INTACTIVIST OF THE MONTH: Penn Jillette
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.
APRIL 2011: Penn Jillette, the talkative half of the famous magic/comedy/illusion duo Penn & Teller, is a staunch supporter of the right of baby boys to genital integrity. He has spoken out against circumcision very publicy, both in his television show "Bullshit!" (which includes an interview with NOCIRC founder Marilyn Milos), as well as in his video channel, Penn Says.
In his "We're Still Right About Circumcision" video (see below), Penn states his reasons for keeping his son intact, speaking openly, honestly, and from the heart. His frank outspokenness on the issue has resonated with thousands of viewers, and it inspired Intact America's "Put Down The Knife!" advocacy campaign, aimed at the thousands of pediatricians, family physicians, and obstetricians who still perform circumcisions in this country every day.
"The rate of transmission of sexually transmitted diseases does not mean you can cut part of the body off an infant," says Penn, responding to a study claiming that circumcision can reduce the risk of herpes and HIV in sexually active men in Africa."I guess that means that right now, if our son is sexually active in Africa, without a condom, he's increased his chances of herpes and HIV... We're talking about 2020-something before he's sexually active, and we don't know that it's going to be in Africa." Rightly so, Penn likens circumcision as a preventative measure to chopping off two fingers to prevent the spread of colds (from picking noses).
We at Intact America applaud Penn for his courage in defending the rights of baby boys, giving a very public voice to those who have none. His argument ends with the issue of choice: "Shouldn't our son have the choice whether he wants to wear a condom or cut off part of his d**k? Put down the knife. Step away from the baby."
Visit our Intactivist of the Month Archive page to read about previous intactivists we've highlighted.