01.04.2011 26.Adar ll, 5771
San Francisco moves to introduce a ban on male genital mutilation, making it illegal to remove the foreskin of a boy under the age of 18 on the pain of a $1,000 fine and a year’s imprisonment.
In the course of the exhaustive research that preceded the writing of this column (yes, I did a quick Google search), I learned a new word. Intactivism. My spell-checker may not yet recognize it but apparently intactivism is a growing movement. Its spiritual and organizational headquarters is in San Francisco but they are spreading globally, or so at least the various intactivist websites claim. If they have their way, the good people of San Francisco will have a chance in November to vote in a piece intactivist legislation and from the Bay Area, who knows where it will spread next.
Though it turns out that there are others vying for the crown of the intactivist capital: Members of the Swedish parliament were early adherents, passing their own law already 10 years ago. Oh, what is intactivism? It is believing so fervently in the right of baby boys to keep their foreskins intact that one is moved to actively agitating in favor of this position. It may be called in polite parlance circumcision and in most Jewish circles Brit Milah, but the intactivists are not having any of that word-laundering − it is forced mutilation of infant genitalia, and as such should be outlawed. Next week is the highpoint of their intactivities, with National Genital Integrity Awareness week in the United States….