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  • Abominable practices in Britain


    by Rumbold
    9th January, 2008 at 11:45 am    

    A horrific ritual usually associated with Africa is taking place frequently in this country:

    “It is known by a variety of names, the most common of which are female genital mutilation (FGM), female circumcision, or simply “cutting” - a word which somehow conveys the raw pain its prepubescent victims suffer.

    Most people will be unfamiliar with this practice, which involves removing part or all of the clitoris, the surrounding labia (the outer part of the vagina) and sometimes the sewing up of the vagina, leaving only a small opening for urine and menstrual blood.

    An investigation by the Daily Mail reinforced research by the Department of Health (among others), who have found that girls who have been genitally mutiliated number in the tens of thousands:

    “During a highly disturbing, four-month investigation, however, we uncovered evidence that thousands of British-African girls, in towns and cities throughout the country, have been forcibly “cut”.

    By conservative estimates, 66,000 women and girls living in Britain have been mutilated. This figure, accepted by the Metropolitan Police, came in a report by a volunteer organisation funded by the Department of Health and carried out with academics from the London School of Tropical Hygiene and the City University.

    And thousands more girls are at imminent risk as families club together to fly professional “cutters” from Africa to Britain.

    These women “elders” perform the crude operation for up to £40 a time, often on kitchen tables or floors, without anaesthetic, using filthy, blunt knives, razor blades or scalpels.”

    Before anyone starts to blame Islam, it is abundantly clear that this is a cultural, not a religious, ritual:

    “Some people say the practice is to increase the sexual pleasure of the man, but this is only one appallingly outdated reason why many womenfolk from 28 African and some Middle Eastern countries, most of which have sizeable representation in Britain, are treated like this.

    It is also done to demonstrate their virginity on their wedding night; and because “uncut” girls with the ability to enjoy love-making are considered more likely to be promiscuous, unhygienic, and prone to diseases such as Aids.

    Attempts are also made to justify this iniquitous practice on religious grounds. Some hard-line Muslims insist that women must undergo genital cutting to remain faithful to the purest teachings of Islam - although, in truth, it is not even mentioned in the Koran, and only ambiguously in the Hadith (a collection of oral traditions about the life of the prophet Mohammed).

    Several leadings Imams have openly condemned the practice. This, though, does not deter its proponents, who maintain that it is their inalienable right to live according to their traditional beliefs and customs, rather than conform to British values. Indeed, some argue that the freedom to carry out FGM is a fundamental principle of our multi-cultural society.”

    To its credit, the government and the state have taken steps to try and crush this babarism:

    “Whatever the arguments, the fact is that genital mutilation is a reality, and the Metropolitan police is so concerned that it recently set up a special unit to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators. Heading the unit is Detective Inspector Carol Hamilton, herself a mother, who was horrified when she discovered what was happening to other people’s daughters.

    The Met team also educates regional police forces about FGM, and speaks to mosques, community groups and local authorities…Together with the Waris Dirie Foundation, an international campaign group formed by the Somali-born supermodel who suffered genital mutilation as a five-year-old child, the Met announced a £20,000 reward last July for information leading to the conviction of anyone who performs or abets cutting.”

    There are still problems though, as some elements in the civil service and local government have proved resistant to these changes, as they fear to upset the African communities. Cowards.

    “The Met team also educates regional police forces about FGM, and speaks to mosques, community groups and local authorities. Usually their visits are well-received, but we found that at least one London council declined to publish material highlighting the suffering and danger the practice causes - for fear of offending ethnic African residents.

    This kind of attitude incenses Detective Inspector Hamilton. “We are all becoming very culturally sensitive,” she says. “People are a bit frightened of saying ‘You can’t do this here’ because people shoot back with ‘But it’s our culture’.

    “But it’s not: this is just plain cruel. I won’t be put off by the politically correct argument. We have to be seen to be strong on this. I don’t care about human rights - I care about the rights of the child. Everything else has to go out of the window.

    Under the 2003 Female Genital Mutilation Act, those involved could be jailed for 14 years. Yet the fact that no one has been prosecuted says much about the problems the police are facing.

    “There are thousands of girls being cut in your country,” says Waris Dirie spokesman Walter Hutschinger. “We are sure it’s going on, and on a very big scale. Your law is one of the most comprehensive in the world, but it is useless if nobody will help to implement it.

    “We have been contacted by girls from all parts of Britain - London, Cardiff, Sheffield, Birmingham, Liverpool, Reading, Slough, Milton Keynes, Crawley - anywhere there are big African communities.”

    “Many of these girls know they are about to be cut and are desperate for help, but they are even more afraid of what might happen to them if they come out in the open.”

    France provides an interesting, if controversal, way of combatting FGM:

    “Perhaps we should take a lead from France, whose methods of prevention have been strengthened following a landmark case in 1999, when a woman of West African origins was jailed for eight years for cutting 48 young children.

    Now all French children of African background are closely scrutinised by social workers and doctors during infancy, and any abnormal behaviour or prolonged absence from school is immediately investigated.

    It is also considered a duty of French doctors to examine any ethnic African girls they suspect have been mutilated and, waiving usual patient confidentiality rules, report their parents to the police if their suspicions are confirmed.”

    D.I. Hamilton sums up my feelings about FGM in Britain:

    “Detective Inspector Hamilton was persuaded otherwise when she sat through a graphic video showing a cutter at work. With its haunting screams and bloodied instruments, this real-life horror film changed her life.

    “These little girls shouldn’t have to live in that other world,” she says. “They go to school here. Their homes and friends are here. They are our little girls. They are British. What is happening to them is barbaric - and it must be stopped.”"

    (On a more general note, I consider the International Campaign Against Honour Killings site to be required reading. The material is of course grim, but the site, run expertly by Joanne Payton and others, does a brilliant job in highlighting all these awful events.)


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    1. Trofim — on 9th January, 2008 at 12:18 pm  

      Ah, it may have “nothing to do with Islam”, but it is Muslims who do it and Muslims who tolerate it. I have yet to hear of an Anglican or Roman Catholic having it performed on them by their relatives, or members of their “community”. It may be “nothing to do” with Islam, but it is ASSOCIATED with Islam as long as it is Muslims who carry it out and tolerate it. Whenever I hear the words “nothing to do with Islam” or synonymous phrases, I reach for my gun. Why is it that writers so often feel it necessary to absolve Islam of any responsibility for something, yet never feel the need to absolve Christianity, Atheism, Hinduism etc.?

    2. Sofia — on 9th January, 2008 at 12:28 pm  

      It is inherently cultural as i’ve not heard of asian muslim women having it done, or european muslim women..or american muslim women..

    3. Ahmad — on 9th January, 2008 at 12:43 pm  

      As far as I know it’s also a tribal practice in African countries.

    4. Sid — on 9th January, 2008 at 1:01 pm  

      Why is it that writers so often feel it necessary to absolve Islam of any responsibility for something, yet never feel the need to absolve Christianity, Atheism, Hinduism etc.?

      Hey I can do cultural prejudice in broad brush strokes too: Why are commenters who, in their eagerness to associate the guilt of FGM on Islam, are unconcerned with the rehabillitation of the North African victims of FGM?

      And on a secondary note:
      Why are commenters (the usual ones) who are so keen to associate the guilt of universal abuses on Islam invariably regard “Islam” as an anthromorphism and go as far as to address “Islam” in third person pronouns? So we get “Islam” doing this and “Islam” saying that.

    5. Tim Worstall — on 9th January, 2008 at 1:03 pm  

      Methinks the old response to suttee might be useful.

      Yes indeed, it is a cultural practice of yours, and in my country we have a cultural practice of hanging those who do such things. So you build your fire and we will build our gallows beside it.

      (Very badly remembered from the original and no, of course I don’t support the death penalty but the basic idea…..)

    6. The Common Humanist — on 9th January, 2008 at 4:00 pm  

      The basic idea is very good though.

      You mutilate young girls, we imprison/ imprison then deport or just throw away the keys (as applicable)

      This practice is just pure and simple barbarism. There really is no other word. Cultures and people who practice this are just……..[trails off in outraged state]

      p.s. I am sure that some Guardianista will be along any minute, probably Maddy of the Sorrows Bunting, telling us how we are rascist for condemning and criminalising and how we should try to understand more. And I bet she will blame the West or Israel….probably.

    7. El Cid — on 9th January, 2008 at 4:35 pm  

      Yes, yes, yes
      but… is male circumcision any better?

    8. Steve M — on 9th January, 2008 at 6:51 pm  

      Far, far, far better, El Cid.

    9. Don — on 9th January, 2008 at 7:04 pm  

      Male circumcision is far less harmful and arguably may have health benefits. But to cut into the flesh of anyone for non-medical reasons and without meaningful consent is assault at the very least. Parent or not. If a consenting adult thinks that their genitalia would be improved by being hacked at, knock yourself out.

      Hell, I get pissed off at parents who have their toddlers’ ears pierced.

    10. El Cid — on 9th January, 2008 at 7:04 pm  

      Why exactly?
      Coz it hurts more? Coz more cultures do it? Coz of the justifications employed?
      I’m not sure. I really ain’t. I think the emperor has no clothes.

    11. Steve M — on 9th January, 2008 at 7:10 pm  

      Coz it doesn’t particularly hurt, judging by the intensity and duration of crying which generally goes on for about 30 seconds. Coz anyone who has lived with a circumcised boy will tell you that it’s the least traumatic of a dozen other traumas he will experience in his first few months. Coz, unlike female ‘circumcision’ it doesn’t impede sexual performance or enjoyment.

      The Emperer has no clothes? Is he circumcised?

    12. Katy — on 9th January, 2008 at 7:28 pm  

      Ah, it may have “nothing to do with Islam”, but it is Muslims who do it and Muslims who tolerate it. I have yet to hear of an Anglican or Roman Catholic having it performed on them by their relatives, or members of their “community”.

      FGM is a cultural practice, not a religious one. Christian girls in Africa are circumcised as well.

    13. El Cid — on 9th January, 2008 at 8:04 pm  

      Steve, it’s not a compelling argument. I think male circumcision is tolerated due to an ancient cultural relativism or, in my case, couldntgiveashitism.
      In some ways it’s a bit like bullfighting, although it wouldn’t be hard to argue the point.

    14. Sunny — on 9th January, 2008 at 8:14 pm  

      I have yet to hear of an Anglican or Roman Catholic having it performed on them by their relatives, or members of their “community”.

      Clearly, you don’t read around much Trofim.

    15. Steve M — on 9th January, 2008 at 8:20 pm  

      Compelling argument for what, El Cid? I wasn’t arguing for male circumcision but answering your question about whether it was any better than female circumcision.

    16. Sid — on 9th January, 2008 at 8:22 pm  

      Male circumcision is far less harmful and arguably may have health benefits.

      I doubt male circumcision is harmful at all and actually has some startlingly good health benefits.

    17. Meh — on 9th January, 2008 at 8:22 pm  

      The last estimates of FGM in the UK found that around 50% occured in Anglican Christian sects from Africa. But I’d emphasise this isn’t a problem of Christianity, rather it’s a cultural practice in those regions of Africa.

    18. Don — on 9th January, 2008 at 8:29 pm  

      Argument ad ignorantium, Trofim.

      In a sense FGM is rather like child exorcism. The most primaeval barbarisms manage to persist as parasites upon religion, insinuating themselves into the danker corners. Unfortunately, they often seem to find an all too willing host.

    19. Don — on 9th January, 2008 at 9:05 pm  

      Sid,

      The health benefits are well evidenced, but mostly based on circumcision where hygenic conditions and availability of medical care are the norm. In a wider context, I’ve no time to check, but I’d suggest the risk of infection would counter that. (Based on vaguely remembering the conclusion I reached last time we touched on this subject.)

      If the reason for the operation is medical, that’s another question. I had my appendix out as a matter of routine when I was around 7. Now they tell me it might not have been redundant after all. Can’t say I resent it, they thought they were helping.

