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?

Forgetfulmog Thu 16-May-13 20:52:47

I remember being shocked at this when I read "Desert Rose" by Waris Divali - she talks about her horrendous experience of FGM.

YANBU but it is yet another horrible thing that goes on in this world.

Btw the same thing happens to boys in some cultures.

SirBoobAlot Thu 16-May-13 20:52:51


I also feel the same way about MGM.

Not your body, not your choice.

Both practices are revolting.

marriedinwhiteagain Thu 16-May-13 20:55:41

Tbf and not meaning to belittle your argument but children actually die regularly in the UK due to cruelty and abuse. There is something very wrong in thE combined services of the NHS/Social Services.

PleasePudding Thu 16-May-13 20:57:09

It's horrible I remember hearing people arguing it should be available on NHS - I felt sick.

What can be done though? Maybe speaking in schools encouraging girls who are worried about it to come forward - it's unlikely they will though and would only work at secondary school.

ItsallisnowaFeegle Thu 16-May-13 20:58:22


thebody Thu 16-May-13 20:59:46

It's vile op totally agree but so is circumcision on baby boys.( obviously excluding those for medical reasons)

Any torture or abuse on any human is vile and on a child it's unspeakable.

LadyCurd Thu 16-May-13 21:02:26

Actually PleasePudding biggest risk to a girl is at primary school or in the summer holidays between primary and secondary. I know of some schools doing fab work in the area but to date no prosecutions have been bought about in UK. Suggest you look at organisations such as forward and daughters of eve to find out more.

Zorra Thu 16-May-13 21:09:34

TBH, if you had phrased your question so that it wasn't based on seeing the UK as 'civilised' and huge tracts of the rest of the world as 'uncivilised' then I'd find you more reasonable. I'm not defending FGM but the us-and-them approach is one of the reasons issues such as this are so hard to tackle.

LadyCurd Thu 16-May-13 21:32:34

Hear hear Zorra

marriedinwhiteagain Thu 16-May-13 21:34:25

I recall when my SIL and her husband were in the UAE they quickly got married because of the otential consequences of living together as an unmarried couple. I believe FGM is illegal and the perpetrators need to be prosecuted and face severe consequences. It will not take long for them to put their own skins first. The practice is illegal, irrelevant, cruel, abusive, disrespectful and downright sadistic.

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Thu 16-May-13 21:36:55

Yanbu. Any children residing innthe UK and suffering this abuse should be removed and placed into the care system. It is sickening.

Glup Thu 16-May-13 21:37:46

Dolce, have you read the child protection guidelines? This definitely features...and in some areas (such as the one in which my school is located), staff are particularly told the signs to look for.

I'm sorry, you're mistaken. This is being treated very seriously and it is definitely classfied as child abuse.

I'll see if I can look up some of the details for you, but basically it is very difficult to carry out research in this area (for obvious reasons). Prosecutions have taken place in France, but there is only one study I vaguely recall hearing of here. The results were fairly clear: the vast majority of the girls who had moved here from high risk backgrounds (horn of Africa) were not at risk at all. In fact, it was a practice their parents were generally happy to ignore.

gordyslovesheep Thu 16-May-13 21:39:12

Id like evidence that it is tolerated - i am certainly expected to view it as a cause for action

gordyslovesheep Thu 16-May-13 21:39:45

or what Glup said

dolcelatte Thu 16-May-13 21:59:20

Zorra - I think you misread my post. I was suggesting that the UK should be doing more and I said that this barbaric practice should not be tolerated in any civilised society. France, for example, is doing much more than the UK through, for example, regular health checks on young women.

I don't think we can turn a blind eye to this butchery on the basis that it is being superior or in some way racist to condemn something that is so obviously wrong.

McNewPants2013 Thu 16-May-13 22:03:13

What can the uk do, they cant stop every one from going abroad.

