Intactivism is currently based in human rights. Specifically, it is based in the idea that human beings have the right to their own body, and to cut off a part of someone’s body without their consent is a violation of their human rights.
This argument was at one point an appeal to the shared values of Western liberalism. Now, human rights are no longer dominant shared values.
Even adults do not have the right to make their own choices about their body. The medical overstate believes that if your choices about your own body put others at risk – like choosing not to take a vaccine – that they have the right to make decisions about your body for you.
Do you see the looming threat?
If Western governments drop human rights and hold that “medical benefits” trump individual choice, the primary Intactivist argument becomes a dissident one, rather than an appeal to dominant values.
In this new medical overstate, “risks” and “benefits” are entirely socially constructed by the medical system. It doesn’t matter if an intervention does not actually prevent the disease it is vaccinating against, only that it can “reduce risk,” with “reduce” and “risk” both defined entirely by those in power.
Circumcision proponents have already argued that circumcision is a “surgical vaccine.” If the medical overstate can trump human rights in one area, then they might use the same discourse to expand their power in others. Even if you believe that one medical intervention, like vaccines, “works” while circumcision harms, it doesn’t matter – the medical overstate is the one who will define what “works” and does not work.
At the same time, a new set of values has emerged that trumps even the medical overstate: critical social justice or social justice based in critical theory. During the height of medical overstate lockdowns, mass social justice protests were allowed and endorsed by the dominant hegemony, including the medical system, even in violation of previous advice to “socially distance” and stay home.
As the threat of the medical overstate trumping human rights looms, an opportunity emerges in the form of critical social justice trumping the medical system. Every major institution has accepted social justice values. Social justice now holds so much power that it constitutes a new hegemony or dominant power.
If we want to appeal to dominant values, human rights are not the dominant values. Critical social justice is. However, critical social justice is an entirely different way of seeing the world that is explicitly skeptical of individual human rights. You would have to completely reimagine the underlying ideology and arguments of the movement against circumcision in order to use critical social justice.
Fortunately, I already have. I read all I could on critical social justice and created Children’s Justice, which views the treatment of children as a social justice issue. It uses the methods and values of critical social justice to do more than the human rights framework ever could. I believe if used, Children’s Justice solves this looming threat and ensures that the movement for children will be dominant rather than eclipsed by new powers.