      About 20% of my male friends are circumcised, about 20% are not. About the other 60% I have no idea and no intention of finding out. A couple of them had it done later in life on medical advice. Which is certainly one point where it differs from FGM.

      But if it’s just a ritual, practioners can’t really claim retrospective credit for possible and unanticipated benefits in an historical blip of a context.

    20. douglas clark — on 9th January, 2008 at 10:01 pm  

      This is the new sexual relativism, is it?

      It is pretty clear that FGM is a deliberate attempt by men to make women more sexually pleasurable. I’d be particularily interested in any studies comparing the mental states of these women to eunochs.

      Whereas, whether right or wrong, circumcision is viewed as a health issue.

      Compare and contrast.

      It is barbaric nonsense, and it matters not one whit whether it is subscribed to by practicing Anglicans or Moslems.

      It is at this point I part company entirely with the idiotic feminists such as Germane Greer or Madeleine Bunting who think it is a cultural issue. It is not, it is bloody wrong.

    21. douglas clark — on 9th January, 2008 at 10:02 pm  

      Sorry, third para, ‘male circumcision’.

    22. Steve M — on 9th January, 2008 at 10:08 pm  

      It is pretty clear that FGM is a deliberate attempt by men to make women more sexually pleasurable.

      I don’t get this at all. Surely it’s to make the women less likely to seek sexual pleasure outside their marriages.

    23. douglas clark — on 9th January, 2008 at 10:22 pm  

      Steve M,

      Do I have to spell this out for you? No, figure it out for youself.

      Personally, I’d assume that a woman that cannot be stimulated is indeed unlikely to look for outside relationships. Indeed, half her existence has been cut away?

      The point is that the more extreme examples of FGM mean that a woman can’t get sexual pleasure, even with her husband. And you needed that explained to you?

      Jesus.

    24. Sid — on 9th January, 2008 at 10:35 pm  

      But if it’s just a ritual, practioners can’t really claim retrospective credit for possible and unanticipated benefits in an historical blip of a context.

      True, traditional practioners can’t take the credit for it being a reducer of AIDS. But it would be churlish to reject the idea that the reason it has become a ritual is becauuse it is one of those few traditions that have a direct physical benefit since. It is a tradition that has gained currency because its practide was seen as a way of improving hygiene and reducing infection.

      Anyway this thread is about FGM which is abominable and indefensible and not about male circumcision which is beneficial.

    25. El Ant-Eater — on 9th January, 2008 at 10:37 pm  

      beneficial? that’s convenient :)

    26. Sid — on 9th January, 2008 at 10:44 pm  

      If it’s abominable I’ll eat my helmet.

    27. El Cid — on 9th January, 2008 at 10:45 pm  

      bet you wish you could

    28. Sid — on 9th January, 2008 at 10:48 pm  

      judging by the level of spam mail you get, so must you.

    29. El Cid — on 9th January, 2008 at 10:50 pm  

      that’s marriage for you (only joking Mrs Cid)

    30. Steve M — on 9th January, 2008 at 11:12 pm  

      douglas clark, I fully understand that a woman who has suffered FGM is incapable (or less capable?) of experiencing sexual arousal and stimulation. However, you said that FGM is a deliberate attempt by men to make women more sexually pleasurable.

      I’m sorry if you think me dense but I don’t understand how a woman who is incapable of experiencing sexual pleasure could be more sexually pleasurable to a man.

    31. El Cid — on 9th January, 2008 at 11:14 pm  

      and if male circumcision is so beneficial, why aren’t all little boys sliced up?

    32. Clairwil — on 9th January, 2008 at 11:48 pm  

      ‘it is also done to demonstrate their virginity on their wedding night; and because “uncut” girls with the ability to enjoy love-making are considered more likely to be promiscuous, unhygienic, and prone to diseases such as Aids.’

      Yet ironically AIDS is transferred through blood much less likely in a normal vagina on first penetration.