ICBINEG Thu 16-May-13 22:10:43

maybe you can't stop people going abroad but maybe you could only let the child back in....

obviously wouldn't work for british nationals...but they can be locked up.

dolcelatte Thu 16-May-13 22:14:24

McNew, what appalling apathy, do you really care so little?

Glup Thu 16-May-13 22:16:56

Right. Back again.....but am also watching tv and marking (fun times at the Glup household) and am a bit too lazy to read through the DFE website to find our current guidelines in this country.

However, a quick search of the library website found 4310 articles on the subject and its relevance in the UK- most of which seem to be government-based. I can also assure you I've attended INSETs in which we've been given signs to look out for. Seriously, a blind eye is not being turned!

What I'm interested in, though, is not the miniscule proportion of children who have this cruel practice inflicted on them each year in this country, but I have a recollection of hearing that this is examined in adults, when women give birth in this country. So far so obvious......but I think I recall reading that it could be reversed. Is this true, does anybody know?

KittensoftPuppydog Thu 16-May-13 22:20:57

Anyone who thinks that fgm is the same as male circumcision should be made to research the subject until their eyes bleed.

I have an Eritrean friend who is a campaigner for wider awareness of FGM in schools with high risk pupils (because she was subjected to it). The problem is, many people are flown abroad to do it. What can you do? Stop all girls flying back to their countries? It's very difficult. There are ways, however. Regular health checks, maybe a topic within secondary schools would be useful, it needs more awareness and it needs mkre and more people to grow up thinking it's wrong. We need to do two things- stop tjr current mutilation, and also change perceptions kf certain communities. We need to find a way to make boys grow up to be men who don't see it as a good thing, and of women who know they CAN turn to charities, and can get support and that it's wrong, and so if they become parents, they see it as wrong. We need to stop FGM generations beforehand, but we also need to stop it right now. So we need to target children for the future, and we need good safeguarding and protection methods now.

Also, many women in the societies view it as a good and pure thing- you aren't pure without it essentially. If it was only male oppression it would work- and it is, but that oppression has become ingrained in both genders, so even the women being mutilated feel it is better sometimes as they are conditioned and grow up with it.

CloudsAndTrees Thu 16-May-13 22:22:21

I have the same reaction as McNew. It's not apathy for me, it's that we have baby boys regularly circumcised and there are plenty of other forms of abuse that go on in this country that we should focus on before we focus on what goes on in other countries.

If its happening here, then it should be dealt with in the same way as any other form of abuse.

It's difficult though, because like male circumcision, it goes on in otherwise loving families.

McNewPants2013 Thu 16-May-13 22:23:36

But what can the uk do, i am being realistic.

nancy75 Thu 16-May-13 22:30:54

stopping people going abroad? do people really think it doesn't happen here in the uk?

worley Thu 16-May-13 22:30:57

i work for nhs. as part of our child protection course, if we come across children or adults that have had this done or are fron a culture that do this, we are to report them / inform our team of them, at the hospital; incase they go on to have children that may have this done and the chid protection team will become involved. it is taken seriously and was not part of our child protection course years ago, so for it to now be included i think is showing that they are trying to stop it happening as much as they can.

dolcelatte Thu 16-May-13 22:32:37

I don't know much about male circumcision, but my impression is that it does not have the risks and long term health effects of FGM.

WorraLiberty Thu 16-May-13 22:33:55

No-one should be hacking bit off children without a sound medical reason, no matter what their sex.


