Caution: the topic discussed in this post is extremely disturbing. Some of the images below should be viewed by those ages 17+ and are not reccomended for children.
Yet it is children who are subjected to this barbarity.
I mentioned this briefly in a previous post, but I think it’s too important a topic to just brush to the side.
When it comes to men, it’s just accepted, one way or the other. After all:
“9 And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations. 10 This is my covenant which ye shall keep between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man-child among you shall be circumcised. 11 And ye shall circumcise the flesh of thy foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you.”
Not being male, nor having sons, this has never been an issue for me, even as a conversational topic. Some guys were circumcised as infants, some weren’t. Period, end of discussion that never happened*.
Then, when I was in high school, I read an article in Reader’s Digest about a woman named Waris Dirie, a model. I sat on the couch in my grandmother’s living room, absolutely riveted. The pictures that attended the article were beautiful. The content** made me want to vomit.
In 29 countries throughout the Middle East in Africa, there live 125 million girls and women who have survived the practice of female circumcision, also called female genital mutilation (FGM). Many others have died from shock, infection, and blood loss. According to the World Health Organization, the procedure has zero health benefits, and is usually carried out on girls between the ages of infancy and fifteen years. FGM can lead to problems including urinary difficulties, infections, cysts, and high newborn mortality. It is recognized internationally as a human rights violation. Practiced in areas far from centers of modern medicine, these are the types of intruments used to carry out the procedure:
FGM varies from the clitoridectomy (Type I, removal of the clitoris), to the excision (Type II, removal of the clitoris and labia minora, with or without removal of the labia majora). Waris’ story contains a vivid description of the most “complete” type of FGM – infibulation. Infibulation (Type III) is the means through which the clitoris, labia minora, and labia majora are removed or rearranged in order to create a seal that narrows the vaginal opening. The opening left is tiny, allowing urine and menstrual blood to be expelled a drop or so at a time.
Think about that for a moment, ladies. Think about the last time you’d downed that coffee on the way to work, and how badly you really had to go by the time you go there. Think about the sigh of relief when you sat down and let the floodwaters go.
Now imagine that you could only go one drop -literally- at a time. Imagine the pain. Imagine the pain you suffer every time you get your period, when each drop of blood, each clot of tissue, must squeeze through that tiny opening. You may never find pleasure in sex – you would have to have surgery before you could have intercourse! Even if you managed to immigrate to a more enlightened country and escape that culture, you still have to go through surgery to reverse the damage. Chances are your clitoris was removed.
Why? Why was this done to you? It in no way helps your body. Nothing was accomplished. Nothing was broken and needed to be fixed. You only drew an unlucky ticket that placed you into a culture that sees women as dangerous creatures whose sexuality is dirty and must be controlled. Your virginity is key, and so sewing your vagina shut is the only way to keep your libido at bay. You are told that you are “clean” and “beautiful” after undergoing this barbaric practice, and what woman doesn’t want to be called beautiful? And so it continues, generation after generation.
Ladies, get your heads on straight. Your employer not paying for your birth control does not constitute a “war on women”. Stop listening to those morons like Nancy Pelosi and Wendy Davis and open your eyes to what a true atrocity really looks like.
*If any male wishes to comment on the subject, please do.
**The text of the Reader’s Digest article can be found here: http://www.fgmnetwork.org/articles/Waris.html
A simple Google search of her name will bring up other FGM links, including her foundation.
WHO fact sheet on female genital mutilation: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs241/en/
Images found courtesy of Google Images.
9 responses to “The Real War on Women: Female Genital Mutilation”
I’m an intactivist and I just don’t think it’s necessary or productive to even discuss FGM and male circumcision at the same time. They do have a ton of similarities culturally and ethically, but not anatomically. Both need to be addressed, but separately.
Thanks for your comment, but you may have noticed that I only mentioned male circumcision to illustrate that although, like female genital mutilation, it is not medically necessary, it is not as barbaric as the latter. Unlike Judaism, Islam does not require male circumcision, yet in some predominantly Islamic countries, up to 98% of women have undergone this practice.
My point is not the mutilation. My point is that I am absolutely sick and tired of listening to American women complain (and championed by male Democrats) that there is a “war on women” because they have to pay for their own birth control, or have an ultrasound and counseling before undergoing an abortion, or have tried to enact legislation that would limit or prevent abortions after twenty or fewer weeks. Thus, I’ve tried to provide examples of what a “war on women” can really look like, and hope that women here can realize just how good they have it.
Ah, I definitely understand that. It’s honestly a form of appropriation. White feminists (and there are some feminists who are white but aren’t ‘white feminists’) use other women’s oppression as an example of their own. They treat it as a direct attack on women who are not affected. It’s unbelievably racist.
And it is SO telling that white men have a louder voice in feminism than black women do. Racists like Hugo Schwyzer and Amanda Marcotte get carte blanche to silence black feminists using black women’s oppression as an excuse. Then you have sickness like the Swedish health minister celebrating an FGM initiative by serving up a cake in the shape of a black woman. I mean pitch black with red lips, like a pickaninny doll. Not a peep from white feminists.
Why do society find it ok to perform partial genital mutilation man at a young age without their consent but it’s not ok on woman. What happen to the equality affair?
That’s a good question. Male circumcision goes back to Biblical times (Gen 17:9-14). Why is it still done today? I don’t know. I’m not a male, nor do I have sons, so it’s not an issue I’ve had to deal with. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), there are several health benefits associated with male circumcision, including easier hygiene, decreased urinary tract infections, sexually transmitted diseases (safe sex practices are still important, obviously), prevention of penile problems such as phimosis, and interestingly enough, decreased risk of cancer in both men and women. A circumcised man is less likely to have penile cancer, and his female partner is less likely to have cervical cancer as well. Still, the AAP recommends new parents discuss the decision with their son’s pediatrician before the surgery, and supports the use of anesthetics in all cases.
If nothing else, there is a clear line between female and male circumcision around the world. It is not required through the Qur’an, but other Islamic texts support the practice. The Shia sect consider it as obligatory and it is usually carried out by the time the child is ten, but there is no limit. As they recognize Abraham as a prophet, and Abraham was 80 years old or so when he made God made His covenant with him, there’s no age limit on carrying it out.
Does that answer the question? Of course not. Just provides a bit of background. To the men who would read this: Given the opportunity to make the decision for yourself, would you choose to be intact or circumcised?
‘yet in some predominantly Islamic countries, up to 98% of women have undergone this practice.”
This statistic has nothing to do with reality and Islam has nothing to do with FGM. In some African countries they do that but puely because of a traditional NOT religious background.
I beg to differ. From the link below, FGM comes straight from Muhammad, whom, as I recall, is pretty central to the Islamic faith. It also relates back to several writings, essays, speeches, texts, and what-have-yous by various men in Muslim hierarchy.
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