By Jack Fleck
@jackfleck77 on Twitter
Throughout the history of Western Civilization (and we see this most apparently in Indian Civilization), we have had different castes of people serve different functions in accordance to their intelligence and worldliness (i.e. their being “cultured”). Until the idea of the intellectual came into being in the form of the critic, artist, writer, philosopher, commentator, journalist, etc. it was the role of the Priest and the artists who worked in service to the Church who served in a religious capacity of giving to the masses narratives and images that inspired either their love to Christ, or a fear of the Lord so that they could get out of the masses an unwavering obedience to the social order.
Since then there have been a few transformations, and simply the amount of culture that we are given seems to have increased exponentially. I have in mind a memory of mine when I went to New York City, and in the midst of the city all I saw was this constant imagery that sold to us (the masses) these products which then become the defining characteristic of our lives. Modernity perhaps could be described as an accelerating process along with its tendency to give those who are most invested in its proliferation feelings of exhaustion due to the sheer number of images and narratives it gives to its viewers. We take this phenomena of mass messaging, and we combine it with Western Capitalism’s structure of putting up the image of either the city yuppie or the suburban nuclear family, and we come to the conclusion that we live in a world that prefers radical isolation for the sake of economic efficiency over more communal forms of social organization that we find in more tribal societies. As a result of this, we live in a world that is more alienating, and we live in a world where starting any form of social activism that isn’t promoted by mainstream media gets isolated into sections of the internet where people put lots of time into yelling at walls. The intellectual as a figure who stands up for the middleman against all interests that are pursued by big capital and the governmental bureaucracy has lost relevance in our age due to the increasing fragmentation of people’s interests. Another example of this greater phenomenon has been this decade’s lack of an identity. One can easily point to the 50’s and the 90’s and come away with a general feeling of that decade’s defining characteristics. Can one say the same about the 2010’s? This phenomenon is described in Esquire magazine.
If there’s no one trend that defines the decade, it’s because there was simply so much stuff. It’s difficult to imagine today, but there was a time when a person was not oppressed by content. Someone would recommend a new television show to you, and your response would not be a weary, anxious sigh and a promise to put it at the end of an unmanageably long to-watch list.
As a result of this, intactivism, much like other fringe movements has faced an uphill battle which seems to be getting steeper and steeper despite the great moves made by people like Eric Clopper and Brendon Marotta.
Some of the most successful activist movements of today therefore heavily rely on media apparatuses that hold hegemonic power over which discourses get prioritized and which ones do not. One of the most disturbing facts the conspiracy theorists will often raise is the fact that 90% of the media is controlled by six corporations, so although we have had some charitable coverage of our movement come from news outlets like Buzzfeed, TYT, Vice News, and the Huffington Post, these attempts which have painted our movement under a bright light have done little to alter the whole of our social fabric. These outlets tend to appeal to younger audiences (Millennials and Zoomers), and everyone knows that most of the capital is stored by people who are over the age of 50, and if this is the case, and we know how great a role that money plays in politics, then the politics of intactivism which tends to appeal to young people isn’t getting funded. Although intactivism has been active in the United States ever since people here started to recognize the absolute absurdity of the practice, the issue itself hasn’t gained much traction until very recently.
