Friday, November 30, 2007

Female Circumcision Ban A Sign of Cultural Imperialism

Or female circumcision (a euphemism if there ever was one) could just be a barbaric butchery designed to forever rob a woman of sexual enjoyment. And yet, there are those who will defend it:

Dr. Ahmadu, a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Chicago, was raised in America and then went back to Sierra Leone as an adult to undergo the procedure along with fellow members of the Kono ethnic group. She has argued that the critics of the procedure exaggerate the medical dangers, misunderstand the effect on sexual pleasure, and mistakenly view the removal of parts of the clitoris as a practice that oppresses women. She has lamented that her Westernized “feminist sisters insist on denying us this critical aspect of becoming a woman in accordance with our unique and powerful cultural heritage.”
You know, Dr. Ahmadu is welcome to go to Sierra Leone, that bastion of culture and progressive thought, to get the procedure. Heck, I don't care if she goes to the local cosmetic surgeon and turns her body in Michael Jackson. That's her right.

But this procedure is forced on girls. Children, who have no consent in the matter. And don't bring up male circumcision, please! At least there are medical benefits to that procedure and it doesn't interfere with a man's pleasure.

I'm glad the woman enjoyed the procedure. Great, for her. But making this legal is a way to degrade women as children and society should stand against that.

4 comments:

David said...

"insist on denying us this critical aspect of becoming a woman in accordance with our unique and powerful cultural heritage"...note the collectivism implied in this. The implicit assumption is that the members of the class "us" all want the same things--even the 9-year-olds who are given no choice in the matter.

Willie said...

"But this procedure is forced on girls. Children, who have no consent in the matter. And don't bring up male circumcision, please! At least there are medical benefits to that procedure and it doesn't interfere with a man's pleasure."

You cant make the point that one of the reasons female circumcision is bad is because it is forced on young girls, and then say you cant use the same argument with boys.

Of course female circumcision causes worse damage on sexual function. But even if that was not true, female circumcision would be just as bad because, as you say, forcibly removing a part of some ones body is horrible, no matter the gender of the child.

Anonymous said...

I found this blog as I was searching for articles on female circumcision.

I agree with you, that circumcision is horrible thing. When little girls, (before they are even sexually mature enough to see the full effects) realize that part of their body was cut off, and even worse that it was done because their family let it happen!


In recent years, I have been able to see the hypocrisy in my own life. That the experience above is actually one boys in America may also go through. (and no one can say thats not a real possibility). How can I be against FGM in other countries, when something similar might be going on in my own? As a fellow FGM activist, dont you agree, that any such possibility should be addressed?

Those girls can have parts of themselves removed because they live in places where its socially acceptable for it to happen. The only reason I post this at all, is after all the years of being anti FGM, its a very scary thought that we may live in a a society not so different from theirs, where we support milder forms of the same kind of mutilation.

much love,

J.

sandy said...

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