Tag Archives: health

The Real War on Women: Female Genital Mutilation

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.

post-20476-1307374602

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-instruments

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.

3 types of FGM

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.

 

Advertisements

7 Comments

Filed under humanity, religion, War on Women

Nature: 3, Blonde: 0

As previously stated, I’ve been on vacation and out of the realm of the interwebs the last two weeks or so, except for a day here and there to do laundry. This jaunt started with a whirlwind trip to upstate New York to visit some amazing friends* and continued with my traditional camping ** trip in the wilds of northwestern Massachusetts.

There is a memorable scene in Titanic in which Rose attempts to commit suicide by jumping off the back of the ship. Jack, in trying to distract her, describes ice fishing and claims he thought she was “more of an indoor girl”. As much as I like the beach, hiking, horseback riding and swimming… I like those things as afternoon activities or at most, day trips. Camping and I go together about as well as oil and water. This has always been the case, so I don’t know why I was so darn surprised this time around.

My first camping experience came when I was nine years old and in Girl Scouts. Somewhere there is a picture of me on my front porch, proud as can be with my backpack, pillow, and Barbie sleeping bag. We were going to tell scary stories around the campfire and sleep in tents. This lasted all of one night, because the heavens opened up and it POURED. The troop, all fourteen of us plus our three troop leaders, got moved into a cabin. That second night, one of the girls stayed up all night vomiting. It wasn’t a simple food poisoning, or stomach bug, or even home-sickness.

Scarlatina. More than half of us came down with it, myself included. I missed a week of school. My ballet recital was that week, and I remember sitting with another girl backstage with paper bags and buckets until we could go do our dance and then leaving immediately. I don’t recall ever*** being so sick.

Nature: 1, Blonde: 0

A year or so later, a went camping for a week with family friends. Surely, the first time was a fluke and this was really a great way to vacation. We were on an island in Maine, almost right on the beach. Sure, it was a hike to the restrooms, but that shouldn’t be a problem.

Unless you get food poisoning.

Nature: 2, Blonde: 0

I (wisely) didn’t go camping again until I was in high school and went away to “God-Camp”. I loved it. I went for two consecutive years without a problem, and during the school years, volunteered with the organization that ran the camp. For the last five years, I babysat some of the younger members -children of those who run it but aren’t old enough to be campers yet. It’s a ton of fun and I enjoy being up there. I never really considered babysitting there to be “camping”. I sleep in a lodge with indoor plumbing, electricity, and hot water. I sleep on an air mattress with real sheets, blankets, and pillows. There’s a mouse or two, but a cat would take care of that problem. I can shower daily without worry. No big deal.

Famous last words. The first week I was there was great. Normally I’m only up there for one week because of my work schedule, but fate allowed me to stay for two this time around. First, by the start of week #2 I was tired and my ears were bothering me, but I had just done three rock concerts**** in less than a week. I wore earplugs everywhere the main group was gathered, from the meeting hall to the mess hall. Monday I dealt with mutated daddy long legs crawling down my neck and into my shirt. Tuesday I found a tick embedded in my scalp. Wednesday I was so overtired I thanked God for the earplugs and managed (just barely) not to doze off during rock concert #4. Thursday I woke with a sinus infection, slept most of the day, and ended up having to call my dad and my brother to pick me up early. After hacking up a lung all Thursday night and most of Friday morning, a visit to the doctor confirmed my suspicion of sinusitis.

Nature: 3, Blonde: 0

Next vacation I take is going to be in a 5 star hotel on a really, really nice beach somewhere.
*the type who pick you up when you’re stranded for a ride, even when you neglected to mention that you were in the area
** “camping” – queen sized, double thick air mattress with sheets and pillows in a lodge with indoor plumbing and electricity
*** Until I had menengitis in college
****and guess who sat really close to the speakers at the first three concerts, including “Panic! At the Disco”

 

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized