And I can’t sit here on my moral pedestal and pretend like I haven’t said some unhelpful things about this loaded topic. I had to scrap an earlier draft of this post because all that was coming out was snark. But in my evolution as an intactivist, I’ve also learned that as vindicating as snark may feel, it’s not going to save any babies.
I know many people who cut their sons, or are circumcised themselves, who see nothing wrong with removing healthy genital tissue from babies. I know people who know it’s unnecessary and painful and traumatic, and shrug their shoulders because they prefer the aesthetics of a bald penis.
Obviously this makes my heart break, because I see children as autonomous people, with their own set of rights, independent of the ones parents grant them. Yes, intact genitals are a human right, even when parents prefer circumcised ones.
But I don’t think these people are bad parents, and I’m sure most of them love their children dearly. In fact, most people circumcise their sons because they believe it’s what is best for them, and many more simply because they don’t see anything wrong with circumcision.
However, I also know history will be on my side. I know cultural attitudes and ethics will move in the direction of bodily autonomy for children. I know the idea that children as extensions and property of their parents is an archaic idea that the human race is evolving out of, ever so slowly.