MumsnetGuestBlogs (MNHQ) Tue 10-Sep-13 09:32:35

Guest blog from an FGM survivor: "the government must act now to prevent more girls being cut"

20,000 girls are estimated to be at risk of female genital mutilation here in the UK - but in the 28 years since it was made a crime, there hasn't been a single successful prosecution.

Last week on Newsnight, Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer insisted that a prosecution is 'only a matter of time'. But Nimco Ali - co-founder of Daughters of Eve and herself a survivor of FGM - says much more needs to be done to prevent British girls being 'cut'.

There's a petition over here and you can find out what else you can do to help here. Let us know if you sign the petition - and do also tell us what you think could and should be done to protect girls at risk, on the thread below

Nimco Ali

Co-founder, Daughters of Eve

Posted on: Tue 10-Sep-13 09:32:35

(83 comments )

Lead photo

20,000 British girls are at risk of female genital mutilation

Over 20 years ago, I came back to school from summer holiday. In my new uniform, I walked into the Year 3 classroom. I was beyond happy to see that I had the same teacher again a woman I cared about. All I wanted to do then was tell my teacher about a terrible thing that had happened to me, and how confused I was.

That summer, I had been taken to Africa to undergo FGM. Of course I did not know it was called that at the time, and every child will have a different word for it.

I told my story. I waited for shock to take over her face, but her expression did not change. I expected her to get angry and upset - just like when she heard about the bullying in Year 2 - and thought there would be a big meeting where it would all be sorted.

Looking back on that day, my heart still breaks. She didn't seem shocked. Rather than asking me if I was ok, my teacher looked directly at me - and told me how amazing it was that I had been though this important "part of my culture". I tried to butt in and say No Miss it was terrible", but she carried on telling me that it was like the Jewish coming of age celebration 'Bat Mitzvah'.

I had been to a Bat Mitzvah, and knew it was not the same. I just walked away. I didnt speak about FGM for another 20 years, for fear of being ignored again.

There has never been a prosecution for female genital mutilation in the UK, although it has been illegal for 28 years. Last week on BBCs Newsnight, Keir Starmer, Director of Public Prosecutions, said that we are closer to a prosecution than ever before. When this finally takes place, it will send out a strong warning sign that the UK has a zero tolerance policy on FGM. But we wont see prosecutions on a meaningful scale unless everything about how we deal with this issue in Britain changes.

Over the past 12 months, Keir has worked with me, and with MPs such as Jane Ellison and other activists such as Efua Dorkenoo from Equality Now, who has been banging on doors for over 30 years, to break down the barriers to prosecution.

But - as the DPP said, quoting something I told him from my own experience, "a child is not just going to walk into a police station with the FGM legislation and say 'I would like you to charge someone using this'".

Getting a prosecution is vital in achieving justice for a young woman or girl who has been abused - but the reason we have never had one in the UK is not simply because the police or CPS are not doing a good job. The police and the CPS are at the very end of the process. They need information from either a girl herself, which isn't easy; or from somebody who is responsible for safeguarding that girl and this simply isnt happening enough.

The main reason we have not had a prosecution for FGM is because countless individuals who are charged with protecting girls from harm teachers, social workers, health professionals and anyone and everyone who comes into regular contact with children - either do not have enough information or, worse, do not feel accountable for child safeguarding on this issue.

How can we expect a child to ask for help and advice if we are too worried about offending to discuss the issues ourselves? Every child, regardless of colour, race or religion has the right to protection; they have the right to be safe


Everywhere there are echoes of how society used to deal with domestic abuse, or child sexual abuse: in some schools its still considered to be a family matter. At Daughters of Eve we receive emails from teachers who have had a child tell them that FGM is either going to happen, or has already happened. Because there are no safeguarding guidelines, they email a small charity like ours, and ask us to deal with the case. I find that pretty shocking.

One of the last emails I received was from a teacher in London. She said that a young girl in her Year 5 class was being taken to Africa during the summer in order to undergo FGM. She had told the head-teacher, who was not interested; she was concerned that the parents would "leave the school" if they did anything.

