INTACTIVIST OF THE MONTH: Scot Anderson
One of Intact America's greatest strengths is the diverse and supportive intactivist community. Our "Intactivist of the Month" series highlights some of the most ardent opponents of infant and childhood circumcision, whose tireless efforts will ensure a future where all babies are kept intact.
FEBRUARY 2017: Our Intactivist of the Month for February is Scot Anderson.
"I always knew circumcision was wrong," Scot says. "I found out what it was when I was 17 or so and was horrified that anyone would do this to a child, let alone me. But there was not much I could do back then and there was no information and no internet."
Trained as a physicist, Scot Anderson works as an engineer, designing and building scientific instruments (even rocket motors!). He is also an avid outdoorsman and motorcycle-rider.
Years after his initial awareness, one day while searching the Web, Scot came across the website for the National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers (NOCIRC). Reading about "this assault on children, this assault on boys," both rekindled his anger and gave him a path for fighting back, for "letting people know it's not OK, that men do care, and that their child might someday grow to resent this act of brutality perpetrated against him."
"I got involved with NOCIRC because their website was the most scientific, had the best information, dealt with this topic without becoming shrill, and kept an even hand," Scot says. He became active in the Colorado NOCIRC chapter, working with Gillian Longley, Craig Garrett and others on state-specific issues (e.g. Colorado Medicaid funding) as well as the broader American circumcision problem.
As he became more involved, Scot realized that cutting boys' genitals was "a much bigger issue than just 'culture.' It was a human rights issue," he says, and "one that was being ignored."
"We hear a lot about women's rights and equality, but I came to realize that equal is equal and that women cannot be equal, until men are too — that this weird custom we picked up actually segregates men from women."
The work is difficult, Scot says. "Getting men and women to accept that we turn our children into amputees when we subject them to circumcision is a difficult conversation, but one that is necessary if we are to make progress; and to make progress in human rights, we must first recognize where we have failed to protect them."
It was through his work with NOCIRC that Scot became aware of Intact America.
"While NOCIRC was primarily educational, doing the important work of reaching people one-on-one, as the movement grew, so did the need for an organization to provide a consistent message to the media, professional organizations, lawmakers and to the public in general. Intact America is that organization. I make a generous contribution every year, because in my opinion, the public is finally ready to listen and IA is reaching that public."
"Intact America is extraordinarily fortunate to count Scot Anderson among our steady supporters," says Georganne Chapin, IA's executive director. "His willingness to speak out and put himself — and his resources — on the line to advance the equal rights of all children to an intact body inspires others to do the same. This is how a movement grows. This is how human rights advance."
Visit our Intactivist of the Month Archive page to read about previous intactivists we've highlighted.