Recovering From Issue Fatigue
Over at Bilerico I have a new essay up on the topic of the recent German court ruling to ban non-therapeutic circumcision of minors. For many years I stayed away from the topic, for the reasons I illustrated in my (now ancient) post titled “Issue Fatigue.” In the last six or so months however, I’ve got something of a second wind (or is it a third or fourth by now).
And the reason makes me uncomfortable: more people agree with my position now.
When I dropped out of being a really vocal voice for the intactivist movement, things were looking grim. On the back of some seriously flawed research there was a growing push to reverse the downward trend in male circumcision and the AAP looked ready to resume their disgusting and biased support for the procedure at any moment.
I never stopped advocating one-on-one for wholeness, and the powerful emotional and spiritual joys that could come with leaving your child’s genitals alone and/or restoring one’s own to something much closer to their natural state. I wear my DTR (a foreskin restoration device) openly in clothing optional spaces, and welcome the questions it brings. I talk about my personal feelings on the topic whenever appropriate and remain abreast of new developments, good and bad.
But other than that, I really stayed away from it as much as possible. Even when I wrote “Issue Fatigue” back in 2007 I had commenters who strongly disagreed with the intactivist position who couldn’t let the topic drop, despite the point of the post itself. I’ve even had fellow BDSM educators imply that as someone who does consensual male genitorture play (CBT), I was hypocritical to write about or even hold the intactivist position. It was all too much for me.
Today though, I am far more comfortable taking up the mantle of this issue. Some of that is because I am more confident in my voice as a writer than I have been in quite a long time. But the other big piece is that the tide has turned quite a bit in support of the intactivist worldview.
This is wonderful, but also makes me feel a bit like a total shit. I feel like a soldier who deserted the battle front when the war got to be too much, but now that the war was looking up, returned to the front to share in the glory. There are truly amazing men and women who stayed behind to slog this one out, and I don’t like the idea that I abandoned them, but the reality is that I don’t know I would have been much good had I kept going at the time.
There are many issues that are important to me, but this one has always been a big one, and I’m going to do my damnest to keep the momentum going through educating and advocating for the right to bodily integrity of children for as long as I can. There are many more vocal allies in this fight than there were five years ago and together maybe we can really make a difference.