It's SUMMER! Sidewalk Chalk Intactivism, Anyone? - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-04-2007, 12:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I was just thinking today, at the park, where lots of families gather and play...whether it might be thought-provoking to use sidewalk chalk to write some simple phrases like, "Question Circumcision", "NOCIRC.ORG", etc.

Thoughts?

This could even be done at a time when the area is less crowded, in preparation for a time (like when school lets out, people get off work, holidays and weekends) when it's going to be swarming with parents.

Jen
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Old 07-04-2007, 12:20 AM
 
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If I were to see that at the park (if I were someone not informed on the issue), I would think it was a pervert and plug for a porn site. Not really the kind of publicity you'd be going for. I would probably also have reported it to the park security and asked that it be removed.
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Old 07-04-2007, 12:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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NOCIRC.ORG sounds porny to you? Really? Maybe a few qualifiers like, "Protect children." or "Babies are people too." would help?

Jen
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Old 07-04-2007, 01:28 AM
 
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I am always so nervous about a child reading it and questioning their parents I know that it is an issue that needs to be discussed, but even my strong feelings about RIC, I don't want a child that was already harmed to feel uncomfortable in their skin...(I want the parents to feel uncomfortable)
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Old 07-04-2007, 01:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It might be interesting to try it and then observe reactions for a bit from a distance.

Jen
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Old 07-04-2007, 01:44 AM
 
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TelleBear: I am always so nervous about a child reading it and questioning their parents I know that it is an issue that needs to be discussed, but even my strong feelings about RIC, I don't want a child that was already harmed to feel uncomfortable in their skin...(I want the parents to feel uncomfortable)
a Freudian slip.
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Old 07-04-2007, 01:46 AM
 
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I could try it @ pioneer park on thursday! I would have to think of the right things to -say- and I think it would be good for kids to see it then hopefully when they -get older they will research than be filled with lies from the pro-circ parents kwim ? I don't think it's underming the children by posting -the Question Circumcision because Circumcision itself is undermining children & the males by making them be defined and sterotyped as only a "penis person'.
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Old 07-04-2007, 01:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I agree...I think if the words were chosen carefully, it would be good. It's not like any of us are going to write, "Ask mommy if she mutilated you."

Besides, the kids would have to be old enough to read in order to ask, and parents *should* be held accountable by their children for this choice. If they didn't know any better, that's understandable and children are typically quite forgiving. The most important thing though, and the reason for my suggestion, is to get adults researching and prevent future children from being harmed.

Jen
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Old 07-04-2007, 02:59 AM
 
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I don't think it will have the intended effect at all. It sounds creepy and pervy. I will have circing discussions with my children when I feel it's appropriate and not because someone writes messages on the sidewalk. If I were mainstream, it would definitely turn me off to the cause even further.
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Old 07-04-2007, 03:50 AM
 
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I don't think it will have the intended effect at all. I will have circing discussions with my children when I feel it's appropriate and not because someone writes messages on the sidewalk. If I were mainstream, it would definitely turn me off to the cause even further.
I have to agree. Some people will probably think some weirdo out there is trying to push the idea in an inappropriate place/time. Plus a lot of parents probably won't come up with a sensitive explanation right on the spot there...they may just get offended and tell their kid that people who don't circ are crazy fanatics.

There could be more effective places and opportunities, maybe striking up conversations with pregnant moms, leaving brochures/magazines/books/bumper stickers in the hospital maternity wards or wherever childbirth classes are held or OB doctor's offices or WIC offices or at a midwive's place or at a maternity clothing section or even in a ped waiting room. Or maybe at some colleges, where a lot of young people could learn about circ before becoming parents. Those are all places that I wish I would have run across the information in time.

You may think that you are forcing people to face the truth by writing on the sidewalk, but it may just make some guilty parties extra determined to promote circ to all their friends and relatives.
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Old 07-04-2007, 03:53 AM
 
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I would just think that the only people who'd see it would be kids/parents who've already made the decision. Maybe in front of a mall....but park/playground...probably already a done deal.
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Old 07-04-2007, 06:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Many families have more than one child, so a park made sense to me...Parents with young children who may in many cases may be planning more children. Another option would be focusing on areas were teens gather.

