(70 Posts)
HungryClocksGoBackFourSeconds Sat 06-Apr-13 22:18:35

Did anyone watch? What did you think to the FGM story-line?

Giraffeski Sat 06-Apr-13 22:27:21

I just couldn't stop thinking that I'm sure I've seen that maternity top on three separate pregnant characters! Perhaps the budget doesn't stretch to different costumes for different characters.

Giraffeski Sat 06-Apr-13 22:32:54

Just realised what FGM stands for- sorry, didn't mean to be flippant! Still watching on catch up

Pixel Sat 06-Apr-13 22:45:48

I guessed that was why she didn't want to get on the plane and why the mum didn't want to be examined, but I thought the older girl had maybe already been cut and was worried for her little sister. Firstly because I thought they tended to be younger when mutilated (easier to subdue presumably) and secondly because they made a bit of a point of the younger one being all excited about her 'holiday' and going on the plane.
Horrible story but I'm glad they did it because it often seems we are all supposed to pretend it isn't going on under our noses.

HungryClocksGoBackFourSeconds Sat 06-Apr-13 22:59:51

I think it's really positive that they've covered the issue on mainstream tv. As Casualty covers everyday drama it makes it seem less 'other' IYSWIM?

The clip for next week looks like the younger daughter has undergone FGM at home and has hemorrhaged, girls often die from FGM so I wonder if they will kill her off and then show the mother being prosecuted to hit it home that it's illegal? not that there's ever been a single prosecution in this country

Pixel Sat 06-Apr-13 23:18:03

Well it made me sad and angry that even when people like medical staff know it's going on they have to fabricate some story if they want to help someone, for fear of offending. Why is that? It is illegal, why the pussyfooting around? It makes me sick.
Not blaming the doctor/nurse in this story btw. They clearly know the law will not back them up and are doing what they can. It's just so wrong on every level.

HungryClocksGoBackFourSeconds Sat 06-Apr-13 23:19:16

I would have thought that the right thing to do would be to have called social services. Maybe it's going to cover what they should have done next week?

Pixel Sat 06-Apr-13 23:41:38

I thought about social services but there have been cases where they won't interfere because of 'culture' so I wouldn't have much faith tbh.
Besides, the children in this case probably wouldn't speak up because they don't actually want to be taken away from their families, they just want to not be mutilated (and the younger one obviously had no idea what was in store for her anyway). Unless we have some system of checking that girls have not been harmed then nothing is going to happen.

HungryClocksGoBackFourSeconds Sat 06-Apr-13 23:51:32

They would have to interfere legally, but yes, it would be unlikely the girls would speak out against their own mother. I can't make my mind up over the checking genitals thing, I think it's a violation, but at the same time, like you, I can't see any other way to safeguard girls.

Pixel Sun 07-Apr-13 00:09:25

It is a violation I agree, but not a physical one in the same sense as FGM. It's potentially an embarrassing experience (we have lots of those in our lives for our own good, smear tests etc), but the alternative is so horrific I can hardly bear to think about it.

Blondeshavemorefun Mon 08-Apr-13 23:44:08

Haven't seen yet but fgm is sad

But again good that casualty tackles this as it does sadly happen

I've only seen a clip of the Casulty episode.

I think FGM is appalling.

Can I ask Pixel why you think checking to see if girls have been mutlilated would be violation? It's a strong word to use and I just wonder why the use of that word?

I've looked at the dictionary definition of violation and I can't see that for a medically trained person to check that a child's gentiles were intact would be a violation.

I also think that if there were checks made then actually just the knowledge that girls could be checked would help to stamp out the practice of parents taking girls abroad to be mutilated. I think the girls themselves would be thankful for this in the future.

This is just my opinion. I do not mean to offend anyone.

Sorry, I meant to ask * HungryClocksGoBackFourSeconds* the same question.

It is a genuine question.

I am asking because I have had many smear tests and I don't see them as a violation, they are to keep me safe.

HungryClocksGoBackFourSeconds Thu 11-Apr-13 08:01:40

Not necessarily a physical violation as I expect the girls wouldn't actually need to be touched, but a violation of privacy.
It's more the singling out of young girls of certain ethnic minorities for genital checking seems a bit of a degrading practice and I'm not sure how effective it would be in the long term.

Obviously I can see the arguments for it but I think that putting the emphasis on parents abandoning the practice is more effective in the long term. Checking girls would definitely put people off doing it until they reached a certain age, but I don't think it would deal with the reasons why people do it.

