Nina Lakhani at The Independent:
Hundreds of British schoolgirls are facing the terrifying prospect of female genital mutilation (FGM) over the Christmas holidays as experts warn the practice continues to flourish across the country. Parents typically take their daughters back to their country of origin for FGM during school holidays, but The Independent on Sunday has been told that “cutters” are being flown to the UK to carry out the mutilation at “parties” involving up to 20 girls to save money.
The police face growing criticism for failing to prosecute a single person for carrying out FGM in 25 years; new legislation from 2003 which prohibits taking a girl overseas for FGM has also failed to secure a conviction.
Experts say the lack of convictions, combined with the Government’s failure to invest enough money in education and prevention strategies, mean the practice continues to thrive. Knowledge of the health risks and of the legislation remains patchy among practising communities, while beliefs about the supposed benefits for girls remain firm, according to research by the Foundation for Women’s Health, Research and Development (Forward).
As a result, specialist doctors and midwives are struggling to cope with increasing numbers of women suffering from long-term health problems, including complications during pregnancy and childbirth.
Campaigners are urging ministers to take co-ordinated steps to work with communities here and overseas to change deep-seated cultural attitudes and stamp out this extreme form of violence against women.
n estimated 70,000 women living in the UK have undergone FGM, and 20,000 girls remain at risk, according to Forward. The practice is common in 28 African countries, including Somalia, Sudan and Nigeria, as well as some Middle Eastern and Asian countries such as Malaysia and Yemen. It is generally considered to be an essential rite of passage to suppress sexual pleasure, preserve girls’ purity and cleanliness, and is necessary for marriage in many communities even now. It has no religious significance.
The most common age for the procedure is between eight and 11 but it can be carried out just after birth or just before marriage. It carries the risk of death from bleeding or tetanus, and long-term problems include urinary incontinence, recurrent infections and chronic pain. Reversal procedures are necessary in order to avoid major problems for a woman and baby during childbirth.
Mark Steyn at The Corner:
A skeptical reader writes:
Really? She called herself a female genital mutilation coordinator? Not a female circumcision coordinator, say, or perhaps a female genital alteration coordinator? A casually self-described coordinator of mutilation? Really? You sure? Really?
Yes, weally, weally, weally!!!!!!!! No need to hit the italics key. If you clicked through to the story linked above, you wouldn’t sound like such a twit, because right at the end a British Home Official says:
We have appointed an FGM co-ordinator . . .
That’s the point. In the U.K., in Oz, in Europe, the “FGM co-ordinator” has become an accepted bureaucratic shorthand. It’s not a female circumcisionist but a desk-jockey who deals with the “issues” it raises, sets up counseling programs, publishes health information leaflets . . . but would never dream of doing anything so culturally insensitive as trying to stamp it out. Whatever the good they do, the “FGM co-ordinator” represents the institutionalization and in a sense acceptance of the practice in the heart of the civilized world. Sorry you have a hard time understanding that.
Unfortunately, this is still a fairly common practice in Africa and some Muslim countries. It creates a lifetime of pain and medical complications for women, and can kill the girls with infections. It’s purely subjugative, as FGM has no support in Islam or any other religion.
This calls into question the UK’s attempts to proscribe the practice thus far. They passed a law banning FGM almost seven years ago, and everyone acknowledges that the practice has continued. Yet no prosecutions have been made, and parents apparently feel comfortable enough to host FGM “parties” in the UK in order to get bulk discounts during the recession. That makes the UK’s rule of law seem rather impotent, especially considering the vulnerable nature of the victims and the deep and permanent damage FGM does to them. Would the UK look the other way for pedophilia parties?
Kudos to the Independent for bucking political correctness and exposing the problem. They deserve a round of thanks from everyone across the political spectrum. British citizens should take this opportunity to demand action on the law they demanded, and which appears to have been roundly ignored in the cause of faux diversity.
Wesley J. Smith at First Things:
This is abuse of the worst sort. The purpose is to prevent healthy and normal female sexual response. Forcing girls to undergo “cutting’ is akin to slavery, and hence, as I have written here before, it is an issue of human exceptionalism of the most profound import.
Some excuse the practice–at least as far as the parents are concerned–as ignorant people just wanting what is best for their children. I say balderdash, and besides, it is irrelevant. If you live in the West, you accommodate yourselves to certain Western values that cannot be compromised. Therefore, all involved in the conspiracy to damage girls should face charges.
If UK law enforcement doesn’t act vigorously to stop this–and arrest and punish those involved for child abuse–it will have sacrificed its great heritage of liberty and equality on the altar of multiculturalism and political correctness.
“Cultural sensitivity” vs. the good kind of sensitivity? No need to tell you which side of that issue I’m on.
Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugged is also adamantly pro-clitoris. Perhaps President Obama will appoint a Clitoris Czar to lead U.S. efforts against genital mutilation. I hereby nominate Mark Steyn.