A post by Pat
It’s just a little nick “down there”. Similar to ear piercing. It’s much better than total mutilation. Probably not even as painful as male circumcision. What’s important is that it would “build trust” with immigrant families. Who came up with this lunatic idea? The American Academy of Pediatrics.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has suggested a new way to fight female genital mutilation in the United States: Allow doctors to give girls a “nick” down there. In a policy statement titled “Ritual Genital Cutting of Female Minors,” the Academy suggests that allowing such a ritual could serve as a way to “build trust” with immigrant families and prevent parents from sending their girls overseas for far more extensive, and potentially life-threatening, procedures. It’s a “possible compromise to avoid greater harm,” the statement says. […]
Dr. Lainie Friedman Ross, one of the statement’s authors, compared it to an ear piercing. It wouldn’t involve the removal of skin, instead it would be more like “a pin prick, a drop of blood.” As she described it, the “nick” would be ritualistic and symbolic. Ross strongly disagreed with an Equality Now press release saying that the Academy’s statement “essentially promotes female genital mutilation.” Much of the five-page statement takes care to emphasize the Academy’s opposition to “all types of female genital cutting that pose risks of physical or psychological harm,” as well as the need for education to eradicate the demand for such procedures. “In an ideal world, there would be no female genital cutting,” said Ross, but we clearly do not live in an ideal world. “If you just tell people ‘no,’ they go elsewhere,” she explained, adding that a “nick” should be seen as an “option that’s not ideal but is better than its alternatives.”
It is certainly true the procedure performed as a cultural practice is barbaric as well as unhygienic. For the Academy to think there is any compromise or pretend substitute is to completely misunderstand why the mutilations occur in the first place. FGM is a misogynous practice with serious intentional consequences. It is a violation of a female’s human rights. The Academy is either naive or culturally patronizing to think a centuries old practice will be abandoned because Western medicine gives its approval to a substitute. The Academy is wrong in suggesting there is a benign form of FGM we all can live with.
*UPDATE* In response to some of the comments below: FGM does occur in Islamic countries and passages in the Koran are cited to support it. However, FGM predates Islam by thousands of years. It is practiced mainly in Africa and in parts of the Middle East and Asia. The practice has been studied by anthropologists, psychologists and physicians. It is predominately a social custom not a religious rite.
Here’s the link to Academy’s policy statement. See page 6 for the portion about the “nick”.