Today, the intersection of Hodges and Beach Boulevards was occupied by the Bloodstained Men & Their Friends. Dressed in all white with splashes of bright red in the genital region, they were hard to miss. These red-crotched men (and women) stood in protest of the practice of circumcising male infants; they believe it is the individual’s right to decide to cut the foreskin–or not.
Brother K, CFO and co-director of Bloodstained Men, formed the organization in 2012 to support keeping the very thing he feels that he has been deprived of. He even changed his name to Brother K in 1986, which he says was to protest circumcision based on his belief that it is associated with giving a child its name.
“I felt that the medical lies were not sufficient to explain why I had been circumcised,” Brother K explained. “So the more I researched it, I had understood that I had been subjected to a religious sacrifice called medicine.”
In the belief that America stands alone in what they call a “barbaric” procedure, the Bloodstained Men have a more European mindset of what is medically appropriate.
Rejecting the idea that circumcision in infants is more hygienic and healthier, Brother K does not agree with medical findings that circumcision is preventative of UTIs, penile cancer and other problems, such as paraphimosis, a condition wherein the retracted foreskin of an uncircumcised male can’t return to its normal position, potentially resulting in gangrene and amputation.
The Bloodstained Men believe that having a foreskin is an essential human freedom that doctors and parents take away from an infant.
Brother K said, “It would be naïve to say you haven’t missed out on something, it’s meant to hurt you, it’s meant to be a punishment, its meant to diminish and reduce sexual life.”
This group believes that society holds men to a different standard than they do women, and that circumcision demonizes the male body.
Harry Giremand stood alongside Brother K today, hoping to bring about an end to circumcision by informing others of the pain they are putting their child through. Giremand argues that, like women’s “circumcision,” more accurately referred to as genital mutilation, male circumcision should be illegal too.
“The foreskin is not a tumor, it is not diseased and it has functions; it’s erogenous tissue that provides functions that are beneficial during sex,” Giremand explained.
The eight members of the Bloodstained Men who protested in Jacksonville today plan to continue their 19-day, nationwide protest in the hopes that local activists in each city join them along the way. Hoping to bring attention to what they believe is a cruel, immoral and nonconsensual practice, the Bloodstained Men are determined to have their voices heard.
“We just want to keep educating people, parents love their kids and when they hear they’re being misled, they turn around and start following us,” said Giremand.