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JONESBORO, Ark. – Circumcision protesters took a slice of Jonesboro’s busiest intersection for themselves Monday, delivering endless social media buzz from drivers and others.
Their goal was to get people talking about it and clearly, they succeeded.
But many weren’t happy seeing men with blood-stained groins in white pants on display in broad daylight and were quick to voice their displeasure, too.
The group protested throughout the day at the intersection of Red Wolf and Highland Drive. That’s next to the Mall’s sign. Wearing faux blood stained pants and carrying signs, the group managed to get significant attention. Thousands shared or posted updates showing the group.
What People Said
Many comments were made by activists and those with deep research into the topic. One person shared an August, 2017 medical opinion that circumcision was ethically problematic.
I argue that the loss of the foreskin itself should be counted, clinically and morally, as a harm in evaluating NTC; that a comparison of benefits and risks is not ethically sufficient in an analysis of a nontherapeutic procedure performed on patients unable to provide informed consent; and that circumcision violates clinicians’ imperatives to respect patients’ autonomy, to do good, to do no harm, and to be just.
But others didn’t care what the research showed.
For those who spoke out in favor of circumcision, the reaction was often negative. One woman, a retired registered nurse, was clearly in favor of the procedure.
Replies to her from strong-willed opponents disagreed. Despite that, she insisted, just as others did in their own opinions.
Parents and others arguing for the procedures asserted it was their choice, or the choice of the family.
Those arguing against made the case that the baby should be the one who makes that decision, obviously later in life.
Several reportedly had negative encounters with the demonstrators while driving through the intersection.
Local videographer James Bickham decided to have some fun with the demonstrations. He went to the intersection wearing Christmas attire and held up a sign that said “Make Christmas Great Again.”
It wasn’t funny to everyone, though. At least one of the protestors is seen on video entering Bickham’s personal space, challenging him to “look me in the eye,” and even physically pushing Bickham back.
“There were probably ten or fifteen of them and they were all nice,” Bickham said Tuesday. “Only like three were maybe combative. I wasn’t protesting against them. I don’t have any kids. It doesn’t affect me at all. We don’t have protests here very often. We’re a small community. I just want to make sure Christmas stays great!”
While most of the penile-protestors took it in jest, the man in the video, “was not having it.”
Turns out, he’s the founder of the whole group.
NEA Report Learns More
The man Bickham encountered appears to be “Brother K,” the founder of the group “Bloodstained Men.”
According to their website, he changed his name to this legally to protest his name given at birth, due to his circumcision.
Bloodstained Men as an organization can trace its origin to the decision of late intactivist leader Jonathon Conte to bring seven sets of white painters overalls marked with red crotches to the protest at the October 2012 American Academy of Pediatrics convention protest in New Orleans. Though the visually arresting bloodstained crotch protest concept was a 2010 creation of British intactivist Richard Duncker, Conte’s deployment of the suit was the first example in the United States and was the spark for our organization. Seven men boldly wore these suits outside the convention hall, causing quite a sensation among the conference attendees and veteran demonstrators alike. – https://www.bloodstainedmen.com/history
While he joined the demonstration for yuks, Bickham witnessed both locals and the protesters shouting obscenities at each other. He said Jonesboro didn’t take well to the protestors.
People were driving by yelling F you guys. And they would yell back at them. They were yelling at kids in the backseats with windows down. – Bickham
The group has more protests planned, according to their website. Tuesday, they’ll be in Memphis. Wednesday, Oxford, MS. Thursday, Starkville, MS. And Friday, Hattiesburg, MS. They’ll finish this string of “Southern University” protests on October 27 in Louisana, their 17th stop during this run.
The group will resume their work in 2020 with a “Southern Florida Circumcision Crisis” tour.