This post was written by N.O.R.M. North Houston coordinator Eric Smith (known to this blog as The Designated Dad). We both receive questions from parents who regretfully had their sons circumcised and want to know if they can or should attempt to restore his foreskin. The following information addresses this question.
For a reminder about what foreskin restoration is and how it can benefit men, read about it here, here, and here.
I know some of you roll your eyes when I say “Circumcision isn’t vegan.” But hear me out.
On a recent weekend, I represented Intact Vegan Network at Texas Vegan MayFest, a spring festival hosted by Rowdy Girl Sanctuary. If you haven’t heard of it already, it’s a vegan-owned and operated farm animal sanctuary in the heart of Texas cattle country. In fact, one of the owners used to be a cattle rancher himself before turning vegan.
“Intact Vegan Network is here to talk about… why it isn’t a good thing to cut off your baby’s foreskin,” announced Rowdy Girl Sanctuary founder Renee King-Sonnen during vendor introductions.
Cue me in the back behind my table, waving.
If bodybuilding, skincare, and musical artists can have a presence at vegan events, and we accept that it just makes sense, it can make sense for a circumcision education table to be there too.
Cuteness overload “Born Perfect” cloth diaper found here.
The Great Cloth Diaper Change happened this weekend and I spent it educating about circumcision, a surgery that many American baby boys undergo in their early diapering days. I represented Intact Houston at Wellspring Midwifery Care & Birth Center‘s GCDC event, at which attendees attempted to set a new record for the number of babies changed into a cloth diaper simultaneously across the globe.
First, if you’ve ever wondered about how to cloth diaper a baby after circumcision, please read this.
Now I’d like to share some of the interactions we had throughout the day.
I just returned from a trip to Washington D.C. for Genital Integrity Awareness Week, which was March 28th-April 3rd. A week full of seed-planting, countless conversations with principled conclusions, minds changed, futures salvaged… This is my kind of activism!
The mission as stated on the web site is to raise public awareness of:
- the basic human right to genital autonomy for all individuals, regardless of sex
- the damage inflicted by forced genital cutting, of boys, girls and intersex persons
- foreskin restoration options for those impacted by forced genital cutting
- research based information on intact subjects to a large body of individuals in Washington D.C. – students, educators, tourists, lawmakers, politicians – who take this information home with them to their own circles of influence
- the need for congress and lawmakers to grant boys and intersex minors equal rights under law with protection from forced genital cutting
Houston midwife Pat Jones interviewed myself and Amber Clark for the Whole Mother Radio Show on 90.1 FM KPFT to discuss circumcision. Check out the video above — audio file coming soon!
This was a great way to kick off Genital Integrity Awareness Week (March 28-April 3)!
Please support #GIAW, either by attending, sharing related posts, and/or donating toward the effort.
For more info:
Image courtesy Saving Our Sons
Here we gathered, sixty four of us. All affected by circumcision in one way or another, the lucky among us protected from the worst of its damage. Sixty four of us prepared to deliver the message that natural bodies are normal, healthy, and beneficial; to leave the alteration for medical necessity or personal consent.
We were here for Genital Integrity Awareness Week — which, in the great fortune of the 2017 calendar — happened to fall on the same week that female genital cutting was outlawed in the U.S. twenty years ago.
For the past two decades, baby girls have been protected from threat to their genital integrity, but their brothers, sons, nephews and grandsons are still routinely cut in barbaric fashion. Some die, and the rest bear the telltale scar forever.
Image courtesy Saving Our Sons
It was perhaps the first beautiful day of the season and hardly anyone showed up. The morning was slow, and though I was grateful to spend a few hours outside without nearly fainting from the usually oppressive Texas heat, we had come here to talk to people… a lot of people.
The turnout did remain slight all day, but the conversations we had were meaningful. Even those who seemed to think they had no personal history with circumcision certainly had plenty to say… or plenty left unsaid, for now.
At the end of the day, though I did feel somewhat frustrated, confused and deflated, I walked away feeling mostly just thankful. The best part is, I know I wasn’t the only one.