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|An image of a happy family.|
Female Genital Mutilation is generally practised in some 27 sub-Saharian countries, Asia, and some parts of the Middle East. Typically it is carried out on girls before their fifth birthday, and involves the cutting away of all or part of the clitoris and clitoris hood, that part of the vagina when gently massaged can bring intense pleasure to the woman, resulting in orgasm. In more extreme cases of the practise the inner and outer parts of the labias are removed.
The procedure is most likely done without anaesthesia, with only a verbal caution to the girl to be brave and not to cry out. An unclean knife or razor blade is the intstrument and the circumsizor will themselves be unclean.
Wikipedia reports that more than 125 million girls have been put through this experience by their mothers who regard it as a matter of honour, as it establishes the mother's authority to bring up her daughter as she should. There is no medical reason or benefit to be gained, therefore it simply comes down to tradition, and the fact that the mother never enjoyed sexual intercourse, so her daughters likewise will never know the joy.
Clearly, this is the activity of ignorant people engaging in barbaric practise, and only education will eradicate it.
I tried to imagine the experience from the girl's point of view and I have to tell you that it absolutely turns my stomach. You are surrounded by everyone from the village and there you are, strecthed wide open to the world with some unclean old hag or man approaching you with a dirty razor to cut away what we instinctively think of as our private parts. The person holding you down will be your mother, the one you rely on to protect you. She is the ring leader saying yes, I want you to have this done! The background to all this is down by the river in the back of beyond.
As people have immigrated from the original countries to places like Europe, including England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland and also to the United States, they have retained many of their cultural beliefs, including FGM. Why would they do this? Perhaps because in such countries they find that MGM, or Male Genital Mutilation takes place, mostly in hospitals.
Circumcision, or Male Genital Mutilation is a shared religious belief between Muslims and Jews, but is rarely practised in Europe, Latin America, parts of Southern Africa and Asia. It generally has no medical benefit eexcept in extenuating circumstances, and the routine procedure to blindly follow tradition, especially if it is not religious, is to place one's neonatal child in excruiating pain needlessly, and perhaps significant risk. Perhaps the father had been circumsed as a baby so he thinks I'll have my boy likewise done. This is something that is better considered in the light of rational thought, and most of all, without haste.
The male evoled to be born with a foreskin. The foreskin is there for the purpose of enclosing the head of the penis and to keep it protected against dust and dirt. Humans developed clothes that now provide that protection, so the foreskin might be considered surplus to requirements, but as long as the man keeps his penis clean, having a foreskin is no liability. The main consideration is that if the baby grows into a man and decides for himself that he wants the foreskin removed, he can check himself into hospital and take the snip under proper surgical conditions.
The world is a constantly evolving place and there are a lot of outdated old fashioned ideas still in practise today, such as what we have been discussing, along with not allowing women to venture outdoors without a male relative, or to deny them the ability to drive a car. Education is the absolute key to changing such views and time to absorb the joys of learning.
Copyright (c) 2014 Eugene Carmichael