Yes, that's correct. The head-teacher was more concerned about holding onto funding, which is allocated according to student numbers, than about protecting a child from severe physical and psychological harm something which the UN defines as torture. The teacher ended the email with "My heart breaks when I think what can happen to one of the loveliest learners in my class." That was truly heartbreaking, and still brings tears to my eyes.

Children at risk - or affected by - FGM spend half their time in school. Their teachers are their world. Those same teachers need to feel accountable for dealing with this extreme form of child abuse.

But last week Martin Howarth, Head of Children's Rights and Well-being at the Department for Education, decided that no guidelines will be put together for schools to help protect girls at risk of FGM. This is an utter failure - and shows how little has changed over the past two decades, since I tried to tell my story.

People sometimes say that FGM is a complex issue, but dealing with it is the same as for any other child safeguarding issue no more, or less, difficult for the authorities to deal with. Outstanding education professionals like head teacher Clare Smith of St Werburgh's primary school in Bristol are already showing the way, by specifically warning pupils about FGM in PSHE lessons.

Another incredible teacher, Lisa Zimmermann, came to work on FGM while planning a horse-riding trip as a reward for some students. She was told by a senior teacher at the school to "be careful with those girls as many of them have had FGM". Yes, senior teaching staff knew that a large number of their students at risk of FGM had already had it, but due to school politics and inadequate policies, nothing was done. In response, Lisa helped start Integrate Bristol; she began by working with four scared young women - there are now over 100 young people speaking out against FGM and other forms of violence against women and girls in Bristol.

But these great individuals (and others like them they know who they are) are only dots in a big picture. They simply cannot do everything.

Systems need to be put in place at a statutory level. Data needs to be gathered by midwives and other health professionals on girls at risk. And the government must ensure that schools are made to do their part.

Let's remember that a prosecution means we have already failed a child; sadly this summer I am sure we failed many. We need to get over ourselves on the whole issue of supposed confidentiality: as with other forms of abuse, a childs safety and well-being should be our first priority.

The only people who can put these systems in place are the Prime Minister, David Cameron; the UK Home Office; and the Secretaries of State for Education, Michael Gove MP, and for Health, Jeremy Hunt MP. They must act now; if they dont, more girls will be mutilated.

Finally, I would like to ask everyone reading this to keep your eyes open - and take action if needed. In June, the NSPCC set up an FGM helpline to make it easy to do something if you think a child is at risk. Ask your child's school what they are doing to safeguard children from FGM. Insist that targeted PSHE lessons are delivered which talk about FGM both in primary and secondary. How can we expect a child to ask for help and advice if we are too worried about offending to discuss the issues ourselves?

Every child, regardless of colour, race or religion, has the right to protection; they have the right to be safe. Ignoring FGM is racist- it means that girls from some backgrounds are less protected from violence than others. Speaking about it, and ensuring schools tackle the issue is not.

Parents at the school gate have a key role. While waiting for your child or when your childs friend comes over for tea and seems sad or nervous particularly after the summer holidays ask her if she is ok. You may be the missing link the person who can really help protect her, and change that girls life forever.

If you are worried that a child may be at risk of FGM, you can contact the 24 hour NSPCC helpline anonymously on 0800 028 3550.

To call on the UK government to show leadership in tackling FGM in the UK, please sign this petition from Daughters of Eve and Equality Now.

By Nimco Ali

Twitter: @daughtersofeve

SunnyIntervals Tue 10-Sep-13 11:09:02

I am so impressed by your courage and beyond sorry that you suffered FGM and that the school did nothing to help you.

I think you are amazing for bringing this to public attention and for working to stop this now.

hotncold Tue 10-Sep-13 12:51:20

That made me cry. It's almost too much to bear sad

I am so sorry this happened to you, you sound like you are doing some great work.

