Four years ago I accepted an invitation from the producers of The Learning Channel’s Strange Sex series to appear and discuss non-surgical foreskin restoration and my family’s business helping men undo some of the sexual damage of circumcision. I did this despite my reservations about the show’s title. I know the only thing “strange” about restoring is that someone’s penis was mutilated in the first place. Watch my episode here:
[vimeo 112886027 w=500 h=372]
If you watched it you’ll agree they handled the topic respectfully.
I had hoped participating in the show would call attention to the fact that many men are unhappy having been circumcised, and it really did. The producers decided to run my episode to open the season, so it coincided with Genital Integrity Awareness Week 2011. The smattering of press reports about GIAW plus the fact that I was going to be on TV made me legit enough to get booked on various radio shows that week. This was punctuated by my idol (and the world’s loudest intactivist) Howard Stern interviewing me for 35 minutes with his radio / TV audience of millions. See that here:
[vimeo 112981379 w=500 h=375]
As you watch the second video you’ll agree that he handled the topic of restoration irreverently, but he was fully on board for infants’ rights to genital integrity. After the Stern show I headed directly to the Genital Integrity Awareness Week demonstration at the US Capitol in Washington, DC. Every year we are asked by tourists what we’re doing there, why protest this particular week, etc. This year the answer is that we mark the 18th anniversary of the US anti-genital mutilation law which protects only girls from forced genital cutting. The law leaves boys and intersex children vulnerable to the whims and cosmetic preferences of people who will not spend a lifetime with the result. Cutting in childhood gives absurdly haphazard results and of course denies someone’s right to make a rational informed decision about their own body. We demand a law that protects everyone from forced non-therapeutic genital cutting.
One of these days a boy or intersex person who was forcibly cut after the US female-only law took effect will turn 18 and gain standing to sue over the fact that the law unconstitutionally failed to afford his/her healthy genitals equal protection (even if the surgery was not “botched”). This brave pioneer will probably be thought weird by some friends and family, and folks who read about the case. But nothing could be more natural than objecting to forced non-therapeutic genital reduction surgery. Circumcision – that’s strange.