Monday, February 4, 2013

Why I Don't Like the Term 'Intactivism'

Although I use it and it is included in the dorky, nerdy title of this blog, I don't like the term "intactivism". I know that activism is the correct word for what we are trying to do, but it has a negative connotation for me. To me, the term activist recalls extremist groups like the NRA, Greenpeace, or PETA whose original goals have long since been overshadowed by extremist agenda. Extremist groups generally fail to see the "big picture", refuse to see other points of view, refuse to compromise, and seem to care little for their original objectives and would rather shock and irritate.

We are not an extremist group. What we are fighting for isn't even the least bit weird. We are fighting for normal.

I understand that any group fighting for a particular goal or objective will be labeled. The term "intactivist", when used in the media, is in the context of "intactivists vs. normal American culture". This makes us look "different" or "weird". But we aren't the weird ones. Cutting genitals is weird. How can we turn the tables?

I don't know if we should be using another term. I don't know what other term to use. I do know that I have never been comfortable with the term that labels us.

Maybe what it comes down to for me is that I am annoyed that any human rights issues have to be fought for. LBGT rights, genital integrity (female, male), women's rights, children's rights (and any others I missed) are the default. They shouldn't have to be fought for. They shouldn't need activism. There shouldn't need to be "counter-culture hippie weirdos" fighting for these issues.