A group of foreskin advocates are protesting against Bill and Melinda Gates. The Canadian Foreskin Awareness Project (CAN-FAP) claims the Gateses fund male circumcisions in African countries to help stop the spread of HIV/AIDS, a practice the group calls “dangerously misguided.”
“Literally no one on Earth is more detrimental to foreskin than Bill Gates,” CAN-FAP founder Glen Callender said.
I got the guy on the horn.
Me: I was surprised to learn you have a foreskin.
I would have thought the leaders of your movement would be men who are angry at what was done to them as infants. I have heard such men on TV and read their Internet manifestos, and, if I may be blunt, some of them seem to be a little puzzlingly … intense.
Glen: All movements have a radical side, with nutty people. It’s no different with Intactivism. There are always some crazies.
Me: Glen, you pose on your Web site standing on a rock, naked from the waist down and your fist defiantly in the air. You conduct private demonstrations at street festivals, in a “Foreskin Awareness Booth,” including a trick involving the use of grapes.
Glen: Exactly. I celebrate my foreskin instead of raging about how I don’t have one.
Me: You claim that foreskin-deprived persons such as myself are less sexually sensitive and genitally aware. I am now 62, but for most of my life being more sexually sensitive and genitally aware would not have been a good thing. Had I been any more sexually sensitive and genitally aware than I was at, say, 25, I might well have become one of those humpy rush-hour creeps targeted in poster campaigns in public transportation featuring the appalled faces of rightfully indignant women. I think many circumcised men would agree with me.
Glen: Men have to be crazy to want less penis.
Me: There’s a link on your site for “merch.” I was afraid to click on it because it sounded like some sort of foreskin-related substance. But it turned out to be “merchandise.” I see you sell “I (heart) my foreskin” T-shirts. Anything else?
Glen: We are rolling out a new line of original art, painted on a canvas with my foreskin. They are reasonably priced, starting at $10 for a 4-by-4.
Me: The World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention do not agree with your opposition to Bill Gates’s efforts. Three massive studies in Africa were separately halted because the reduction in HIV infections was so spectacular that researchers decided it was unethical not to advise the control groups to get circumcised. Can a case be made that by telling people to stay intact, you, Glen Callender, are a monster of Gates-ian proportions?
Glen: No. Research done by circumcised people is inherently biased and unreliable. The circumcised world loathes and fears foreskins.
Me: So foreskins are an oppressed minority?
Glen: If they could talk, that’s exactly what they would say. Don’t get them started on Jews and Muslims.
Me: You deny you are a maniacal, one-issue zealot?
Glen: I do.
Me: Do you have a position on, say, the Russian incursion into Crimea?
Glen: No. Ukrainians and Russians both have foreskins, so I don’t have a dog in that fight.
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