I say until they reach a certain age, as I would assume that after 16 the checks would have to be voluntary, and girls are not going to report their parents for cutting them as they won't want to send them to prison. Plus FGM is often a prerequisite for marriage, so I think that people would just wait to cut their daughters later in life.

Pixel Fri 12-Apr-13 19:47:14

I used the word because I was agreeing with Hungryclocks and it was the word she used, and really what young girl wants to even be looked at 'down there' by a stranger? The checks would have to be compulsory otherwise no parent would ever submit their child so the child would have no choice, then what do you do if the child is reluctant? I'm not saying the child would be physically hurt in any way but in some cases it could be an unpleasant experience for all concerned.
Smear tests are not the same. For a start we are older, we can see the reason for it and we choose whether we have it done. We get a letter 'inviting' us for a smear test which I think says it all.

HungryClocksGoBackFourSeconds Sat 13-Apr-13 20:44:48

Part two tonight, 9.10pm smile

Piemother Sat 13-Apr-13 21:23:41

Is anyone watching? I'm bracing myself for this hmm

HungryClocksGoBackFourSeconds Sat 13-Apr-13 21:59:34

Oh I'm crying blush

Didn't see last weeks but sat transfixed, thought they handled it very well, given the time frame.

As an ex nurse I usually am a bit hmm about some of the storylines but tonights was very powerful.

Particularly liked the way they captured the chaos of A& E (or ED as it is now) with smoking patients & a fire (false) alarm in the midst of it.

HungryClocksGoBackFourSeconds Sat 13-Apr-13 22:08:10

last week just sort of eased into it really

HeavenlyYoni Sat 13-Apr-13 22:40:08

Very good episode. Bit of karma for the dirty doc too.

We just watched it, its horrific and anyone that forces this practice on their child should be punished by law. Those poor children. It didn't seem to highlight the reasons much for it being done, an anyone explain? Good o Casualty for bringing it to light, yes the storylines are shockingly far fetched in some areas but it's good to see them tackling something like this.

HungryClocksGoBackFourSeconds Sat 13-Apr-13 23:03:35

Reasoning for FGM differs in each practicing community, it can be thought to be necessary to be part of some religions (though no religious script calls for it), used to curb a woman's sexual desire so she will remain faithful to her husband, to preserve virginity, some communities also believe it to make birth less dangerous and that it can cure thrush/UTIs. It's often a coming of age ritual and in practicing communities, uncut girls/women are denied the same privileges as those who have undergone FGM and often ridiculed and ostracized to the point that they willingly undergo FGM.

HeavenlyYoni Sat 13-Apr-13 23:07:59

What did they mean exactly when they said Mum was 'closed'. Had she had her Yoni stitched up?

HungryClocksGoBackFourSeconds Sat 13-Apr-13 23:17:25

Yes, it's called infibulation, the external genitals are cut away and the whole area is stitched up with just a tiny hole left for urine and menses.

It has to be cut open to allow for childbirth and is usually stitched up again afterwards.

BriansBrain Sat 13-Apr-13 23:24:26

If that is the case how did the lady became pregnant?

If the hole left is tiny.

Piemother Sat 13-Apr-13 23:29:08

I was wondering that too. I did some extensive reading about this for work a few years back but I can't really hack all that again. The show tonight made me feel very queasy and ill. It was and the subject is, very shocking.

HungryClocksGoBackFourSeconds Sat 13-Apr-13 23:30:12

In all honesty, I don't actually know, it must be very painful to have sex, but I can't get my head round the logistics of how it actually happens.

HungryClocksGoBackFourSeconds Sat 13-Apr-13 23:38:11

taken from here "Infibulation creates a physical barrier to sexual intercourse and childbirth. An infibulated woman therefore has to undergo gradual dilation of the vaginal opening before sexual intercourse can take place. Often, infibulated women are cut open on the first night of marriage (by the husband, or a circumciser), in order to enable the husband to be intimate with his wife. At childbirth, many women also have to be cut again, because the vaginal opening is too small to allow for the passage of a baby. Attempts at forcible penetration may cause rupture of scars and sometimes perineal tears, dyspareunia, and vaginismus. Excessive penile force during first intercourse can cause severe bleeding, shock and infection."

BriansBrain Sat 13-Apr-13 23:44:41

Fucking hell I didn't have a clue. I'm actually ashamed that I didn't know sad

Piemother Sun 14-Apr-13 00:28:14

I found the idea of the quite little girls together having it done very shocking. It's still giving me chills now. Those little girls tucked up in bed after they had been mutilated. I am very very sad.

