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Monday, 11 September 2017

Female Genital Mutilation


Disclaimer: This is really hard for me to write. As a woman this makes me feel beyond disgusted and my heart goes out to all the women that are forced to undergo this horrendous barbaric practice. This topic will be addressed as seriously as possible.

I have a post on male circumcision as well, which I also view as horrible. However, male circumcision and female circumcision is not the same thing in their practice. Male circumcision is the removal of foreskin. Female circumcision is castration and worse. It comes in four types. The first type is the removal of the clitoris, which is the equivalent to male castration as the clitoris is the equivalent to the male penis. The second type is removing the clitoris and inner smaller labia. The third type is a forced narrowing of the vaginal opening. The fourth type is all of the above plus any harmful mutilation in the genitals.

This inhumane practice affects more than 200 million girls around the world. It is usually done to girls aged from babies up until 15. It often takes place in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, but also happens in Europe, Australia and the Americas.

Why is this practice done? There are no medical reasons or necessities to having a woman’s clitoris removed. The woman’s organ is not like the man’s organ. There is no ‘foreskin’ or outer shell. When this horrible practice, often done without anaesthetic, takes place, the female’s sex organs are going to be affected for the rest of her life.

The reasons are, as imagined, to control women’s sexuality and to make women ‘clean’ and ‘pure.’ FGM is said to reduce women’s libido (not least because her primary sex organ has been removed), and helps her to resist ‘illicit’ sexual acts. It is thought to ensure a woman will abstain from pre-marital sex. It is also viewed as a ‘rite of passage’, like male circumcision, and viewed as a ‘transition into womanhood.’ I am unsure as to whether or not this is a fundamentally religious practice, or whether it was occurring long before religions existed. I am aware that male circumcision is a Christian and Jewish requirement, but I am not sure if female circumcision is stated as a requirement by any of the major religions. If you have any examples of links of FGM to religion, that would be greatly appreciated.

The effects of FGM on women are tremendous. Women struggle to urinate due to the immense pain of passing urine through a tiny vaginal hole. Sexual desire and libido is greatly affected. Many girls bleed to death after the operation. Menstruation becomes painful. The psychological trauma is huge. Many women abstain from sex later on as well as childbirth as the pain and PTSD after having been cut makes it too awful to bear. And of course, negative body image about the vagina and viewing the vagina as ‘dirty’ and ‘unclean’ is also a result.

Thankfully, lots are being done to fight against this cruel and unnecessary tradition. In 2003 FGM was banned in Britain, and doctors are encouraged to report any illegal cases of FGM being practiced. The United Nations has and is continuing to combat this atrocity and hopefully free all girls and women from ever having to under-take this.







2 comments:

  1. fgm is disgusting, at least circumcision has some benefits

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure about male circumcision having 'benefits', although I guess you could say it makes it easier to clean the penis. FGM is definitely worse though, the two are incomparable.

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