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Moral Consistency On Childhood Cutting
Do you have the courage to follow your principles?
Genital surgeries on children are inconsistent with the principle of genital autonomy, regardless of the justification used.
If you agree with the above statement, then it follows that infant circumcision and childhood gender transition surgeries are both wrong.
If you are comfortable saying that one of the above forms of genital cutting is wrong, but not comfortable saying the other is also wrong, congrats, you now know why others might be afraid to stand with you.
There is a leadership principle that if you want others to act a certain way, you must go there first. If you want others to stand up for human rights against child genital cutting, you must do the same. Whatever excuse someone gives for not standing up on one form of child genital cutting, they probably hear from others on the other issue.
Here are a few excuses I’ve heard on both issues: “I might look stupid.” “People might attack me.” “I might get canceled.” “I might look bad.” “I might offend others.” “I might lose friends.” “It might hurt my reputation.”
All of those are true. Yet, if you want to be an activist, you’ll have to decide that doing the right thing is more important than the consequences those who want to harm children might attempt to inflict.
This doesn’t mean you have to work on both issues. I am positioned to do more good on the issue of circumcision than on gender cutting of children. However, I recognize the same moral principle applies to both.
There is a word for those more concerned with looking good than actually doing good: fake. If someone values their appearance more than protecting children, they are not an activist.
The good news is that once your resolve an issue within yourself, you can resolve it in others. If you get over your own fear, then when someone says “I am afraid to speak” you can say “I used to be afraid too” and share your solution.