FGM, Should We Soften Our Approach?

(45 Posts)
sausageeggbacon111 Sun 28-Feb-16 21:04:08

Been fuming for the last couple of days after reading about a medical paper in America suggesting we soften our approach to FGM (article here). Apparently we are being culturally insensitive to people by wanting to punish people who commit FGM.

Is it just me or has the medical world gone mad? I have spent 8 years involved in campaigns against FGM then some crazy person (IMHO of course) comes out with a paper that the very premise of makes me want to vomit. So aggrieved about this as those who want to continue with this barbaric tradition will roll this rubbish out to defend their position every time they are challenged in the future.

BeaufortBelle Sun 28-Feb-16 21:08:01

I agree with you op. We don't live in a barbaric or medieval society and those who come here for whatever reason need to adjust to our society and to equality.

FGM is illegal; where it is identified those who perpetrate it must be dealt with according to the law. There has been far too much pussy footing over it.

megletthesecond Sun 28-Feb-16 21:10:34

Never mind soften, I'd like to see them take a harder approach.

WomanWithAltitude Sun 28-Feb-16 21:14:16

Totally agree.

FGM is a form of torture. The only acceptable level of torture is none. Freedom from torture is an absolute human right; it's not negotiable or dependent on culture.

KnockMeDown Sun 28-Feb-16 21:16:22

Imagine saying they should have taken a softer approach to foot binding?

pastmyduedate0208 Sun 28-Feb-16 21:18:13

The law should be extended so that anyone promoting FGM, or writing papers encouraging the practice is struck off from their profession.

MilkOfAmnesia Sun 28-Feb-16 21:21:22

I understand your outrage, FGM is barbaric, but as a HCP I really do think we need to alter our approach to it.
We are so quick to condemn it (obviously) that I think it's easy to forget woman who have had it done are proud they feel clean and acceptable and want the same for their daughters. They perform the act out of love which I think to the western mind is just unfathomable.
I don't think legalising any degree of it is the answer, but right now I don't think we can expect any form of change or even debate with such a 'We know best' attitude. Only we do know . It's so hard sad

Izlet Sun 28-Feb-16 21:22:01

Has there actually been a successful prosecution for FGM in the UK?

BertieBotts Sun 28-Feb-16 21:23:30

No, Izlet. Which is appalling.

pastmyduedate0208 Sun 28-Feb-16 21:24:14

Izlet, no there has not.

MilkofAmnesia there is so much wrong about your post it's impossible to begin.

pastmyduedate0208 Sun 28-Feb-16 21:26:09

Sorry MilkofAmnesia. I re-read and realise I was a bit harsh in misunderstanding.

pastmyduedate0208 Sun 28-Feb-16 21:26:33

Yeah its crap.

VagueIdeas Sun 28-Feb-16 21:28:43

I don't think mothers mutilate their daughters out of love. They do it out of fear - of being different, unclean and unmarriageable.

BeaufortBelle Sun 28-Feb-16 21:29:19

milk you have just explained exactly everything that is wrong with the ethos of the NHS. The lot if you need to remember the difference between right and wrong and stop making flipping excuses.

Your views are precisely why I had little time for HVs and school nurses - none of whom were good enough to share their version of PsHE and relationships with my children. angry

PalmerViolet Sun 28-Feb-16 21:31:58

No, there should be no softening of approach to FGM. What we do have to do is bring women and men from the countries and cultures that practice it further into health promotion campaigns.

There's still a lot of misinformation about it. A lot of people still believe that it's a muslim practice, when it isn't. Mothers don't do this out of love, they do it out of fear. Fear that their daughter won't be acceptable to some man's family, fear that she will be seen as unclean, fear that she will be shunned. That's not even close to love.

Hibo Wadare and Nimko Ali do amazing work spreading awareness of the issues, Daughters of Eve also.

I fear though that, until there is a prosecution, it's all going to just be words without deeds, and more young girls are going to be mutilated and harmed.

Ubik1 Sun 28-Feb-16 21:34:19

I read aayan hirsi Ali about her experiences of FGM and it's true that her sister saw it as a rite of passage, the start of womanhood. Her description of FGM is shocking stuff.

Of course in the UK it's quite rightly regarded as serious child abuse and I have seen information campaigns Warning people that it is illegal - I think the authorities are especially vigilant during the 'cutting season' where children are taken out of the country to be abused in the school holidays.

Those poor little girls sad

msrisotto Sun 28-Feb-16 21:37:50

I don't think it's fair to jump on milk here, she said she was against legalisation of any degree of FGM.

MilkOfAmnesia Sun 28-Feb-16 21:48:47

You all mention 'fear' but do you really expect a woman who has barely anything in common with you to come to you?
Why would anyone want to come to you with fears when you clearly aren't making any effort to see things from her point of view?
Froth at the mouth and chant mutilation! Abuse! Prosecution! Yes, it is those things but you are not going to get a fearful (or loving) parent to open up to you that way.

Ubik1 Sun 28-Feb-16 21:52:13

I think that's the difficulty isn't it. It's such an intimate thing, so hard to detect.

You need mothers to trust health professionals so that this can be prevented. People need to be reeducated.

PalmerViolet Sun 28-Feb-16 21:53:28

Milk... are you seriously suggesting that Nimko Ali and Hibo Wadare don't see these things from their point of view?

Subjecting your daughter to FGM is not an act of love, no matter the culture. It's abuse of the worst kind. This isn't frothing, this is fact. If you can't see that, then maybe you need to rethink your position.

And yes, all kinds of people came to me with all kinds of problems when I was a HCP.

BeaufortBelle Sun 28-Feb-16 21:53:47

And you won't stop it until people are put away. Perhaps we should also let in Sharia Law to make them feel all warm and cosy because we're so jolly approachable.

Helenluvsrob Sun 28-Feb-16 21:59:29

HCP here as well. I think care of the affected women and protection of the daughters are the same thing. Actually a lot of the women affected locally are very westernised and want to protect their daughters.

pastmyduedate0208 Sun 28-Feb-16 22:01:08

In Somalia, they can do WTF they want. Once they come here, to our health care, education and developed society, we have a duty to our population to protect our people from barbaric and abusive procedures.

It is our duty to protect young girls who come to live here. And educate them. No excuses.

The law is the most direct way to eradicate this barbaric procedure from our country.

MilkOfAmnesia Sun 28-Feb-16 22:02:31

It doesn't matter that you can't understand that some do it out of love. Yes, they really do, they honestly, truly believe they are doing the right thing.
What matters is that it is stopped and I don't think a 'one size fits all' demonise everyone approach is the best way to go. It's not really been spectacularly successful so far has it?

georgetteheyersbonnet Sun 28-Feb-16 22:10:26

It is abuse of the worst kind indeed. I've known about FGM for a long time; but hadn't realised until recently the sheer scale of it - or even that there are countries that are semi-Westernised like Egypt where it is routine to the point of 90% of married women (that stat boggled my mind recently and I had to look it up to check. Seems that it is true angry) And it was only recently that I googled images and was shocked to the core at what it actually involves. I don't think until you see it that it really comes home to the Western mind what is actually done. It is unbelievable and deeply implausible that anyone can think it is done out of love. It is clearly a practice of coercion and control, and the accounts of survivors of FGM make it clear that their families know it is a horrible practice and girls rarely know what is going to happen to them.

It is completely unacceptable that any child or woman should have this done to them, and the only possible response to it is abhorrence. It has to stop, worldwide.

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