Warrior Marks

Warrior Marks

Length: 1027 words (2.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Alice Walker, Warrior Marks: Female Genital Mutilation and the Sexual Blinding of
Women. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1993, 373pp.

Female genital mutilation, also known as female circumcision, is a practice that involves the removal of part or all of the female external genitalia. It occurs throughout the world, but most commonly in Africa where they say that it is a tradition and social custom to keep a young girl pure and a married woman faithful. But to some Westerners, the practice is viewed as being primitive and barbaric. We react with disgust and find it nearly incomprehensible that female genital mutilation can occur in the world today
     In Warrior Marks, Alice Walker looks at the reality that millions of African, Asian and Indian women suffer from genital mutilation. The book begins with the re-telling of a story of how she lost one eye. This wound was inflicted on her when she was three years old and for years, she felt handicapped and isolated. Her brother, who caused this accident with a BBgun, is referred to as a “warrior” and the blinding of her eye is the warrior mark. Her visual mutilation is what helped her see the subject of genital mutilation. She sees it as a terrible form of patriarchal oppression, characterized by “the feeling of being overpowered and dominated by those you are bound to respect.”
The book goes on and discusses the health risks that are involved in the practice. It talks about how the women who perform the surgery have a minimal knowledge of anatomy and hygiene, which results in infections of the genital and often results in the transmission of the HIV virus. Besides the initial pain of the operation, these girls also suffer long-term physiological, sexual and psychological effects. A mother reveals that she would stop the pain and betrayal if she could but because of tradition, she and others would risk banishment, torture and abuse.
     In the end, Walker emphasizes that these African women are not victims, but survivors. In the book, the women grow gardens on dry land and trade food, clothing and crafts in the marketplace. Whether a battered wife, a rape survivor or genitally mutilated woman, Walker concludes that a woman warrior learns that if she is injured, she can fight back. She closes by saying, “Your wound could be your guide.”
     Female circumcision is based on gender oppression and degradation of women.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Warrior Marks." 123HelpMe.com. 01 Apr 2020
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=95841>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Warrior Marks Essay

- Warrior Marks Female circumcision is a traditional ritual that is mostly practiced in Africa on young girls with ages that vary from birth to pre-pubescent. It is reported to have its origins (with varying degrees of reliability) in ancient Egypt. Female circumcision was also discovered being practiced in western India and eastern Asia until it was outlawed around the turn of the 20th century (common era). The procedure is varied through three different types of circumcision: Infibulation, clitoridectomy and Sunna....   [tags: essays research papers]

Research Papers
2668 words (7.6 pages)

The Silver Warrior Essay

- I am unsure how long I have been standing here mesmerized by this sleek aluminum tube. I can see people behind me reflected in its polished skin just as surely as I can feel the presence of terrible power. Speaking to my friend, I confide I am having a spiritual experience, disturbing, but spiritual. I have long known about this object–seen all the films, read all the books–but to be here in its presence, to finally see its "face," has taken me by surprise. Enola Gay holds me speechless. I am at the Smithsonian Air and Space museum viewing only the fuselage of this iconic bomber....   [tags: Personal Experience ]

Research Papers
1033 words (3 pages)

Stoicism in The Dreamer of the Rood Essay

- ... Christ is not initially depicted as a lord himself, but is submitting himself to the Father. The poem seems to suggest that it is only after Christ’s heroic battle and death that he is rewarded by his lord, the Father, and is made lordly himself. Christ, for his faithful service to his lord father, is rewarded with a seat at his father’s right hand after his death. The Cross is rewarded by his lord, Christ. The Cross, for bearing the weight of his lord and letting him be killed despite being able to resist, is rewarded by being “adorned with gold and silver” (77)....   [tags: suffer, cross, christ, role, warrior]

Research Papers
706 words (2 pages)

The Woman Warrior Essay

- The Woman Warrior        Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior discusses her and her mother Brave Orchid's relationship. On the surface, the two of them seem very different however when one looks below the surface they are very similar. An example of how they superficially seem different is the incident at the drug store when Kingston is mortified at what her mother makes her do. Yet, the ways that they act towards others and themselves exemplifies their similarities at a deeper level....   [tags: Warrior]

Research Papers
1116 words (3.2 pages)

Technology for the Road Warrior: A Managerial Analysis Essay

- For this paper, I will cover technology and solutions for the “road warrior.” A road warrior is an employee who is constantly traveling to different locations to work. Nearly any sizeable company will have employees that need to travel in order to do business. In this paper, I will cover how a company’s IT department can arm a mobile worker with technologies that will allow them to remain connected and efficient in their responsibilities. I will discuss smartphones and cellular technologies as they relate to a mobile work environment, security concerns and solutions, asset management and recovery, and how a company IT help desk can effectively support a mobile worker....   [tags: Technology, Solutions, Road Warrior]

Research Papers
1419 words (4.1 pages)

Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior Essay

- Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior Maxine Hong Kingston's novel, The Woman Warrior is a semi-autobiographical collection of short stories that chronicles her childhood in California. It gives the reader a feeling of how it feels like to be a Chinese American girl growing up with traditional parents in a world that is quite different from theirs....   [tags: Kingston Woman Warrior]

