All extremists scare me, so where do I draw the line?

At some point in every activist’s life, he/she must decide if it’s worth continuing to support their cause.  The only thing I’ve ever felt strong enough about supporting is intactivism, which is someone who is against routine infant circumcision (RIC).  The only place I fight for this cause is on facebook and twitter, though I hardly ever use twitter anymore.  The circumfetishists on there became too much for me to handle, so I had to give it a break.  Well, now I’m about ready to give facebook a break too.  Why?  Because I have learned the hard way that just because you agree with a big group of people on one cause doesn’t mean you agree on everything.  I have also come to the conclusion that when someone takes anything to an extreme, they have more than just a few loose screws in their head.  I have never considered myself an extreme intactivist.  I don’t attend public demonstrations or pester people in hospitals or the like.  I merely try to help convince ignorant people that what they think they know about circumcision is wrong.  That alone is enough to be called crazy or a hate monger along with many other vicious names.  People don’t want to be told that they’re brainwashed, even if admitting it might save future generations of men and their relationships.

I won’t go into detail on why RIC is wrong, since I’ve detailed it plenty on this site and don’t feel the need to beat that dead horse.  But when fighting intactivism means I have to deal with ignorant people who support their own extremist causes, I should probably back away.  I will give a few examples of what I mean, since two major ones come up quite often, and a new one just came to light today.

First let’s start with the intactivist who unfriended me on facebook last night.  She posted a photo of a mostly naked woman who was heavily tattooed.  I find that very unattractive and nothing anyone says will ever convince me that it’s anything but ugly.  Though it is HER body, so it’s her right to mess it up as much as she wants. It’s also my right to not look at her ugly body, which could actually be quite beautiful in it’s normal and natural state. After all, I stand with other intactivists about leaving babies whole as they were born, no alteration needed.  If they choose later on to mess it up, while that’s sad, it is THIER choice.

But the thing about the photo that made me comment instead of hiding it, so I wouldn’t have to look at it further, was an asinine comment across the side of it that basically said that if tattoing was fully understood it was actually a religious act that made the person closer to God and more beautiful and whole.  Gag worthy in my opinion, since that is exactly what pro-cutters say about circumcision. So I posted “Sounds a lot like an argument for infant circumcision.”  Well, the chick got offended and told me to remove myself from her page. This surprised me for several reasons. First, the fool could have unfriended me her lazy self. Second, I was right, but she couldn’t acknowledge that, since she is an extremist tattooer, and lastly, she is the one who initially requested the friendship since she felt we had something in common: intactivism.  I have had to unfriend several intactivists over the last year, all for differing levels of extremist behaviors that I couldn’t stomach.

I like to think of myself as moderately open minded about what people do, but I will never accept any form of extremist activism.  Since I started with the tattoo, I will continue with that.  I don’t have any tattoos.  I personally don’t really like the thought of letting someone with a sharp needle and ink permanently mar my skin, but I would never hold it against someone if they did it.  A few here or there?  Whatever!  But if that person takes it to an extreme and has tattoos all the way up their arms and neck and chest and/or back?  I doubt I could look at them without curling my lip, because that person has some type of mental problem that they are trying to fill with tattoos.

Breastfeeding is another hot button topic, and another reason I have unfriended FB friends, and I’m sure I’ve lost a few for the same reason.  I try not to be vocal on FB by anything other than intactivism, but every once in awhile I can’t avoid it.  The first thing that will set me off is when someone says, “you can’t support breastfeeding and then say but. It’s all or nothing”  Um, yes you can, and no it’s not.  I support breastfeeding, and I nursed my son for as long as I could, but (yes, a very big BUT), no one has the right to think that just because they have milk in their tits that they can make others around them miserable.  Many people don’t like seeing it in public, but extremist breastfeeders don’t care.  They feel that if you don’t want to see it, then there is something wrong with you. They refuse to acknowledge that the breast is sexual. They are only there for a baby.  That’s another thing that will set me off.  If that is true, why do we have them most of our lives? If they are only for a baby, shouldn’t they only form when we have a baby and then go away afterwards?  If you do the math and breastfeed two children for a total of 8 years, and you die at the age of 80, that’s only 10% of your life that you used them for their “only”:purpose, and that is an extreme. Most women might only nurse for 6 months, so that wouldn’t even be 1% of their life. So I guess you should slap away your husband any time he wants to play with them or suck on them during sex?  Really?

