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Giving Thanks – 2012

November 21, 2012
His Body His Rights Button

His Body His Rights Button

With another Thanksgiving upon us, I have a long list of people and organizations that I want to thank. Here goes.

To Amy, Jennifer and Ted – your day to day support means more to me than you’ll ever know.

To Marilyn – my humble thanks for trusting me to carry on the work you and others began.

To the informal but dynamite Intact America steering committee, whose members contribute their expertise, opinions, criticism, labor and love to this movement – I am sure you know I use you all for brains and strength.

To the kick-ass intactivist community, growing in number, depth, insight and commitment – you know we’re winning, right?

To Intact America’s donors and action-takers – keep it up!

To Dean Pisani – on behalf of the boys and men you are helping, thank you for your generosity. And thank you for your trust in me.

To the American Academy of Pediatrics – thank you for issuing a report so blatantly self-interested and unethical as to reveal your true colors as a money-grubbing trade association that wants to ensure that its members continue to get paid for carrying out painful, risky surgery on children who do not need it and cannot consent.

To the New Orleans Police Department – thank you for the respect. discipline, and guidance you showed with regard to Intact America’s demonstration in front of the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, during the AAP convention. Thank you for telling the AAP representatives who asked you to make us go away that we were within our rights to protest, and that we were not breaking any laws. And thank you for your interest in our message; we were so privileged to share it with you.

To members of the press whom I will NOT name here, but who have moved from the “skeptical” or even “hostile” column to the “hmm, maybe they’ve got a point column,” and now to the “intactivist sympathizer” if not the “flat out intactivist” column – thank you for being open-minded, and for listening.

To my immediate family – Pablo, Ernesto, Hank, Julia, Chip, Nick and Paul – and to my extended family and friends who have inspired, in one way or another, my passion for this all-important human rights issue.

Above all: To the men who are speaking out, claiming the stage to express their pain and outrage at having been violated as children – it takes a brave man to defy the cultural bias that, first, applies a sexist double standard to genital mutilation and, second, denies the legitimacy of boys’ and men’s protests. I am honored to be at your side.

Thank you all. Again, you know we are winning, right?

Georganne Chapin

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33 Comments leave one →
  1. Adam Fisher permalink
    April 16, 2013 10:21 pm

    When are you people going to accept the medical and scientific FACTS about the preventative health benefits of circumcision ?

    Soon parents will be able to sue doctors who fail to inform them of these findings when their child develops a preventable disease

    PUT THAT IN YOUR PIPE AND SMOKE IT !!!

    • April 17, 2013 12:30 pm

      Adam, with 75-80% of the males in the world intact and healthy, why would you want to believe methodologically flawed research supporting medical myths for foreskin amputation–unless you’re circumcised? If the foreskin was that maligned, the world would not be overpopulated. Sorry, at one point or another you’re going to have to accept the fact that someone cut off the most sensitive part of your penis when you were too little to resist or escape and that you, in fact, were probably smart enough to wash, practice safe sex, and use condoms had you been educated. Fortunately, pleasure is pleasure and you’ll still have some, but you will never know the wholeness of your body or the fullness of your sexual experience. Wouldn’t you have preferred a choice when you were old enough to decide for yourself? Instead, you have a primal wound that will color your perception of the world for the rest of your life, even if you don’t realize it. Many courageous men acknowledge the harm done to them and want this unnecessary sexual violence to end with them. They are to be commended, for as Menniinger said, “What we do to children, they will do to society,” and as Gandhi said, “If we are ever to have real peace, we must begin with the children.”

  2. gsm permalink
    December 29, 2012 7:10 am

    Even if it was for some reason, medically necessary to keep the foreskin from contacting the glans, there is no reason to remove it. With today’s fashionable body piercing, a couple of body piercings could be used to hold the foreskin back. There really is no reason to reject God’s gift to man!

  3. Bettie permalink
    December 16, 2012 12:53 pm

    I m sorry to butt in here with something marginally off-topic., but I wish to make an UPDATE. I posted on intactamerica.wordpress.com some time ago, as follows, and thank you for bearing with me:

    “Joseph – in your interesting, well-expressed post, you mentioned a 6th finger as something that’s a deformity [and therefore it IS okay to remomve it from an unconsenting child].

