May 14, 2014

Female Genital Mutilation: Why Culture is Never Correct in All Cases

Category: Social Criticisms — Tags: , , , , – Dave @ 1:21 am

When the Africans first arrived in the United States, they were bound in chains and treated as if they were cattle or a new house. Their natural color became the basis of racism and discrimination among them, with extreme patriotism and exceptionalism becoming more and more apparent during the era. Even if it became a part of American culture, it was swept away in the name of change and progress.

Female genital mutilation is part of the culture of South Africa, and if the American oppressors can change culture to give them hospitality and treat them as human, South African cultural figureheads should also be able to do the same things.

FGM is common with most tribes. This involves sealing up just the woman’s clitoris, or it extends only to expose the urethra through a small hole, where menstruation could also pass through. The tribes “reopen” the woman’s genitals when she becomes married to her husband. The pain and suffering these women have suffered in the name of culture could not be repaid by anything.

There is a high risk of infection and permanent damage to a woman’s genitals once they are sealed, and then re-opened. It may also cause psychological and emotional trauma, namely insecurity, pain, infections, incontinence and difficulty or possible death during childbearing and childbirth.

They say fashion is sacrificing one’s comfort to belong in a culture, but sacrificing one’s safety in the name of culture is never a better way of life. FGM must stop, and culture must adjust to respect the rights of women, as with all individuals.