SunnyIntervals Tue 10-Sep-13 13:14:45

Made me cry too hot sad

SunnyIntervals Tue 10-Sep-13 13:21:23

Should all sisters of girls who have already had FGM be placed on some kind of at risk register by social services?

Tee2072 Tue 10-Sep-13 14:43:45

I don't even know what to say to this. It's horrific.

SunnyIntervals Tue 10-Sep-13 15:32:27

I think that's why there aren't more posts. Many will have read this and been shocked and moved.

It is a very hard subject to discuss and this must be a very large part of why more has not been done sad

Silverfoxballs Tue 10-Sep-13 16:17:08

My schoolteachers showed us a documentary at school about FGM, this would have been in the mid 1980's. I remember some girls had to leave the classroom. I guess our teachers were quite ahead of the times.

I hadn't heard of your organisation before, thank you for your work and I will sign the petition.

FourGates Tue 10-Sep-13 16:39:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SunnyIntervals Tue 10-Sep-13 16:46:15

Signed.

DoItTooJulia Tue 10-Sep-13 16:58:34

How sad, traumatic and appalling for you.

I think that Messers Cameron, Hunt and Gove are incredibly unlikely to make the necessary changes you suggest as this is an issue that simply does not touch their lives. Also, it's a women's issue, and we know how far down this governments agenda they are.

I will write to my sons primary school and ask that FGM is tackled in PHSE and. Will sign the petition.

HoobleDooble Tue 10-Sep-13 17:01:55

Signed. I just hope something can be done about this barbaric and unnecessary abuse.

joanofarchitrave Tue 10-Sep-13 18:58:41

I've signed the petition. Are there any countries that have successfully prosecuted? Do you think the tide is turning in any way?

SunnyIntervals Tue 10-Sep-13 19:08:51

Apparently France has prosecuted

Signed.

I can't believe that there are no guidelines or strategy to combat this. I'm really shocked. How on earth did Martin Howarth justify that decision? angry

SunnyIntervals Tue 10-Sep-13 19:12:15
NeopreneMermaid Tue 10-Sep-13 19:35:44

Your message that it's racist not to act is hugely powerful. I think some people worry about being seen as 'attacking' a culture.

SkaterGrrrrl Tue 10-Sep-13 20:08:31

Signed. Thank you for a powerful message.

scallopsrgreat Tue 10-Sep-13 20:15:24

Signed too. So sorry this happened to you.

The message you've given in this blog post is so clear. Thank you.

That stood out for me too Neoprene.

Powerful piece. Thank you.

KateMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 10-Sep-13 20:18:30

Hello all

Just to let you know that we've asked the Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer for a comment on the lack of prosecutions - it's over here.

HilaryBurrage Tue 10-Sep-13 22:41:30

This is, as everyone says, so very sad; and no-one can begin to imagine what it must be like, if they haven't experienced it. Nimco is very brave.

And still the misconceptions and failure to realise the awfulness of FGM continue. A lot of people, I suspect tragically like Nimco's teacher all those years ago, simply don't or didn't understand what a terrible assault FGM is, and remain perplexed about how they should act. They can't imagine anyone could do / allow such terrible things to their own children, or why they would, in their thousands, want to.

The traditional, still oft-used terms 'female circumcision' (or 'cutting', as if it were 'just' a cultural custom) are in part to blame for this lack of wider public understanding. We must call FGM 'Mutilation', and not ever use euphemisms which soften or disguise what it means.

Everyone must be truthful always about the nature of this appallingly cruel abuse (please see Statement on FGM.) It's essential - at least in formal public discussion - to label FGM correctly if we genuinely want it to stop; yet even those in the know - including some very senior politicians - still avoid naming FGM for what it actually is, and so continue grimly gratuitously, because of their own misplaced discomforts,to put more children at risk.

Continuing confusion in some places, by some people, about how to respond - and the genuine lack on the part of many until recently of real insight and knowledge - makes it doubly awful, to the point of great irresponsibility, that the FGM guidelines for teachers and others who care for children remain so incomplete, inaccessible and unhelpful.