      Katy
      ‘FGM is a cultural practice, not a religious one. Christian girls in Africa are circumcised as well.’

      Indeed the only circumcised women I know are Catholic.

      Douglas
      ‘it is pretty clear that FGM is a deliberate attempt by men to make women more sexually pleasurable’

      I don’t know that it is. The practice is mainly perpetuated by women. Various reasons are offered along the cleanliness, purity and indeed cleanliness lines.

      I don’t agree with Germaine Greer’s conclusions on the subject but the chapter of The Whole Woman dealing with it is worth reading for it description of the practice and the rituals and beliefs surrounding it. Not the definitive text by any means but a good start.

      I seriously doubt men care one way or the other as long as they’re getting their hole.

    33. Clairwil — on 9th January, 2008 at 11:55 pm  

      ‘the cleanliness, purity and indeed cleanliness lines.’

      Should read ‘marriageability, purity, cleanliness lines’

    34. douglas clark — on 10th January, 2008 at 12:25 am  

      Clairwil,

      I seriously doubt men care one way or the other as long as they’re getting their hole.

      Quite. Or, more importantly,

      The practice is mainly perpetuated by women. Various reasons are offered along the cleanliness, purity and indeed cleanliness lines.

      Which is an utter distortion, is it not? It is women being circumspect to male sexual arousal - what’s new?

      I do not give a fuck for arguements of cleanliness, specifically virginity, or any of the rest of the shit that surrounds that medieval viewpoint. It is, argueably, mothers or mothers in law controlling daughters. Which is something worth thinking about, is it not?

      Which seems to me to be the point.

      And I have never read the Whole Woman, because by that stage I’d accepted that Germaine Greer didn’t know her arse from her elbow. The Female Eunoch was OK, right enough.

      Well, you hate Terry Kelly, I think Madeleine Bunting is a candidate of equal or greater merit. Terry only infects Paisley, Madeleine does her best to infect the whole of the UK with her ridiculous ideas.

      Anyone that argues for cultural relativism, well, what more can I say?

    35. Desi Italiana — on 10th January, 2008 at 1:19 am  

      I find both male and female circumcision barbaric. Now, I know this offends religious sensibilities w/r/t male circumcision, but religiously symbolic justifications are irrelevant to me.

      And you can give all the arguments for the “health benefits” against male circumcision, but I nonetheless find it atrocious.

      My lovely baby boys (if I ever have any), will never have such a thing done to them, not as long as I am alive.

    36. Desi Italiana — on 10th January, 2008 at 1:25 am  

      Speaking of bodily mutilations without getting the consent of the victim, I wonder if I qualify. My mummy got my nose pierced at the tender age of 6 when we were in India, in some house out in the middle of nowhere in Gujarat(and what I suspect not in entirely hygenic conditions, ie a thin gold wire used to pierce the nose, and then ghee used to lubricate it and ward off infections, but maybe it was so unclean because I never got an infection).

      I didn’t know when it was about to happen. They plied me with laddoos, and everyone around me was smiling; my mother pulled me over to her lap, held my arms down, and this Uncle Ji swiftly and expertly came over… before I even realized what happened, it was all over. Everything happened to quickly for me to even get stunned.

      I left with more sweets in my hand, and everything was fine.

    37. Desi Italiana — on 10th January, 2008 at 1:26 am  

      “And you can give all the arguments for the “health benefits” AGAINST male circumcision, but I nonetheless find it atrocious.”

      I meant to say, “you can give me all the arguments for the ‘health benefits FOR male circumcision,” etc.

    38. Desi Italiana — on 10th January, 2008 at 1:28 am  

      “but maybe it WAS so unclean because I never got an infection”

      meant to say, “WASN’T so unclean…”

      So many typos… I think I am tired because I am overworked :(

    39. Steve M — on 10th January, 2008 at 2:18 am  

      “I seriously doubt men care one way or the other as long as they’re getting their hole.” - Clairil

      Excuse me but would you please qualify this to read ‘some men’. I wouldn’t dare make an equivalent generalisation about women and nor should I.

