At the Maria Sanchez Show, we try and focus as much as possible on good news. Oftentimes it isn’t so easy to do so. For whatever reason, the human condition appears to need stimulation and we find it in salacious, dramatic, tragic situations. Thus the rubber necking that occurs on our roadways when there is an accident.
This is why the media focuses on blood and guts. Either we have prurient interest or we want to be distracted so very much from our own existences that we focus on the horror.
Enter one of my idols, a man that I am proud to call a collaborator, and someone who is literally changing the way we look at an issue that was traditionally and socially acceptable – male circumcision.
When I first met Steven, I was working at an NPR affiliate as a talk show host and I brought him on the program to talk about female genital mutilation and what was occurring at that time in Africa.
In our conversation, Steven compared that atrocity with male circumcision. Of course I rebuffed his words and the concept as “our” circumcision in the United States is conducted by a mohel (a Jewish practitioner) or a physician, in clean, sanitary, well lit and controlled circumstances.
After all I argued, my father, my 2 brothers, my 3 sons and my ex-husband were all circumcised. That’s just what we do. That’s how ignorant I was at that time in my life.
Steven’s point to me then and to this day (we’re talking late ’90s) was, “genital mutilation is genital mutilation, regardless of the gender and the circumstances.”
That began a 15+ year of professional collaboration. I affectionately have called Steven our “Circumcision Correspondent” because he visits with us whenever circumcision is in the news.
The organization he founded 20+ years ago which is his passion to this day, Attorneys for the Rights of the Child, seeks to educate people, physicians, cultures, countries about surgically removing viable skin for cosmetic reasons. www.arclaw.org for more information.
Steven and I had never met in person. This picture of the two of us was taken last Friday, August 22 in Santa Monica, CA as we finally had an opportunity to speak to one another face to face.
I hope you’re helping to make this world a better place! Steven is a shining example of that.