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Feminism: Sex & gender discussions

Did anyone see news night last night? Fgm?

12 replies

EclecticShock · 25/07/2012 21:09

What did you think?

OP posts:
Empusa · 26/07/2012 11:20

It was really interesting in a grim kind of way. The Tory was getting on my nerves though, especially when she was talking about checking babies/young girls being invasive. I mean FFS surely checking their genitals is less harmful than cutting them off! On what planet does it make sense to let FGM go unchecked just in order to avoid some peoples embarrassment?!

EatsBrainsAndLeaves · 26/07/2012 14:05

This is an issue many black feminists have been campaigning on in the UK and there is some anger that many white feminists largely ignore the issue.

blackcurrants · 26/07/2012 14:50

I didn't see newsnight but heard about it on Women's Hour 2 days ago. They interviewed Comfort Momoh about it, who was very interesting with a lot of (tragic) information not just about FGM in the UK but also about how hard it is to get even a statement about it from the UK government.

EclecticShock · 26/07/2012 20:40

Yes the mp was awful and had no substance to her answers. I the girls speaking about their experiences came across so well as did comfort. There really does seem to be a reluctance to deal with it, even though it is denial of a basic human right. Found it enlightening.

OP posts:
blackcurrants · 26/07/2012 20:49

this is being discussed in the 'in the news' section, some interesting debate there.

MiniTheMinx · 26/07/2012 20:59

I found the argument that one of the young girls put forward very compelling. She said it was a form of abuse like any other, child protection should come before culture, so that the needs of the child are put first. If it was thought of properly as abuse, the child's safety would be paramount and cultural sensitivities could be swept aside.

MsAnnTeak · 28/07/2012 21:22

Cutting off any parts of minors on grounds other than medical should be outlawed. End of.

InnocentSmoothie · 03/04/2018 17:50

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InnocentSmoothie · 03/04/2018 17:53

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DisturblinglyOrangeScrambleEgg · 03/04/2018 19:36

The Tory was getting on my nerves though, especially when she was talking about checking babies/young girls being invasive

I remember when my first was born outside of the UK, at each appointment while they were babies/toddlers when I took them for their jabs and to be weighed and measured (very sensibly done all in one go - not the multiple appointments I had here) - there was always a point where the HCP would turn away from me with my naked/nearly naked baby, generally when they were weighing him, and would subtly check him over. I didn't notice it at first, but by the 3rd time, it became clear that they were just running their eyes over to make sure all was well.

Contrasting in the UK, where no-one looked at my baby past his 6 week check - I was the one that put him on the weighing scales, jabs were jabs and nothing else, and the HV never bothered coming back after the first visit.

Where it becomes more tricky is with older girls. I still remember being mortified during a health check at school, where (with my mum present) we had to strip to our pants and be checked out (I just remember having to pretend to kick a ball. I think that it's hard to figure out how to do this without causing this kind of humiliation. But we do need to figure it out, because FGM is unacceptable - I think that it has to be through education, so these girls know they can come forward, and where to go for help if they think it's going to happen to them.

Terfmore · 04/04/2018 09:46

If a midwife comes across a pregnant woman who has been cut and has a daughter this should be passed to social services.
Health visitors routinely ask if women have been cut (if the woman is from a country where this is practised, which is more than you would think). The same happens - it would be passed to the local social work duty team.
That may be shared with police if there is concern a criminal offence may have or be likely to take place.

If girls are routinely "checked" I'm not sure how that would work. (and I didn't see the programme so not sure what the suggestion was). The age at which this is performed is different in different cultures/ countries so this could include calling in all 12 year old girls from a certain country and asking them to be examined.

The mandatory reporting that's in place doesn't really work because health professionals are reluctant to do it.
I would be very reluctant to tell a family to take their child to be examined intimately for no other reason than their country of origin.
If a family refuses would they be arrested, or their child taken into care?
It's one of those dilemas of a liberal society and we have to work to get the balance right.

A big factor is that it is not spoken about. The women I've spoken to (from different countries) say It happens and then is not talked about ever again. Even though the practice has gone on for thousands of years it is still taboo. It needs to be spoken about more, in a way that does not present it as a practice confined to a few "tribes" in the middle of nowhere. It is not, it crosses class and religions.
I have heard of mosques where it is spoken against but not churches.

There's a move to a "harm reduction" model in Egypt (and possibly elsewhere) where wealthier families take their daughters to a medical professional and the procedure is done in clean. safe environment. (Egypt traditionally practices more extreme forms of FGM)
If the procedure is clean and "safe" the argument health against it does not work. But it is a feminist issue not a health one.
Often the arguments against these type of issues will focus on the practical rather than examine underpinning idea. It's similar to the focus on toilets in the trans debate. Someone finds a practical solution and hey ho problem solved - but it's not.

Alice Walker wrote a novel about this "Possessing the Secret of Joy". I'm not sure if its in that one or somewhere else but she writes in a very angry way about prominent black politicians who never spoke out against FGM, such as Mandela.

HairyBallTheorem · 04/04/2018 09:54

First off, Zombie thread from 6 years ago bumped by a troll/spammer!

But re. recent posts: "If the procedure is clean and "safe" the argument health against it does not work. But it is a feminist issue not a health one." This is patently absurd. In what way is a procedure which leaves a woman unable to enjoy sex, at greater risk of UTIs (however sanitary the environment in which the mutilation was carried out, and however sharp the scalpel) and likely to suffer severe complications in childbirth a procedure which does not raise health concerns? Of course it's bloody unhealthy, even if you've managed to avoid major infection while carrying out the mutilation.

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