Female Genital Mutilation Essay

Female Genital Mutilation Essay

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Female Genital Mutilation


FGM originated in Africa. It was, and remains, a cultural, not a religious practice. Female genital mutilation (FGM) is also known as female circumcision is performed on young women before they reach puberty. There are three types of FGM practiced. One is Sunna circumcision in which the tip of the clitoris and/or its covering (prepuce) are removed, Clitoridectomy where the entire clitoris, the prepuce and adjacent labia are removed, and Infibulation (a.k.a. Pharaonic circumcision) which is a clitoridectomy followed by sewing up of the vulva. Only a small opening is left to allow urine and menstrual blood to pass. In all types of FGM, the vagina is sown up until the female is ready to have sexual intercourse with her spouse or give birth to a child. The remaining sides of the vulva are stitched together to close up the vagina, except for a small opening, which is preserved with slivers of wood or matchsticks. This leaves them with reduced or no sexual feeling. Orgasms are sometimes impossible to experience later in life. Many health problems are a result of this traditional ceremony. Most women that do not go through female genital mutilation do not get married or society looks down on them, because women are viewed as clean and more desirable if FGM has been performed on them. These are the various types of FGM that the men uphold, but it is the women who usually do the cutting. The women that do the cutting are known as Circumciser’s and usually are elderly women figures in the tribe, who went through the same trauma of FGM when they were young girls. Many women who have expressed their experience openly to someone have described scenes such as a group rape. They describe being powerless, held down ...


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...girl is the center of attention and receives presents and moral instruction from her elders. Lastly, it creates a bond between the generations, as all women in that society must undergo it and thus have shared an important experience. She also went on to say that by eliminating a women’s physical sex drive, circumcision made marriages more secure, and thus provided greater stability for families. She ended by saying, “Perhaps Americans, with their high rates of crime and teenage pregnancy, had things backwards”. While leaving out any personal opinion, we leave a question think about. From the background information of FGM, and the two stories of women who have gone through FGM and have run from it, Is it right for Westerners to impose their views and common experiences to a foreign nation that traditionally for thousands of years practiced Female Genital Mutilation?

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