Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) occurs at the intersection of Africa and Islam — meaning brown people and black people. It involves taking a little girl and cutting off her clitoris and, perhaps, her labia. In extreme circumstances, it means sewing together the opening to her vagina. It’s purpose is a simple one: to destroy sexual pleasure or even the possibility of sex. If sex is possible, it’s painful. Of course, for all these little girls, sex will still be an imperative when they are grown (or, in same cases, almost grown) and forced to marry.
Aside from the horrible mutilation, the process itself is medieval too. It’s done without anesthetics and using the most primitive instruments, including rusty, dull razor blades. The notion of sanitation is laughable.
There is absolutely nothing good that can be said about FGM. Unlike circumcision (which I understand many decry), it is not a covenant with God, it does not provide a sanitary function (whether in the Sinai desert or elsewhere), and it does not help prevent sexually transmitted diseases. It is solely about control and denying women sexual pleasure as one means of that control.
Every right thinking person in the world should be opposed to it. It is the modern equivalent of the suttee (or sati) that the English Governor-General of India, William Bentinck brought to an end. That practice, of course, involved a widowed wife crawling onto her dead husband’s funeral pyre to be burned alive along with his corpse. Bentinck was fully alive to the risks he ran in challenging an established cultural practice. He understood that he could put British lives at risk, but he determined in 1829 that moral considerations must outweigh pragmatic concerns:
Prudence and self-interest would counsel me to tread in the footsteps of my predecessors [who allowed suttee]. But in a case of such momentous importance to humanity and civilization, that man must be reckless of all his present or future happiness who could listen to the dictates of so wicked and selfish a policy. With the firm undoubting conviction entertained upon this question, I should be guilty of little short of the crime of multiplied murder, if I could hesitate in the performance of this solemn obligation. I have been already stung with this feeling. Every day’s delay adds a victim to the dreadful list, which might perhaps have been prevented by a more early submission of the present question.
Convinced that respect for another’s culture and fear himself and his countrymen must yield to morality, Bentinck outlawed suttee in December 1829.
Reading Bentinck’s writing on the subject, it’s quite obvious that he never said to himself, “Well, it’s their culture and who am I to judge?” To the extent that he recognized suttee was part of Indian culture, his calculus was “How much damage will it do to the British to squash this cultural excrescence?”
Nowadays, though, political correctness has left people unable to value the best that their culture has to offer. We no longer say, “I judge them, but pragmatic considerations demand that I ignore them.” Instead, multiculturalism has led us to the point where we say, “Well, those black and brown people have their own way of doing things, and it’s clearly good for them. I wouldn’t do it myself, but who am I to demand that those backward folks meet higher standards of morality and human decency.”
I’m not throwing around hypotheticals when I say that last sentence. A British-based campaigner against FGM, who was herself subject to the procedure, was left in tears when 19 people in England cheerfully signed a petition encouraging FGM in Britain. The phony petition argued that, because FGM is part of African culture, it should be respected. Over the course of thirty minutes, 19 people thought that it was fine to sign on to barbarism if a non-white culture liked it:
A female genital mutilation (FGM) campaigner was left in tears after an experiment intended to assess the impact of political correctness on the fight against cutting saw 19 people sign a fake pro-FGM petition within 30 minutes.
Leyla Hussein, 32, who suffered female genital mutilation as a child, approached shoppers in Northampton with the petition, which argued that as FGM was part of her culture, it should be protected.
During the 30-minute experiment, 19 people signed the petition and just one refused – a result Hussein blamed on the all-pervading culture of political correctness.
Speaking to the Evening Standard following the experiment, Hussein, who also appears in upcoming Channel 4 documentary, The Cruel Cut, said: ‘I kept using the words “it’s just mutilation”. They were like “yes, you are right”. How can anyone think this is OK?’
Warning that politically correct attitudes could hamper the fight against FGM, Hussein added: ‘FGM is not culture, it is violence.
‘Stop using the culture word. This is happening to children. We are human beings, we can’t watch children being cut, I don’t care what culture you belong to.’
‘It is incredible that UK citizens would sign a petition supporting child abuse,’ Efua Dorkenoo, Advocacy Director of Equality Now’s FGM Programme, told MailOnline.