Most of you have heard about two physicians that are charged with genital mutilation on Minnesota girls. The accused make the argument that it is within their religious rites to do the procedure.
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When this story broke, I thought the term Genital Mutilation was a bit leading as we circumcise many boys in our country and for some they see this as a religious right. So I was going to try to make some parallels between the two practices but after I started reading about it I have decided there are only a few.
One being we do it to people who cannot make decisions on their own. We do it to infants in male circumcision and in females they are mostly done as young girls, neither of which can give consent. The procedure is done without anesthesia so there is a lot of pain involved in both, although arguably the male is less involved. The other parallel is they are both considered “religious” traditions and people have long performed them in various parts of the world.
I did research on the actual procedure and Wikipedia does a good job of explaining complete with diagrams and non graphic pictures.
There is a difference
So while I cannot condone the fact we circumcise boys for various reasons, none of which have medical backing there is a definite difference between male circimcision and female genital mutilation. The first being there are no long-term health consequences to male circumcision and there are several to female genital mutilation.
Long term Health consequences
“FGM is recognized internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women. It reflects deep-rooted inequality between the sexes, and constitutes an extreme form of discrimination against women.”
According to the World Health Organization, some mutilations, they sew the women closed leaving just a small opening for urine, menstrual flow and later sex. They do this for male pleasure and often times the male will need to cut the woman using a knife. Also, when having children often the first-born child from these women, have long-term health consequences. When having children, the baby will stuck in the birth canal depriving the newborn from oxygen causing a multitude of problems for CP to Hemiplegia. These conditions will often cause paralysis, learning disabilities, vision and hearing issues. These often lead to chronic health problems that will need to be treated for a lifetime.
Because I work at a children’s hospital, I have seen the results that these children must live with because of this procedure. I don’t see how this benefits anyone.
It is also done because they do not want females to enjoy sex, and it focuses on male pleasure at female expense
Should not be allowed in our country
Since there has been so much research done I agree it should not be performed in our country, it is an archaecic tradition that used to keep women subservent to men and hurts women in the name of religon.