Just after posting a comment about the non-desirability of calling Female Genital Mutiliation FG “Cutting” instead, I check Twitter and see a tweet from Ex-Muslims Forum:
Grace Dent is a wonderful writer – here she is on FGM http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/the-book-of-mormons-lesson-in-genital-genocide-8554496.html …
So I’m reading it. Grace Dent has no truck with euphemism on this subject.
By rough estimates, there are 20,000 girls at risk of FGM in Britain and 66,000 coping with the botched consequences. There has never been a prosecution, either of a mother taking her child out of the country, or a cutter travelling into Britain. I’ve read cases about little girls in Stratford – home of Olympic hope – being whisked off to Mogadishu. Or of the Somali community in Glasgow where a three-year-old girl and a small baby were sabotaged with scissors. I don’t think polite, concerned mumblings about FGM wholly prepare anyone for the fact that in the majority of cases, after these botch jobs, the whole lot is gone. Here, we have women with missing sex parts.
And it’s mutilation. We’re not talking earlobes here.
Also problematic is the fact that FGM here affects mainly young British African girls of Muslim heritage. In Britain, we are at a sticky point with feminism, where large numbers of women have spent four or five decades being permitted education, the right to work and use contraception, and now believe feminism isn’t needed. No more rights needed here, thank you! “I’m not one of those feminists,” young British women bleat, as nearby, young girls are being whisked off to sunny Mogadishu or being hacked at in a back room in Stratford. This odd idea that “I have my rights, to hell with women globally” shames us. “I have my rights, but I don’t want to say anything remotely culturally insensitive” is a far graver problem still.
As for culturally insensitive – there are plenty of women working to end FGM right there in places where it happens. Be sensitive to their culture.