AIBU to think that FGM ('female genital mutilation') should not be tolerated in a civilised society?

(84 Posts)
dolcelatte Thu 16-May-13 20:46:40

Apologies if this topic has already been raised recently and I am duplicating, as I tend to come onto MN sporadically.

There has been a lot in the press recently about the horrific practice of FGM, whereby girls as young as 5 have part of their genitalia cut off, without anaesthetic, often leaving long term health problems. The rationale is apparently that if there is no clitoris, there is no pleasure, which therefore minimises the risk of future infidelity. Sometimes the 'operation' is carried out in the UK or sometimes the girls go back 'home' for it to be done, typically in the school holidays, so that they can 'heal' before the return to the new term.

This is child abuse and grievous bodily harm, yet the authorities don't appear to be treating seriously or devoting other than minimal resources to eradicating this vile practice.

AIBU to think that it is absolutely sickening and unacceptable that more is not being done to protect these children?

trafficwarden Fri 17-May-13 20:33:15

nailak The removal of the prepuce as a method of FGM is extremely rare according to WHO. Since everything being done in your description is a choice made by an adult for the improvement of their sexual pleasure, there is no comparison to the barbarity of FGM performed on unconsenting children.

digerd Fri 17-May-13 20:34:50

I saw a TV documentary decades ago about the custom of 7 year-old girls having their Clitoris totally cut out and I think is was in regions of Nigeria. No Clitoris, no sexual arousal and therefore no vaginal natural lubrication and no sexual pleasure for the woman possible.

It was done with no anaesthetic. The reason was so that the wife would not want to have sex with any other man - or any man- so her husband would be sure she was faithful to him and his children were from his loins.

Then the horrendous sewing up of the vagina to make it as tight as possible for the husband's pleasure. When giving birth, the stitches had to be cut, but re-sewn afterwards.

I shall never forget that documentary.

VinegarDrinker Fri 17-May-13 20:38:35

Of course you can tell that a woman has been subject to FGM if you examine her gynaecologically. That doesn't mean a) she was living in the UK when it was done b) she knows who did it or c) has any interest in telling you who did it and pursuing a conviction

I am a HCP working in an area of London which sees a huge number of women with FGM. There is absolutely loads being done to try and combat it but it is a complex issue as many previous posters have said. All our women are asked at booking by the MWs about FGM and the fact it is illegal to perform on their daughters is clearly reiterated. Concern that a woman may be considering FGM for her daughter warrants SS referral.

We see lots of women who want their FGM reversed - which can be and often is done during birth if they wish, but also some who don't, and some who actively want to be "closed up" again if they tear during giving birth - which we can't do legally in any case.

marriedinwhiteagain Fri 17-May-13 21:14:09

Traffcwarden. Let me explain my point.

If there are severe consequences in any society for breaking the law, the majority start not to break the law. Let's stop being culturally sensitive and start prosecuting those who do it. Metaphorically, and I don't believe in an eye for an eye, it's a shame the men involved - the husbands and fathers can't have their genitalia mutilated without anaesthetic.

I suppose that would be culturally insensitve and something about which most hcps would want to make excuses. It is a criminal act and it deserves a criminal sentence and probably the so called caring services are responsible for protecting the guilty.

This is the UK. The practice is illegal. If peoople from other cultures want to leave here they have to respect the UK's laws; just as my SIL and her dp felt it was wise to respect the law I the UAE. Surely that isn't too difficult a concept to take on board ?

marriedinwhiteagain Fri 17-May-13 21:16:08

Live here not leave here although if some are not prepared to observe the law perhaps they should leave.

Pixel Fri 17-May-13 21:44:32

There should be an aim towards phasing it out while providing the cultures who are resistant to change with an alternative! It's going to keep happening regardless. Surely providing them with a pain free and hygenic alternative is better than just tutting an saying its wrong??

I'm not tutting, I think the whole thing is sick. What sort of 'man' is happy to cut his wife open so he can have sex with her?
Babyrush making the actual act of FGM pain free is only scratching the surface of what's inflicted on these girls. In the worst cases there follows a lifetime of never being able to wee properly, constant infections, cramps because menstrual blood is only able to trickle out, and that's without the agony of married life and childbirth.
I'm afraid supplying 'clinics' will only serve to make FGM seem more acceptable because how can it be cruel when these lovely clinics are here with anaesthetic and everything? Clinics to make it pain free aren't an alternative, they are just sugar-coating the issue.

Darkesteyes Fri 17-May-13 21:48:48

digerd sad sad angry angry
Also agree with the poster who said "how fucked up would somone have to be to only want a partner who has had it done.

Its despairing.

tb Fri 17-May-13 22:23:04

Not read the whole thread, but at least 10-15 years ago, I can remember hearing reports of doctors in the Birmingham area carryout out fgm in immigrant communities.

At the time, it was allowed to carry on for fear of being judged racist. IMO any doctor who does this to a young girl should be prosecuted and struck off without any possibility of being reinstated.

In France in the last 2 or 3 years I've been stopped in supermarket carparks - they're not allowed to ask inside the shopping centres - and asked to sign petitions against it.

nailak Fri 17-May-13 22:25:09

I also agree FGM i dont know why anyone would inflict it on their daughter or how any man could enjoy sex like that.

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