WorraLiberty Thu 16-May-13 22:34:08


yanbu, fgm is a terrible terrible way to injure someone for lifesad

i think awareness has really improved, probably 20 years ago, we hadnt really heard much about it

it makes me wonder what the hell else happens in the world what we are not as aware of

whois Thu 16-May-13 22:38:15

Anyone who thinks that fgm is the same as male circumcision should be made to research the subject until their eyes bleed


FFS people "oh they do it to some boys too" please go and educate yourself.

nailak Thu 16-May-13 22:38:49

i think people are saying forced medical gynecological checks of all girls

cantspel Fri 17-May-13 00:59:52

The Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Act was introduced in 2003 and came into effect in March 2004. The act:

makes it illegal to practice FGM in the UK
makes it illegal to take girls who are British nationals or permanent residents of the UK abroad for FGM whether or not it is lawful in that country
makes it illegal to aid, abet, counsel or procure the carrying out of FGM abroad
has a penalty of up to 14 years in prison and, or, a fine

So we have the laws to prevent fgm but as yet we have not had one prosecution.

ThatVikRinA22 Fri 17-May-13 01:14:14

it is a criminal offence here in the uk, but its still very taboo and often happens without being talked about.

PatPig Fri 17-May-13 01:21:56

Actually FGM varies quite a bit in scope. Some forms are much more severe than MGM, others are less so. Here: is a discussion of the practice in South East Asia, where the form being practised is no more severe than that which is routinely meted out to white boys in the USA, with basically no censure at all.

I don't think it's necessarily as simple as 'take them into care' either. In some cultures, girls and boys will be subject to these procedures as a matter of course and as a matter of importance (circumcision ceremonies boys can carry considerable social significance). We would howver prefer it that families doing this in the UK would not.

But while 'foreign' people may do this to their children in the UK, believing that it is right, we also have a situation where many white British people abuse their children in various ways, which might horrify the aforementioned foreigners, and yet those white British kids are not being taken into care.

So unfortunately the reality is that girls in certain Muslim countries are subjected to FGM, and where immigrants from those countries come to the UK, then inevitably that will take place here too. This is an inevitable outcome of multiculturalism, which has good and bad aspects.

Madmum24 Fri 17-May-13 01:32:57

So unfortunately the reality is that girls in certain Muslim countries are subjected to FGM, and where immigrants from those countries come to the UK, then inevitably that will take place here too. This is an inevitable outcome of multiculturalism, which has good and bad aspects.

FGM has no roots in islam (it is actually forbidden) it dates back to Pharoanic times, and is practised by certain countries, predominately in Africa.

PatPig Fri 17-May-13 02:02:16

Many Islamic authorities mandate FGM. Equally there is nothing in the Bible about condoms,but the Pope still talks about them.

TinaFeyFan Fri 17-May-13 02:04:04

Jeez...having been a mn lurker for a year or so i really hoped my first post would not be on such a horrible subject...however i feel compelled to say that fgm is not comparable to male circumcision in any way. (I do not agree with male circumcision either btw, ) but the reasons for the widespread practice of fgm is due to women and girls (and their sexuality) being viewed as inferior beings, pure and simple, With lifelong mefical and emotional issues resulting from the revolting act. What can the uk do?
A) ensure we vehemently look to prosecute anyone arranging for a uk citizen to be subjected to fgm (even if the act occurrs abroad)
B) educate young women that their genitals are not dirty and they not have to have them cut, mangled, destroyed just to maintain purity
C) ensure hcp's know what to look out for in women/girls subjected to fgm and be aware of any services they can refer them onto.

Sent from my iPad

BabyRuSh Fri 17-May-13 02:10:25

Fgm is nothing like male circumcision. In the most extreme cases it involves cutting off the labia majora and minors (both outer and inner fleshy lips of your bits) and then stitching it together with thorns. Without anaesthetic. The girls can't walk for days afterwards and are left with a tiny hole through which urine and menstrual flow passes. The urethra is often damaged and they have recurrent uti. Sex and childbirth are often very painful. And the vagina is often re-stitched up after delivery.
BUT I think a blanket ban on it is not the answer in less developed countries. It's a bit like banning abortions. That hut opens the door to backstreet abortions. I think the answer in places like subsaharan Africa should be to introduce mobile clinics where t can be done under anaesthesia and hygenically while the government works on discouraging the practice.

cantspel Fri 17-May-13 02:13:15

FGM is not forbidden and there is a haddith that supports it.

Hadith 5251 states: “Narrated Umm Atiyyah al-Ansariyyah: A woman used to perform circumcision in Medina. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said to her: Do not cut severely as that is better for a woman and more desirable for a husband”

Not every muslim accepts every haddith as a true saying of mohammed but many accpet this one including The "spiritual leader" of the Muslim Brotherhood is Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi. He has stated: "It is reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said to a midwife: 'Reduce the size of the clitoris but do not exceed the limit, for that is better for her health and is preferred by husbands'. The hadith indicates that circumcision is better for a woman's health and it enhances her conjugal relation with her husband. It's noteworthy that the Prophet's saying 'do not exceed the limit' means do not totally remove the clitoris... Anyhow, it is not obligatory, whoever finds it serving the interest of his daughters should do it, and I personally support this under the current circumstances in the modern world."

cantspel Fri 17-May-13 02:21:07

BabyRuSh So girls should suffer pain, lose their right to a satisfying sex life, have possible problems during childbirth all caused by a mobile clinic which is nice and hygienic?

The girls might not die due to poor hygiene but they will still be suffering but with clinics it will be state sanctioned suffering.

Darkesteyes Fri 17-May-13 02:22:19

Anyone who thinks that fgm is the same as male circumcision should be made to research the subject until their eyes bleed

THIS THIS THIS a million times over.

BabyRuSh Fri 17-May-13 03:23:17

The cultures which practice it aren't going to stop overnight. The girls are suffering now. Us saying it should be stopped isn't actually helping anyone on the ground. 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 don't think ops original post suggested any them and us undertones whatsoever.
yet again a serious and sickening topic is being undermined and overlooked by being turned in to a discussion about race!
stick to the topic people!

contortionist Fri 17-May-13 06:52:15

The least horrific versions of FGM are reasonably comparable to male circumcision or even occasionally less, e.g. pricking of the clitoral hood (NYT article). And some male genital mutilation is far worse than 'standard' circumcision, e.g. testicle crushing or penile subincision.

Cultural genital mutilation of children is abuse whether the children are boys or girls, and whether the culture is Weestern or not.

dolcelatte Fri 17-May-13 07:11:04

Thank you melon. I do find it rather depressing that a strident minority repeatedly seek to derail discussion of serious issues just so that they can demonstrate their superior ideological credentials and general PC'ness (if such a word exists!). Perhaps MN should issue a badge for those who want it, saying 'I am very clever. I am right about everything. I don't read the Daily Mail!'

FGM is wrong, evil, articulates the role of the female as a subordinate chattel, and has serious long term health effects. I am amazed at the response of some posters who just think it's all a bit too much bother to do anything about as it's only a tiny minority affected, part of welcoming other cultures, and lots of white people abuse their children anyway etc. So that makes it ok, does it?

I am grateful to the better informed on this thread, who have clarified that the laws are already in place to stamp out this hideous practice, which raises even more of a question as to why the laws are not being enforced. As someone pointed out, it is going to be obvious that FGM has been carried out when women have routine health checks (eg cervical smears) and undergo pregnancy and birth, so I don't think it should be that difficult to root out some of the perpetrators of this horrible crime and bring them to justice. Ignorance may be cited as mitigating circumstances, but it is not a defence to grievous bodily harm or, in the worst case scenarios, murder.

Roshbegosh Fri 17-May-13 07:19:35

Clouds, read kittens' post. A bit of foreskin is not the same as clitoris and labia. No comparison. And this isn't tolerated in the UK. 14 years in jail.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 17-May-13 07:53:16

The 'operations' might not be the same, but the principle is. Of course I can see that outcomes are often significantly worse for girls than for boys, but the point in my mind is that it's unnecessary mutilation of a child. I think it's equally wrong in both sexes.