    Well, hear this. 14 years ago a man wanting to discuss circ. contacted me. He told me that he was very upset over being circumcised when a helpless infant. It was a long, heartbreaking and all-round difficult-to-listen-to story. Among other things, he couldn’t forgive his mother.

    One particular thing: he was born with a 6th finger on one hand. While one Jewish doctor circumcised him, another doctor, the circumciser’s brother, simultaneously cut that little 6th finger off. He knows this because he obtained (with some difficulty) his medical records from the hospital.

    This man told me that he objected not only to the foreskin removal but also to the removal of that extra finger. He said it belonged to him and nobody else. Who’s to say he wouldn’t have enjoyed being a little different.

    Update: This man is now certifiably mentally ill. He has been in and out of psychiatric units for years. He has made one suicide attempt [that I know of, anyway]; he is on and off various psychiatric drugs. Lots of other things I could tell you about him but there’s no point; I know you all get the picture.”
    ________________

    I have just been informed that the above discussed victim of a botched circumcision and lifelong physical pain and difficulty, has killed himself. His family claims he has had mental difficulties “throughout much of his life.” This is BS. He was utterly sane until the psychiatric drugs and related trauma did him in, which I would say started only a few years ago, as I had contact with him for all these many years.

    To any lurking mutilated perverts here: it could have been you. Maybe it’ll be one of your sons.

  4. THJ permalink
    December 12, 2012 1:09 pm

    Thank you for all of your hard work in this issue, Georganne. It warms my heart to know that this madness is not going unchallenged. The truth will out nationally due to your efforts sooner rather than later.

  5. December 3, 2012 12:26 pm

    You’re doing a terrific job, Georganne! I am very, very thankful for you, and I second your thanks and appreciation of everyone else. With right and light on our side, YES, we are winning!

  6. Howard. permalink
    November 29, 2012 11:42 pm

    Thank you Georganne, Marilyn and all the rest of you who are working so hard to protect future boys from being genitaly mutilated. The fact that we all think alike makes you all feel like family!

  7. Nicole permalink
    November 28, 2012 3:09 pm

    I am new to the intactivism but am 100% against infant circumcision. Long story short, in 2005 I had my 1st son (2nd child) circumcised… After NOT having my 2nd son (5th child) circumcised I HIGHLY regret the 1st ones circumcision but I just was not educated enough on the matter and it was NEVER brought up by the doctors (with any of my pregnancies) until labor when I was given the consent form to sign. I understand I didn’t do my research like I should have with the first boy but is there legal action I could take even if I illiterately signed the consent?

    • November 29, 2012 12:50 am

      Hi, Nicole –

      Unfortunately, you probably cannot take legal action against the doctor or the hospital because the circumcision occurred seven years ago – well beyond the statute of limitations for a medical malpractice suit in any state in the U.S. Additionally, although I believe this will change in the future, courts today tend to say, “Unless you can prove you were actually tricked into signing that consent, you have no recourse.” It is possible that when your son turns 18, he will be able to file a lawsuit against the doctor or the hospital, either for damages or for lack of informed consent. There have been very few of these lawsuits so far, but they are bound to increase over time.

      So now the question is what CAN you do? There actually is a lot. You can write to the doctor who circumcised your son, and tell him that he should have told you the facts about circumcision – that it is painful, that it is not medically necessary, and that it removes a very useful and sensitive body part from a baby and the man he will become. You can ask him or her to stop circumcising babies, who cannot consent. You can write to the hospital (address the Risk Manager) and tell him or her that you feel that – by giving you a form to sign while you were in labor and not in a condition to understand it, and by not giving you the facts about circumcision – the hospital violated your rights and your baby’s rights, and irreparably harmed your baby’s body. You can tell the hospital that you will tell everybody you know about their unethical behavior, and that you are going to report them to the Joint Commission, the nation’s largest hospital accreditation agency. That complaint can be filed online at: http://jcwebnoc.jcaho.org/QMSInternet/IncidentEntry.aspx

      And you can tell your story to anybody and everybody who will listen. If you need more information, there are TONS of resources on the internet, including those on the Intact America website: http://www.intactamerica.org. Also, see my earlier blog posts for “talking points” about circumcision. If you can spare other parents the regrets you feel, and save other babies from unnecessary surgery, that is a great thing.