Research Papers
1314 words (3.8 pages)

The Use of Tone and Metaphors in Marks by Linda Pastan Essay

- The Use of Tone and Metaphors in Marks by Linda Pastan Linda Pastan?s poem ?Marks. is unusual because it addresses the frustrations of a typical housewife. Few people consider being a wife and mother a full-time job in itself, and it is not uncommon for a woman who plays both of these roles to feel overworked and unappreciated. What is unusual about Pastan?s poem is the way she effectively conveys these sentiments by the use of metaphors, tone, and informal diction. The speaker?s attitude is one of indifference, and this is made apparent by the metaphors she uses to compare her family?s regard for her duties as a wife and mother to school grades....   [tags: Papers Poem Marks Linda Pastan Essays]

Research Papers
595 words (1.7 pages)

Beowulf vs. The 13th Warrior Essay example

- I have closely compared aspects of Beowulf with the film, “The 13th Warrior”. Beowulf, written down by an unnamed Christian Monk in the 18th century, served as framework for the plot of “The 13th Warrior”. Beowulf and The 13th Warrior have extensive differences and even more similarities throughout the two stories. The film was made to actually show the different aspects, techniques, and ways of thinking that the people of medieval times thought. It also helps to put you into a better perspective on what the story “Beowulf” was like....   [tags: Compare Contrast Beowulf 13th Warrior]

Research Papers
605 words (1.7 pages)

Essay About Motherly Love in The Woman Warrior

- Motherly Love in The Woman Warrior What is it that constitutes a mother-daughter relationship. In our society mothers are generally portrayed as nurturing and loving people by the media. We see one mother cradling her newborn baby in a diaper ad in a Woman's World magazine, while another lovingly gives her child cold medicine in a television commercial. In fact, today it is even considered a beautiful thing, rather than a crude and exposing action, for a mother to breast feed her child in public....   [tags: The Woman Warrior]

Free Essays
496 words (1.4 pages)

A Mother-Daughter Relationship in The Woman Warrior Essay

- A Mother-Daughter Relationship in The Woman Warrior “Whenever she had to warn us about life, my mother told stories that ran like this one, a story to grow up on. She tested our strengths to establish realities”(5). In the book “The Woman Warrior,” Maxine Kingston is most interested in finding out about Chinese culture and history and relating them to her emerging American sense of self. One of the main ways she does so is listening to her mother’s talk-stories about the family’s Chinese past and applying them to her life....   [tags: Literature Woman Warrior]

Research Papers
1481 words (4.2 pages)

It is the result of a patriarchal society trying to sexually control women. Women are stripped of their sexuality and their virginity is controlled until they are married. As in most patriarchal societies, marriage is essential to the economic survival of women. Therefore, in the minds of these people, the benefits gained from this operation for the girl and her family far outweigh any potential danger. They look forward to circumcision as a coming-of-age ritual, which is necessary to maintain health, virginity and family honor. Circumcised women are considered beautiful while uncircumcised women are considered ugly, unclean, and unfit for marriage. So when parents request a genital procedure for their daughter, they are only seeking to enhance their child's acceptance into their culture and assure her desirability as a wife.
There is also a health issue here because these procedures are usually performed under unsanitary conditions. They use tools non-sterilized like knives, scalpels or a piece of glass to do the cutting and there is no use of any anesthetics. Normal risks of circumcision include hemorrhage, severe pain, shock, infection, and even death.

Harm that is done to women from female genital mutilation is a human-rights issue. The practice is considered as child abuse and the abuse of women. During the operation, these young girls experience extreme pain and trauma against their will. They also suffer many long-term physical consequences like genital malformation, recurrent urinary infections and loss of sexual sensation. These girls, like everyone else in the world, should have the right to live safe and healthy lives.
Although we consider ourselves superior to these women, we also resort to such extremes to conform to the expectations of society. We go through things like extreme diets, breast implants, face lifts, liposuction and other painful and potentially dangerous processes for beauty, love and social acceptance. I think these operations, just like male and female circumcision, are wrong because they are not natural. If people are born uncircumcised, then that is how our body should remain.
Before reading the book, I thought that female genital mutilation was a very violent and cruel practice. I saw these girls being forced to lie down and have a piece of flesh cut from between their legs. I imagined the excruciating pain and memories they would have to go through as an adolescent. I asked myself why is this happening? Now, having read the book, I understand that they have their reasons just like we have our reasons. But I still believe that is wrong to control a woman’s sexuality. This is still oppression and hopefully someday, people will find a way to stop this.
People want to save these children who are being tortured by their own people. But the problem is that the practice is not being done intentionally to harm anyone. Mothers do it in good faith for their children because they love them. We are two completely different cultures. These people look at Western culture and they probably feel sad that this kind of circumcision isn’t done here.
Women are fighting to end this practice through educational and political protest. The Women Health Organization is urging nations to ban female circumcision. I do not agree with this because I think it is important to respect their beliefs. It has been part of their culture and tradition for thousands of years and it is not right to suddenly make it illegal. I do believe that we should have laws to protect the health of these young girls. That is why we should be trying to improve the economic and educational status of these women. We should educate these citizens about the medical risks that the practice creates so that they can learn how to perform it safely.

Return to 123HelpMe.com