Otherwise it seems like you are saying that FGM would be ok if it were done without it causing any long term problems, and it isn't.

Zorra Fri 17-May-13 08:41:56

I didn't misread your post. And I wouldn't excuse the practice of FGM under any circumstance, especially not as I have spent the last ten years in east and Horn of Africa working on child protection and child rights, and therefore probably have a fairly clear idea of the cultural issues (and health and whatever) that surround the practice.

My point, which stands, is that to call any society civilised presupposes that the culture or society which you are taking a stand against is NOT. This tone is crucially unhelpful, as it creates an us-and-them mindset which makes it much harder to address these issues in a multicultural society like the UK where people are from different backgrounds. If you can get over yourself, you might have an interesting conversation.

FreudiansSlipper Fri 17-May-13 09:06:55

it is terrible that so many young girls are subjected to here and in other countries it is cruel and is totally about control of women

it is taken very serioulsy here the problem is that within many cultures it is feared if women have not been circumcised (or mutilation as i personally see it but not everyone does) they will never marry, will not have children or a family to care for them as they get older this is a real fear for many

we need to educate just punishing people will only make the situation more difficult to deal with

male circumcision is a totally different thing, it is not done to control their sexual desires it is done for what many beleive are for hygiene reasons

trafficwarden Fri 17-May-13 10:00:09

I've worked as a MW in countries where there are large communities who perpetuate FGM. The results for the women are often painful and debilitating but still seen as preferable to having an "unclean" daughter who will not be acceptable to a prospective suitor from her community. It takes a lot of time and education to turn this situation around.

In the UK, if a woman presents antenatally with FGM, there are some specialized clinics where surgery is offered to try to repair the worst of the damage but if your clitoris has been removed, it's not going to grow back. In the UK after birth, it's actually illegal to re-suture to the same state that had been done and yet some of these women are incredibly distressed that their husband's will no longer want them. Sadly that is often true.

In other countries I've worked, an anterior episiotomy is performed and returned to exactly the same state - often an opening that will not admit a finger never mind a penis or allow a baby to exit without impediment. How some women achieve pregnancy is the stuff of nightmares. Being cut open by your husband on your wedding night and torn open on every subsequent act of intercourse. Yet I worked with doctors who had this done to them and were perfectly happy to do the same to their daughters - it beggared belief that educated women, lots of whom had education/experience working in western countries, could see this as a good thing. I wish it could be eradicated swiftly but the message will take a long time to change the minds of people (and it's mainly women who perpetuate it although no doubt brainwashed by misogynists) who believe they are making their daughters eligible in a culture where that is seen as of prime importance.

As an aside, I wanted to ask marriedinwhite what the relevance of your SIL's marriage in the UAE had to do with this topic? FGM is not advocated for Emirati women although the men, as Muslims, are circumcised routinely as babies.

RiotsNotDiets Fri 17-May-13 10:12:50

Actually the UK has just dedicated a huge amount of money to the fight to eradicate FGM, is currently assessing 5 cases to try and secure the first conviction for practicing FGM in the UK, and a pilot scheme of introducing FGM education into the national curriculum has been introduced in Bristol and it's planned to be rolled out in the rest of the UK too.

We can't just barge in and demand people stop practicing FGM, it doesn't work like that, in fact historically this type of approach has increased FGM rates.

If you would like to contribute to ending FGM, then I suggest you donate to an anti FGM charity like this one

OTheHugeManatee Fri 17-May-13 10:18:50

FGM is one of those areas where multiculturalism just doesn't cut it. Tolerance is great, but not if it includes tolerating horrific violence against women, effectively excising their capacity for sexual pleasure along with massively complicating childbirth and even urination.

By all accounts the practice has massively fallen in Holland and France, where routine health checks are in place for at-risk girls and they do prosecute. Sadly, a lot of the families who practice this have left these countries - for Britain, where our famous tolerance allows young girls to be butchered with impunity.