Martin Howarth's current decision, as reported by Nimco above, is totally, fundamentally, unacceptable in every respect.

Nimco, to whom we owe much thanks for her determined efforts, is absolutely right that only those in positions of very high authority in the UK can change things fundamentally for the better. They MUST act, right now.... Horrifically, everything we know suggests that, averaged over the year, some 50 girls are at high risk of FGM every single day, right here in the UK.

In the meantime, there is an e-petition specifically to address the failure in the UK so far to prosecute anyone for this dreadful crime and to bring to justice those who inflict this harm on defenceless children.

Please do support the
UK Government: Enforce the UK law which forbids FGM petition.

Thank you; and all power to your elbow, Nimco!

ukatlast Wed 11-Sep-13 00:52:02

Signed.

Mumrose Wed 11-Sep-13 01:01:22

Made me crysad cannot even begin to imagine how traumatic this was for you. Signed

HilaryBurrage Wed 11-Sep-13 08:57:08

Pleased to see Nimco's e-petition is doing well - * Stop FGM in the UK Now * deserves everyone's support.

Jergens Wed 11-Sep-13 10:17:59

Thank you for sharing your traumatic story with us. This is abuse. It is shameful for it to be ignored.

babymassageN19 Wed 11-Sep-13 16:30:25

I have no words...
But I have signed.
Good luck.

babymassageN19 Wed 11-Sep-13 16:30:25

I have no words...
But I have signed.
Good luck.

babymassageN19 Wed 11-Sep-13 16:30:25

I have no words...
But I have signed.
Good luck.

Bicnod Wed 11-Sep-13 18:34:19

Signed and tweeted.

You are a brave and amazing woman.

I truly hope the government listens and makes the necessary changes to protect innocent girls against this barbaric practice.

Hazeydays Wed 11-Sep-13 19:56:12

Glad to see more work being done to highlight the issue of FGM and its very interesting and indeed powerful to rightly state that this is racism to not act or treat these girls differently...

Too much now we are focused on being too PC which leads to children and their abusers falling through the cracks...

Knowing friends who work on preventing FGM in Kenya I appreciate the complexities of attempting to change mindsets and attitudes towards women and sex. It will not be an easy process but I really wish you every success with your campaign and petition...

Crumbledwalnuts Wed 11-Sep-13 21:32:05

Totally back this campaign. There's a big momentum about this now. When people like you tell their traumatic experiences it makes the campaign stronger every time.

PrincessFiorimonde Wed 11-Sep-13 22:52:49

I have signed the petition.

Nimco, my heart goes out to you, and to all the girls who have suffered like you.

MiracleRiver Wed 11-Sep-13 23:01:42

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PrincessFiorimonde Wed 11-Sep-13 23:22:48

Please note that this is clearly a thread about one specific issue, i.e. the horror that is female genital mutilation.

If you want to highlight another issue, please start a new thread about that issue.

MiracleRiver Thu 12-Sep-13 00:50:50

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whatever2 Thu 12-Sep-13 01:57:42

I second the above post, lets not excludes kids due to their gender, that's just sexist and it certainly isn't off topic to talk about boys.

All child genital mutilation is wrong and no child, male or female, can consent to such an act just as they cannot consent to sex. These irreversible and dangerous procedures are crimes and human rights abuses or the very worst kind and hugely damaging and can result in the death of both boys and girls.

Yes its disgusting that no prosecutions have taken place, but at least girls have a law in place that theoretically protects them and at least makes their abusers think twice or have to take them abroad. With boys, their genitals are mutilated openly, the crimes are celebrated, and even sometimes funded at taxpayer expense in NHS hosptials! If boys had half the protection girls have it would still be a massive step forward.

Lets campaign to see a gender neutral law put in place protecting all our children rather than only targeting a minority of vicitms of genital mutilation, and then lets look to see the prosecutions go through the roof, whether it be those mutilating boys or girls (or both).

whatever2 Thu 12-Sep-13 02:39:40

BTW I'm afraid won't be signing the petition as I am strongly opposed to sex discrimination in all forms. (were it gender neutral I'd happily spend several hours promoting it for you).

