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You've GOT to watch newsnight tonight shocker on FGM

(179 Posts)
Screwfox Tue 03-Sep-13 21:24:42

Watch this bloke justify it.
Are you a scratching?!

Full report on later apparently.

ShowMeTheCocoa Wed 19-Mar-14 09:55:16

Please support this anti-FGM documentary in East Africa. We need to change attitudes on the ground in one of the heartlands of this despicable practice. Then fewer UK girls will be taken abroad to be cut. ONLY FIVE DAYS TO GO! Thank you.

tallulah Wed 05-Mar-14 16:34:06

Channel 4 aired a series by Leyla Hussein here which was very powerful.

In one episode she took some young men who thought FGM was a great idea into a room with these massive plasticine vaginas. Using a huge pair of shears she used each one to demonstrate which bits were cut off in each type of FGM. She also showed them a video of a child being cut.

All of them were in tears and one was literally sick. All of them said how awful it was and there was no way that was going to happen to their daughter.

Perhaps by aiming it at the young men like this it can be stopped. The women say it's for the men- the men can say no to their daughters and sisters having it done.

Nataleejah Wed 05-Mar-14 16:04:15

Thats where the state should take children into care and deport the parents.

janstr8talk Sun 02-Mar-14 18:23:39

hello, this is my first post. I feel so strongly about this subject that I wanted to air my views. 1. Any person that is thinking of fgm for their children should leave this country and not return as it is illegal here due to its savage nature. 2. If they do it to their child they should have all British rights removed, their passports taken back and deportation, any benefits that they have claimed should have to be paid back. 3. If they claimed benefits here and can not claim them back prior to being deported they should be sent to prison for custodial sentences where all the inmates should be informed of their crime.

SubliminalMassaging Fri 13-Sep-13 05:34:04

Exactly Pixel.

Pixel Thu 12-Sep-13 23:04:33

The only double standard I see is that the immigrants only 'conform to our standards' when it suits them. Otherwise we are 'offending their culture' by suggesting they desist from doing something that is against our laws. The fact is the 'natives'' (as you put it) children aren't at risk of FGM (I can't honestly think of any case where they would be) and some of the 'foreigners'' children are. I'm past caring if it offends people to say so, all I care about is those poor children. What about their rights to grow up as fully-fledged members of our society, including being free from mutilation? FGS if you take a child to A&E with a suspicious injury or even if someone reports seeing you hit a child the authorities can insist on examining the child, but if there are perfectly valid reasons for suspecting a child is at risk of FGM we aren't allowed to say or do anything unless we say and do it to everyone else too?

Bonsoir Thu 12-Sep-13 11:26:35

I personally think that it is very difficult to target little girls "at risk" of FGM and to single them out for genital examination by HCPs in a country such as the UK whose culture does not routinely perform intimate examination of girls and women.

That smacks of huge cultural double standards ("we trust the natives and we don't trust foreigners") which is immensely distasteful. If we want immigrants to conform to our standards (which is perfectly reasonable per se), those standards must be the same for all.

Lighthousekeeping Thu 12-Sep-13 08:45:23

That sounds ideal if it was the same for everyone.

Should babies born to mothers with FGM be automatically put on the At Risk register.

Bonsoir Thu 12-Sep-13 08:33:18

In France it is matter of course for paediatricians and HCPs to ask DC to take all their clothes off when visiting the doctor, even for issues seemingly unrelated to nudity (ear ache...). The UK does not have the same culture of nudity in the presence of HCPs that France and other countries do. Furthermore, French girls and women are expected - and expect - to undergo regular genital examination, right through life.

lucyintheskywithdinos Thu 12-Sep-13 08:27:56

What really horrified me, (bearing in mind that FGM wasn't new information to me) is that I just didn't know that the UKBA are not protecting asylum seeking girls and women. FGM is such a blindingly obvious risk, especially in the case on Newsnight, where the mother is single.

I just can't bear the thought that our so-called civilised country is happy to say 'nope, that's Gambia's problem'. It was made very clear by the little girl's Grandmother that she will be mutilated if they are deported to Gambia, I'm still in shock that we aren't doing more to protect girls.

Lighthousekeeping Thu 12-Sep-13 08:23:13

It is more popular amongst women in their twenties. Young, professional women. It's an absolute minefield and I do not know how it can be stopped. Until after the event. Where do you start? It's being going on for years and its across all cultures. Some people have pointed out that its a man thing. I have a dear friend who is one of seven sisters and not one of them has had it done. Her father was totally against it and, he's 90 now. So it's not a generation thing either. She is emphatic it comes from other women.

PacificDogwood Wed 11-Sep-13 19:55:09

Hm, not so sure - IME, sadly, there are worse things that can happen to people in some of the countries they come from than FGM, hard as that may be to contemplate.

As with so many things, I don't think there IS a one-size-fits-all solution.
It would be welcomed, and I sometimes think the silence is deafening, if prominent community leaders, muslim and non-religious, would speak out publically against FGM. I can live in hope, but am not holding my breath currently sad.

SubliminalMassaging Wed 11-Sep-13 19:49:06

Very tempting, yes. And in my world I'd like to see a ban on families from countries who practice it coming to live and work in the UK, unless they are prepared to undergo medical examination to show their daughters have not been mutilated, with ongoing checks which would result in imprisonment then deportation for the entire family if they had.

PacificDogwood Wed 11-Sep-13 19:38:16

I was trying to make a point about the power of social pressure, not about consent, to try to understand why so many women continue to support FGM, sometimes even in an active role as the 'circumciser'.

Sublimina, yes, I agree with what you are saying. But I think that has to be limited to what we do in THIS country. Although linking aid to encouraging countries to stop FGM is a tempting thought...

