Posted: September 10, 2012 in books

I came across this article and had to share it, i didn’t even know female circumcision actually happened!What is female genital mutilation?It’s one of the most political areas of women’s health. Worldwide it’s estimated that well over 120 million women have been subjected to it. Supporters of the practice say it’s an important part of cultural and religious life, and some compare it to the practice of male circumcision that is more widely accepted in the Western world, but opponents say that not only is it potentially life-threatening – it’s also an extreme form of oppression of women.In some countries where it’s more widely practised it’s officially illegal – those who persist in the practice in Senegal will now face a prison term of between one and five years, for example. But it’s still carried out quietly, within the family and out of sight of officials.Female circumcision is mainly carried out in western and southern Asia, the Middle East and large areas of Africa. It’s also known to take place among immigrant communities in the USA, Canada, France, Australia and Britain, where it’s illegal. In total it’s estimated that as many as two million girls a year are subjected to genital mutilation.There are three main types of circumcision:The removal of the tip of the clitor is Total removal of the clitoris and surrounding labia The removal of the clitoris and labia and the sewing up of the vagina, leaving only a small opening for urine and menstrual blood – a process known as infibulation So drastic is the mutilation involved in the latter operation that young brides have to be cut open to allow penetration on their wedding night and are customarily sewn up afterwards.
Female genital mutilation conforms to several cultural beliefs.The aim of the process is to ensure the woman is faithful to her future husband. Some communities consider girls ineligible for marriage if they have not been circumcised.Girls as young as three undergo the process, but the age at which the operation is performed varies according to country and culture.Girls who have not been circumcised may be considered ‘unclean’ in many cultures, and can be treated as harlots by other women. Many men believe the folklore which says they will die if their penis touches a clitoris. Health workers say that the operation is often carried out in unsanitary and so potentially dangerous conditions . Razor blades, scissors, kitchen knives and even pieces of glass are used, often on more than one girl, which increases the risk of infection. Anaesthesia is rarely used. Some girls die as a result of haemorrhaging,  Infections and scarring can also lead to long-term urinary and reproductive problems.Truly horrifying!!!

  1. The removal of the clitoris to ensure that women will be faithful actually results in lack of ability to reach orgasm, as that usually comes from clitoral stimulation. It guarantees they will receive no pleasure from the sex act and so they will not seek it. It is a barbaric practice that is widespread in Africa. There are now groups who are working to change this practice. One woman doctor succeeded in a village to convince the people that if she drew one drop of blood from the clitoris, in front of witnesses, that the law had been fulfilled. In many cases it is backed by local religious dogma. There so many deaths from this barbarism. It is just one more example of how patriarchy oppresses women.

    I worked with a Somali woman who had eight sisters. Her father was a doctor and had forbidden to have it done to his daughters. But when he was away on business the mother had them all done because she feared they would be un-marriageable. One sister died. Very sad.

  2. […] SHOCKING!. Like this:LikeBe the first to like this.   […]

  3. Katy says:

    You are only just learning about this? I heard about it years ago – it’s abhorrent, and many young girls die from the procedure, or end up dying later during childbirth because of the damage done to their genitals. It also interferes with their ability to urinate, which can cause kidney damage later. Many of the people from these cultures are trying now to enforce these things over here, in the US – cultural diversity can only be allowed to stretch so far. When it comes to the mutilation of children (and if you must know, I include the circumcision of boys in this as well), it really should be stopped.

    • i honestly didn’t know anything about it! i was looking up a health problem and it was listed in another catagory on the site its terrible!

      • Katy says:

        Hmm, that’s surprising. I guess since I was part of a women’s group in Fargo I heard about things that aren’t common knowledge, but I truly thought this was fairly well-understood and widespread knowledge. Weird.

    • I have known about this for many years. The WHO is trying to stop it. It is illegal in most western countries, but as you say, parents are trying to get around it. Often it is still done in secret, making it, again, very dangerous for the girls. So there is some debate on whether it is better to allow it under hospital safety conditions. I understand that sentiment but I still think it should never be allowed.

  4. Diane Tibert says:

    I’ve read about this in the past and it never fails to horrify me. I can’t believe this still happens, but I know it does. Brainwashing is alive in well in many countries.

  5. Diane Tibert says:

    I agree about the circumcision of boys, too. My boys are not done although it was recommended.

    • Katy says:

      That’s awesome! I’ve only been involved with two men who were not circumcised (and iIwas a bit wild in my youth), so it’s still pretty rare, but it’s coming along. One (my 2nd husband) is the son of a doctor, and she absolutely refused to put him through it. I have to give her credit. The other (my current husband) was born in USSR and it just wasn’t done as a rule over there, other than for religious purposes. Now, my husband’s grandfather *was* Jewish, but my mother-in-law also refused to allow the procedure.

      I’m not sure about my nephews, but since they were both born at home, I’m assuming my brother and sister-in-law did not circumcise. Men who have been circumcised don’t know what they’re missing, that’s for sure 🙂

  6. I’ve read about this. It’s shocking and I hope they put a stop to it.

  7. SHOCKING! - says:

    […] SHOCKING!. […]

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