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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.

TheHerringScreams Thu 16-May-13 22:21:10

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?

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