Female circumcision otherwise known as female genital mutilation, has been illegal in the US and other countries, including Australia for some time. 'Intactivists' have been positioning male circumcision as male genital mutilation and campaigning to make male circumcision illegal too. In Dakar, on the west coast of the African continent, lawmakers from 27 African countries, together with envoys from the African Union and United Nations came together in early May 2010 to create a resolution which clearly bans female genital mutilation as a violation of human rights.
"The African Union's envoy Yetunda Teriba stressed that the West had a role to play in combating genital mutilations".
Just as the African nations are moving to ban the practice of FGM, the American Academy of Paediatricians recently suggested a 'ritual nick' may be a good idea for girls from other countries to stop them being taken overseas for more severe forms of 'cutting'. What a confusing message to send! That suggestion created a wave of criticism and caused the backdown of the AAP on this idea.
And now the clever country is getting in on the act. Our Australian doctors are considering this as a way of dealing with female genital mutilation! What are RANZCOG thinking? Obviously they are not thinking.
The 'ritual nick' is being called a 'modified' form of genital mutilation. Now that's a perfect example of a 'minifism' '
'Minifisms' is a word coined by Lawler (1991) describing behaviours which minimise the significance or severity of problems.
and get this:
"But experts are divided on whether to allow the practice, given that in some cultures it is used to remove the sexual feelings of women".I'm speechless with that remark. I'd love to know which experts and experts on what exactly?
Intactivists have considered the 'ritual nick' suggestion as a way to defuse and take attention from the growing call to have male circumcision made illegal.
This link is to the Intactivists page, where you will find recent media on the AAP moves and counter moves on 'the ritual nick'.
Marilyn Milos, a long time campaigner for the ending of circumcision said
"Circumcision is where sex and violence meet for the first time."What do you think of that statement?
and finally, I refer you to Jeannine Parvati Baker's piece quoting Marilyn Milo's comment.
What are your thoughts on all of this?
Lawler, J. (1991). Behind the screens: Nursing, somology and the problem of the body. United Kingdom: