Archive for the ‘FGM’ Category

American Academy of Pediatrics finally does the right thing

Friday, May 28th, 2010

As you may recall, the American Academy of Pediatrics had condoned female genital mutilation earlier this month. Now they (finally!) recognized their error:
Pediatricians now reject all female genital cutting

The American Academy of Pediatrics has rescinded a controversial policy statement raising the idea that doctors in some communities should be able to substitute demands for female genital cutting with a harmless clitoral “pricking” procedure.

“We retracted the policy because it is important that the world health community understands the AAP is totally opposed to all forms of female genital cutting, both here in the U.S. and anywhere else in the world,” said AAP President Judith S. Palfrey.

The contentious policy statement, issued in April, had condemned the practice of female genital cutting overall. But a small portion of statement suggesting the pricking procedure riled U.S. advocacy groups and survivors of female genital cutting.

And cultural relativism scored one, on those who can’t tell an earlobe from a private part:

In the April statement, the group raised the idea that some physicians should be able to prick or nick a girl’s clitoral skin in order to “satisfy cultural requirements.” The group likened the nick to an ear piercing.

By the way, there is a federal law already prohibiting FGM:

The AAP also clarified nicking a girl or woman’s genitals is forbidden under a 1996 federal law banning female genital mutilation.

Through the article you see that term, mutilation, changed to “cutting”, and “circumcision”, as if those euphemisms described the barbaric practice of mutilating a woman’s genitalia for the single purpose of preventing her sexual enjoyment for the rest of her life.

It boggles the mind that the AAP actually went along with FGM in the first place.

And I want to know, where are the liberal feminists? Where’s their outcry?

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Nick & tuck

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

I was reading this Mark Steyn article (sent by Maggie and two other friends), Nicking Our Public Discourse when I came across this:

Last week, the American Association of Pediatricians noted that certain, ahem, “immigrant communities” were shipping their daughters overseas to undergo “female genital mutilation.” So, in a spirit of multicultural compromise, they decided to amend their previous opposition to the practice: They’re not (for the moment) advocating full-scale clitoridectomies, but they are suggesting federal and state laws be changed to permit them to give a “ritual nick” to young girls.

This is a total affront not only to women’s bodies, but also a negation of a physician’s duty to report abuse when found.

Steyn continues:

A few years back, I thought even fainthearted Western liberals might draw the line at “FGM.” After all, it’s a key pillar of institutional misogyny in Islam: Its entire purpose is to deny women sexual pleasure. True, many of us hapless Western men find we deny women sexual pleasure without even trying, but we don’t demand genital mutilation to guarantee it. On such slender distinctions does civilization rest.

Nick & tuck

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

I was reading this Mark Steyn article (sent by Maggie and two other friends), Nicking Our Public Discourse when I came across this:

Last week, the American Association of Pediatricians noted that certain, ahem, “immigrant communities” were shipping their daughters overseas to undergo “female genital mutilation.” So, in a spirit of multicultural compromise, they decided to amend their previous opposition to the practice: They’re not (for the moment) advocating full-scale clitoridectomies, but they are suggesting federal and state laws be changed to permit them to give a “ritual nick” to young girls.

This is a total affront not only to women’s bodies, but also a negation of a physician’s duty to report abuse when found.

Steyn continues:

A few years back, I thought even fainthearted Western liberals might draw the line at “FGM.” After all, it’s a key pillar of institutional misogyny in Islam: Its entire purpose is to deny women sexual pleasure. True, many of us hapless Western men find we deny women sexual pleasure without even trying, but we don’t demand genital mutilation to guarantee it. On such slender distinctions does civilization rest.

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Gendercide

Monday, March 8th, 2010

For those who believe that abortion emancipates women, maybe it’s time to reconsider; The Economist reports that millions of girls are aborted due sex discrimination in Asia.

The war on baby girls
Gendercide
Killed, aborted or neglected, at least 100m girls have disappeared—and the number is rising

The destruction is worst in China but has spread far beyond. Other East Asian countries, including Taiwan and Singapore, former communist states in the western Balkans and the Caucasus, and even sections of America’s population (Chinese- and Japanese-Americans, for example): all these have distorted sex ratios. Gendercide exists on almost every continent. It affects rich and poor; educated and illiterate; Hindu, Muslim, Confucian and Christian alike.

Wealth does not stop it. Taiwan and Singapore have open, rich economies. Within China and India the areas with the worst sex ratios are the richest, best-educated ones. And China’s one-child policy can only be part of the problem, given that so many other countries are affected.

