An issue that first hit my computer screen during my time in 6th form, was an issue that still sends shivers down my spine and boils my blood. It was through reading about such a practice that I realised how truly horrible culture and social convention can be to those who are, globally, most likely to be marginalized. It is all in this 3-word phrase:
Female. Genital. Mutilation.
a.k.a. female circumcision. I won’t bother with a full description of what it entails, as most of that information (and to be fair the views on this post) will be readily available on wiki. After reading a description, i’m sure all the women reading this will be crossing their legs and thanking their respective Higher Powers for being born in a modern or forward-looking culture.
You may start to question the very concept of cultural practices when you realise such a ritual exists. It is widely known and accepted, albeit very unfortunate, that girls in developing countries are married young, poorly educated and forced into early motherhood. However, I believe that FGM is the worst part of this social convention. It subjects girls to the most terrible forms of gender inequality through an act that does ALL harm and NO good. What does the ritual symbolise?
- It symbolises the inferiority of Women and their duty to conform to their patriarch’s ideologies in all circumstances.
- It represents a hypocrisy regarding sexual behaviour, whereby women should fear intimacy. It is seen as a prevention of premarital sex in communities where rape and abuse is all but uncommon.
- It suggests it is acceptable for women’s health and lives to be compromised at the expense of cultural ideals.
At 8 years old, I was playing with my Barbie doll. At 10, I was studying to get into Grammar School. At 12, I met some of my best friends. At the same time, another 8 year old was having her clitoris publicly slit. At 10, she was married. At 12, she more than likely died in childbirth.
The purpose of this post was for awareness. Please take the time to read http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs241/en/ for a better explanation of what FGM entails and represents.
Over and out.