This morning I transferred the last of the donations to Foregen from our fundraiser. Thanks to everyone who contributed. There are multiple pressure points in our fight against genital mutilation. Real restoration is an important new front.
I'm on the road this week. I'll be back next week with some more thoughts.
In the six years I have joined the Bay Area Intactivists participating in the San Francisco Pride parade, the worst reaction to our presence I have ever seen along the parade route was subdued disapproval. Never shouting. No name-calling. Certainly no violence.
That all changed this year. As the Bay Area Intactivists moved into the parade route, a single individual began spewing vile and hateful abuse at us. The experience was not unlike the kind I have seen and experienced from homophobes and religious zealots of all kinds who sometimes come to Pride celebrations.
The experience was puzzling, frightening, and weird all at the same time. I seriously wondered whether he had us confused with the real "child molesters," which is what he kept calling us. After all, we're the advocates for children. We were the group with the half dozen or so mothers, all of whom had protected and defended their children from the predators who wield the knives aimed squarely at the little ones' most private, most sensitive parts: their genitals. So what gives?
We obviously hit a very sensitive nerve in this man, whose demeanor you can judge for yourself in the still photos below. He was acting out over a very profound hurt. I can't say for sure whether that hurt was centered on his own genital mutilation or something else. But we in the community working for children's rights and seeking protections from circumcisers, whether through an appeal to society, doctors or legislators, need to understand this could become more common as we become more successful.
This evening I kicked off an experiment to test the fundraising mojo of MC_HIV with Indiegogo.com, a funding platform similar to Kickstarter.com, but without the limitations that prevent charity or activism campaigns.
The Bay Area Intactivists marched in the Santa Cruz Pride Parade today and found themselves immediately embroiled in controversy for taking pictures of one of their members innocuously holding a protest sign in front of a group representing the American Civil Liberties Union.
Ever since the San Francisco Male Genital Mutilation ballot measure went down in flames with the support and encouragement of the ACLU, they have been a special favorite for targeted protest among some of us here in the San Francisco Bay Area. The affront is that the ACLU is all for the civil liberties and presumably human rights of little girls born to Muslim cultures that believe in female circumcision, but completely change their tune when it comes to American infant boys. Female genital mutilation must not be tolerated, but the male version is a religious right, according to their logic.
During the incident today, Santa Cruz Pride sent their rent-a-cops over to intimidate the intactivists when the ACLU complained of their presence. The rent-a-cops told them that they were not allowed to take pictures as the ACLU and the rent-a-cops were "private." I pointed out that the ACLU and Pride generally were in a public place participating in a public event, bringing my desire to document the event under the protection of the highest law in the land, the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. They disagreed, but were unable to cite any authority to support their position.
I encourage readers to ask the Diversity Center of Santa Cruz, which sponsors and organizes the Santa Cruz Pride events, why they felt it necessary to try and stop pictures from being taken at their event. I would also encourage readers to contact the Santa Cruz Chapter of the ACLU and ask them how they feel about being party to suppression of political speech and the dissimination of said speech in these circumstances.Intactivists stopped from taking pictures and asked to move away from the ACLU during Santa Cruz Pride Parade (Click on image for larger view)
UPDATE: Another image of private security intimidating intactivists below. It didn't work.Private security moves into position to protect several ACLU locals from a guy holding a sign at Santa Cruz Pride (Click on image for larger view)
CROYDON, UK. Arch circumcision advocate, Vernon Quaintance, was convicted of possession of child pornography April 11. Quaintance claimed during the proceedings he is celibate, a common defensive claim of pedophiles despite its irrelevance to possession of child pornography, and that he had only looked at the material a long time ago.Vernon Quaintance: Convicted of Possession of Child Pornography in Croydon, UK.
In connection with this group, Quaintance is credited with providing a description of luring teenage boys through the use of alcohol and psychological manipulation into being circumcised. The description was published in Circumcision: An Ethnomedical Study by A. Thomas (The Gilgal Society, EMS-EN 0304-2, Fourth Edition 2005, Chapter 27 p.191, Case Histories and Experiences of Circumcision). See an excerpt here.
Despite the overt implications of abuse, the incident has never been investigated by authorities.
Perhaps fearing guilt by association, at least one fellow traveler, Brian Morris, has scrubbed his own website and other publishing activities to "disappear" any connection with Quaintance and the Gilgal Society.
Pertaining to the present criminal accusation against Quaintance, he accepted the charges and received a 40 week suspended sentence.