In fact the destruction of baby girls is a product of three forces: the ancient preference for sons; a modern desire for smaller families; and ultrasound scanning and other technologies that identify the sex of a fetus. In societies where four or six children were common, a boy would almost certainly come along eventually; son preference did not need to exist at the expense of daughters. But now couples want two children—or, as in China, are allowed only one—they will sacrifice unborn daughters to their pursuit of a son. That is why sex ratios are most distorted in the modern, open parts of China and India. It is also why ratios are more skewed after the first child: parents may accept a daughter first time round but will do anything to ensure their next—and probably last—child is a boy. The boy-girl ratio is above 200 for a third child in some places.

This is a population time bomb like few experienced in the history of mankind, and the repercussions will affect national security in the West. Go read the rest of the article.

By the way, today is International Women’s Day. Let’s hope those commemorating this remember the women who have been subjected to female genital mutilation. Waris Dirie, who was subjected to this abhorrent practice, finds International Women’s Day insulting, for good reason.

A death sentence over a cell phone

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

No end to the depravity,
Saudi girl, 13, sentenced to 90 lashes after she took a mobile phone to school

A 13-year-old girl has been sentenced to 90 lashes and two months’ prison in Saudi Arabia after she took a mobile phone to school.

A court ordered the girl to be flogged in front of her classmates following an assault on the school principal, according to the Saudi daily newspaper Al-Watan.

Take a look at what a flogging looks like:

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Sentencing a 13-yr old child to endure 90 lashes and two months’ prison is the equivalent of a death sentence.

But we’re talking about a pathological mindset that believes that girls should be mutilated in order to save them from themselves and subjugate them to men. I was in a waiting room the other day when I came across this article, Waris Dirie Fights Female Genital Mutilation

Though female circumcision is often thought of as a foreign issue, according to experts at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, an estimated 228,000 women in the U.S. have undergone the procedure or are at risk. “Violence against woman does not know borders,” notes Dirie, “whether it is FGM, forced marriage, honor killings, or domestic violence.” She is pushing hard for a U.S. release of Desert Flower and notes, “There are an estimated 40,000 FGM victims in New York City alone.”

It’s a practice Dirie can speak about firsthand. Her mother held her down when she was cut without anesthesia by a gypsy woman when she was a tiny girl. Dirie’s vaginal opening was stitched closed with thorns. The pain was horrific. “Can you imagine anything worse than hearing the screams of pain of your own child?” she asks.

“I consider FGM the worst type of torture that can be done to a woman. It’s impossible to describe the pain,” she continues. One of Dirie’s older sisters bled to death after the procedure, while a six-year-old cousin perished from a resulting infection. In her book, Dirie makes it clear that FGM is blatant butchering, writing, “It’s like someone is slicing through the meat of your thigh or cutting off your arm, except this is the most sensitive part of your body.” In many African communities, she goes on to explain, “the prevailing wisdom is that there are bad things between a girl’s legs.”

Dirie has come a long way to find herself in this well-appointed Paris room. At around 13, her father sold her to a much older man to be his next wife. The plan was that he would cut open her stitched vagina with a knife or break it open by penetrating her. So she ran away.

Like Aayan Hirsi Ali, she ran away. The article on Waris Dire does not mention a religious affiliation, but Islam definitely was the factor behind Hirsi Ali’s mutilation. Both Dire and Hirsi Ali have survived; as you may recall, Katoucha died under suspicious circumstances.

In another case involving a child, Phyllis Chesler asks Can Counseling Prevent a Potential Honor Killing?

Don’t bet your life on it.

Prior posts on fgm here and here.

Today at 11AM Eastern: Blog Talk Radio ALL-STARS panel!

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

Updated
You can listen to the podcast here

In today’s podcast, an all-star lineup:
Elizabeth Blackney of Media Lizzy, Jazz Shaw of Midstream Radio, Shane Burgess of Political Vindication, and Siggy will be discussing sexual mores in the West and in Islamic countries.

We’ll start by talking about Lisa Schiffren’s post Sex and the Single Muslim Girl, with a panel discussion, followed by conversation.

Chat’s open by 10:45AM, and the call-in number is 646 652-2639. Join us!

Listen to Faustas blog on internet talk radio

The missing top models, and other Sunday items

Sunday, March 9th, 2008

The other day Matt was posting about the disappearance of Waris Dirie, who had launched a campaign against female genital mutilation in 1996. The Waris Dirie Foundation website has more information on her campaign.

Dirie was later found on Friday and the police are investigating the disappearance:

Dirie’s manager, Walter Lutschinger, said she had been involved in an altercation in a hotel reception area after a taxi driver took her to the wrong branch of the Sofitel hotel chain. The police were called and drove Dirie around Brussels looking for the correct hotel because she had apparently forgotten where she was staying.