There should be a more concerted and courageous will from both public servants and private citizens in this country to say 'no, this is utterly unacceptable according to the prevailing culture and we will come down like a ton of bricks on people who do it'. We should prosecute. Make an example of enough families who've done it, and the message will get through.

ukatlast Fri 17-May-13 10:43:33

Quote OtheHugeManatee:
'There should be a more concerted and courageous will from both public servants and private citizens in this country to say 'no, this is utterly unacceptable according to the prevailing culture and we will come down like a ton of bricks on people who do it'. We should prosecute. Make an example of enough families who've done it, and the message will get through.'

What she said above....I don't agree with male circumcision either.

mumandboys123 Fri 17-May-13 11:51:13

why? we're quite happy to circumcise boys, without their consent.

StealthOfficialCrispTester Fri 17-May-13 11:55:31

I tbink it is being taken seriously. I am aware of professionals who are investigating rhe problem at national level. I do not agree with circuncision (other than medical) but this is not the samsale

EldritchCleavage Fri 17-May-13 12:01:52

I am concerned by reference to France doing more through, for example, regular health checks on young women.

What kind of health checks? At what age? Does this mean being inspected to check whether or not you've suffered FGM?

Because I have an African father (not from a place that practises FGM, but in my experience a lot of people in the UK have only a hazy idea of who does and who doesn't) and I can quite imagine some school nurse do-gooder in the rural area I grew up in deciding I'd better have a health check. Horrendous, frightening, intrusive and likely to isolate and stigmatise the young girls in question.

It is easy to talk about doing more, much much more difficult to come up with well-thought out initiatives that don't end up causing more harm than good. In practical terms, what 'more' should we be doing?

LurcioLovesFrankie Fri 17-May-13 12:05:06

Totally agree with Manatees - I would like to see parents prosecuted for child cruelty/actual bodily harm, and custodial sentences given out.

And no, it's not the same as male circumcision (which I also disagree with when done for spurious reasons). My DS had to have part of his foreskin used as a skin graft in a necessary operation - it was hell for him (he needed morphine afterwards) and he complained of pain for months afterwards. I can't see why on earth any parent would do this to their child just for fun. But it's still not comparable - I hope (though obviously don't want to know the details) that he will have a decent sex life as an adult, but this wouldn't be possible following the more extreme forms of female circumcision.

RiotsNotDiets Fri 17-May-13 12:25:44

Eldritch yes, they check the genitals of girls from practicing communities. IMO it is degrading and futile, once the girls are 16, surely they will refuse to undergo checks and so parents will just postpone cutting until the girls are older.

Forgetfulmog Fri 17-May-13 13:01:19

I'm one of the posters guilty of making the comparison between FGM & circumcision - I was thinking more of the pain side of things & the fact that both (at least in the non-western world anyway) are done without pain relief. I completely agree though that the lasting consequences of FGM are of a much more devastating effect than those of circumcision.

FGM website that gives more information

EldritchCleavage Fri 17-May-13 13:25:47

Crikey, Riots. Sounds like a lesson in how to alienate to me.

Really, are posters happy for the UK to adopt that practice? And if yes, do you not think it is because your daughters are unlikely to be among the number that get pulled out of lessons for a fanny check? How would people feel if their girls might be subjected to that? Not so sanguine, I suspect.

The French are quite prepared to do things that we would baulk at it seems-like the banning of the headscarf and lately, sending girls home because their dress is too Islamic. It must start to feel like the persecution of children from minority groups.

OTheHugeManatee Fri 17-May-13 14:02:46

I take your point about it being stigmatising, Eldritch. But as I said this is one issue where I just don't think avoiding stigmatisation is a priority. If risking hurting some people's feelings is the price for seeing a significant drop in British girls being pinned down while parts of their genitals are sliced off (sometimes without anaesthetic) then it's a price I'd be willing to see paid.

