Advanced search

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 ?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 20:12:35

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.

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.

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.

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

Riots I meant in other countries as well.

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.

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

It is illegal MrsD

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.

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

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."

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now