UPDATE
Model Dirie apologizes for 3-day disappearance
‘A little misunderstanding,’ she says of absence from women’s conference
.

Earler last week the police had found the body of another model who had spoken against FGM:

News of Dirie’s disappearance came a week after French police said they had found the body of another former model of African origin who had campaigned against female genital mutilation. Guinean-born Katoucha Niane was discovered floating in the River Seine in Paris.

The French police said an autopsy showed no signs of foul play, raising the possibility that she may have fallen accidentally into the river. However, Katoucha’s family members say they suspect homicide.

French police

initially said an autopsy showed no signs of foul play, pointing to the possibility that the could have fallen accidentally into the river.

The ex- model and mother of three died from “rapid submersion with no traces of violence,” said a source close to the investigation. “She fell into the water and went straight to the bottom,” he added.

Her family insists that a homicide investigation continue, and have requested a second autopsy.

France2 did a report on Katoucha’s campaign against FGM which you can watch on YouTube (in French)

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The WSJ’s Five Best books on gambling, selected by Richard Hoffer:


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Pat has the Carnival of the Insanities
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Today’s shoes, looking forward to warm(er) days, the Clarks Hydrangea in bronze.

NYT glosses over FGM

Monday, January 21st, 2008

As regular readers of this blog know, I have been posting about female genital mutilation (FGM) for a long time. My position is as follows:

I do not care whether this is a tribal, religious, and/or cultural tradition at all, the practice of female genital mutilation is a barbaric custom that must be stopped.

Yesterday for some (probably insane) reason I picked up the dead-tree edition of the New York Times and found that the magazine has an eight-page full-color article and spread on the barbaric practice, titled A Cutting Tradition
Inside a female-circumscision ceremony for young Muslim girls

The description by Sarah Corbett makes it sound like the girls were going for a pedicure (emphasis added):

When a girl is taken — usually by her mother — to a free circumcision event held each spring in Bandung, Indonesia, she is handed over to a small group of women who, swiftly and yet with apparent affection, cut off a small piece of her genitals. Sponsored by the Assalaam Foundation, an Islamic educational and social-services organization, circumcisions take place in a prayer center or an emptied-out elementary-school classroom where desks are pushed together and covered with sheets and a pillow to serve as makeshift beds. The procedure takes several minutes. There is little blood involved. Afterward, the girl’s genital area is swabbed with the antiseptic Betadine. She is then helped back into her underwear and returned to a waiting area, where she’s given a small, celebratory gift — some fruit or a donated piece of clothing — and offered a cup of milk for refreshment. She has now joined a quiet majority in Indonesia, where, according to a 2003 study by the Population Council, an international research group, 96 percent of families surveyed reported that their daughters had undergone some form of circumcision by the time they reached 14.

I was actually shaking with anger when I finished reading this.

For starters, it is not circumscision. It is mutilation. It doesn’t take much to mutilate a woman’s external genitals.

The procedure itself is designed to deprive a woman from enjoying her sexuality for as long as she lives and carries dire medical consequences.

My friend Phyllis Chesler was reading the NYT article, too, and has this to say, Exactly Who are the Barbarians? Female Genital Mutilation as Pictured in the West

What is a human rights atrocity with life-long and life-threatening consequences is here being presented as a “tradition,” often a harmless one, sometimes not, but always a well-intentioned one.

According to the article, there is “little blood involved” – well, how bad can that be? And, “antiseptic is used” – well, this is not dangerous at all, is it? Finally, afterwards, the child is given a “celebratory gift” – what, am I the kind of westerner who, Grinch-style, would deny the child her gift in order to make my twisted, “racist” argument? As the article states , the child clutching (or drinking) her gift “has now joined a quiet majority in Indonesia.”

These photographs were taken in 2006 on a day where 200 girls were genitally mutilated . In honor of the “prophet Mohammed’s birthday,” the Assalaam Foundation subsidized both the mutilation – and the “gift.” According to the Foundation’s chairman of social services, the cutting/mutilation will “stabilize her libido;” “make a woman look more beautiful in the eyes of her husband”; and “will balance her psychology.”

Because you know, those husbands wouldn’t want any hysteria getting in the way.

Ninety six percent of all Indonesian families have sliced their daughters’ clitorises right off.

No orgasms for you, you naughty, wicked hussy of a child.

In the article, an Italian physician who is also a World Health Organization official states: “To judge them (the female mutilators) “harsly is to isolate them. You cannot make change that way. These mothers believe they are doing something good for their children.”