Jen
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Old 07-04-2007, 11:02 AM
 
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I think it might work more than you think. Just like bumper stickers and t-shirts get people to thinking. I like "CIRCUMCISION HURTS BABIES" in big letters. Hmm, DS and I might head to the park today...

Mandy, )O(  Proud mommy of Taylor (1/6/05) jammin.gifand Abigail (4/21/11) slinggirl.gif
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Old 07-04-2007, 11:19 AM
 
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There could be more effective places and opportunities, maybe striking up conversations with pregnant moms, leaving brochures/magazines/books/bumper stickers in the hospital maternity wards or wherever childbirth classes are held or OB doctor's offices or WIC offices or at a midwive's place or at a maternity clothing section or even in a ped waiting room. Or maybe at some colleges, where a lot of young people could learn about circ before becoming parents. Those are all places that I wish I would have run across the information in time.

You may think that you are forcing people to face the truth by writing on the sidewalk, but it may just make some guilty parties extra determined to promote circ to all their friends and relatives.
ITA. Random messages (which will likely be removed) are not going to be nearly as effective as thoughtful information posted in an appropriate place. This strategy will only be perceived as crazy.
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Old 07-04-2007, 12:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, you know, I'm sure kids see my "Circumcision? No way baby!" and "Today's Parents Say NO To Circumcision NOCIRC.ORG" bumpersticker all the time, driving or parked. I see cars behind me all the time, a little boy or girl in the front passanger seat. There will always be those that think demanding equal protection for male children from genital mutilation is "crazy"; that won't deter me from activism. We've had threads about leafletting books at the library and in stores that sell books and I think most posters were very positive.

I appreciate all the feedback, though. Again, I think if a child is old enough to read/comprehend an intactivism slogan and asks their parents about it, they deserve an answer. If telling a child the truth makes a parent uncomfortable, GOOD.

The most important thing, however, is to reach teens, young people, expectant parents, families that will have more children in the future, men who have been harmed, and anyone who may ever be in a position of influence regarding this issue.

A park is simply a public place. I think public places, especially those that attract those of childbearing age, is a perfect place for intactivism. The only way to test out a tactic is to try it, and if possible, observe reactions. That could easily be done with a sidewalk chalk message...IMO, it's not that much different than a bumper sticker and it's a whole lot more subtle than a billboard.

Jen

PS. Artisan: Slightly OT, but do you have boys? Have you faced this decision before? You don't have a siggy and when I searched the forum I couldn't find anywhere where you'd shared your story. Of course, only answer if you feel comfortable. I'm just curious.
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Old 07-04-2007, 01:27 PM
 
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Obviously, it's your decision to post messages in a park. My point is that you will likely be hurting your cause rather than helping it. Kids who ask questions from uneducated parents will likely receive a response about the perverts in the park or about why they were circumcized. Even kids who can't read (like my son) will likely ask what the writing says. Again, an uneducated parent will provide an uneducated response.

Observing reactions is not going to work. People may not look at the message, clap their hand to their forehead and run screaming in the opposite direction. But they can think to themselves, "What creepy people visited the park this morning?" I think to best effect change, you need to be seen as CREDIBLE. Credibility doesn't come from scrawling messages in chalk.
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Old 07-04-2007, 01:39 PM
 
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I think to best effect change, you need to be seen as CREDIBLE. Credibility doesn't come from scrawling messages in chalk.
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Old 07-04-2007, 01:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think a link to a website like NOCIRC.ORG is very credible, but, whatever. Nobody seems to agree with me so I'll let this thread make it's way into the archive.

Jen
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Old 07-04-2007, 02:05 PM
 
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I would totally do that on my sidewalk and driveway but probably not at the park. At the park it seems a little too much like graffiti to me.

Laura

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Old 07-04-2007, 02:52 PM
 
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I have to agree. Some people will probably think some weirdo out there is trying to push the idea in an inappropriate place/time. Plus a lot of parents probably won't come up with a sensitive explanation right on the spot there...they may just get offended and tell their kid that people who don't circ are crazy fanatics.