A few events have grown people’s interest in the topic. The 2011 attempt in San Francisco to ban infant male circumcision. The latest 2012 AAP guidelines on infant male circumcision followed up by a harsh rebuttal made by medical professionals from the rest of the developed world who claimed that our guidelines were tainted with cultural bias, and that they therefore didn’t reflect any accurate global medical consensus. The Bloodstained Men movement has made some headway into the culture by becoming the largest intactivist protest movement, and they have gained so much notoriety, their movement has been talked about by numerous news organizations to go along with two guest appearances on The Jim Jeffries Show and Tosh O, two shows on Comedy Central. The introduction into our discourse that foreskin regeneration is possible with the messaging that the Italian company Foregen has put out. Eric Clopper’s 2018 Harvard presentation titled Sex and Circumcision: An American Love Story. Brenden Marotta’s 2018 Netflix documentary American Circumcision. In 2017 a female circumcision case in Detroit Michigan which gained enough controversy to be reported on by Fox News. In 2018 Iceland tried to ban circumcision and was met with ADL opposition. And most recently in 2019, we figured out that Andrew Yang took a firm stance against circumcision by not circumcising his sons (one of whom he often mentions is autistic) and siding with intactivists because someone who we know quite well in our discord chatroom Forefront who goes by the name Jellyfish Rave asked him his thoughts on the matter. Andrew Yang as many have noted was the first presidential candidate to take a stance against circumcision, and he confirmed that he would lead an initiative to educate parents on circumcision’s unnecessariness reminiscent of what England’s National Health Service did for their country in 1946, and what the Canadian Health Guidelines did for Canadians in 1996. Some have expressed disappointment that Yang wouldn’t go as far as to declare that under his administration males would be added to the 1996 female circumcision ban bill, and they expressed even more disappointment when Yang talked about how he didn’t have any desire to take from parents their right to “choose” circumcision for their son because he went to view a Bris ceremony himself, and that he only wanted to moderately inform parents that circumcision wasn’t medically necessarily, and that it was only a cultural practice. People in our movement are correct to be skeptical about Yang’s statements on circumcision, and they are right to express disappointment where Yang tolerates our enemy, but they must recognize that Yang has done more for our movement than almost anyone else despite not being a purist because as a politician his words carry weight, and they cause ripple effects.
These events more or less have brought the issue into the public square, although unlike abortion and gun rights, it’s still on the periphery of acceptable discourse. Until now intactivism was mostly relegated to internet chat forums and communities of men buying TLC tuggers so that they could regain something resembling in a foreskin in a 4-7-year timeframe.
How have our intellectuals and shapers of culture failed on circumcision? The answer is simple. They’re too late. Everyone who knows anything about modern history knows that the 60’s and 70’s were defined in the West by their turn toward an outlook on life was generally more egalitarian, and although there were swaths of Conservative voters and thinktanks that still held some sway over our political apparatus, the main cultural trends which occurred in Hollywood, academia, and elsewhere were drifting leftward, especially when it came to social issues (premarital sex, interracial marriage, rock music, desegregation, affirmative action, porn, gay rights, etc.). We were behind Western European countries when it came to us accepting these leftist dogmas which now define our normative discourse, but we were still going in that direction. Two themes come from this era of thought that gave to it a potentiality for it to be the breeding ground for intactivist messaging to be given its due diligence; sex positivity and egalitarianism. The former value deplores all discourses and codes that restrict sexual expression and all avenues for seeking and experiencing sexual pleasure. Sex positive politics can be put in an existentialist and explicitly atheist frame. Hedonistic morality makes sense if there is no God up above who will punish us if we masturbate in our free time, if we put our genitals in the wrong hole, or if we in any deviate from the “natural” and “traditional” forms of behavior that conform to the nuclear family model and the sheltering of all “degenerate” sex acts and images. If there is no God who will punish us for anything that we do, and if we can experience pleasure, then why not try and experience as much pleasure as possible? If we ascribe this moral postulate, this postmodern demand (“be free!”) for us to experience pleasure and be free, then we have to wonder why the culture shapers of the 60’s and 70’s didn’t protest against circumcision, a procedure which we all know in the intactivist sphere does nothing but decrease the amount of pleasure men can experience during sex acts insofar as the foreskin is the most sensitive part of the penis, and how it can even decrease the amount of sexual pleasure that women can experience during sex because of how we know from numerous studies that circumcision increases the likelihood that women will bleed from their vaginas, not have orgasms, experience general vaginal discomfort, and report that the sex they experience is rougher ((and no wonder! It’s almost like excising more than 50% of the skin and mucosa from the penis will make it harder for the penis to go in and out of the vagina, which of course makes buying lubricant more of a necessity (the lubricant industry are getting their $ because of this bullshit)). So if we listen to the rhetoric that comes from the men’s rights activist movement and determine that these intellectuals refused to look at circumcision as an issue because they were so gosh darned gynocentric and feminist-minded, it still does not follow rationally that they would ignore this issue simply due to the fact that females are hurt by men being circumcised insofar as they can’t reach full sexual-mental satisfaction compared to if these men were left intact.
