Demonstrating... With Kids!

By Emily Kirsch, Intact Pennsylvania © 2012

Lindsey and Emily ~ International AIDS Conference 2012

Demonstrating...with kids?! YOU CAN DO THIS!

I admit the idea of demonstrating with even one small child in tow can seem incredibly daunting. My first Genital Integrity Awareness Week (GIAW 2011) I barely dipped my feet in the intactivism pool. My sons were three years and fourteen months old at the time and I was also five months pregnant with my third child. We arrived in D.C. for the march, carried a couple signs with us, and then left that same evening. I parked in a hotel’s parking garage along Independence Avenue, for about $20. Gas to DC and back from our home was less than that. We brought water and plenty of snacks so there was no need to source food in the city. We left shortly after noon, arrived in DC by 2pm (the kids got a good, long nap in the car), it was a 10 minute walk from our parking spot to the West Lawn of the Capitol, and we were back in the car by 9pm.

My second year attending GIAW in 2012 was a lot more involved than my first experience. I was a single mom, with a seven month old, a 2 year old and a 4 year old. I didn’t have the money to pay for a hotel room - only enough for travel expenses and our food. David Wilson, of Stop Infant Circumcision Society, generously offered us a bed in his hotel room, and the other people sharing the room were equally as kind. They were even fine with a mother and three little boys under the age of five staying with them for the whole week!

Kids' Dinner on the Lawn ~ Genital Integrity Awareness Week 2012

I brought an electric skillet (for cooking) and a cooler full of food. I made a big batch of hearty, protein-rich banana muffins for us to have as our breakfasts and to nibble on for snacks. I brought a couple dozen pre-cooked hard boiled eggs. Examples of food cooked in the hotel room in the electric skillet included: scrambled eggs, shrimp ratatouille, chicken and veggie stir fry, lemon and pepper chicken with leeks - we ate well that week! I brought plenty of fresh fruit as well - bananas and apples and oranges (easy to throw three of each fruit in a cooler bag every morning for a snack on the go). I also brought my cutting board and chef’s knife. I didn’t think to bring along a crockpot - I plan to do that this year!

Keep in my mind my car is a Honda Civic - and I had no problem fitting a week’s worth of clothes, food, and supplies in it. The logistics of spending the entire week, by myself, with my three children, in a big city... they're not as complicated as they appear. I babywear at home, so I naturally continued this while I was demonstrating. My seventh month old was used to spending the entire morning and afternoon wrapped on my chest or back, with breaks for milk and diaper checks. D.C. was the same. 

We’d wake up, eat our breakfast, get dressed, pack a bag (I’ll detail what to bring later), put baby in the wrap, put my 2 year old on my back, 4 year old in the stroller, and head out of the hotel. Sometimes, the 2 year old wanted to ride in the stroller until we got outside, and since 4 year olds make EXCELLENT elevator button pushers, I’d buckle the Ergo around my waist to have it ready, and out we’d go.
Emily and Baby ~ Men's Health Week 2012

Once outside, we’d get situated and walk the mile to the Capitol lawn. In late March the weather in DC is absolutely perfect - a long sleeve t-shirt, short sleeve t-shirt over that, a hoodie in case there’s a breeze, and hats for babies. A small blanket for over the lap of a stroller-riding child is also useful. I use cloth diapers, but when staying in a hotel room for a week by myself with all three boys, I gave up and bought a pack of hippie disposable diapers for the baby. I got a small pack of larger diapers to put on my older two boys at night. (Typically at home we have a pile of piddle pads and I didn’t mind the extra laundry. Not something I wanted to deal with while away for a week!) This was an extra cost for the week - $30 for all the diapers and two packs of disposable wipes (we use cloth everything at home).

The bag each day was packed with:
  • 4-5 bottles of water (which I brought and recycled whenever possible)
  • fruit (3 apples, 3 oranges, 3 bananas)
  • a protein-rich snack (veggies and hummus, crackers and nut butter, trail mix, cut-up cheese)
  • an extra change of clothes for each kid
  • half a day’s worth of diapers and wipes
  • a plastic bag for trash
I’d tuck my phone, metro card, and a little cash in a zippered pocket inside my diaper bag - no need to bring my whole wallet! We flipped our days around - sometimes I’d hang out on the Capitol lawn first, demonstrate while the kids ran around and played, or sit under a tree and nurse while having conversations with other demonstrators. The set-up of the West Lawn of the Capitol is such that kids can run freely and play while being enclosed by massive stone walls with only two sets of stairs for exit. We all kept an eye on the children as a group, enabling some to get into conversations or walk holding signs, still ensuring that all of the kids are ALWAYS safe and supervised. The police protection at the Capitol rivals that of anywhere else. We always feel very secure there!

Danelle and Colleen ~ Genital Integrity Awareness Week 2011

Some days we’d spend our morning sight-seeing, out at the zoo, at the many Smithsonian museums, at the Botanical Gardens, and one day I even met up with an old high school friend for coffee. Almost all of the attractions in D.C. are FREE. There is no admission to the zoo, museums, or Botanical Gardens. Museums and Gardens are a short walk from the Capitol, and so is the Washington Monument. The zoo is easily traveled to on the Metro and even that is just a few dollars for the trip. If we spent the morning demonstrating, we’d either sight-see in the afternoon or just hang out and relax at the hotel. I didn’t demonstrate every day - we did take a couple days off.

It might seem overwhelming, but once you make the push to get out and do it, you learn how easy it can be to demonstrate with kids. Be prepared, relax and go with the flow. Ask for help if you need it - intact advocates are kind and generous people - we’ll always help those in need!

Danelle, Emily, Lindsey and Kids ~ Genital Integrity Awareness Week 2012


I Don't Want to Be An Intactivist

I don't want to be an Intactivist.

It is not fun.

I do not wish forge my friendships, or to join a community of people where the only thing we have in common is a fight against a socially acceptable, pointless, cruel crime against children.

This is not some fun club, with cool logos, banners and slogans. This is not a hobby. This is not a community. Yes, we do stand together to bring about awareness and fight for the basic human rights of those who cannot speak for themselves. But I'll be glad when we don't have to do this anymore. I'll be glad when I can pick friends with common interests and hobbies. I'll be glad when there is no need to say anything because little boys can finally enjoy the same basic human rights as little girls.

I don't want to be an Intactivist. 

I am Garrett Wolfe, and I am an Intactivist.

Until the violence ends. 


We invite you to hear from more men here, and welcome your voice.

Bloodstained Men and Their Friends: 12.12.12 Berlin Performance

A group of German men, circumcised against their will at birth, along with several of their supportive intact friends, spent 12/12/12 demonstrating against the recent German ruling that legalizes the forced genital cutting of healthy baby boys. Dressed in white "bloodstained" jumpsuits at Brandenburg Gate, the men each turned, one by one, to face the audience as the cries of yet another baby being circumcised played over airwaves. Several of the men participating also spoke publicly at the event. Listening to each new scream of circumcision, as each man turns to face us, is a horrific, yet brutally powerful display of the realities of genital cutting in the 21st century.

Circumcision in Germany is rare except among babies born to Jewish and Muslim parents. The Children's Rights Campaign Against Forced Circumcision (Kinderrechtskampagne gegen Zwangsbeschneidung), one of the leading groups with this performance, reiterates Jewish filmmaker, Victor Schonfeld's, position: Jewish parents are under extreme social pressure to conform. They cannot resist this pressure alone. The main issue with the current debate in Germany is not a 'lack of love' or a failure to want the best for boys and men, but rather is due in great part to the lack of public education on the many consequences of circumcision, the risks involved, and this ill-informed social pressure. The Children's Rights Campaign and others hope to raise awareness and improve education toward this goal. The group formed after Baby Angelo bled to death following circumcision earlier this year.

Bloodstained Idea and Direction: Katharina Micada in Berlin
Bloodstained Costumes: Richard Duncker in London

For further information about this protest and action in Germany, visit:

More Men Speak | SOS Men's Group

"My Body Belongs to Me!" 


12 Foreskin Friendly Facts for 12.12.12


Is Normal!

Exists on all mammals at birth (male and female alike). 


Has between 20-70,000 nerve endings!

Houses and transfers those feel-good, mood-enhancing pheromones. 

Prevents callusing and drying of the glans (head) of the penis or clitoris. 

Prevents painful sex ~ and allows for normal sexual function. 

Is pleasurable for both men and women. 

Supplies a natural lube!

Is double-sided, double-layered, and rolls smoothly with subtle ridges for pleasure's sake.

Is fun!

And is NOT 'just skin.' 

For more on the foreskin, visit some of the fantastic resources in the SOS Library or check out a good book today


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