RiotsNotDiets Fri 17-May-13 14:08:49

But Manatee checking wouldn't stop it, just postpone it.
To end FGM, the practicing communities HAVE to be on board, otherwise they get marginalised and FGM is pushed further underground, meaning it is harder to protect the girls.

Education is key here, not enforced genital checks.

EldritchCleavage Fri 17-May-13 14:11:29

this is one issue where I just don't think avoiding stigmatisation is a priority. If risking hurting some people's feelings is the price for seeing a significant drop in British girls being pinned down while parts of their genitals are sliced off (sometimes without anaesthetic) then it's a price I'd be willing to see paid

Easy to say if you aren't in the stigmatised, humiliated or frightened group, I think. And I do worry that if you damage relations with the group you are trying to help, you become less, not more, effective.

And how, practically, do you do the health checks? By having British girls being pinned down while parts of their genitals are inspected?

Because some girls will refuse because it's horrid, and some will refuse because it has been done and angry as they are, they don't want mummy and daddy to go to jail. Others will submit and feel angry, afraid and violated.

You'd have needed a fucking Taser to get me to submit to that, even at primary school age.

nailak Fri 17-May-13 18:36:58

basically they are saying girls that havent been abused should be violated in the name of saving those who have been abused....
We all know how traumatic it can be having examinations etc without consent and the effect this has on grown women, let alone young girls who will be examined without parents presence!

FGM there are many different types, Female Circumcision is same as clitoral hood removal which is done legally in the UK by plastic surgeons, and is something women pay to get done in order to increase pleasure during sex, this is the type of female circumcision which is refered to in hadith.

"Clitoral Unhooding, also referred to as Hoodectomy, is a minor feminine genital surgical procedure to remove excess Prepuce tissue—the surrounding “hood” that sheaths the clitoral node on three sides. Normally, the Prepuce is anatomically designed to offer the clitoris a degree of protection against undue abrasion—or over stimulation—and naturally retracts during sexual intercourse, thereby leaving the highly innervated surface of the clitoral node—what is commonly referred to as the exterior G-spot—or Glans, to be more exposed . . . resulting in female sexual orgasms. Sometimes however, women with small clitoral nodes or those that have excess Prepuce tissue—both common conditions—find that they can’t achieve orgasm, or have a harder time reaching climax, because the clitoris is literally covered, or restricted by too much skin tissue, thus greatly lessening tactile sensation, and/or even eliminating it entirely.

In another closely related condition—and as was reported by researchers at the Boston University School of Medicine—roughly 25% of all women treated for sexual dysfunction suffered from what was medically termed Clitoral Phimosis, a condition whereby the Prepuce tissue is so closely aligned with the clitoral node, there is not enough tissue flexibility to allow the clitoris to naturally move beyond the surrounding skin and protrude, permitting needed stimulation to achieve climax. This condition, also addressed through Hoodectomy, involves the surgical retraction and/or excising of tissue surrounding the Clitoris.

Sometimes referred to as female clitoral circumcision, the Clitoral Unhooding procedure is somewhat analogous to penile circumcision in men, although male penile circumcision is still primarily performed from a perspective of genital hygiene. In women, however, Hoodectomy is done more commonly to allow women to experience heightened arousal, by reducing the tissue that forms the hood (Prepuce) covering the clitoris . . . almost always resulting in greater, faster orgasms. To some extent it has been suspected that excessive Prepuce tissue can also result in some hygiene-related issues as well for women, giving sanctuary to increased bacterial counts, and sometimes resulting in what are commonly termed “yeast” or vaginal infections from the close proximity to the vaginal canal."

nailak Fri 17-May-13 18:50:04

you know thw way forced virginity tests sound totally abhorrent and unacceptable, to have someone force you to show them your genitals, under the guise of looking out for your best interests,

I dont see much difference

MrsDWinchester Fri 17-May-13 19:44:57

This is absolutely disturbing and so much more does need to be done about this issue. I don't agree with this happening to females or males at all.

