A paper written by American doctors is encouraging a less invasive way to mutilate female genitalia. The paper is called “Female Genital Alteration: A Compromise Solution”. It was published in the Journal of Medical Ethics.
The World Health Organization defines female genital mutilation or FGM as any procedure that alters or injures the female genitalia for non-medical reasons. The practice is recognized as a human rights violation internationally. It’s illegal in Canada and for good reason.
FGM is often described as female circumcision. It involves removing part or all of the clitoris and often the labia. It’s practiced in over 30 countries worldwide. Over 200 million women worldwide are affected. FGM can be grounded in Islamic practice or regional tribal culture. It’s done to make women appear more virginal and it’s done because female sexuality and desire is seen as something for men to control.
Now, these doctors have proposed a new surgery to pacify those that will cut their own daughters for tradition, culture and control. Just a snip here and a cut there into a perfectly healthy girl child for no medical reason whatsoever. The motivations of this doctor’s group are grounded in moral relativism. This is taken directly from the synopsis of the medical paper:
“Marriage is associated strongly with quality of life in these traditions. In some cultural milieus, a woman who has not undergone a procedure to alter her external genitalia may find it difficult to marry. Additionally, there may be an aesthetic component to labiaplasty as practiced in some societies. Contrary to the picture painted by many international organisations, then, it could be stated that “children [undergo FGA procedures] because their parents love them and want them to be happy in their adult lives”. By labelling FGA as female genital mutilation, our discussions run the risk of demonising important cultural practices”
The doctors are saying it’s intolerant to oppose FGM because it’s an important cultural practice. Taking Yazidi sex slaves is an important cultural practice if you ask someone who sympathizes with ISIS. What about child marriage? Some cultures consider that an important cultural practice. Where is the line?
In a study in Somalia, the country in the world with the highest prevalence of FGM, 85% of women had an intention to subject their daughters to an extensive FGM procedure, and 90% supported the continuation of the practice.
Cultures that practice FGM have no intention of changing what they do or how they do it. They don’t care if it’s cleaner, safer or less invasive. All we can do, in the West, is make sure we don’t tolerate this barbarism in any form here. People shouldn’t write manuals about the best way to beat your wife any more than a group of doctors should write guidelines about the best way to cut up girls.
A moral society shouldn’t give advice on the best way to do the wrong thing.