1. I think this should be a new thread seeing as it doesn't really fit in with the circumcision debate very well.

    What do you all think about FGM? Is it a cultural practice we should accept? Is it a human rights abuse we should try to erradicate? Is it really comparable to male circumcision? Comments? Personal experiences?
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  3. by   kimtab
    I don't know enough about it to be able to call it abuse...but It does seem that the original motive behind it was to commodify women's sexuality (virgin=value) and to assure fidelity by removal of all pleasure from sex. It's interesting that in the countries where this is practiced, females are seen as the lustful ones who must be controlled. In Western countries it is males who are seen as the ones who are unable to control their sexual impulses.

    I think that parent's who inflict this custom on their daughters are doing it for the same reasons that parent's in America circ their sons. Sheer ignorance. It's a leap for most people to question the validity of a cultural norm.

    The question of whether or not we should accept other people's cultural practices isn't clear. Do I accept it as a fact of life, yes. Do I accept that it is based on a valid principle, no. If I do not accept it am I compelled to eradicate it? Isn't it beyond our scope of influence? Were I ever faced with the prospect of participating in such a procedure as a nurse then I would refuse and certainly would have something to say about it. But I doubt many of us will have the opportunity to protest in that manner.

    It should be eradicated, so should male circ, child abuse and neglect, perinatal substance abuse, poverty and illiteracy, I could go on. Hmm, I guess all I'm saying is sure, we should eradicate FGM- those words are sincere but they mean absolutely zilch to the girls who will continue to suffer because of all the worlds problems, that isn't at the top of very many people's lists.

  4. by   Slowone
    I don't want this topic to turn into another circ. debate with insults flying and peoples choices being attacked, HOWEVER....
    You are calling me and milllions of other well informed and intellegent parents "ignorant" for making a healthcare decision for my children!! How dare you!?
    You do not know why any one mother/father would choose to circumsize or not. That is a personal choice made by parents and doesn't need to be judged by persons such as yourself who appear to think they know what is best for the rest of the world!!!
    You are entintled to your opinion and I respect all veiwpoints on parenting as well as nursing everyone has a different way of doing things. But because a person chooses to do things differently for their child does not make them ignorant!
    I am an excellent mother and the choices I make for for my three boys are exactly that MY CHOICE!! Voice your opinion Kim but keep you opinions about those who don't conform to your way of thinking to yourself!
    Aside from your insulting me and other parents that have abused their sons penis, you had some interesting things to say in your post. Thanks
  5. by   prmenrs
    There is a HUGE difference between male circumcision and female genital mutilation!!

    FGM is just that--mutilation. There are MANY scenarios, the worst being that ALL external genitalia are removed--no anesthetic, of course, if you're going in for torture, don't fool around!--leaving only the orifaces.

    Sometimes, the vagina is sewn in such a way as to penetration EXTREMELY painful, and so that the woman screams loud enough and the sheets are really bloody at the consumation of the marriage. Then the man knows she's really a virgin, and the wedding guests [within earshot of the wedding bed] know as well and can congratulate her parents and the groom.

    Or, only the clitoris is removed. These surgical procedures are done often by a lay midwife, sterile technique--well, maybe? who knows. and the girl is usually anywhere from 5-menarche. She's immobilized by her mother and aunties and/or other female relatives.

    Call me crazy, but that constitutes child abuse to me.

    I know that many people call infant male circumcision mutilation and abuse as well--I'm much more neutral on that issue. I sure do hate seeing it done, tho--that may say more about how I feel!

    p.s. I almost forgot--after a male circumcision, how and whenever it's done, the male can and does enjoy sex. I don't think the same could be said for women that endure FGM
    Last edit by prmenrs on Aug 29, '01
  6. by   kimtab
    Slowone, and anyone else who was insulted by my post? Gosh,I really didn't mean to piss anyone off! For what it's worth my opinion was based on personal experience. I have "abused" my son's penis too you know.(BTW I never used that term in reference to circ or FGM) I do know why I chose to do it, and it was an ignorant choice in my case. I also know that my case wasn't unusual. I don't think that makes me an ignorant person overall though. I just didn't have the education I needed on that particular issue. By the same token, I am not implying that you or anyone here lacks intelligence or Parenting skills. And if you made a well informed decision then you aren't one of the people I was talking about anyway. My sincere apologies.

    Slowone, you didn't have an opinion to post on FGM? I am interested in hearing what you think.

  7. by   essarge
    For those of you who are faint of heart....DO NOT GO TO THIS WEBSITE!!

    This site has artist's renderings of FMG...some are very graphic.

    The one's that really drive the point home (in my OPINION) are those done by Wande George from Nigeria.

    This is the website...don't say you weren't warned!!

    BTW, for the record, I am totally AGAINST FMG!!!!

  8. by   Slowone
    Thank you Kim for your appology and explaination. I too appologize for the ranting.
    As Far as my opinion about FMG, I do not know much about it to form an opinion. From what I have heard/read it is a cultural thing and not done within ours.
    I certainly think it sounds horrible and I can't understand WHY this would be logically/medically necessary.
    The posts I have read so far on this topic have almost given me more information than I probably wanted anyway!
    Thanks. S~~