Marilyn Milos is quite simply a force of nature. I just love this woman. She’s the mother of a movement advocating for genital autonomy in the United States, and at 77 years of age and after nearly forty years of passionate work on behalf of babies, she is not about to slow down. As doctors continue to recommend circumcision on the unfounded bases of health and cleanliness, and as if it is no big deal, Marilyn is as determined as ever to continue bringing consciousness to this critically important issue.
Marilyn began fighting for genital autonomy in 1979 after witnessing a circumcision during nursing school. She founded the National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers (“NOCIRC“) which helped to establish chapters all over the country devoted to educating parents on this tragic practice. NOCIRC has recently been renamed “Genital Autonomy America” in order to be inclusive of all forms of genital mutilation, including the non-consensual childhood surgical alteration of females and intersex children.
This is the first of my two part interview with Marilyn. In this episode we talk about how she became so passionate about the issue of genital autonomy, what exactly is done during a circumcision procedure, the traumatic physical and psychological effects on the baby, and the truth behind the profit motive and history of Victorian era sex-shaming morals behind the practice.
Marilyn’s message is straightforward: leave the baby’s genitals alone. Let them decide for themselves when they are old enough if they would prefer to be cut. Each human being is born with the basic human right to bodily integrity. No rationale … not purported preventative health benefits, cleanliness, appearance, religion, nor cultural norms … should ever be given more importance than the individual’s right to choose for themselves what happens to their body parts.
Resources discussed in these episodes:
“Born Both – An Intersex Life” by Hide Viloria
“Celebrating Brit Shalom” by Rebecca Wald and Lisa Braver Moss
“In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts” by Gabor Maté, MD
Additional Resources for more information:
Intact America – Working to protect newborns, babies, and children from unnecessary, risky and painful circumcision surgery.
Your Whole Baby – “We believe, if you have the information necessary to see circumcision in a new light, free from cultural blinders, you will not choose it for your son.”
“Compensating for Circumcision: How to Enjoy Sex Despite the Harm Done” by Suzanna Miller