      Thank you so much for writing. My very best wishes to you and your family. You sound like a great mom.

      Georganne

  8. Heather permalink
    November 28, 2012 1:30 pm

    Thank you. I am the proud parent of 3 healthy, whole boys, but still living in a high circumcision area. I am so glad for the support and reassurance from IA. I do believe that this harmful, unnecessary surgery will someday be a shameful part of American history.

  9. November 27, 2012 6:50 am

    Thank you so much for being here, and for supporting us. It means more to me than I know how to express. It’s easy to feel discouraged, but it’s letters like yours that make me realize, we really do have the power to change hearts and minds. I may not be able to heal my physical body, but you guys have helped show me the way to heal my soul. Your support has brought me a long way from where I was a couple years ago. I have just recently finished my research proposal here at Ohio State, which looks for quantitative evidence of harm. It still needs work, and was very difficult for me to write. However, there’s nothing I’m more proud of. Thank you all so much. We really are winning!

  10. November 25, 2012 7:15 pm

    Thank you Georganne for speaking out on a grave, serious and “taboo” issue and recognizing the hard work of so may who may never be otherwise acknowledged.

  11. Gordius Knot permalink
    November 25, 2012 11:46 am

    Hello, having read the above “thank-you” note, It sure sounds heartfelt, but to someone (me) who is just coming on-board, I’d like to know who wrote it…and who are all the people getting the kudos. gk

    • November 25, 2012 2:14 pm

      So glad you asked! I am the person who wrote it. I am Georganne Chapin, a lawyer, health care executive, and the founding executive director of Intact America, an organization dedicated to ending the practice of medically unnecessary circumcision of infants and children. We advocate for the rights of boys. We believe that boys have the same right as girls to be protected from the mutilation of their normal genitalia. We believe nobody – not a parent, not a doctor, not a religious figure, NOBODY – has the right to cut a body part off somebody else who does not need that body part removed, and who did not consent to the surgery. This is my personal blog, but on occasion I ask others to write with me or alone, for the blog.

      The people getting the kudos are as follows:

      Amy, Jennifer and Ted all work for Intact America (as well as their other jobs).

      Marilyn is Marilyn Milos, the founder of the National Organization of Information Resources Centers. She is commonly referred to as “the mother of the intactivist movement.” Marilyn has been working to end the practice of infant circumcision since the late 1970s, and has played an enormously important role in bringing circumcision to light as a human rights violation. Look at her website: http://www.nocirc.org.

      Dean Pisani was the founding donor for Intact America – a private citizen who believed so much in this issue he was willing to give a start-up donation of $1 million. Dean continues to both donate and offer tremendous moral support to Intact America.

      The intactivist community – please join us! These are the thousands upon thousands of people who know that cutting off part of a baby boy’s penis is not only medically unnecessary, but also brutal, harmful, and unethical. You can learn more by checking out Intact America on Facebook (please “like” us!), and by looking at our website http://www.intactamerica.org.

      Once again, thank you for asking!

  12. Michelle permalink
    November 25, 2012 10:01 am

    I am thankful for the Scandinavian countries and European physicians who are stepping forward to speak out on behalf of protecting children from the harms of circumcision. The majority of the world is intact. We are not a minority.

  13. November 24, 2012 10:12 pm

    To Mama24-7. The members of this group are not in the minority in the world, only–for the time being–in the United States. Please consult the statistics to see how main line we are and how much in the minority are those of you who champion circumcision.

  14. November 23, 2012 4:00 pm

    Oh, how nice, being thanked publicly. Thank you for being a good daughter and being so “on it” and “with it.” And for all your help and support so recently when Mom passed away. It was sort of a miracle how that Memorial Service came together so beautifully with you and Julia pitching in. Love, Hank/Dad

  15. Jack permalink
    November 23, 2012 2:42 pm

    I am thankful for Georganne and Intact America.

