Washington, D.C. (PRWEB) March 28, 2013
* A growing international movement asserts that all children have a human right to protection from unnecessary genital surgery
When passers-by see a crowd of men in bloodstained white coveralls posing on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol this week, they will be witnessing a provocative new tactic in the growing movement to abolish the circumcision of children.
The “Bloodstained Men” protest their circumcisions by performing political theater in white coveralls with bloody crotches symbolizing the genital wounds that were forced upon them in childhood. “Circumcision permanently amputates the most sensitive parts of the penis and diminishes sexual experience for life,” states Bloodstained Man Jonathon Conte. “Our bloodstained coveralls force people to face the reality that infant circumcision inflicts permanent physical, psychological and sexual damage upon boys and the men they become. Our mission is to make people understand that infant circumcision is sexual violence, and a serious human-rights violation.”
The Bloodstained Men concept has been embraced by activists on both sides of the Atlantic — see photo of a December 2012 performance in Berlin on next page — and performers come from a wide range of cultural backgrounds, including Jews such as Brooklyn resident Jonathan Friedman. “When I was eight days old, a mohel (Jewish traditional circumciser) botched my circumcision and then sucked my bleeding penis afterwards,” Friedman states. “I was sexually assaulted and mutilated by my family and religious community, and that is why I will be joining the Bloodstained Men in Washington D.C. on Saturday [March 30].
The March 30 Bloodstained Men performance is a highlight of a week of demonstrations to mark the 20th Genital Integrity Awareness Week, an annual event where activists from across the USA and around the world converge on the West Lawn of the Capitol to demonstrate for a ban on child circumcision.
This year’s event also marks the 16th anniversary of the passage of the 1997 Female Genital Mutilation Law (FGM Law), which protects females under the age of 18 from all forms of unnecessary genital surgery. As event organizer David Wilson of the Stop Infant Circumcision Society (SIC Society) notes, “the FGM Law currently discriminates against boys by leaving them unprotected. Boys deserve equal protection according to the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.” On Saturday March 30 at 2 p.m., activists will march from the Capitol West Lawn to the White House to demand that the FGM Law be extended to ban the medically-unnecessary genital cutting of all children.
In the 20 years since the debut of Genital Integrity Awareness Week, child circumcision has become more controversial than ever. “Each year our demonstrations will be bigger and bolder,” Wilson promises. “Our momentum is building, and we will not stop until all children are protected from the sexual abuse known as ‘circumcision’.”