There could be more effective places and opportunities, maybe striking up conversations with pregnant moms, leaving brochures/magazines/books/bumper stickers in the hospital maternity wards or wherever childbirth classes are held or OB doctor's offices or WIC offices or at a midwive's place or at a maternity clothing section or even in a ped waiting room. Or maybe at some colleges, where a lot of young people could learn about circ before becoming parents. Those are all places that I wish I would have run across the information in time.

You may think that you are forcing people to face the truth by writing on the sidewalk, but it may just make some guilty parties extra determined to promote circ to all their friends and relatives.
:
It's no different than any other kind of graffiti. I think most people will just see the defacing public property aspect of it and ignore the message.
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Old 07-04-2007, 03:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Grafitti? With sidewalk chalk? I guess it would be a good idea to check local laws about this sort of thing. However, when I googled "sidewalk chalk activism" or, "chalking activist" I got a surprising amount of hits. Seems this isn't a new/unique idea. <reading>

It's a good way for people to get their messages across.
And all it takes is a good rain and it's gone.
-- John Delaney, Wesleyan College dean of students


Jen
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Old 07-04-2007, 04:07 PM
 
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You asked for thoughts and people gave you their thoughts. Why are you so defensive?
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Old 07-04-2007, 04:18 PM
 
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I don't necessarily think it's a bad idea. I just would not be comfortable doing it on public property at this time. I also think it would have to be a really positive message to be seen as positive instead of negative.

I think if you are comfortable with it you should do it. It takes all different kinds of activism to change the world :-)

Laura

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Old 07-04-2007, 08:05 PM
 
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I want to acknowledge you, Jen. . . I know you've been discouraged about the mountain of ignorance we still have to climb and, yet, there you are
dreaming up ideas to get the message out. I'm definately going to write
"Foreskins for Keeps" on the sidewalk outside my office. Everyone around there knows who the intactivism woman is. Keep brainstorming, I love it.
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Old 07-04-2007, 09:27 PM
 
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What about doing something like that at college campuses? The campuses I've walked around on in the past tend to always have some sort of sidewalk chalk messages, and I always read them. College age kids are a perfect target group, IMO, too - open minded and close enough to child bearing age to really think about it.

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Old 07-04-2007, 09:45 PM
 
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What about doing something like that at college campuses? The campuses I've walked around on in the past tend to always have some sort of sidewalk chalk messages, and I always read them. College age kids are a perfect target group, IMO, too - open minded and close enough to child bearing age to really think about it.
AWESOME idea!!
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Old 07-04-2007, 10:13 PM
 
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What about doing something like that at college campuses? The campuses I've walked around on in the past tend to always have some sort of sidewalk chalk messages, and I always read them. College age kids are a perfect target group, IMO, too - open minded and close enough to child bearing age to really think about it.
I would feel more comfortable doing that for some reason and I think it reaches the target audience too. We need to be educating people before they have kids and college kids are usually more open minded too.

Laura

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Old 07-05-2007, 02:32 AM
 
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http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fu...ideoid=2009270

On a patriotic day like today and videos being posted, I like to remind people that:

Quote:
"Being born American does NOT mean surrendering your foreskin at birth! http://www.doctorsopposingcircumcision.org/video/prepuce.html"


Edit: Already has a had an impact. Somebody saw my comment and sent me a message saying this is what they thought about my link and proceeded to send me an older link to a NYT article about circumcision reducing AIDS. I sent him links to:

- the 5 zones that removed during circumcision

- that the African AIDS study results were over-stated

- that prostitution, not circumcision is the reason of AIDS in Africa

- that Jews in America are questioning circumcision

So far, I've been met with silence, so I think I blew this 18-year-old from NY out of the water.
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Old 07-05-2007, 04:26 AM
 
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Yes, God Bless America---so many amazing individuals, so much insanity.

Wishing all my pals on this forum a very Happy 4th of July!
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Old 07-05-2007, 09:37 PM
 
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I think the thing I'd worry about with chalk is that some ignorant idiot might change it around to a pro-circ message by wiping away a "no" in no circ or adding something
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