I expect many others feel the same, therefore if you want a successful campaign then please make it more inclusive.

Dorothy44 Thu 12-Sep-13 02:42:50

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NatashaGurdin Thu 12-Sep-13 09:01:38

I've signed, I don't believe we can call ourselves civilised if we allow this abuse to continue. In some ways I wish we were more like France when it comes to this sort of thing. I love the fact that we are generally an incredibly tolerant nation when it comes to people's beliefs etc but I think sometimes our tolerance is taken advantage of.

SunnyIntervals Thu 12-Sep-13 09:16:17

Miracle River, are you Mike Buchanan?

waps Thu 12-Sep-13 13:12:10

Signed. FGM should not be tolerated anywhere, abuse that is tolerated out of respect for culture is a can of worms that needs opening. Once you know what it really is then I don't see how it can be regarded as anything other than grievous abuse.

MiracleRiver Thu 12-Sep-13 13:17:19

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MiracleRiver Thu 12-Sep-13 13:18:04

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YoniMatopoeia Thu 12-Sep-13 18:26:48

MiracleRiver - I personally wish that male circumcision was illegal unless carried out by qualified medical staff, and then only for medical purposes. I would sign a petition asking for boys to be protected in the law too/

This particular campaign is about stopping something that is already illegal. To get some prosecutions under an existing law, where no-one has been prosecuted.

Are you saying that we shouldn't campaign for the user of the law to protect girls until boys have the same protection in the law.

And while I am absolutely against non necessary male genital mutilation, I do not agree that it is the same as female mutilation. The female mutilation is PRIMARILY done to control the sexuality of women and to make sure that they dont enjoy sex (as I understand it). Most circumcised men can still enjoy sex.

namechangesforthehardstuff Thu 12-Sep-13 19:05:16

What here could possibly be interpreted as being pro male circumcision or anti male by any reasonable person?

How can MRAs hijack something like this? It's just beyond me how a person could be so blind to anything outside their own agenda in this way.

Sad sad sad.

newtokingston Thu 12-Sep-13 20:00:31

Thank you for sharing your story. It is so important that we get these messages out there. I teach child protection and safeguarding in schools and this is always included in my trainings. I highlight the importance of this be taught to all children as part of PHSE to raise awareness for all children, but also to ensure that these 'cultural beliefs' are challenged and questioned. It is so important that people are clear that FGM is abuse, It not only has lasting physical scars but very severe emotional ones too.
I am constantly surprised at staff within educational provisions who have never heard of this before. I fully support the improvement of education around FGM for all staff and students, as well as ensuring information on helplines are made available. I promise to keep raising this awareness and challenging beliefs around FGM within all my trainings. Good luck, you are a very strong woman. x

MiracleRiver Thu 12-Sep-13 20:01:18

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MiracleRiver Thu 12-Sep-13 20:24:05

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garlicbaguette Fri 13-Sep-13 00:05:29

I'm so sorry your childhood suffering was ignored - or far worse than ignored; you were told to relish it! I'm horrified that there are STILL no safeguarding guidelines for teachers and other adults in positions of trust.

I've signed the petition and hope your voice will finally be heard.

brendanwynne Fri 13-Sep-13 10:26:50

@DoItTooJulia" I think that Messers Cameron, Hunt and Gove are incredibly unlikely to make the necessary changes you suggest"

I am more optimistic than that. The UK is increasingly showing a commitment to dealing with FGM. Some fantastic ministers as pointed out above by Nimco, although more leadership needed.

"Also, it's a women's issue"

Is it though? It's a child safeguarding issue which is already a priority and not that complicated to deal with in reality - as long as front-line professionals deal with it as they would with any other form of child abuse.

pootlebug Fri 13-Sep-13 21:22:00

I have signed. I think unfortunately it is seen as both a women's issue, and an ethnic minority issue, and as such doesn't get the attention it deserves sad That is shameful.

whatever2 Sat 14-Sep-13 02:20:07

Rather telling that by far the most informative post and best researched on this thread was deleted by the admins.