SubliminalMassaging Wed 11-Sep-13 19:03:43

And I feel quite strongly it's not for us white Westerners to wade in there and tell other peoples were they go 'wrong' (in a patronising white missionary kind of way).

I understand what you mean, but I disagree in this case. It IS wrong. They need to be told it's wrong. They need to be made to feel stupid and backward for doing it. BECAUSE THEY ARE. We need to keep banging on and on and ON that this practice is vile, dangerous, demeaning, based on the most ridiculous, unjustifiable and unsubstantiated dogma, unnecessary and damaging on every single level, controlling, misogynistic, backward, medieval, and cruel.

I don't care how patronising that sounds. Actually.

SomethingOnce Wed 11-Sep-13 18:37:19

Unless every country did the same, I'm guessing return home via a different country would be a workaround.

Pixel Wed 11-Sep-13 18:23:33

For a start we could stop the tide of small girls being taken on 'holiday' abroad during the summer and coming back circumcised. We would just have to pass a law saying that any young girl coming back into this country from a place where FGM is practised has to be examined on her return. Under those circumstances I'm sure people would agree to having every girl checked because every family would have the same choice whether or not to go to that country while a daughter was of school age. It wouldn't stop people visiting family, it would just stop them inflicting FGM on their daughter if they intend to return (which the majority would). Of course we'd have to follow through with actual convictions for that to work so the govt would have to show some guts for a change.

SomethingOnce Wed 11-Sep-13 08:15:45

I'd be interested to know too.

Italiangreyhound Wed 11-Sep-13 01:42:13

BabyX may I ask why you would not allow your daughter to be checked (by a medical professional)? I don't want to cause offence, just to understand.

BabyX Wed 11-Sep-13 00:16:00

Pacific, adults give consent to plastic surgery - the rights and wrongs are irrelevant in this context. In fact, some women here choose to have labiaplasty. But they do so of their own free will. I don't really care if adult females choose to have their clitoris cut out. I care about children being tortured without consent, being left with appalling injuries to their most private parts without their permission.

It's about consent.

On your other point, I'm afraid I would absolutely NOT allow my daughter to have her genitals checked to rule out FGM, you're right about that.

PacificDogwood Tue 10-Sep-13 21:49:03

People of certain cultures are very trapped in their societal structures, expectations and taboos.
And I feel quite strongly it's not for us white Westerners to wade in there and tell other peoples were they go 'wrong' (in a patronising white missionary kind of way). We do all sorts of things that are incomprehensible to other cultures: breast augmentation/reduction, facelifts, 'tummy tucks' - yes, some of these have medical justification, but the majority don't. And one could argue that these procedures are done due to social pressures (to look a certain way) too.

HOWEVER - people how have plastic surgery for whatever reason do so voluntarily, they are not forced and held down, sometimes by their loved ones. They hope to achieve a better quality of life by undergoing painful operations (that sometimes go wrong causing longterm problems).
(As an aside, and please nobody pick a fight about this, one could argue that the need to look a certain way leading to plastic surgery is a similar pressure to what Somalian girls/women feel when they continue the tradition of FGM?)

Having said all that, we have duty of care to ALL children in this country. And that includes ensuring that they are not taken 'on holiday' to their homecountry only to come back mutilated.
How on earth to achieve this, I have no idea.
Tbh, the relationship of many British people to their bodies is such that I can just imagine many caucasian, native British families not agreeing to have their children undergo an intimate examination (even if it was just an inspection) as a matter of routine.
And I really don't see how you can just single out Somalia/Ethiopian/other African girls for this.

I am so glad this is more of a spoken about problem at present.

Pixel Tue 10-Sep-13 21:20:51

Of course, what really needs to happen is for men to take a stand. Can't see that happening just yet.
I watched the channel four documentary linked below, and one of the fathers was begging the circumciser to go easy on his daughters, to only cut a little and not to stitch (she deliberately misunderstood him and said they had to be stitched or they would bleed to death but I'm sure he meant not to stitch so there was only a small hole left). I got the impression he would rather it wasn't done at all, it was his wife who insisted and even laughed as she held down her screaming daughter! And the young man newly married who wouldn't let his wife be cut open under GA because his friends would laugh and said he would do it himself? Obviously we were supposed to be angry at him for that, and I did want to give him a good shake, but I also thought it telling that he told the doctor "I wasn't there when they did that to her". He was trapped by the situation too and I actually felt a little bit sorry for him (not much of a wedding night), not as sorry as I was for that poor scrap of a girl who was so frightened she wouldn't let the kindly female doctor near her, but still, he didn't ask for it either. I wonder if he would really want his future daughters circumcised or if the right campaign could indeed persuade him to 'take a stand'?

KateMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 10-Sep-13 20:00:11

Hello all - thought you might like to know that we've got a very powerful guest blog over here from FGM survivor Nimco Ali, of campaign group Daughters of Eve. Do come and post if you've got a min?

We've also got a comment from Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer on the fact that, 28 years since FGM was criminalised, there's yet to be a successful prosecution.

BabyX Tue 10-Sep-13 19:52:16

I haven't seen the programme. I have read this thread part-way until I could not bear another post. I feel sick and heartbroken that people can do this to each other. I thank my lucky stars I was not born in a country where women are treated so appallingly. But what can we ever do to stop it? We are told to respect everything about other cultures, regardless of brutality. Well, I'm not respecting this.

It's just barbaric.

CruCru Tue 10-Sep-13 18:16:26

Earlier in the thread, someone suggested a regular full medical check up. This is done in the US each year (or was when I was a kid) so could become a norm here. However, that may only be for those with health insurance.

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