Extremist breastfeeders don’t even care if other nursing mothers don’t like public nursing, since they will attack their own cause if anyone dares to disagree with them.  They’re like cannibals, and they always go for the kill.  They actually scare me more than any other cause, so I try to stay the hell out of their debates, which is why I’ll unfriend the worst offenders.  Life is hard enough without complicating it with a bunch of loonies who want to nurse their kids until they lose all their baby teeth.  Enough about that.

The final one is the newest one, which is an offshoot of intactivism, and that’s sad to say.  Why?  Because even intactivists don’t always agree. How could we, since many are extremists, and I am afraid of all extremists, remember?  Well, there is a guide to let men know how much foreskin they have, and the scale goes from 1 (none) to 10 (too much).  No one should want to be a 1 (extreme), and it makes sense that no one should want to be a 10 (opposite extreme) either.  I commented stating that, and a guy wrote back that if he was gay, he would want to be 10, since it would be easier for him to “dock” with another gay guy.  Sorry, but you’ll have to look that up, since it’s too gross for me to even want to discuss.  As usual an extremist would naturally want to go to the extreme for their cause, and that’s scary.

It does remind me of a 4th extreme and that’s something that is apparently called ear gauge   For those who don’t know, that’s when someone decides that merely have pierced ears isn’t enough, so they get gauges to make the hole bigger and bigger and bigger. I guess they will eventually want to put a damn plate in there, so they can hang with the natives, but I find it ugly…like I do with all other extremes.  Since that is exactly what an ear gauge is, an ugly extreme of ear piercing, which is something I fully support.  These gauges are just another form of body modification for people who aren’t happy with their bodies and think messing them up will make them feel closer to God or make them more spiritual or some other hokey thing they’ve dreamt up in an attempt to fill the mental problem they suffer from.  But again, we are supposed to let these crazy people do whatever they want, as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else.  Again, the only pain it causes me is having to look at them.  And won’t that be hard if everyone does it?  That would be a very frightening world indeed.

So the bottom line is that I’m not sure how much longer I will be able to stay on facebook.  People are getting stranger every day, and I just don’t know how much more of dealing with that I can stand.

The evolution of activism

I was looking over a few of my older posts and stumbled upon this one: http://awesatious.com/2010/09/different-levels-of-activism/

I wrote that over a year ago, and I have to admit I’ve changed quite a bit since then.  I’ve done more research on the foreskin and circumcision, discovered the revolting truth that there are circumfetishists and realized that no matter what you tell some parents, they will still mutilate their infant sons.  I guess you can say I was naive when I wrote that article.  I truly felt that since it was pretty easy to open my eyes to how barbaric infant circumcision is, I thought it would simply require me to post a few links on how awful it is, and parents would realize they didn’t want that for their sons. Guess what? I was wrong.  You can post numerous links. You can tell them that more babies die from circumcision than they do from SIDS or from drop down cribs.  You can tell them it might interfere with their child breast feeding and/or bonding with them, or that it will permanently alter their brain. They can be told their son might grow into a violent man or be unable to process emotions.  Their son might have sexual problems or might even be unable to enjoy sex.  You can tell them all of that and STILL get the response, “Well, he’s my son, not yours, so why don’t you mind your own business?”

While I can still say I’m not fanatical about intactivism, I’m not innocent of name calling.  Though I do try to impart my wisdom in a nice way, the insults thrown at me do bring my back up, and I do fight back.  At that point it is no longer me against an ignorant parent who needs valuable information.  It’s me against a stupid person who can’t see reason. It’s me against a sexual child abuser.  At that point the gloves come off.