For those says he should post elsewhere such as the admins, well maybe you can post the link to the Mumsnet anti MGM campaign calling for the prosecution of those who mutilate the genitals of boys. Actually it wouldn't even be a campaign calling for prosecutions yet as there isn't even a law in place yet forbidden such crimes is there? In fact ,even that's running before we can walk, and the first stage would have to be to take taxpayer funding and the use of taxpayer facilities out of this sickening form of violence against boys.

So where's the campaign Mumsnet?, I can't find anything. have i missed it, is it something to be added shortly, or are you just plain sexist and typical feminists who are only concerned about half the population?

whatever2 Sat 14-Sep-13 04:28:44

"I think unfortunately it is seen as both a women's issue, and an ethnic minority issue, and as such doesn't get the attention it deserves"

Great point, what with all those privileged males having such vastly superior rights and hogging all the attention from politicians and the media when it comes to being protected from genital mutilation...

I have signed this petition, as I would gladly have signed a ptition to stop genital mutilation of boys too. It is not a competition. It is not sexist to highlight FGM, as it would not be sexist to highlight circumcition for boys in a specific petition either. Please do start one Whatever, and I and I'm sure many others would sign it.
it is bad form to highjack a blog and thread like this, though. You can by all means use it to put across your point that male cirumcision is ALSO awful, but there's no need to detract from the fact that FGM needs to be stopped.
My heart goes out to Nimco and any person who's had to suffer cutting because of culture or religion or any "reason" really.

jjohnsonvanessa Sat 14-Sep-13 09:42:52

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Antidote Sat 14-Sep-13 09:59:48

Signed.

Anyone who makes moves to stop non-consensual mutilation of boys and / or girls is worthy of support. I would argue that starting by enforcing the laws i.e. anti FGM we currently have is the most productive place to start, as the number of legal and political steps is smaller.

Thank you for your powerful writing, sharing your personal story and highlighting this issue.

Thank you for highlighting the appalling crime of FGM.

garlicbaguette Sat 14-Sep-13 15:16:33

Actually, FGM is often a massive excision of the entire genital area (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infibulation - *not work-safe*). In rural Africa this is done using sharpened stone or broken glass, without anaesthetic.

No forcible genital mutilation is okay. FGM, even the 'lesser' type, has irreversible negative consequences for victims; these consequences exceed the effects of foreskin removal.

mareish Sat 14-Sep-13 17:37:37

Signed

whatever2 Sat 14-Sep-13 17:37:55

"FGM, even the 'lesser' type, has irreversible negative consequences for victims; these consequences exceed the effects of foreskin removal."

That's completely false, there are four different types of FGM, and (actually 4 types of MGM too). A number of the less severe forms of FGM are either equally harmful as MGM or far LESS severe. For example type four variants of FGM involve practices such a piercing or merely symbolic pricking.

Furthermore, Infibulation, which is the type of FGM everyone knows about and the most harmful, is actually the rarest form of FGM, accounting for just 15% of cases. And that's 15% of an already relatively small figure what with MGM having some 1.3 billion victims.

To be honest all this talk of severity and needlessly dividing things by gender really isn't helpful and is a diversion from the real moral issue anyway. Either it's ok to mutilate the genitals of children without their consent or it isn't. That's it. End of conversation.

garlicbaguette Sat 14-Sep-13 18:02:09

"Around 140 million women and girls are living with the effects of FGM, including 101 million in Africa. Around 10 percent have experienced Type III".

You might not call 14 million people many. I would.

Post-infibulation: "The vulva is cut open for sexual intercourse and childbirth. It can take up to two years for a husband to penetrate his wife's infibulated vagina. Anthropologist Janice Boddy wrote in 1989 that it was a point of pride for men in Sudan that their wives give birth within a year of marriage, so the local midwife might be sent for secretly to enlarge the wife's opening."