Pixel Sun 14-Apr-13 00:54:53

I'm sure I read somewhere that the new husband uses a knife but I can't remember where (some wedding night eh? sad). I thought it might have been in Possessing the Secret of Joy by Alice Walker as I read that many years ago but now I'm not sure as I've just seen this review and it says this:-

The reason appears to be, at bottom, to make sexual activity of any kind difficult and pointless, and indeed as painful as possible, thereby simultaneously (1) preventing women from wanting sex with anyone that they don’t absolutely have to have sex with i.e. their husband and (2) giving husbands the opportunity to show how manly they are in being able to penetrate their sewn-up wives and enlarge the hole by force to custom-fit their own penis. Yes, really. Really.

Either way it's hard to find words to describe how truly horrible it all is.

It was interesting that the brother of the girls in Casualty didn't know what had been going on. Would that be likely do you think? Even if his family had kept it from him you'd expect there to be some talk between young men (he was old enough to drive so not a kid) so that he'd at least have an inkling of what goes on, maybe if another boy had lost a sister or something. I suppose being brought up 'western' it could have just not occurred to him that it could be going on in his family with his 'normal' schoolgirl sisters.

Yes the 'party' for dong all the little girls at once made it seem even more sickening. I'm glad it's illegal. It really turned my stomach watching it last night, especially the girl describing being fine the old fashioned way sad

SoupDragon Sun 14-Apr-13 09:18:21

I think it managed to convey the horror of it very well. Quite a brave subject for a mainstream TV drama to cover.

The way they focussed on the doctor's wife and her daughter at the end was well done I thought.

HungryClocksGoBackFourSeconds Sun 14-Apr-13 10:03:49

The brother said something like "I didn't know you were against it"

So he must have had a vague idea about it, but the term circumcised is very misleading, and he perhaps didn't understand the extent of it?

SoupDragon Sun 14-Apr-13 11:01:07

I agree that he didn't really understand the full meaning of it.

One thing about Casualty that bugs me - do staff really answer their mobile phones throughout the working day whilst dealing with life-or-death situations??

Pixel Sun 14-Apr-13 21:46:58

especially the girl describing being fine the old fashioned way

I thought she said she was done the old-fashioned way, meaning held down and cut with a razor blade or knife, probably not even a clean one, rather than under anaesthetic by a doctor. She was trying to tell Zoe that her sister was now in even more danger.

Pixel Sun 14-Apr-13 21:56:55

Hungry but the brother also asked if that was what had happened when she previously went away on a long holiday. At the time he must have been kept in the dark, and had only realised the implications in hindsight when he saw how desperate the girl was to save their other sister from the same fate. I think he said something like "I didn't realise" and she replied "It's not something I talk about". He also asked if it hurt so I agree he only had a vague idea what it meant. He looked shocked when told girls can die from it.

HungryClocksGoBackFourSeconds Mon 15-Apr-13 02:17:04

Yes, I think he would have had a vague idea about FGM, but not understood the extent of it.

I would speculate that the dangers of FGM are not widely discussed in practicing communities. I also think that the reason it's so shrouded in mystery in the UK is because it's illegal and very taboo.
In certain communities in Africa where FGM is commonplace (though in most cases illegal now), it's traditionally a very public occasion and the whole community would play a part. I can't remember now which tribe this is, but I remember reading about a tribe whose FGM ceremony is drawn out over days, involving some members dressing as evil spirits and trying to kidnap the girls. There's a few youtube videos too of girls sat in a line in public with the whole tribe watching and singing joyfully as the cutter moves down the line mutilating them one after the other.

I'm sorry if that upsets anyone, I threw up after watching it.

Blondeshavemorefun Mon 15-Apr-13 18:04:18

thought i would watch both episodes before commenting

i do think casualty/bbc portrayed fgm with sensitivity

i still cant work out how the mum got pregnant if 'sewn' up and closed sad

no mention of dad/males, was wondering if was rape?

how men can then 'cut' their wives open with a knife on their wedding day is beyond me

the scenes were shocking but also need to be, seeing the girls lines up, the older ladies pouring tea/having a tea party and then later on tucked up and bleeding sad

i cant imagine 'the old fashioned way' to be cut with a razor and no painkiller sad

sadly this happens still

the doctor who was going to do the op, obv knew it was wrong as was trying to hide it from his wife

Piemother Mon 15-Apr-13 19:33:12

This is still playing on my mind since I watched it. I think I would throw up too if I saw that. I feel very lucky often that my daughters and I were born into western society which has a lot if faults but not that one hmm

SoupDragon Mon 15-Apr-13 19:42:15

i still cant work out how the mum got pregnant if 'sewn' up and closed

There would be a hole.