    40. Kulvinder — on 10th January, 2008 at 11:07 am  

      I don’t like the name female genital mutilation as its unnecesarily emotive and far to vague. Cutting off the prepuce is classed as FGM even though its directly comparable to male circumcision. I’d much rather have a situation where the type of procedure used is a basis for the description.

      Most people would after all say there is a substantial difference between a eunuch, or a castrato and a circumcised male. I find it difficult to comment on whats going on as im not really sure what the parents are doing.

      The discussion does raise some interesting moral dilemmas though. I for one would never have guessed that a surgical procedure would affect a virus as in the case of HIV. If the mechanism by which removal of the foreskin helps avoid infection is determined would there be widespreads calls for newborn girls to undergo a similar procedure?

      It’d be confusing (to say the least) to have to go to the same illiterate villagers and tell them to restart what they’d previously been told to stop doing. More than that it’d be potentially dangerous. They may get the feeling that ‘western science’ was ultimately contradictary and it wasn’t really worth their while listening to ‘western’ advice. The implications for HIV/AIDS are huge. The South African government let alone the populous weren’t exactly keen to face up to the AIDS pandemic.

      As with all cultural practises i think trying to change the behaviour of a group of people is a long process that takes decades. Personally i’d concentrate on eliminating the more extreme procedures rather than trying to wipe it all out in one go across the globe.

    41. Tim Worstall — on 10th January, 2008 at 11:20 am  

      Well, there is some evidence that male circumcision increases sexual pleasure for both parties:
      http://www.thebusiness.co.uk/trading-floor/436466/a-debate-on-circumcision.thtml
      I don’t insist that that is correct, only that it’s an interesting way opf looking at it.

    42. Kulvinder — on 10th January, 2008 at 12:31 pm  

      That argument works both ways though (and it has to be said its entirely male oriented). I don’t think the ability of a man to delay orgasm can definitively be linked to pleasure for a woman. If for example hes doing everything completely wrong his lasting longer isn’t exactly a good thing.

    43. bikhair aka taqiyyah — on 10th January, 2008 at 6:29 pm  

      Kulvinder,

      Forgive me for wondering but while cutting, removing, slashing and burning, the clitoral hood or the prepuce is similar to male circumcision the effects might be a bit different. I imagine the affect that it will have on a man would be having someone constantly giving you a hand job. It will get raw and sore after a while wouldnt it? THIS IS A SERIOUS QUESTION.

      Walking around with an unhooded clitoris sounds socially impairing.

    44. Kulvinder — on 10th January, 2008 at 7:43 pm  

      I have no idea what you just asked.

    45. JFRO — on 10th January, 2008 at 8:14 pm  

      Does it matter whether FGM is based on cultural or religious or personal or family beliefs or whether it is worse or better than male circumcision or whether it is done because of males or for males or by women or for women? All that discussion detracts from the point that we consider it wrong. Wrong morally and wrong legally. Now let’s make sure that the practice is totaly eliminated in the UK and that any prepetrators are properly punished.

    46. Galloise Blonde — on 10th January, 2008 at 8:31 pm  

      Thanks Rumbold :-)

    47. bikhair aka taqiyyah — on 10th January, 2008 at 9:05 pm  

      Kulvinder,

      This link is to a wiki entry on the clitorol hood CAUTION! There is an actual picture of a womans genital area.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clitoral_hood

      If you notice the prepuce covers the clitoris. WIthout it, it is uncovered and unprotected. That means it will be subject to constant friction that will make the clitoris raw and sore. That would be painful.

    48. El Cid — on 10th January, 2008 at 9:12 pm  

      JFRO,
      you see the problem I have is why be passionately against something yet tolerate virtually the same thing bar gender differences? Don’t make sense to me.

    49. Sid — on 10th January, 2008 at 9:44 pm  

      Gentiles do male circumcision too. In a big way. 81% of the boys in Missouri are circumcised. If that makes you feel any better.

