Sunday, 14 February 2010

Next question.

And lest you think that's funny... from Tim Blair's blog:
Some 180 words into an ABC piece on female genital mutilation in Australia, this paragraph appears:

Melbourne’s Royal Women’s Hospital says it is seeing between 600 and 700 women each year who have experienced it in some form.

And that’s just in Melbourne. What about Sydney? Adelaide? Perth? What the hell is going on here? The hospital’s Zeinab Mohamud tries to explain:
“Some people when they hear they say, ‘how can that happen?’ It’s when something is cultural and the people have been doing it for so long, it’s not easy to either eliminate it or to say, ‘you have got a bad culture’,” she said.

You have got a bad culture. It’s not that difficult to say.
That's happening in Australia. Today.

From the comments:

Wanglese of Dapto
Tue 09 Feb 10 (02:10pm)
I’d love to see some feministas come right out and say they utterly, and without reservation condemn and religious or cultural practice such as this. Without qualification.

I’s like to see them say that they utterly will not tolerate such practices, and they, like me, want harsher penalties (heck, I want penalties, fines, and imprisonment for practitioners) for this.

Zoe Brain replied to Wanglese
Tue 09 Feb 10 (05:36pm)

“I utterly, and without reservation or qualification condemn religious or cultural practice such as this.”

That’s one of us.

I don’t want harsher penalties though : I just want the penalties we have to be enforced, 100% of the time.

Achillea replied to Wanglese
Wed 10 Feb 10 (06:53am)

“I utterly, and without reservation or qualification condemn religious or cultural practice such as this.”

That’s two.

Winston Smith replied to Wanglese
Wed 10 Feb 10 (11:51am)

“I utterly, and without reservation or qualification condemn religious or cultural practice such as this.”

Feel free to add your name in the comments section.

And also feel free to contribute to this organisation, even though it's associated with the cult of the Raelian UFO nutters. Special thanks to Dr Marci Bowers, who provides surgical reconstruction to FGM victims in the USA free of charge.


Laserlight said...

Why limit it to feministas? I condemn this as well.
I am reminded of the tale of the British response to suttee: "Your practice is to burn women alive; our practice is to hang men who do that. We will respect your practice if you will respect ours."

As for the quotes from Ephesians, let's not take it out of context--a few verses later we have: "Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and was willing to be tortured to death for her sake." If you want to cite part 1, you also have to live up to part 2.

Jamiegottagun said...

Regarding the video: Funny thing is, the men were right! If countries had stayed on the gold standard, we wouldn't have the runaway inflation we do today, which is because governments can borrow money without any responsibility for ever having to pay it back. They simply print more money.

jk said...

It's useless to condemn an entire culture as being bad, and it's insulting as well. Some cultures are "better" than others, I agree, but there's good and bad in both. Plenty of cultures think male circumcision and breast augmentation are barbaric. Not exactly the same, but still mutilating, and often with a loss of sensation.

The problem with enforcing laws against FGC, whether it's in Australia, Indonesia, Egypt, Ghana, wherever is that the practice then goes (further) underground, and through more dangerous practices: using broken glass, no sterilisation, etc. Outside pressure can be counterproductive: Decades ago in Kenya, the practice was dying out on its own until missionaries moved in to decry it. The practice returned as an act of nationalist pride and resistance.

What appears to work best to reduce the practice is addressing the reasons for its existence, which are different in different places. Key is convincing mothers that they should not do this to their daughters, and door-to-door, one-on-one has made an impact there. For cultures where girls are considered otherwise unmarriageable and thus w/out a way to survive, economic issues also need to be addressed (as well they should anyway!). In some areas, just surveying men and finding out that most either didn't want their wives cut, or didn't care was enough to convince families to stop. Obviously, in other areas the practice has more meaning and will be more difficult to eradicate.

This has been an ongoing issue for decades. The best outsiders can do is support the people inside those communities who are trying to stop it. They know their situations best.