FGM – A Woman is Being Cut Every 11 Seconds

By: Rawan Khalil

Can you believe that a mother who supposedly “loves” her daughter would risk her daughter’s life, by inflicting excruciating pain on her to strip her from her from sexual pleasure just for the off chance that she will become sexually active? So the people who are entrusted with our protection can also be the people who inflict pain upon us. Many parents hide behind the façade that because they’re older, and they have more experience they know what is right for you, however they refuse to justify the choices they enforce upon you.

FGM- Female Genital Mutilation (is a humiliating acronym so we instead call it Female Genital Modification out of respect for the victims’ dignity and humanity). FGM is an acronym which I didn’t recognise until very recently, but yet managed to stalk my thoughts and torment my brain for days. FGM basically is the removal of the female external genitalia aka the clitoris. There are four types;

 

Type 1: clitoridectomy

This is the mildest form and it basically is the partial or complete removal of the clitoris, and let me tell you only a quarter of the clitoris is outside a woman’s body, and the rest is inside her body, yet someone is willing to remove it. The clitoris alone contains 8,000 nerves. Eight-thousand extremely sensitive nerve ends- this is double the nerve endings in the glands of a penis!

 

Type 2: excision

This is the removal of part of, or all of the clitoris as well as the inner labia (lips that surround the vagina), with or without the removal of the labia majora (outer labia).

 

Type 3: infibulation

This is the removal of the labia and the clitoris, then stitching together the edges of the vulva to impede sexual intercourse. It can sometimes be the reposition of the labia so it acts as a seal narrowing the vaginal opening.

 

Type 4:

This has no scientific name but it’s just forms of harmful procedures to the female genitals, like cutting, piercing, scraping or EVEN BURNING!

 

FGM is NOT consensual, it’s usually carried out by people who have no medical training using sharp objects like razors, knives, pieces of glass, scalpels or scissors- which are usually not sterilized. This pain strips them from all sexual pleasure. It’s done to girls aged 7-13. How much pain can they endure at the age? As a matter of fact, a girl can die during the cutting from the excruciating pain. Why would a mother sign her daughter up for that? Why is that considered a cultural norm in many countries? People justify such actions by things like: morality, maintenance of virginity before marriage, to maintain a girl’s sexuality as straight.

It basically turns a woman into a baby-machine, but you know what it can strip her even from the chance of having children. The infections it causes can result in infertility. FGM makes urination difficult, it makes sex painful, chances of infertility as well as problems during labor which can have devastating implication on the mother and the child. Aside from the catastrophic physical damage it leads to psychological and mental distress. Flashbacks of the trauma haunts the woman, as well as depression and anxiety. It was even said that this is worse than PTS.

 

I think it’s important to point out, that there is no script in the quran nor the bible that MANDATES FGM, however this is a cultural issue. In Egypt it has been practiced by Coptic Christians as well as Muslims. The problem is in the belief that this is right. Also, in Egypt this is not being stopped and is done by some doctors who doom women for their entire lives, however, we still don’t have legal, safe abortions.

 

This is done so girls only aspire to marriage, but we girls are way more than objects, we have the potential to be anything we want to be. I genuinely find it unbelievable that a mother is putting her daughter’s life on the line for the off-chance that she will become sexually active.

 

It’s very important to note that this has been acknowledged by Egyptian pop-culture in a negative light. A few years ago, Nelly Karim filmed a series called Zat ( ذات). There was a scene showing fgm, it was portrayed negatively and horrifically implying their opposition to this cultural norm.

 

I said this before and I will say it again: CULTURE changes, and if it’s hurting us we might as well change it!!

 

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