That's two major surgeries to the genitals, each perpetrated in decidedly non-clinical conditions without anaesthetic, using stones and twigs as instruments. Some women even get stitched up again after giving birth, to make them 'clean'. The above procedure is then repeated.

I am in no way promoting forced male circumcision, but please don't persist in making FGM a "what about the menz" issue!

Several African communities still put their young men through horrifically painful initiation rites around puberty. If you want to highlight a "worse for men" issue, how about working on that one?

* whatever2* please start a thread and a petition about male circumcision and I will happily sign it. Your passion for equality is very good, and your desire for little boys penises not to be cut is equally good, but please do not hijack this noble cause of ending FGM. It will serve no good purpose and rather than making people feel compassionately about the issues may have a negative impact (in my opinion).

If you do not want to sign the petition that is fine. But please link to one you do want to promote. As * garlicbaguette* says there may be many children in Africa who are very badly affected by male circumcision ceromony's that have gone very badly. I will be happy to find such a link if you tell me where the thread on male circumcision is.

whatever2 Sat 14-Sep-13 19:03:10

"If you want to highlight a "worse for men" issue, how about working on that one?"

No, that's exactly what feminists are doing with FGM, and stopping that sort of idiotic nonsense is exactly the reason I'm posting here in the first place.

These divisive and oppression Olympics type campaigns which deliberately and unnecessarily exclude huge numbers of victims time after time, solely because of their gender need to stop. Such a sexist way of doing things seems intrinsic to feminism, be it with rape, domestic violence or genital mutilation and even violence as a a whole now!

There shouldn't be laws against male genital mutilation or female genital mutilation or white genital mutilation or Muslim genital mutilation, just one law and one unified campaign protecting every single victim and bringing every single perpetrator to justice.

People are quite rightly offended by sexism and discrimination or "what about the menz" as you term it. The fact is that people with a conscience won't support these divisive and discriminatory campaigns. Furthermore they're going to stand up against sexism, will not be silenced and are not going to go away any time soon. Mumsnet can either have an inclusive and hugely successful campaign helping every victim that every right minded person will support, or alternatively you'll have to continue to put up with people highlighting sexism and wanting to see exclusionary campaigning stopped and every last victim helped.

And to reiterate, if anyone can point me to the Mumsnet parallel campaign against MGM or one helping all victims or give details of one that is upcoming then that will be the last of me you'll see in this thread. I will not be starting my own campaign or my own petition against MGM because I believe that to be equally exclusionary, stupid and divisive and the opposite of the unified approach that needs to be taken here.

Why make everyone sign 2 petitions, write two laws, publish 2 articles, have 2 debates and attend 2 protests when we could all just stand together and help all victims of these abuses at the same time?

YoniMatopoeia Sat 14-Sep-13 19:19:20

Wharever2 the fact is that there IS a law about FGM. I find this attitude that we shouldn't campaign to protect girls because there isn't a law for boys frankly disgusting.

whatever2 Sat 14-Sep-13 19:58:04

"I find this attitude that we shouldn't campaign to protect girls because there isn't a law for boys frankly disgusting."

Where exactly did I say that? - the point is that the campaign is fundamentally flawed and sexist and should be to protect everyone and therefore needs to be fixed.

No one wants the campaign stopped, it just needs to be expanded more than 10 fold and made gender neutral so it does not exclude 1.3 billion victims simply because they are not of the preferred gender.

garlicbaguette Sat 14-Sep-13 20:29:53

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That would render the petition completely ineffective.

This is not a Mumsnet campaign. If you actually bothered to click the link you would see it's an HM Government e-petition by Daughters of Eve and Equality Now, who are quite entitled to set their own agenda (as is MN). If it gets 100,000 signatures it could be debated in parliament.

If you added in all the required actions to outlaw MGM and to enforce that new law it wouldn't get as far as parliament in the first place, let alone be effectively debated.

