So I just saw a write up by Katharine Whitehorn over at The Guardian. In said write up she talks about what men can do to stop female genital mutilation. But she doesn't seem to be very pleased. Take this section right here:
So we have at last some serious public concern about that horror which we now rightly call FGM – female genital mutilation.Some serious public concern? So fact that this practice is regarded as a crime and violation of human rights in most of the developed world just happened last night or something? If this is still only happening in limited parts of the world then I think we can safely say that "at last" is not a proper way to describe it. Or at the very least here in the States which one is actually a crime and which one can be claimed on health insurance?
She then goes into what I guess could be called lamentation over the way its regarded,
Too often it has gone under the name of "female circumcision", which makes it sound as innocuous as what's done to baby boys, but its actual purpose has been stated as "the control of women's libido".Oddly I have very rarely heard it called "female circumcision" and have mostly heard it called female genital mutilation. Oh and don't think I missed that about the circumcision of boys but I'll come back to that in a bit.
Next onto a rather "bizarre" fact about this practice.
It really should not be regarded as a women's issue only, though the bizarre aspect of it is that it's other women, "cutters", who actually do the deed.I think the fact that its women cutting women is only bizarre to people who have wrapped themselves up in a nice cocoon of, "Women don't do stuff like that.". I wonder how bizarre she would think it is that men commit horrible crimes against other men....
But speaking of men she thinks that men may actually have a role to play in this.
Maybe the men have to be brought into the argument to get the whole notion abandoned. (Here's one radical suggestion, not necessarily mine: that for every baby girl who suffers FGM, the law should demand the castration of a senior member of the family concerned. I realise that this is not very likely to gain public approval).You ever notice that the only time men are included on something is when we are actually useful for the purpose of helping women?
And speaking of radical suggestion I have one too. For every baby boy that has his foreskin taken off at a point in his life when he can't consent to it the law should demand the clitoral hood/foreskin of the parents that chose to have it done. But considering there is a much larger chance of mom still having her clitoral hood than dad having his foreskin I get the feeling that the bodily violation of a woman would cause a lot of outrage (outrage that seems to be missing when talking about the bodily violation of a baby boy).
She ends with some sort of situation that she calls a paradox:
It may be, paradoxically, that only by involving men's desires can it be stopped; only if it is seen to make a girl less attractive to potential husbands will the mothers, ever anxious to marry off their daughters, refuse to let it happen. So men – over to you.And here's where I came up with the title for this post.
Or when women write articles like this that come off as backhanded calls for support they could show something resembling the compassion that women (rightly) complain about being unfairly stereotyped and burdened with.
I know I would respond a lot better to a woman that can at least look at male circumcision and see it for the violation of a baby boy's body that it is than to a woman that in one breath sweeps male circumcision under the rug then proceeds to call on males to help with FGM.
Is FGM a horrible thing? Yes it is. Should it be stopped? Yes it should. Will you win allies by backhandedly trivializing the issues they face (or is this one of those double standards where women must have their harms fully acknowledge before lending a hand but men must lend a hand before having their harms fully acknowledged)? Highly doubt it.
Maybe once Whitehorn realizes that altering a baby boy's body without medical need is not so "innocuous" maybe she'll get more male support on the situation.