If it’s in your personal repertoire, there’s no reason NOT to use humor or irony—so long as you’re not directly attacking your conversation mate.
For example, if somebody says, “You people are really weird,” you can say, “Well, maybe. It’s surely not easy to talk about something people would like to keep secret.” I might follow this up with, “But, actually, I think what’s weird is to chop off the end of a baby’s penis.” Or if they ask why you’re obsessed with penises (I get this all the time), you can say, “Hey! I’m not the one cutting them up!”
Speak from your own perspective, and put other people’s concerns (real or contrived) back on them. This is particularly helpful when your conversation mate questions the legitimacy or worthiness of the intactivist movement. Like when your neighbor says, “There are so many more important causes, like world hunger. Why are you wasting your time on this?” I say, “I agree there are lots of problems in the world, and I hope you’re working on the one you think is most important. But this one is important to me, because it’s a question of basic human rights, and babies and children can’t protect themselves.”
Here are some other questions we all get, and ways that I respond:
What about religious freedom? You people are anti-Semitic. I usually answer with this anecdote: “My Jewish friend Laurie, who kept her son intact, always says, ‘My son’s religion is in his heart, not carved on his penis.’ ” Then I might say, “More than a million boys have circumcision surgery in the U.S. every year, but Jewish ritual circumcisions account for only a few thousand. The others are done by doctors in hospitals or clinics. I want to protect all children — no matter what the religion of their parents.”
Why are you telling other people what to do? Circumcision should be a personal choice.
This one’s EASY, as most of us know. What I say is, “You’re right! Circumcision should be a personal choice, and the person making that choice should be the person who will live forever with the consequences.”