    50. Hyam Noone — on 10th January, 2008 at 9:47 pm  

      For years I have making the case that “a multi-cultural society” is an oxymoron.
      Such a society does not exist anywhere.
      The U.K has made a terrible mistake in the name of “tolerance”.
      Newcomers to Britain should be told that they must obey all British laws, any violation of which will be subject to the full legal punishment.
      I can remember whne I was in my late teens when a couple of ponces from Malta were not snetenced to prison until the eir third or fouth conviction, the judge in each case more or less told them that they must really obey the law or face serious consequnces.
      It was n’t until the third or fourth offence that they were finally sent to prison.
      At tha time an Englishman would have been icarcerated on his first conviction.
      The judges more or less said that foreigners must be given time to adapt to English law.
      What crap.
      All children should periodically be examined at school by competent nurses, the parents of any girl found to have been mutilated should be incarcerated for the maximum time allowed by law and the child should be placed into state custody. It should be made known to the prison inmates why the parents have been imprisoned.
      Given the opportunity I would stop this practice with twelve months.
      As for respecting other peoples cultural traditions, I might tolerate them in their country of origin but not in mine.
      My cultural traditions are paramount in my own country.

    51. Desi Italiana — on 10th January, 2008 at 9:54 pm  

      “These women “elders” perform the crude operation for up to £40 a time, often on kitchen tables or floors, without anaesthetic, using filthy, blunt knives, razor blades or scalpels.”

      Interestingly, in Italy there are Ethiopian doctors (I THINK Ethiopian, if I remember correctly) to whom women go to (or bring the female youths to); some Italians argued that if the practice is going to persist, than might as well have a doctor whom women trust who will do it in more hygenic conditions, rather than having it done in unsanitary conditions.

      NOTE: Not saying that is right or wrong (i.e. I’m not making an “argument”, just pointing out what I observed in Italy).

    52. El Cid — on 10th January, 2008 at 9:57 pm  

      Sid,
      Whether your statement it true or not, I don’t care. Christians in west Africa do too.
      But I still think it is an abominable practice.
      Did you see me blame any particular religion or even an exotic atheism, for that matter?
      Chips away!

    53. Sid — on 10th January, 2008 at 10:00 pm  

      For MC, have a stiff drink, close your eyes and think of England. For FC, I dunno what to advise.

    54. El Cid — on 10th January, 2008 at 10:02 pm  

      I may regret putting this link up, as I know nothing about the org, but… inspired by Sid’s Missouri reference, I came across this:
      http://www.nocircmo.org/

    55. Sid — on 10th January, 2008 at 10:08 pm  

      That site is representative of the 19% who live in trailer parks with their sisters. :-o

    56. Refresh — on 11th January, 2008 at 12:02 am  

      Desi

      This

      “(i.e. I’m not making an “argument”, just pointing out what I observed in Italy).”

      made me smile, as I picture you being dragged into a Pythonesque brawl.

    57. Desi Italiana — on 11th January, 2008 at 1:21 am  

      Refresh:

      :)

    58. Kulvinder — on 11th January, 2008 at 5:32 am  

      If you notice the prepuce covers the clitoris. WIthout it, it is uncovered and unprotected. That means it will be subject to constant friction that will make the clitoris raw and sore. That would be painful.

      Thats exactly what happens with a penis. The nerve endings are all clustered around the penis head. Eventually theres a loss of sensitivity.

    59. Rumbold — on 11th January, 2008 at 1:13 pm  

      Galloise Blonde:

      “Thanks Rumbold”

      My pleasure Galloise Blonde/Joanne Payton/Ginger/ (any other names?).

    60. Trofim — on 11th January, 2008 at 3:43 pm  

      Re male circumcision. It used to be a common procedure in Britain. I was done by the GP on our kitchen table (so I’m told) in 1947. Does it make any difference sexually? How could I know? I’ve never known anything else, but then I’d much rather have a nice cup of tea than sex.

    61. douglas clark — on 12th January, 2008 at 12:08 am  

      And yet again we have a thread that comes to the comfortable conclusion: Trofim @ 60 comes to mind:

      I’ve never known anything else, but then I’d much rather have a nice cup of tea than sex.

      What! With Bromide in it?

