Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Female Genital Mutilation

The title sounds horrific, doesn’t it? If you’ve never heard of it, you might be wondering what it is. It is something that is done about 6,000 times a day ( and involves one of four “procedures”. You can read about them here: Basically, it is cutting a womans genital area to either remove the clitoris so a woman cannot experience pleasure during sex or sewing the vaginal opening closed so a woman cannot have sex until she is married, at which point she’ll have to endure another “procedure” to open the vagina back up. There is no medical reason to do any of them.

When I first heard about this, my thought was, “What the hell is wrong with some people??? Why on Earth would anyone want to do that???” Well, it is not a girls choice. Usually, these “procedures” are performed between the ages of birth to 15 years old. As far as why, again, there are a few reasons including religious, social, and cultural influencing factors (see WHO article referenced above).
All three can be summed up in one word: sexism. These are people who obviously consider women to be beneath men and at their whim. So, when someone in the U.S. tries to argue that women have it much better today than they did years ago, there is still a long way to do. When someone tries to argue that treating men and women differently isn’t bad and in fact a good thing, female genital mutilation is an example of how far that logic has been taken by some. When Hitler first got into power, everyone loved his ideas. A strong country, an ideal race of people with a good culture. Who wouldn’t want that? But as soon as you start to say one is better than another, that idea gets carried too far and a genocide begins.
In this case, the painful, physical mutilation of millions of infants and young girls.

If you are interested in doing something about it, check out the following, and other, websites and consider either donating or helping in other ways.