The Indonesian “cutting” is presented as less severe, less “extreme” than African versions. Oh yeah? Then why does one photo show us a child in extraordinary pain. Yes, right there in the New York Times. The caption is: “A girl cries as she is circumcized.” Well, it’s like being vaccinated, right? And there is a second photo of a highly anxious child just before the mutilation. This one is captioned: “A girl is soothed by an attendant before her circumcision.”

The photographer has captured a live human rights atrocity in progress and we are seeing it in color with our morning coffee and croissants. Or bagels. Or muffins. Whatever.

Who exactly are the barbarians here? Those who genitally mutilate their daughters or those who deem the atrocity as something of a soft core “tradition” to be “enjoyed” at Sunday brunch?

Phyllis is unsparing in her indictement of the NYT’s puff piece. She also links to Dr. Andrew Bostom’s article, Clitoral Relativism—Female Genital Mutilation in “Tolerant” Islamic Indonesia where he quotes from the British Medical Journal

An August 1993 report in the British Medical Journal (abstracted here) on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) stated plainly, in its summary conclusions:
Female genital mutilation, also misleadingly known as female circumcision, is usually performed on girls ranging in from 1 week to puberty. Immediate physical complications include severe pain, shock, infection, bleeding, acute urinary infection, tetanus, and death. Long-term problems include chronic pain, difficulties with micturition [urination] and menstruation, pelvic infection leading to infertility, and prolonged and obstructed labor during childbirth.

Not surprisingly, FGM is outlawed in theUnited States and most Western countries, and there are concerted efforts to eradicate this barbaric practice, globally.

But just today, the barbarism of FGM is indeed referred to “misleadingly” as “circumcision” in a quintessential culturally (or if you prefer, clitorally) relative depiction by Sara Corbett published in the New York Times Sunday Magazine

My other friend Mary Madigan notices that Sara Corbett has a history of perverting the truth.

All the same, the NYT has now slipped from moral equivalence, dhimmitude and political correctness into embracing child abuse and mysogyny.

Update
Pushing the limits of cultural relativism: the lighter side of cannibalism

Update 2
Can’t Drive, But Hey! There’s a Strong Sense of Family

Unsurprisingly, todays co-called “feminist” blogs are awash with false outrage at meaningless trivialities, like Michigan Tech’s president implying that women should not be pressured into attending college if their ambition is not higher education, the societal implications of the new “skinny” offerings on the Starbucks menu, a Post-It ad, and some half-baked rant about Chris Matthew’s treatment of Hillary Clinton. There is nothing dealing head-on with the horrors women around the world are experiencing at the hands of real Patriarchal societies whose laws, practices, and yes, backward version of religion have established an inescapably oppressive construct that is now affecting a brand new generation.

It begs the question, of course: what is it that these women are afraid of? Is it so simple as a fear of the demon of multiculturalism, or a fear of being perceived as intolerant that leads them to do nothing more than pay lip service to the cruelty? Or is it something more? If this was such an innocuous practice, they certainly would not object to undergoing it themselves, but you would, rightfully, find none that would, so it cannot be that they believe this kind of thing is merely an artifact of a bygone era. Something must be preventing them from acknowledging a real cause for concern, a real plight of gender equality…something bigger.

It remains to be seen of course. Tomorrow, feminists across the country will celebrate a court decision that paved the way for international policies encouraging abortion as a legitimate reproductive right, which has in turn empowered countries to impose one-child policies, and for women in those countries to take advantage of international help to commit a genocide of the female gender — allowing nearly 60% of all female babies born in China and India to be killed.

So much for tolerance. Its time for a new idea.

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Female Genital Mutilation destroys lives in Britain

Friday, January 4th, 2008

Warning: Post may not be suitable for work
due to graphic descriptions of FGM procedures

Let me make myself clear on this:

I do not care whether this is a tribal, religious, and/or cultural tradition at all, the practice of female genital mutilation is a barbaric custom that must be stopped.
Again, I don’t want the issue clouded by any kind of ethnic/religious bias. THE PRACTICE ITSELF must be condemned.

Additionally, I must stress again that FGM is a social custom, not a religious practice, which has been reiterated in this MEMRI video.

The UK’s Daily Mail has a well-researched article on FGM that you should read,
The unspeakable practice of female circumcision that’s destroying young women’s lives in Britain

Most people will be unfamiliar with this practice, which involves removing part or all of the clitoris, the surrounding labia (the outer part of the vagina) and sometimes the sewing up of the vagina, leaving only a small opening for urine and menstrual blood.

It is carried out for a variety of cultural reasons. Such is the secrecy that surrounds the practice that even those aware that it occurs in large swathes of Africa and Asia will be shocked to learn that it is prevalent in Britain.

