[Content Warning: Images of Mutilated genitals]
It needs to be talked about more.
However, every time someone attempts to make a space to talk about this horrible practice, someone else brings up male circumcision*. First of all, this proves that a lot of people struggle with discussing problems which are exclusively female. There is a time for everything. If I decide to talk about FGM, that doesn't mean I'm not acknowledging the existence of male circumcision, it means at that moment, I'm talking about FGM. If I'm talking about McDonald's, don't talk to me about Burger King for the sake of having something to say, let me talk, and listen. We'll talk about Burger King another day**.
To those who really can't tolerate one being talked about without mentioning the other - I don't give a shit. Deal with. I'm not even going to bother writing a list of differences between one and the other, instead here are some images to do it for me.
(Female circumcision on the left, male circumcision on the right)
Some women - girls - are having their vaginas (what is left of them) sewn shut. They are expected to pee, menstruate, have sex and bare children through an opening smaller than a bottle cap. This practice is carried out to stop women from having pre-marital sex, as it is thought that their value as human beings decreases if they do. This procedure is meant to take away the pleasure that can be experienced through sexual intercourse in order to make it a purely reproductive action.
Here is an eye opening documentary on the practice of FGM. focused on it's practice in the UK - http://www.channel4.com/programmes/the-cruel-cut/4od
If you don't have time, here are some of the points to take away from the 45min long documentary:
- FGM is not only practiced in Africa, it is practiced in Asia, and as an imported practice in Europe, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
- Young Muslim men are not taught what FGM is, therefore not aware of the consequences of the practice on their female counterparts.
- Political correctness in the UK causes some people to not "see" a problem with FGM.
- Though there are laws against FGM in the UK, they are not enforced, and proper sanctions are not in place.
Here is a petition you can sign to stop FGM in the UK - http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/52740
*When I mention male circumcision in this article, I am referring to male circumcision carried out without a medical purpose.
** I am completely against male circumcision, but in this instance, FGM is a practice I think is more painful and consequential to the girls who undergo it, and it is what I have chosen to discuss today.