Blondeshavemorefun Mon 15-Apr-13 20:43:24

but a tiny hole, enough for blood and wee to escape,surely not enough for a willy (sorry if tmi) but you know what i mean sad

Piemother Mon 15-Apr-13 20:48:44

God knows. And god knows how they would have done a safe home birth either - surely the risks are enormous to mother and baby.
I have a dear friend who is a human rights grad who did a lot about fgm and could explain stuff like this. I might ask her and report back. I can't handle googling this

HungryClocksGoBackFourSeconds Mon 15-Apr-13 20:49:05

Blondes See my post of Sat 13-Apr-13 23:38:11

Blondeshavemorefun Mon 15-Apr-13 21:51:49

Hungry - your link def takes some reading and a hard stomach sad

I can almost understand how this can happen in Africa etc / their beleiefs abd culture (well not really) but for people to actually do in in the uk as well sad

I hope anyone found guilty of this gets life

Pixel Tue 16-Apr-13 00:41:51

I read your link Hungry sad.

Did you see this bit about the European Union?
The resolution also calls on the member states to recognise the right to asylum of women and girls at risk of being subject to FGM/FGC. Well, a whole fat lot of good that is, when women who have come to live here are still subjecting their daughters to FGM. angry.

SoupDragon Tue 16-Apr-13 07:22:21

I can almost understand how this can happen in Africa etc / their beleiefs abd culture (well not really) but for people to actually do in in the uk as well

It's still their culture/belief whether they are in Africa or elsewhere. I imagine that it is the girls born here who have a chance of growing up to see it is wrong rather than those who have gown up with it somewhere they have no rights.

HungryClocksGoBackFourSeconds Tue 16-Apr-13 09:59:43

The UK has recently vowed to fund a £35 million program aimed at ending FGM in a generation. This includes other countries and migrant communities in the UK. We are one of the most proactive states in FGM prevention, I'm not sure why this isn't more publicized, it's something to be proud of surely?

Actually Soup I'm not sure I agree entirely with you there, because FGM is not part of the UK mainstream culture, I'd say it's much more secretive and taboo than it is in countries where it is widely and openly practiced. Also FGM is not covered in the educational syllabus here, where as in African countries many anti FGM groups run programs through the schools to educate the girls on the dangers of FGM and their legal rights. There are also shelters for girls fleeing FGM, many of which fund scholarships for the girls to give them a chance of continuing their education. As far as I am aware, there's very little (if any) support for girls at risk over here.

Also, in the UK there is no alternative presented to FGM, whereas in Africa, anti FGM groups quite often run alternative rites of passage in keeping with tradition and culture but with the subtraction of FGM and the addition of health and human rights education.

SoupDragon Tue 16-Apr-13 10:24:58

The point I was making is that they bring their culture/beliefs over with them. Having grown up with it, they see no wrong or do not feel they have the power to challenge it. The generation that is born here would perhaps feel differently having grown up surrounded by western beliefs.

The fact that it is secretive just means they know the UK culture frowns upon it but, in their eyes, that is because "Westerners" do not understand their culture properly and are misguided in their belief. I think this was shown by the fact that the mother on Casualty binned the leaflet about the support organisation - she didn't see there was a problem at all.

HungryClocksGoBackFourSeconds Tue 16-Apr-13 10:34:48

Ah, so more a comparison of first/second generation immigrants rather than a UK/Africa comparison?

Yes, I see your point, though I think UK born girls at risk of FGM are not often provided with adequate support or information to challenge it (although there does seem to be quite a bit of support in Bristol). I think it should be taught in PSHCE or whatever it is now, and there should be advice and information on what to do if you feel you are at risk.

SoupDragon Tue 16-Apr-13 11:13:31

Yes. I think first generation wouldn't see it as their problem but a problem with the UK - the difference was shown on casualty by "Tanisha" being horrified and going to great lengths to protect her sister from what had done to her earlier whereas the mother just binned the leaflet.

SoupDragon Tue 16-Apr-13 11:15:55

I am very impressed that the BBC tackled it in a main stream programme.

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 17-Apr-13 20:02:26

so was i soup - and as i said i thought it was done sensitively

HungryClocksGoBackFourSeconds and Pixel I am so sorry, I posted to you ages ago and then forgot to check back. my apologies.

I still think checking children would help, even though I realise that or many reasons it will never be impplemented. I don't think young children would find it so hard to show their private parts to a trained doctor with a parent there in a private place. I would not see this as a violation and if it were required by law I would be happy for me or your child to see a doctor to confirm that I or my child had not been abused in this way.

I don't think the UK has a good track record on this. I believe that no one has been prosecuted about this in the UK.