The 60’s and 70’s intellectuals (at least those who are still alive) in response will claim that they didn’t investigate the circumcision issue too much because our medical establishment has successfully muddied the waters by establishing that the “choice” to circumcise or not is a “debate” that has to be fostered through “dialogue,” and that parents aren’t being made to circumcise their children, but rather they are nicely encouraged to because of how circumcision will cure an infinite amount of diseases, how it’s more hygienic, and how their infant won’t even feel pain (this was accepted by the American Academy of Pediatrics until 1987).
They could claim ignorance, but this would be foolish of them, because they ignore the role of the intellectual in relation to his or her society, and that is to improve one’s culture by making appeals to knowledge that are universally grounded. It’s reaching out to other cultures which are similarly developed, and it’s about affirming things like human rights that make certain rights inalienable. It means figuring out how the rest of the developed world rejects all the rationalizations that our medical community uses to justify something which they pursue out of profit. It’s about realizing that when it comes to moving away from the cash grab that is the circumcision industry, we are the last one’s who are rejecting it in the Anglophone world. New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, and Canada have all drifted away from circumcision before we have started to. This isn’t a coincidence of course, because as Gregory Malchuk has stated on Angelo John Gage’s show, circumcision rates in the United States started to go down in the 1970’s as the government incentives for circumcision were being removed from some states, Hispanics and Asians were immigrating in large numbers post-1965, America was Liberalizing, and the medical justifications that were used in the 30’s (penile cancer prevention) and the 50’s (polio prevention) for circumcision were looking more and more dubious (we didn’t arrive yet at the 80’s which brought about the HIV/AIDS prevention scare tactic). But, as the rates of circumcision were precipitously going doing throughout the rest of the Anglo world, the rate of circumcision in the United States slowed down considerably slower because of the American Academy of Pediatrics Circumcision Task Force headed by Edgar Schoen, the man who was shown on American Circumcision telling circumcised men that if they complain about getting circumcised as infants, then they have to “get a life.” Given what we now know about the severity of the procedure, that it is in fact more invasive than most of the commonly performed female circumcision rituals (with the exception of infibulation), his words can be taken out and applied to the females who we grant refugee status because they have fled their country of origin on the basis of fleeing having to undergo a genital cutting ritual which in all likelihood is less severe than what our NGOs are promoting without the consent of the parents on babies and children in Kenya. We shouldn’t be surprised that someone like Schoen would brush aside everyone who objected to having part of their penis amputated, because this was a man who in 1987 wrote Ode to the Circumcised Male. The ritual therefore wasn’t just done out of medical necessity for Schoen, but it was in actuality the fulfillment of his aesthetic, cultural, and tribal (he was Jewish) ideal.
The intellectual should keep an eye on institutional corruption such as we have shown thus far in this article, but the intellectuals in relation to the circumcision industry have done no such thing, and for those who have broke the mold and who have attacked this industry, they are the exception and not the rule. Intactivism in higher education and in our media hasn’t been this grand movement, but rather it’s this niche thing that no one is willing to talk about. And perhaps it is here where we grant to circumcision its power to nullify the will of the intellectual. Its ability to take the male and make him paralyzed. The object of manipulation is of course the object that the male is the quickest to defend, it is the object the male can develop an inferiority complex over in relation to other males, and most importantly, it is the object that is constantly kept hidden due to how we have given nudity taboo status. Cutting off the hands or the eyelids are more apparent, but the penis is always kept in the pants, so the transformation this nation went under in the 30’s when Americans en masse were being convinced to have their children circumcised with newly invented Goldstein Medical Company GOMCO clamps could commence without a peep of protest.
