MARCH 2016: March’s Intactivist of the Month is Marilyn Milos, RN, director of NOCIRC and Genital Autonomy America. Early this month, Marilyn Milos, founder of the National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers (NOCIRC), announced the renaming and reframing of the mission of her 30-year old organization. On the second page of the NOCIRC newsletter, in a personal letter to her supporters, Marilyn describes her growing involvement in Genital Autonomy, an international organization headquartered in England, and the establishment of a U.S. branch of that organization under her leadership.
Without question, Marilyn is the “mother of the intactivist movement,” born when as a young nurse she witnessed the mutilation of a helpless infant at the hands of a physician in a California hospital.
Yet, with her customary humility, Marilyn takes little personal credit for the founding of this human rights cause, the movement’s growth, and the increasing public acknowledgment of its legitimacy over the years. What Marilyn does say in her letter, though, is that she feels the movement to protect boys from routine circumcision, a uniquely American medical phenomenon, is in good hands. She cites her direct involvement in the founding of Intact America, and says she now feels free to “shift focus” to international efforts to promote the autonomy rights of male, female and intersex persons.
The new organization Marilyn will lead is called Genital Autonomy America, or GA-America . It will function under the international GA rubric, and in collaboration with a growing number of other GA organizations in Western Europe, Canada and Australia.
Answering an obvious question, Marilyn says: “Some people have asked if I’m retiring. How could I?” She continues, “Besides establishing and leading GA-America, I am working on a book about the history of NOCIRC, I continue to field dozens of phone calls and emails every week, and I work with Georganne and Intact America, writing the monthly “Do You Know…” feature for the IA newsletter. I want to thank all of you for your efforts on behalf of infants and children and for your friendship, and I hope you will support me in my new endeavors as the movement for the rights of all children continues to evolve locally, nationally, and globally.”
To read the Marilyn’s full message about the retirement of the NOCIRC name and the establishment of GA-America, see page 2 of her most recent newsletter.
Says Georganne Chapin, Executive Director of Intact America, “Marilyn is that rare person whose response to a single event can open up a moral universe. The circumcision she witnessed nearly 40 years ago set in motion a new human rights movement. Whether under the name NOCIRC, or GA-America, Marilyn will continue to be a beacon of inspiration to all of us working to protect children and support adults who have been damaged — directly or indirectly — from forced genital surgery.
“Intact America is immensely proud that Marilyn was one of our founding members, and to be able to count on her ongoing involvement,” Georganne continues. “Marilyn told me, in the context of establishing GA-America, that she’s so gratified that others have taken up the banner of American intactivism — and that groups such as Your Whole Baby are engaged in the type of local education and activism historically carried out by the former NOCIRC Centers. We honor Marilyn for her past and present work, for her wisdom, compassion and bravery, for the millions of babies spared the painful loss of their normal sexual anatomy, and for the future victory that — working together — we will certainly achieve.”