Entering day five of their 17-day “Southern Universities Tour,” Bloodstained Men & Their Friends held a protest about circumcision on Tuesday in front of the UNT Union.
Bloodstained Men & Their Friends is a nonprofit human rights organization dedicated to protecting boys from genital mutilation, according its press spokesperson Harry Guiremand.
According to their press release, this 17-day protest tour of 16 cities will focus on large university populations, leading up to in a 2-day protest outside the American Academy of Pediatrics’ annual conference in New Orleans.
“We’re here educating people about the need to keep your boy intact, and not allow anyone to cut off part of his penis when he’s born,” Guiremand said. “That’s [circumcision] still happening to about half the boys in this country,” Guiremand said. “The rest of the world does not do this to their boys. Only in America we’re still doing this.”
Guiremand said the procedure is unnecessary and harmful.
“It’s an unnecessary amputation to a non-consenting minor. It’s non-therapeutic, it doesn’t treat any disease,” Guiremand said.
Bloodstained Men & Their Friends member Anastasia Rogers said there’s no real reason behind circumcision at all.
“It’s harmful, and if you’ve seen a video, the baby cries. It’s destroying all these functions and everything. All children, regardless if they’re male, female or intersex, deserve to be protected from unnecessary surgeries,” Rogers said.
Rogers said they are a “victim of intersex genital mutilation.”
“I am intersex… [circumcision is] something that affects me personally,” Rogers said. “In addition to that, it’s just the male circumcision aspect of it. The minute I looked it up, it was just so appalling to me that people would be doing this to their babies. That they’d be just cutting off part of their penis just because it’s society and what people do.”
Bloodstained Men & Their Friends member and mother Carly Castillo held a sign that stated “I regret cutting my son’s penis” during the protest.
“I regret cutting my son’s penis. I didn’t know. All you have to do is clean a penis, it’s not that hard,” Castillo said. “It doesn’t help prevent STDs; it doesn’t help prevent penile cancer. Those are all myths.”
Guiremand said male circumcision is a profitable procedure for the medical profession, and that is why they continue to perform them.
“They don’t want the dollars to stop rolling in, so they’ve had a long series of justifications to continue the practice of genital mutilation in America,” Guiremand said. “Those justifications are always debunked. By the time you debunk one justification, another one comes up and they keep cutting the boys, and they keep their profitable racket going.”
Guiremand encourages people to watch documentaries about circumcision to get more information about the procedure.
“Right now, on Netflix there’s a documentary called ‘American Circumcision’ and it’s really helpful … Most people who see it, if they’re pro-circumcision before they watch it, by the time they finish watching it they’ll be against circumcision,” Guiremand said. “Also, on YouTube there’s a very good presentation by a scientist from Harvard … called ‘Sex and Circumcision: An American Love Story. It presents the scientific fraud behind circumcision. The claims of benefits are bogus.”
Guiremand said the organization chose to protest at universities because students are generally more open minded.
“It’s the time to reach them when they’re still able to accept new ideas,” Guiremand said. “A lot of times older people think they know everything and they can’t learn anymore. That’s sad, but unfortunately that’s often the case.”
Castillo hopes that by protesting the organization can bring awareness to the issue.
“It’s a federal offense to cut a woman’s genitalia, but it’s ok for men and babies. It causes lifelong issues and that’s just not ok,” Castillo said. “I wish that I would’ve known. So, if I could reach anybody, I would ask them to research … [circumcision] kills babies every day.”
Featured Image: Bloodstained Men & Their Friends is an organization that aims to end male circumcision in the United States, members were on campus Tuesday morning in front of the Union. Member Carly Castillo participated in the demonstration and brought her son and daughter with her. Ricardo Vazquez Garcia