The movement to end genital cutting is spreading in Senegal at a quickening pace through the very ties of family and ethnicity that used to entrench it. And a practice once seen as an immutable part of a girl’s life in many ethnic groups and African nations is ebbing, though rarely at the pace or with the organized drive found in Senegal.
The change is happening without the billions of dollars that have poured into other global health priorities throughout the developing world in recent years. Even after campaigning against genital cutting for years, the United Nations has raised less than half the $44 million it set as the goal.
A tradition may be generations old, but if abandoning it means the greater good; WHY THE HELL NOT?
Support women’s rights.
This is so disturbing…Why would anyone have to endure this?
Sitting here crying my eyes out at how horrific this is.
And also because I will never forget the day when my own father looked me in the eyes and told me had I been born in his country instead of Ireland he would have had this done to me and my sisters.
I’m so sorry you had to hear that from your own father. I’m glad you were born in a country that respects your rights to an intact body!
FGM is the most fucked up thing ever. How could you, why would you? The grounds for it are completely flawed. Its discusting.
Agreed, except I’d consider male circumcision in the same category of fucked up-ness.
This is a video to show anybody that tries to tell you that Female Genital Mutilation is worse than male circumcision.
Note: How many men it takes to restrain the child.
The awareness of the child/ able to understand what is happening
The way the penis “de-gloves” it’s self from the amount of tension being placed on the foreskin when it is cut away.
The lack of hygiene: same knife used, bare hands used to touch multiple wounds.
And how this would translate into mutilation if it were being done to females, according to WHO:
In 1995, the World Health Organization (WHO) developed four broad categories for FGM operations.15
Excision (removal) of the clitoral hood with or without removal of part or all of the clitoris.
Removal of the clitoris together with part or all of the labia minora.
Type 3 (infibulation)
Removal of part or all of the external genitalia (clitoris, labia minora, and labia majora) and stitching and/or narrowing of the vaginal opening leaving a small hole for urine and menstrual flow.
Type 4 (unclassified)
All other operations on the female genitalia, including:
- Pricking, piercing, stretching, or incision of the clitoris and/or labia;
- Cauterization by burning the clitoris and surrounding tissues;
- Incisions to the vaginal wall;
- Scraping (angurya cuts) or cutting (gishiri cuts) of the vagina and surrounding tissues; and
- Introduction of corrosive substances or herbs into the vagina.
Alteration to the genitals of children, males or females, against their will or without their consent, is mutilation.
Ripped this from the Make Wikipedia Recognize Male Circumcision As Male Genital Mutilation fb page. Reblogging this not because I think the term ‘mutilation’ is always necessary or helpful, but rather because many people still have a problem in making an adequate comparison across genders.
Agreed. Sure, female circumcision is often (though not always) more destructive than male circumcision, but try telling that to the little boy screaming as his most sensitive tissue is being hacked away with no anesthetic. Mutilation is mutilation.
Female Genital Mutilation is a horrific, cruel and painful event that happens in parts of the world where women and girls are oppressed. In Mali, the place where I was circumcised in order to be accepted as a member of my tribe, the society mindset is that circumcising girls in childhood prevents them from becoming promiscuous as adults.
As a result of that belief system, people in that part of the world impose circumcision on girls in order to control their future sexuality. They believe that girls are to be tamed during childhood so that in adulthood, they can become submissive to their husbands. Being biddable is considered the trait or characteristic of good wives.
In another word, according to them a girl’s only purpose in life is to become someone’s good wife. The definition of a good wife, according to them, is someone who abides to her husband’s desires while having no sexual desires of her own because circumcision prevents women from enjoying sex.
To make sure that girls remain oppressed, they are denied education. Most girls do not attend schools which make it easier to force them into unwanted marriage at a young age - to men that are already married and much older than they are with wives and children of their own.
In my own situation, I was not given any explanation for the genital mutilation. I was just told that it was good for me. Nothing more. Nothing less. But as I grew older, I realized that the only reason for the female circumcision was to please girls’ future husbands within the society.
For example, in my childhood, I observed many young girls becoming wives to much older men. At times, their husbands were two or three times their ages and were already married with children as old as their teenage wives because polygamy is also part of the culture and there is nothing wrong with men marrying as many wives as they can afford.
For most circumcised women, marriage is unbearable; it is both emotionally and physically agonizing. On one hand, having sex is painful and intolerable. And on the other, they are forced into loveless situations in which the husbands are the only one happy with the outcomes.
Genital mutilation is intended to scare girls in their lifetime. In childhood, they are circumcised; in adulthood they are forced to marry someone they don’t like and the most painful thing about that is they are brainwashed to believe that the best they can ever become in life is to be someone’s wife.
Most women in that society live and die without knowing or enjoying their lives. I hope that writing my story will help others understand what women experience as a result of oppression and lack of education because without education, they accept genital mutilation as a way of life and die in misery. I wrote Bully Mother to let those women know that it is possible to have a better life after circumcision.
Today I was reading some more about female genital mutilation. I remain aghast that such a barbaric, torturous practice is still carried out in the twenty-first century. A lousy doctor or midwife cuts off some or all of a young girl’s external genitalia, including the clitoris and the labia minora. They may also narrow the vaginal opening by cutting and repositioning the labia. The procedure is often done without sterile instruments or anesthetic.
The main reason FGM is done is to control female sexual behaviour. In some cultures in Asia and Africa, a woman’s virginity is highly valued and they believe that FGM reduces a woman’s libido and therefore reduces the likeliness that she will engage in sexual acts outside of marriage. Because the vagina is covered or narrowed, the fear of having it torn open through painful intercourse is supposed to prevent a woman from having it until she has a husband - at which point, her vagina is surgically opened up again so that she can have sex.
I was appalled when I saw a picture of a young woman who had undergone FGM. Her whole genital area was just…completely ravaged. There was barely anything visible besides scarred tissue. It makes me clasp my thighs together just to think about it.
It’s when I hear and read about things like this that I staggeringly realise how blessed I really am. There are things in my life toward which I feel discontent, like most people, but overall I have it pretty fucking good. I can work, vote, and come and go as I please. I can express myself with my body as I desire because my sexuality is my own. I have opportunities to change and improve different aspects of my life, on my own terms.
Oh God, what I would give to make it so that other women have this freedom too.