  16. Sutharsan permalink
    November 23, 2012 3:55 am

    Thanks for the hard-work. Since we need to achieve lot more

    Always great things can be achieved only through the excellent thoughts and hardworking.Since there are lot more to achieve during upcoming years, all intactivist thoughts have to be converged on moving into achieving. formal recognitions.

  17. Dr. Ron permalink
    November 22, 2012 2:51 pm

    I am thankful for my restored foreskin that has brought me closer to the body that nature provided me at birth. And thanks for the support from internet brothers (and sisters) for all those men who were robbed of their birthright by uninformed parents and deceptive doctors, and who are reclaiming a facsimile of their unspoiled genitals.

    Thanks Intact America for working tirelessly to help newborns retain their right to intact genitals.

  18. November 22, 2012 10:02 am

    Thanks to the millions of parents who have realized that they don’t have a right to inflict pain and suffering upon their newborn boy.

  19. November 22, 2012 9:45 am

    Thank you, Georganne for all you do every day on behalf of children. I enjoyed being in New Orleans and participating in this historic effort. Happy Thanksgiving!!

  20. Brian permalink
    November 21, 2012 11:22 pm

    Thank you to you, Georganne and to all of the people working so hard to bring an end to this abuse of children worldwide. We are making a difference. Those who continue to justify the cutting of childrens genitals are on the defensive and that is exactly where they should be! Thank you!

  21. Adam Zeldis permalink
    November 21, 2012 8:08 pm

    We are honored to have YOU at our side, Georgeanne! Thank you for everything that you do.

  22. irisfudge permalink
    November 21, 2012 7:36 pm

    Bravo and congratulations to Georgeanne and all at Intact America for making sure that boys and men are not lost without their voices and testimonies being heard to protest against all genital mutilation of children. Your influence will grow and flourish as
    surely as the truth will be told.

  23. Gregory Tutko permalink
    November 21, 2012 6:26 pm

    We are all particularly thankful for your untiring effort on behalf of our children, now and to come. Warmest wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

  24. Adam Fisher permalink
    November 21, 2012 6:14 pm

    To the scientists who have proven the PREVENTATIVE HEALTH BENEFITS of circumcision
    and to the American Academy of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases Centre who researched and wrote the NEW AAP POLICY on circumcision

    To the workers carrying out mass circumcisions around the world and on doing so are helping prevent the deaths of millions from HIV and HPV

    • Gregory Tutko permalink
      November 21, 2012 6:36 pm

      Thanks, Adam, for reminding us once again how much work there still is for us to accomplish. Perhaps, one day, we will be able to count you among us. I appreciate how difficult it is to challenge deeply held convictions. We have all confronted these same questions and have come to understand that compassion and common sense makes it clear that we are on the side of the intact children of the world. We are winning. Best wishes.

    • Adam Zeldis permalink
      November 21, 2012 8:05 pm

      Adam,
      I understand you want to justify what was done to you. We all would like to think we were mutilated for a good reason. However, harming more children and men won’t heal your wounds.

    • Mama24-7 permalink
      November 22, 2012 1:00 pm

      I’m thankful that I’ve developed myself enough to use my brain when I read posts like this & see this for what it is. I’m thankful that people who write this are not a part of my world & have zero influence over me & my life. And I’m thankful that people who write this, believe it & spew it are in the minority.

    • November 23, 2012 6:31 pm

      Brian Morris, Your comments are an insult. Perhaps you do not know how dear Americans hold Thanksgiving. If so, then perhaps I can forgive you this faux pas since you are Australian.

    • Petit Poulet permalink
      November 24, 2012 6:31 pm

      Thank you for the scientists doing such shabby studies in their hopes of “proving” the preventative health benefits of circumcision, that they included all the evidence needed to demonstrate that their studies are worthless. Such hubris should be acknowledged and praised: it is now time to watch the nemesis unfold.

  25. ats permalink
    November 21, 2012 4:52 pm

    Thanks for your efforts in trying to keep our kids intact. My boy is intact and all thanks to you.

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