David Arnold
I believe strongly that baby boys should not be circumcised. For me this is an issue of personal choice, a basic human right that a baby can’t claim for himself.

I first thought seriously about this in my twenties when I read an article in a body modification e-zine. The writer listed all the reasons circumcision is wrong. Up until then I’d considered circumcision to be the right thing to do because it was so common. I’d barely given it a thought. But what she wrote re-ally resonated with me; for the first time I saw how circumcision went against everything I believed about the right to one’s own body.

That planted a seed, and I started researching the topic. When I saw what ba-bies when through—having no choice—I changed my mind. What solidified it for me was seeing the table baby boys are strapped to for the circumcision. How could I believe in the right to bodily self-expression and still condone a practice that imposed mutilation on an innocent child? When I had my son nine years ago, my husband and I agreed without hesitation that we would not subject him to that.

Society wants to assert its control over people, and circumcision is a good ex-ample of this. “You need to look this way; you need to be this way.” If you’re not this way, it doesn’t reaffirm what they feel about themselves. They need their validation. They need you need to fall in line.

My sister Ellen and I own BodyArtForms, a body-piercing jewelry online store. We opened in 2001, one of just a couple of similar e-commerce sites operating before the boom of online retail. We believe people should be able to express themselves and adults should be able to do whatever they want to their bodies. Back then I had implants in my arms and lots of piercings. I express myself a little differently now, but I believe strongly in the freedom of individuals to express themselves this way.

Our business supports the important work Intact America is doing on the front lines. I don’t tend to speak out about circumcision, but opportunities to share do come up. I was taking a pole fitness class and the teacher asked us to do a dance to release something that upset us, an emotion we wanted to get out. I found myself releasing my feelings about circumcision on behalf of all those baby boys. I thought, “I can’t believe I’m doing this.” Some people asked me about it afterwards. They wanted to know why I was so passionate about it, and we talked. Maybe I planted the seed that time. I like to think that maybe I did.

Amanda Bunch

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