If you actually care about MGM it would be far more effective to start a separate campaign - why don't you? Most of MN would be behind you.

As it is, your posts read like deliberate and highly insensitive derailment, especially as you have not once responded to Nimco's brave post, which is what this thread is about.

And no, FGM and MGM are not equivalent but I'd like to see both practices stopped. It's you who is playing oppression olympics by bringing MGM into a thread which is not about that.

whatever2 Sat 14-Sep-13 20:57:37

"it's an HM Government e-petition by Daughters of Eve and Equality Now"

The later of those two has a rather unfortunate name in this context. Talk about saying one thing and doing another!!

"If it gets 100,000 signatures it could be debated in parliament. "

And that's yet another reason for an inclusive campaign that everyone can get behind. Separate the two genders for no reason other than sexism and we'll probably end up with two failed petitions both stuck on 60K signatures rather than a successful one with 120K. There really is no argument against a gender neutral campaign and only ever negative consequences with playing identify politics with people's lives.

And many thanks to those dishing out personal abuse to me in this thread, a sure sign of losing the debate if there ever was one.

garlicbaguette Sat 14-Sep-13 21:13:48

The campaign to get FGM made illegal has already been waged. This campaign is to get the law implemented.

The campaign to make MGM illegal has not yet been won. So why are you fiddling about with this one? There's work to be done!

If you stick too many issues/required actions into a campaign you will get fewer signatures not more. People only have to disagree with one of them and they won't sign.

Seriously, if you care at all, start your own campaign, otherwise nobody wins.

YoniMatopoeia Sat 14-Sep-13 21:33:52

Whatever2 you are saying that you do not support this campaign because it is only about girls. You said you will not sign because it isn't about boys too.

The legislation is not there for boys. This is a campaign to actually get existing legislation implemented and for prosecutions to take place.

This may help boys in the future once they are protected under law.

Please do link to your campaign to get MGM outlawed, and I will support it. Until then, your insistence that this campaign be diverted is just... Well I have no words.

whatever3 Sat 14-Sep-13 23:08:55

Well it seems my last account is being banned, presumably because I got called a "twat". Very interesting that the admins here ban victims of abuse whilst leaving the abuser's account and abusive comment intact without even the hint of a warning.

garlicbaguette Sun 15-Sep-13 01:27:25

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

whatever3 Sun 15-Sep-13 02:16:46

"This is a campaign to actually get existing legislation implemented and for prosecutions to take place. This may help boys in the future once they are protected under law."

People don't seem to have considered the fact the the exist law is just as sexist as the campaign if not more so. People are unlikely to enforce a sexist law both on moral grounds and more significantly because they don't wish to be found to have committed sex discrimination.

If you want laws to be enforced then there's a better chance of that if they're well written and thought out. Given the lack of any prosecutions, it would certainly be interesting to see the existing legislation tested in court. Perhaps we need to single an attempted prosecution of FGM for the sake of male victims too as it might force the legislation to be rewritten and for everyone to be equally protected.

lillolil1 Sun 15-Sep-13 09:48:31

Thank you for bringing this to everyones attention. I've signed.

reelingintheyears Sun 15-Sep-13 19:40:38

Just signed.

NachoAddict Sun 15-Sep-13 21:49:17

I have signed. I am sorry you had to go through that Nimco but well done for finding the strength to bring it to public attention. I hope your campaign is successful.

Signed and shared on my Facebook too. Horrific that it still happens. So brave of you to come forward x x x

senmerrygoround Mon 16-Sep-13 04:14:40

Signed.

xeno Mon 16-Sep-13 08:08:47

Signed and shared petition on Facebook xx

BoreOfWhabylon Mon 16-Sep-13 14:32:34

Signed.

Signed.

kellestar Wed 18-Sep-13 15:07:13

Awful that it's accepted in some cultures. Petition signed and shared. I have heard Integrate Bristol talk on Woman's Hour a few months ago. I had to pull over the car and sob. Truly shocking what some of these girls have gone through.

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