Wave of (Female Genital) Mutilation

ActivistResource.org apprised us of a 2009 documentary being screened in our neck of the woods (Hudson Valley) tonight called Mrs. Goundo’s Daughter, so we checked out the trailer. It’s the story of one woman’s quest to save her young daughter from the horrors of the African tradition of female genital cutting. In her native Mali, up to 85% of women and girls undergo clitoral excision, which can result in lifelong pain, infection, infertility and even death. After watching the trailer, you’ll think “This is crazy! How can people still think this is a good idea? Thank goodness I live in a Westernized country.” But then we’d point you to this report on the increase in labiaplasty by Hungry Beast (a television show in Australia where they can show a lot more — warning: this is NSFW). After seeing a young woman get her nerve-rich inner labia hacked off by choice, you’ll reconsider your Western superiority.

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  1. Relativism, schmelativism. Cutting off girls’ clits is wrong and the men who do it should likewise have the tips of their dicks cut off under third-world sanitary conditions.

    Speaking of which, I want my foreskin back.

  2. Contrary to popular belief, traditions are not rooted in stone. They change as societies change. Look at forms of punishment throughout the world. The death penalty becomes one example. Whipping of prisoners or caning being others.

    What I don’t understand is the practice of labiaplasty in the West. What’s wrong with labia they way they were created. You wouldn’t go around changing a Georgia O’Keefe painting, would you?

  3. I can totally understand the cultural relatvism view point. Traditions that seem normal to one culture can be completly outrageous to another. But, performing surgery on children who are too young to fully understand the consequences steps outside of cultural differences. I mean, often these genital mutilations just take place in someones kitchen. These are not sterile, safe conditions. The risk of infection is very high. And these girls who have the procedure are essentially forced into it. The pressure from the society around them is too great for the girls to have a choice. If an adult wants to make the choice to have surgery from a licensed doctor, whatever. I don’t care what they wanna do to their genitalia. But children need to be protected, no matter what the societal norm may be.

  4. Cant judge this tradition from our western eyes, cultural relativism people!

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