    The grandfather noted that none of the Dr's indicated that anything had gone wrong with the circumcision--that it was not "botched." Well isn't that kind of the point? This was a "normal" circumcision that was performed "correctly," and yet it KILLED this little boy!

    The grandfather tries to argue that the poor boy did not die of the circ because it was "generalized bleeding" and "sepsis." What I assume he means by "generalized bleeding" is that the boy was bleeding internally. What he left out--or perhaps does not know because he was not told--was that even in a healthy person, a large blood loss can lead to this type of "generalized bleeding" because the number of platelets drops so far that bleeding starts happening at the capillary level.

    Would he have died from some other bleeding incident later? Well that's hard to know. But I can say that I have 3 sons, ages 6 months, 9 years, and 11 years; all of which are intact. None of them have had an injury that produced the same amount of bleeding as would be considered "normal" from circumcision prior to their first birthdays. By the time they had that amount of bleeding (from falling and getting mouth wounds), they were significantly larger, so that amount of blood was a lower percentage of their total blood volume.

    As for the sepsis--was this a known factor prior to the circucmsion? If so, one wonders if the Dr's were negligent to perform a procedure that would lower the baby's ability to fight the sepsis. If it was not known prior to the circucmsion...well can't a reasonable argument be made that we ALL harbor bacteria at any given time that could lead to "sepsis" if our immune systems are lowered? In this case, it was the assault of the circucmsion that lowered the baby's immune capabilities.

    In knocking down a row of dominos, while it may be the 50th pre-existing domino (the sepsis, the bleeding disorder) that ends the "life" of the last was the pushing of the first domino (performing the circumcision) that set the chain of events in motion.

    In a person (INFANT!) already struggling with a bleeding would take less bleeding--perhaps even the NORMAL amount of bleeding expected after a circumcision--to create this condition. So while it wasn't just bleeding from the circumcision alone that caused the baby's most likely was the circumcision that started the chain reaction.

    1. Hey Knitted,

      I learned from others that doctors don't test for any of these things.

      The thing is, it sounds like, from the grandfather's own account, that the child's bleeding problems were known about well in advance, and the doctors STILL decided to go through with a circumcision.

      No test, no nothing.

      This has "lawsuit" written all over it, but it sounds like the doctors were able to convince the family that circumcision had nothing to do with that poor boy's death.

      Another circumcision death covered up, another lawsuit averted.

      The myth that circumcision is "harmless" and the risks are "minimal" continues...