"Yet new figures show that girls in Britain are more at risk of FGM than anywhere else in Europe. Approximately 66,000 women living in the UK have already been through the procedure, said Lynne Featherstone, the UK's International Development Minister, in an interview with DW.

An additional 20,000 girls a year are at risk of being subjected to female genital mutilation, she said, whether within the UK or on trips abroad to countries where the procedure is performed."


"Even though FGM has been illegal in the UK since 1985, no cases have ever made it to trial - a fact that doesn't surprise human rights worker Efua Dorkenoo, who runs the female genital mutilation program at Equality Now and has been distinguished as an Officer of the British Empire (OBE) by Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of her services to Britain.

Dorkenoo was recently asked for help by a 17-year-old teenager whose mother had taken her to have the procedure performed.

Prosecution is now unlikely, however, since the girl is terrified that testifying would send her mother to prison."

The whole article is short and worth a read.

This is an interesting website and mentions the Casualty storyline

SORRY, me or my child!!! Posted before checking. I really meant Me or MY child to be checked.

HungryClocksGoBackFourSeconds Mon 22-Apr-13 16:34:50

Good site greyhound thanks.

Thanks Clocks I also meant to say I do feel education is the key and also taking the whole community with 'you', 'you' being human rights for girls etc! By that I mean (in that brief article it was reported that) the girl who was being asked to testify against her parents would rather commit suicide than testify because it meant prison for her parents. So really if we want a whole community to re-think one particular practice it is best to find a way round it that is acceptable to the majority of people but does not lose the safety of the girls. So for example a rights of passage thing that does not involved violence or cutting or violation but which celebrates the girl young life and which the whole community can feel is special. I wonder if any groups are working on producing that kind of thing? I bet they are somewhere.

I've said before on this topic that foot binding in China stopped very quickly because of a concerted effort and I just wish there was that concerted effort on behalf of this practice.

This article is very long, I have not read it all but have read some of it and it makes some fascinating points.

However, reading this article it is not much about rites of passage but also about superstition and mostly about marriage prospects.

HungryClocksGoBackFourSeconds Mon 22-Apr-13 21:29:02

In Africa, alternative rites of passage are v popular with anti FGM activist groups, but I haven't heard of anything like this in the UK.

Pixel Mon 22-Apr-13 22:28:02

Oh I wasn't saying they shouldn't be checked, far from it. There was a discussion on here a couple of years ago following a documentary about FGM and how the french are dealing witht the problem (think it might have been Newsnight), and I remember they were doing compulsory checks. People involved in cutting were arrested and prosecuted and I remember there was an old woman who ended up supporting the measures and admitting that what she'd did was wrong.
For once I think the French have got it right and I wish our govt would stop being so lily-livered.

Pixel Mon 22-Apr-13 22:29:09

what she'd did Honestly, I can speak English blush.

HungryClocksGoBackFourSeconds Mon 22-Apr-13 22:42:32

It was me who didn't agree with checks. I think it will only serve to postpone cutting until girls are old enough to refuse checks. Plus it doesn't address any of the motives for cutting.

I guess it just gives the girls more of a fighting chance to know what they want and what they bloody well don't want. Sorry swearing at the mad mad mad ness of it, not at you clocks. The more I read and think about it the more I cannot quite imagine how anyone could ever imagine it would in any way benefit anyone! What I have read also suggests it is the women who continue it. I know they do it for men, for marriage but I just think WTF is going on (and I don't usually swear!).

This was the film

VERY moving.

I love the words of the young woman to Cameron 'Grow a pair and do something about FGM.

HungryClocksGoBackFourSeconds Mon 22-Apr-13 23:13:52

There's an excellent documentary on 4OD which covers FGM in Kenya. there are some upsetting scenes but it shows some young girls so determined they will not be cut they are taking their parents to court.

If you decide to watch it, be aware that it shows a mutilation taking place, and although you don't actually see the 'surgery' you do see the girls reaction, I would not be able to watch it again.

Clocks I've watched a bit of it, I've watched the husband who didn't want to let his wife have an anesthetic because his friend would laugh at him. I can't really find the words.....

utter coward that I am watching it and turning the sound down so I can't hear these poor girls crying. The girl's poem is so very very sad. This is so pointless!

That film is so moving but also terrible. I was so amazed to see the church being lovely and supportive. I just felt so very sorry for the girl and her mum, her mum clearly had no idea why there was a problem!

I mean that's how the church should be (I am a Christian) but I was just pleased to see that she had a tiny bit of happiness amid the obvious pain. It is just so unthinkable. Thanks for sharing it clocks.

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