First, Do No Harm

[Trigger warning for female genital cutting.]

PZ reports that the American Academy of Pediatrics has proposed a "compromise" on female genital cutting, suggesting a "ritual nick," a minor incision of the clitoris to satisfy the urge to ritualistically disfigure a female child's genitals in order to control her sexuality.

See, this way, people can honor that awesome tradition without actually removing part or all of the genitalia. Everyone gets a little something: Girls get only a little heinous physical and psychological trauma, and their guardians get to practice their violent misogyny, just in a slightly less violent way. Yay for compromise!

*takes deep breaths; resists the urge to smash everything in sight*

FGC is a human rights violation. It has no medical purpose, and its cultural rationale is steeped in gender inequality. There is no reason to tolerate even this proposed alternative version of the procedure in a culture with an ostensible belief in gender equality.

Insert the 10,000 posts I've written about consent and autonomy here.

And, despite the AAP's claim that endorsing nicking will be a deterrent, Equality Now rightly notes that advocating a more minor version of the procedure will almost certainly mean that "mothers who have until now resisted community pressure and not subjected their daughters to FGM in the U.S., in part because of the anti-FGM law, could be forced under the AAP guidelines to ask pediatricians to 'nick' their daughters' clitorises if it is legally permitted."

They are actually robbing mothers, adult women who are under enormous pressure to visit upon their American daughters a trauma they could not avoid, of the best argument they've got in their arsenal if they want to shield and protect their daughters.

Go here to take action.

[H/T to Shaker Ann. Please Note: PZ frames the use of the term "female genital cutting," instead of the more common "female genital mutilation," as a bit of pandering to the ritual's practitioners. This is not accurate. The change in language respects the experiences and self-images of women who have survived the procedure and do not view themselves as "mutilated." It is not accommodating the perpetrators, but respecting their victims. "Cutting" is an accurate description, and it is the preferred nomenclature for this thread.]

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus