I Accept


tony at ChooseIntact dot com

If you want a private dialogue, that’s my e-mail address. We can start wherever you prefer. I want to start with you posting what appears to be an approving link to “So we did this trolling thing”, since that person’s scam Facebook page and conclusions from it are a fascinating adventure into hypocrisy. Or can we at least start with your “Circumcision Is Not” post and where you think I’ve made mistakes? But that’s merely my preference. Name our starting point.

“Agent Scully, we trust you’ll make the proper scientific analysis.”


As the saying goes, “don’t bury the lede”. Thus, I’m starting with your first comment in your response to me. You write:

I’d also like to point out that the post I’m responding to appears to have been edited somewhat, and included a blurb about someone else in a middle of an article about my posts. Interesting.

My first reaction to this involved a pause to consider the possibility that I accidentally published the post while writing the initial draft and then publicly edited it as if it were still my rough draft. If you’d seen me publicly editing, you would’ve seen between 2 and 30+ versions, each just a little different than the last. But it’s possible I screwed up. I do not believe that’s the case here because WordPress shows a “Publish” button, which changes to an “Update” button after it’s published. By your site’s address, I suspect you’re familiar with it. I clicked “Publish” on what you see in my post.

Then I considered the possibility that the other options in the ‘Publish’ area of my WordPress dashboard were incorrect and causing me to publicly edit my post. I don’t think that is what happened, either. I can see my posts as if they’re live because I’m logged in. I ran a test post and logged out. The test post isn’t visible.

So. This should be clear from my last post. If you’re going to accuse me of something, please provide more than “appears to have been”. I wrote the post. I edited it. Then I published it.

The rest of your comment:

Regardless, posting this was a mistake. I thought the person running that site was somewhat interested in the truth. Instead they’re accusing me of being stupid or a liar. …

I am interested in the truth. That’s why I concede the potential medical benefits. It’s why I don’t cite the flawed “117 deaths” number, except to say it isn’t reliable and shouldn’t be used. My argument for individual choice can withstand that. And as I’ve written before in response to your posts, my credibility is on display in this website for you to judge. Please don’t imagine what’s convenient for you when the evidence contradicts your grand narrative.

Nor did I accuse you of being stupid or a liar in my last post. I accused you of posting a smear. Then I provided evidence to support my accusation. Even now, when you’re accusing me without evidence, I’m not accusing you of being stupid or a liar. I think those two are the third and fourth easiest explanations, respectively. The easiest explanation is above. The second easiest is that you got confused somewhere while reading my post.

If you’re curious, this is what a post looks like when I’ve edited it after publishing it.


… If you want sources, post a comment, and I’ll show you exactly where everything came from. Most of these have been posted on fb and due to their rules, and not wanting the page deleted, identifying information is sometimes left out. It’s not a problem to provide their sources. However, I am pretty sure that even if I were to, that fact wouldn’t make it into the blog post.

I posted a comment, but in the form of my blog post. I shouldn’t need to play in your sandbox for you to follow the basic etiquette for supporting an accusation you make. Nor is Facebook the entire realm of the Internet or where I might find examples of activism. I’m not obligated to be involved there, even if it might be wise to know more about who posts what there. But that’s a neat smear at the end of your comment. Good job. I asked for citations, so you work your way into imagining that you don’t need to provide them because I somehow won’t post them. Thumbs up for creativity, but spoiler alert: stop reading here if you want to continue believing that, because I post your clarifying fact below.

To your post:

Choose Intact, I read your recent criticism of this blog. What I find interesting is your take on the matter. You trust that what I’m saying is true. Why? Based on your criticisms, you seem to find me hypocritical at best. Your desire for evidence is understandable, however, you seemed to miss the most recent post I made showing some of the evidence.

I don’t trust what you’re saying. That’s why I asked for citations. I trust that what you describe is plausible because anything involving more than two people will attract some negative element. That’s activism, whether it’s against non-therapeutic child circumcision, for parental authority, or any other focused activity. The examples of pro-parental choice advocates at the end of my post demonstrate that. This is why I wrote that “my guess is that it’s true”.

I did miss that post because you published it while I was publishing mine. I don’t think you’ll be surprised to know that I find it unconvincing and problematic. (Hint: The child himself is nowhere to be found in your evaluation.)

The reason I didn’t show the screen caps proving the arrested women (it’s obvious who I’m speaking about) is both guilty of the crime she was arrested for, and on the other topics, is because there’s a pending court case on the harassment issue. I have no desire to accidentally step in the middle of that. However, it is simple to find the quotes about the database. Take a look at her Facebook page.

It isn’t obvious who you’re speaking about, which is why I wrote that I don’t have knowledge of it. I still have no idea. Your original post would’ve had more credibility if you’d included even this extra information. I would’ve disagreed with your rationale to refrain from sourcing, but it would’ve provided some justification. Instead, you lobbed a charge and now you’re telling me to do the research to prove your claim. The burden is on you, as the accuser.

It seems you’re unaware of who you are rubbing elbows with. Doesn’t that concern you in the slightest? Prominent members of an unorganized group are looked up to by other members of that group. They set the tone. But pointing out the very real problems with that tone are now considered ‘intactocopping’. That makes it pretty obvious to me that there is no interest in any deviation or dissent in the ranks.

What concerns me is that you demand that I be lumped in with anyone you’ve ever found who does something objectionable. I don’t even call myself an “intactivist”. I know there are people who engage in specific activities. Not knowing who you’re referring to in the last paragraph does not mean I’m ignorant enough to believe bad behavior doesn’t happen. As I said in my last post, I’ve spoken out against deplorable behavior before. I’ve witnessed others. Again, put more than two people together… Please don’t assume who I look up to.

As for ‘intactocopping’, I have no idea what you’re talking about. What part of my posts about your site do you think suggest I’m not interested in deviating or dissenting? I specifically put the “Partial Synopsis” at the top of my post so the point couldn’t be missed.

As far as a smear job being obvious from tge comments, my blog was flooded by those wishing to monologue on a separate topic from the one they were commenting on. I have no interest in indulging that, nor will I. You may find me misguided or sloppy as you wish, but a little smudge of objectivity would help you immensely.

The smear job was only your post because you didn’t source your accusations and because you criticize all for the behavior of a few. I provided links to your comments to show where you missed facts. Despite a flood of comments, you can be accurate in what you say. You weren’t. That was objective (e.g. You were wrong about doctors “not harming babies” when they circumcise them).

Finally, if you feel that parental consent for circumcision is illegal then SUE. Bring your case up in court and PROVE it. The law is philosophical, if the court says it’s illegal that would make it factually correct to assert such. Until then, the ethical considerations of such are purely opinion. Including mine.

I don’t have standing to sue anyone other than my parents and/or the doctor who circumcised me. The statute of limitations on that is long gone. But I didn’t say it’s ‘illegal’. Parental (i.e. proxy) consent is illegitimate. And you’re begging the question again. Something isn’t factual because the law says X. It’s factual or not. The law can be wrong.

Also, I specifically stated my case for why non-therapeutic child circumcision is unethical and is not a valid parental “right”. You still haven’t refuted that, but at least you acknowledge that what you’re saying is opinion. That’s progress.

Anti-Science and the Lack of Need for Circumcision

To put the alleged anti-science position of those who oppose non-therapeutic child circumcision into perspective, consider what the most determined proponent of routine circumcision, Brian Morris, has to say on the foreskin’s risks (From his brochure¹ “Circumcision: A guide for parents”):

… 1 in 3 uncircumcised boys will, as a result of having a foreskin, develop at least one condition requiring medical attention. …

Another way of saying that is that 2 in 3 boys will not, as a result of having their foreskin, develop at least one condition requiring medical attention. A male will more likely than not maintain his genital health throughout his life and retain the benefits of having a foreskin. That is also science. That’s important to remember in the midst of the fear promoted to encourage circumcision.

Morris also provides an inference in that statement detrimental to his argument for non-therapeutic circumcision. He is stating that 1 in 3 intact boys will require medical attention for a foreskin-related malady. He is not stating that 1 in 3 intact boys will require circumcision. As I pointed out in my last post, the ability to treat maladies is also science. If that medical attention is for a UTI, the male can take antibiotics. If that medical attention is for (genuine²) phimosis, he can use topical steroids and skin stretching techniques. And so on. Morris provides no information in this claim about the actual risk of medically-necessary circumcision within an intact male’s lifetime. All we know is that it’s something less than 1 in 3 intact males. Yet he proceeds in all of his work with the primary assumption that all infant males should be circumcised because less than 1 in 3 will require medically-necessary circumcision.

The proper focus should be on how to keep males healthy, not how to wound their genitals upon birth. Science is the key embedded within our position against non-therapeutic child circumcision. We accept science. We know it works for all people and wish to apply it throughout a male’s life. His healthy foreskin and bodily autonomy do not need to be sacrificed to fear.

¹ I don’t provide hyperlinks to propaganda. The brochure is at: http://www.circinfo.net/pdfs/GFParents-EN%28AU%292012.pdf

² To understand the fallacy of Morris’ position, consider this warning from the Medical Journal of Australia:

A high rate of unnecessary circumcision surgery for phimosis – a pathological condition where the foreskin cannot be retracted – has been detected in boys aged under five, despite the rarity of the condition in children of this age, and a marked overall fall in the rate of circumcision in Australia.

The team adds that if the 1999 rate remains stable, about 4 per cent of all boys will be circumcised for phimosis by the time they reach 15 – a rate seven times higher than the estimated occurrence of pathological phimosis.

Remember that Morris (and Jake Waskett, Aaron Tobian, Ronald Gray, Robert Bailey, Daniel Halperin, and Thomas Wiswell, among others) published as fact a claim that “all boys are born with phimosis”. To be fair, their paper is newer, but they do not provide evidence to support the claim. An explanation for why they do not may be inferred.

It’s Easier to Cut an Object

Here’s an unintentionally informative article titled “In foreskin fight, even terminology is being disputed”. Its basic premise is that the words used to describe male circumcision can influence how people think about it, and that these words may be misleading. Essentially, it amounts to the typical debate about referring to male circumcision as male genital mutilation. This is in spite of the obvious fact that circumcision fits the definition of mutilation. No amount of tradition or popular support changes that.

Late in the article, there is this quote:

“There’s a baby male, and that baby male — either for medical ritual or religious ritual — is having its foreskin removed,” Suzanne Wertheim, a visiting lecturer at UCLA, said, illustrating what a neutral description of the act in question might look like.

In her effort to reach a “neutral” description, Dr. Wertheim shows a reason why non-therapeutic male child circumcision continues. There’s a baby male, and that baby male is having his foreskin removed. He is a person, not an object. There is no valid reason to skip the correct gender-specific pronoun here. Doing so marginalizes the hypothetical child as something less than an individual with an equal right to be free from non-therapeutic genital cutting.