Thus, we have come to this pass. That circumcision while given some exposure in popular media, while analyzed in thousands of books that few will ever read, and commented on by celebrities like Joe Rogan, Howard Stern, and the late Christopher Hitchens, it has not gained the status in social justice spaces like criminal justice reform, drug legalization, anti-war protest, racial justice, LGBTQ rights, and the right for women to have abortions with phrases like “my body my choice” despite circumcision being a more obvious violation of bodily integrity (some in our movement have tried co-opting “my body my choice” by saying “his body his choice”), it drastically affecting the sexual pleasure of males (as much as an 80% difference according to some estimates!) (even if the pleasure differences pre- and post-surgery were the same, circumcision wouldn’t be ethically permissible to the extent that it isn’t ethically permissible for someone underage to get tattoo’d), and like abortion, it affects millions of people. Circumcision has not yet gained the status that all these other these issues have, and the opportunity it had to mold into the popular imagination like the anti-war movement and the Vietnam War, and the Civil Rights movement and poc rights has come to a pass. To bring this topic back to the beginning of the article, the over-saturation of our media makes it almost impossible for new ideas to come to the fore to define new epochs. Only when new ideas over-burden the current system does the system start to slowly disintegrate as the cracks on the system’s apparatus begin to widen. So, while the prime opportunity for us to engage with the greater culture from the media apparatus and the academic bubble has faded, we are still in an age when information that was once hidden can be shown for all to see. Facts like infant foreskins being used in cosmetic products wouldn’t have seen the light of day in the 60’s and 70’s, and this is our advantage. While information is more saturated, and social movements that haven’t already captured the American imagination aren’t likely to attract the philanthropy of the top 1% ((we see this sort of social Conservatism in film as well with most of the biggest blockbusters being sequels and prequels (entertainment corporations would rather invest in content that has proven profitable rather than gamble with more original material)), we have with the invention of the internet the advantage of compiling all of the relevant data that backs up our position (we have done this in the Forefront discord server by storing away academic papers and the like outlining the sexual and mental harms of infant circumcision). With this vast array of information, we can replicate the red pilling presentations that people like Eric Clopper and Brendon Marotta have put on. We can communicate and organize with people who live near us (I’ve done this with a friend named Cody). We can engage in meme magic. We can try out more radical protest strategies. We can appoint capable men to icon roles to strengthen public relations ((public heads (i.e. leaders) are meant to unify the desires of the masses into identifiable figures who are then given iconographic status, and when they speak, they speak for the entirety of the mass (Trump expresses this phenomena with “I am your voice” in his Inauguration speech)). We are a diverse movement, and thus our movement will branch out to different social factions, social factions that are both mainstream and fringe. Like Christianity we can have these factions project their other desires into the intactivist desire even if the factions are completely at odds with one another (pro-choice and pro-life positions for instance are both compatible with the intactivist desire). We are a-political and political. We are left and right. We are inevitable. And we will wake up the masses before the issue fades from our social space, and before the mutilators will try and distance themselves from the crimes they have committed. No. We will see to it that all these bastards get thrown in hell. It is by divine providence that we will fulfill this quest. We owe it to the gods, and we owe it to the people who are apart of this great nation.
Why did we ever accept this foreign ritual and make it our own? It is because we are soulless, it is because we are rootless, and it is because we do not know who we are. A healthy nation would stamp out circumcision like how an exterminator kills all sorts of vermin, but because we lack a proper immune system, we are a sick society. It is time we regain our soul; it is time we discover who we are, and it is time we correct the wrongs that have been committed against our people. We owe it to our countrymen, and we owe it to our children. We cannot escape to countries that are more hostile to circumcision, or, in other words, we can’t escape this country and frolic among those who share our values and our conception of how the world ought to be. Neigh. To run away from the issue before us is cowardice of the worst kind. If we decide to escape the issue at hand and live out our lives without struggle, what will we think on our death beds? How will we reconcile the fact that we choose to let our nation’s children suffer just because we found it daunting to educate our people about how they’re being betrayed by the mutilators who dedicate their lives to feeding their insatiable greed. We won’t be able to. We will die knowing we could’ve done so much more. We run away from the problem by leaving the country, by committing suicide, by exiting the movement to engage in a life of earning 34K a year to pay off monthly rent for a condominium. There is no exit. There is no escape. The problem does not magically go away if we decide to not look at it. The gaping wound on our finger only gets more infected when we choose to not attend to it. Historians will look back poorly on the laziness of our Priests, but we have the opportunity to right a wrong that has been brewing for more than a century. We will take back our destiny, and no one can stop us! Victory will be ours!