During a highly disturbing, four-month investigation, however, we uncovered evidence that thousands of British-African girls, in towns and cities throughout the country, have been forcibly “cut”.

By conservative estimates, 66,000 women and girls living in Britain have been mutilated. This figure, accepted by the Metropolitan Police, came in a report by a volunteer organisation funded by the Department of Health and carried out with academics from the London School of Tropical Hygiene and the City University.

The article states that political correctness rears its cowardly head, again:

The Met team also educates regional police forces about FGM, and speaks to mosques, community groups and local authorities.

Usually their visits are well-received, but we found that at least one London council declined to publish material highlighting the suffering and danger the practice causes – for fear of offending ethnic African residents.

This kind of attitude incenses Detective Inspector Hamilton. “We are all becoming very culturally sensitive,” she says. “People are a bit frightened of saying ‘You can’t do this here’ because people shoot back with ‘But it’s our culture’.

Among them,

Several leadings Imams have openly condemned the practice. This, though, does not deter its proponents, who maintain that it is their inalienable right to live according to their traditional beliefs and customs, rather than conform to British values. Indeed, some argue that the freedom to carry out FGM is a fundamental principle of our multi-cultural society.

Let’s look at the dictionary definition of inalienable:

not alienable; not transferable to another or capable of being repudiated

FGM is worthy of repudiation, and as civilized people we must repudiate it. The “freedom” to carry out FGM is the “freedom” to carry out (and without the benefit of anesthesia) the following,

  • Remove the clitoral hood with or without removal of part or all of the clitoris.
  • Remove the clitoris together with part or all of the labia minora.
  • Remove 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
  • Or,
    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 to cause bleeding or for the purpose of tightening or narrowing it.

Now, read that again carefully.

The physical health consequences of FGM are horrendous. The psychosexual and psychological health are equally severe.

Ponder each one of those items and tell me WHO in their right minds would defend the inalienable right to perform any of these barbaric butcherings.

The FGM Education and Networking Project is making great strides in ending this barbaric practice.

UPDATE
Via SC&A, three links to those defending FGM:
Besotted multiculturalist anthropologists defend female genital mutilation
Cultural rights or human rights: the case of female genital mutilation
Healing the wound

Update 2
Genital Mutilation Practice Growing In Britain

(ht/ Pamela)
Previous posts on FGM and female genital mutilation.

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The American feminists’ silence on the subjection of Islamic women

Tuesday, May 15th, 2007

Christina Hoff Sommers writes about The Subjection of Islamic Women And the fecklessness of American feminism,

The condition of Muslim women may be the most pressing women’s issue of our age, but for many contemporary American feminists it is not a high priority. Why not?

The reasons are rooted in the worldview of the women who shape the concerns and activities of contemporary American feminism. That worldview is–by tendency and sometimes emphatically–antagonistic toward the United States, agnostic about marriage and family, hostile to traditional religion, and wary of femininity. The contrast with Islamic feminism could hardly be greater.

Sommers explains,

One reason is that many feminists are tied up in knots by multiculturalism and find it very hard to pass judgment on non-Western cultures. They are far more comfortable finding fault with American society for minor inequities (the exclusion of women from the Augusta National Golf Club, the “underrepresentation” of women on faculties of engineering) than criticizing heinous practices beyond our shores. The occasional feminist scholar who takes the women’s movement to task for neglecting the plight of foreigners is ignored or ruled out of order.

Sommers mentions Katha Pollitt, who

casually places “limiting young people’s access to accurate information about sex” and opposing abortion on the same plane as throwing acid in women’s faces and stoning them to death. Her hostility to the United States renders her incapable of distinguishing between private American groups that stigmatize gays and foreign governments that hang them. She has embraced a feminist philosophy that collapses moral categories in ways that defy logic, common sense, and basic decency.

I can’t say that I would expect decency from the American feminists. After all, these are the women which, as I have said before, equate women with their gonads and see nothing wrong with a lesbian statutory rape, which is even presented as a “salvation”.

Phyllis Chesler has written eloquently about the feminist establishment’s unwillingness to take on Islamic sexism,

She faults it for “embracing an anti-Americanism that is toxic, heartless, mindless and suicidal.”

In the irony-poor mindset of the feminist establishment, there is no notion that believing that our culture is ruinous for women, while failing to see the horrors routinely perpetrated against women in Arab countries and in other parts of the world, shows their argument in all its emptiness.

Unfortunately, it is suicidal not only for the feminist establishment, it is lethal to women all around the world.

Update
Via Dreams Into Lightning, Is Phyllis Chesler right?

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