Why is it so important?  Because as one article I read during my extensive research into the atrocity that is infant male circumcision stated, the ratio of violent sex crimes in the US have risen in direct proportion to the ratio of sexually active circumcised men.  If you cut your son, and he grows up to be a rapist, THAT affects everyone.  Of course not all circ’d men become violent, and that is not what I’m saying, but I’m pretty sure that if someone looked into it, most rapes and murders are done by cut men.  Not all, most. Men whose first memory was of being strapped down and mutilated against their will as they fought to be free and screamed for their mothers. Men who have no idea why they feel such hatred toward other people (especially women).  Their mothers should have protected them, but they didn’t.  The same mothers that I try to inform against circumcising, who tell me to “STFU and mind your own business”.

I’m sorry, but it IS my business.

Different levels of activism

I never thought I’d be considered an activist of anything.  I never really felt strongly about a topic to want to support it.  Then I had a baby.  It is amazing how that changes everything in your life.  Some people take it to extremes though, but I think that is in the individual’s nature and has nothing to do with becoming a parent. 

When a normal person becomes a parent, he/she truly looks out for that child’s well-being.  When someone is a bit off kilter to begin with, becoming a parent can mean that any topic becomes a crusade.  This is unfortunate for the normal parents who just want to protect their child(ren) and still function as the adults they were before they had kids.

Writing online has opened my eyes to the different levels of being an activist.  Luckily, I’ve written for most of my life and have a pretty thick skin.  It’s not armor, mind you, but it’s definitely thicker than when I started marketing myself online in 1997.  During that time, people have gotten uglier and more insulting.  There is so much wrong with our culture, and these types of people just compound the problems.

We all have the right to free speech, as long as what we say is politically correct.  I tell you what, being PC will be our downfall.  This makes it not OK to say it like it is, but it protects those that feel they have a cause.  They feel they are being politically correct as they support that cause.  It doesn’t matter who they hurt, since they are in the right (even if they’re wrong).  PC makes it very hard to stand up for what you believe in or stand for, and it lets the big mouths in our society that much louder.

I am an intactivist, which means I am an anti-circumcision activist.  I support those that want to outlaw routine infant circumcision. This does not mean I think circumcision is wrong or that it should never be performed, and I certainly would never attack someone who decided to circumcise their son.  I would know they were doing that son an injustice, but it’s through ignorance and/or lack of education.  I would certainly not like to think it was a deliberate attempt to mutilate their child, and I would not think it’s within my right to persecute them for it.  They have to live with the decisions they make, be it right or wrong.  THAT is what I think being an activist is, supporting your cause without attacking those that disagree.

Extreme activists are a totally different breed.  These people call you names and insult you, try to make you look stupid for disagreeing with them and generally make other people miserable.  They use their cause to put themselves on an unjustified pedestal and look down on everyone who dares to point out that they might not have all the facts.  Some extremists will attack other supporters of the same cause if those other people do not completely agree with every statement they utter.  In my opinion extreme activists are fanatical.  They could be compared to religious zealots who form suicide pacts so they can go to heaven early, or bombers who feel they are fighting for freedom. 

One thing that I have discovered during my time writing online is that the one thing these extremists hate more than anything is not being heard.  If they comment negatively on an article or a blog, they call it censorship when their poison is deleted.  Know what?  I now smile every time I can delete one of their insulting comments. I’ve always said that if someone wants to disagree with me, I welcome it as long as it’s constructive and not insulting.  If your parents didn’t teach you any manners, don’t expect me to let you get away with it on my blog or my articles (yes, I have control of the delete key there, too).

I do find it a bit flattering that these extremists go out of their way to find me and insult me, even when the topic has nothing to do with their cause.  I guess it’s just their attempt to get back at me for my opinion, no matter where it’s posted. 

In the meantime I will continue to be an intactivist and say it like it is.  You can either agree with me or disagree with  me, whether it be about intactivism or some other topic, but you can’t and won’t change my beliefs.  Why is my opinion more important than yours?  Well, because it’s mine, why else? And unless you can express your opinion in a mature and educated way, I don’t even want to listen.