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

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

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.

Titsalinabumsquash Sun 14-Apr-13 09:04:55

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.

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