      Desi @ 51.

      What is your problem? You say:

      Not saying that is right or wrong (i.e. I’m not making an “argument”, just pointing out what I observed in Italy).

      It is clearly wrong Desi. It is something that ought to separate the Desi Italiana’s of this world from the scum.

      And I think you are better than that comment. There is an issue of right or wrong, some feminists seem to be blind to that.

    62. Desi Italiana — on 12th January, 2008 at 1:06 am  

      Douglas:

      “It is clearly wrong Desi. It is something that ought to separate the Desi Italiana’s of this world from the scum.

      And I think you are better than that comment. There is an issue of right or wrong, some feminists seem to be blind to that.”

      Um, that was in reference to a comment on another thread by Bananabrain…

    63. Desi Italiana — on 12th January, 2008 at 1:07 am  

      Douglas:

      “There is an issue of right or wrong, some feminists seem to be blind to that.”

      On a serious note, I never said I was a feminist, and I don’t consider myself one, even if others label me as such.

    64. Desi Italiana — on 12th January, 2008 at 1:14 am  

      I’ve taken to classifying my comments because people pop off.

      CLASSIFICATION: QUESTION

      “It is clearly wrong Desi. It is something that ought to separate the Desi Italiana’s of this world from the scum.

      And I think you are better than that comment. There is an issue of right or wrong, some feminists seem to be blind to that.”

      Did you read my comment?

      Not really sure what in the hell you are talking about, as I stated the situation in Italy about doctors vs. going to old women because women have continued with this practice, no matter how much people are trying to restrict it/stamp it out.

      Here is my comment again, cut and pasted:

      ***

      ““These women “elders” perform the crude operation for up to £40 a time, often on kitchen tables or floors, without anaesthetic, using filthy, blunt knives, razor blades or scalpels.”

      Interestingly, in Italy there are Ethiopian doctors (I THINK Ethiopian, if I remember correctly) to whom women go to (or bring the female youths to); some Italians argued that if the practice is going to persist, than might as well have a doctor whom women trust who will do it in more hygenic conditions, rather than having it done in unsanitary conditions.

      NOTE: Not saying that is right or wrong (i.e. I’m not making an “argument”, just pointing out what I observed in Italy). [This is a sarcastic reference to Bananabrain's comment about my "argument" on another thread]

    65. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 14th January, 2008 at 12:52 am  

      If being cut reduces a man’s sensitivity during sex it will only enable us to hold out longer. I was cut because I kept getting infections there. I was only 4 years old and other than the lack of foreskin have some minor scars as it didn’t heal well. Never having known was it is to have one I’m not qualified to compare what it is to have one.

      I’ve yet to meet a woman that has been shocked or disappointed to find that I am cut and it is hasn’t affected my sex life as far as I know.

      I don’t understand how male and female circumcision are confused as there is no equivalent “Male Genital mutilation”.

      A comment above says that we must work to have this stamped out in Britain, this does not go far enough this must be stamped out across the world.

      Bollocks to cultural relativism on this one, it is a barbaric practise carried out by the uneducated and unenlightened.

      TFI

    66. Tim Shell — on 24th March, 2008 at 12:35 am  

      I am surprised at the appalling ignorance of the function of both male and female genitals expressed in the comments here.

      If a person is willing to spend 20 to 30 hours reading and researching on the internet they can find very specific answers to most of the questions regarding circumcision for men and women and all of these issues are related to genital design and function.

      Doesn’t it make the most sense to let the young children grow up and make their own decisions? Then they can be happy with what they decide to do with their own bodies. They can always remove what they don’t want later. But if it’s done for them, there’s no recourse if they want it back.

      Teenagers are making major decisions like having not having sex, having or not having babies, aborting or not aborting babies, surely they can decide how they’d like to have their genitals.

      It is abhorent that in the 21st century there is still so much ignorance regarding sex and genital function.

      Get educated!

      If you are open to truth and facts you will discover that routine circumcision of young boys and girls is never medically justified and limits the sexual pleasure of both parties in sex, especially as the partner age.

      TS

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