As far as I'm concerned it should be made illegal. However, that would obviously lead to this procedure being performed secretively and could cause added problems with regards to infections etc.

This practice shouldn't be tolerated. Abuse isn't tolerated so why on earth should cutting off parts of a child's privates be accepted?

The solution to this problem will be very hard and will likely take a very long time as it has been tolerated for such a very long time.

RiotsNotDiets Fri 17-May-13 19:57:21

It is illegal MrsD

vintagecakeisstillnice Fri 17-May-13 19:58:10

The Boston study was based on photo taken of 200 women who were been seen at a sexual health clinic.

I don't know about you but when I have a planned gone exam everything shrinks, withdraws etc, I really don't think that it is a very good study to us in this case.

MrsDWinchester Fri 17-May-13 20:07:09

Riots I meant in other countries as well.

MrsDWinchester Fri 17-May-13 20:09:22

Posted too soon. I meant in other countries as well as circumcision being made illegal. I don't agree with that happening especially to young babies who obviously can't have a say in the matter.

KittensoftPuppydog Fri 17-May-13 20:10:15

Female genital mutilation

Fact sheet N°241
Updated February 2013

Key facts

Female genital mutilation (FGM) includes procedures that intentionally alter or cause injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.
The procedure has no health benefits for girls and women.
Procedures can cause severe bleeding and problems urinating, and later cysts, infections, infertility as well as complications in childbirth increased risk of newborn deaths.
About 140 million girls and women worldwide are currently living with the consequences of FGM.
FGM is mostly carried out on young girls sometime between infancy and age 15.
In Africa an estimated 101 million girls 10 years old and above have undergone FGM.
FGM is a violation of the human rights of girls and women.
Female genital mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.

The practice is mostly carried out by traditional circumcisers, who often play other central roles in communities, such as attending childbirths. However, more than 18% of all FGM is performed by health care providers, and this trend is increasing.

KittensoftPuppydog Fri 17-May-13 20:12:35

That was from the world health organisation. It's really not something anyone would pay for to increase sexual pleasure. To suggest that they would is vile.

CoalDustWoman Fri 17-May-13 20:15:24

Maybe, just maybe, if the men in these cultures decide not to want wives who have been mutilated, then perhaps the practice would cease. How fucked up do you have to be to expect that level of injury in a partner?

KittensoftPuppydog Fri 17-May-13 20:27:15

From the who again. These are the different types of fgm...

Female genital mutilation is classified into four major types.

Clitoridectomy: partial or total removal of the clitoris (a small, sensitive and erectile part of the female genitals) and, in very rare cases, only the prepuce (the fold of skin surrounding the clitoris).
Excision: partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora, with or without excision of the labia majora (the labia are "the lips" that surround the vagina).
Infibulation: narrowing of the vaginal opening through the creation of a covering seal. The seal is formed by cutting and repositioning the inner, or outer, labia, with or without removal of the clitoris.
Other: all other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes, e.g. pricking, piercing, incising, scraping and cauterizing the genital area.
No health benefits, only harm
FGM has no health benefits, and it harms girls and women in many ways. It involves removing and damaging healthy and normal female genital tissue, and interferes with the natural functions of girls' and women's bodies.

Immediate complications can include severe pain, shock, haemorrhage (bleeding), tetanus or sepsis (bacterial infection), urine retention, open sores in the genital region and injury to nearby genital tissue.

Long-term consequences can include:

recurrent bladder and urinary tract infections;
an increased risk of childbirth complications and newborn deaths;
the need for later surgeries. For example, the FGM procedure that seals or narrows a vaginal opening (type 3 above) needs to be cut open later to allow for sexual intercourse and childbirth. Sometimes it is stitched again several times, including after childbirth, hence the woman goes through repeated opening and closing procedures, further increasing and repeated both immediate and long-term risks.

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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