Some Western Feminists come out in favor of female genital mutilation. It’s about cultural sensitivity and respecting Muslim fundamentalists’ clitoris-phobia.
If you start off with the wrong axioms, your logical reasoning will lead you to the strangest places.
So for many post-modern feminists it’s ok to hack off female organs. It’s culture.
There is growing attention to female genital mutilation. Ayaan Hirsi Ali and other Muslim (and Ex-Muslim) feminists are trying to abolish the practice. Egypt banned the practice for instance.
This precedes Islam in many areas, so it’s not entirely fair to link it to Islam, per se. It just overlaps with the religion and the two reinforce each other. Muslim Fundamentalists don’t approve of the clitoris.
Do reformers find help from the West? No. Many Western Feminists actively oppose reforms.
Academia’s fixation on cultural sensitivity is changing the debate around female genital mutilation, with a growing number of professors and women’s rights activists becoming hesitant to condemn the practice.
Where feminists rallied against the operation from the pages of Ms. magazine in the 1970s, today’s critics are infinitely more cautious, with most suggesting that the Western world butt out until Muslim African communities are ready to reconsider what they are doing to their daughters.
Ah, here’s the issue. Feminism is a structuralist theory – so basically it’s wrong. But more seriously, it has a set of axioms about the structure of relationships in the world. For a number of reasons, academic feminism is strongly associated with post-modernism and post-colonialism.
Feminists link their structuralist problem with the structuralist problems of colonialism. Sandra Harding and others claim that the struggle of women against men is the same as the African governments against Europeans, and so forth. It’s more complicated in its idiocy of course, but all structuralist theories are.
So here is the prime example of how condescending academic feminists are to third world women. If you aren’t familiar with FGM by now:
This can involve the removal of both the clitoris and inner labia with crude instruments such as razors. The entire vagina is then sewn up with thread, or fastened with thorns.
In this way, a woman’s virginity — considered especially important by Muslim men–can be proven before her father is paid the bride price.
Ah yes, I cannot wait to see a sewn up thorny vagina on my wedding night.
“There are good reasons within the society for the operation to continue, but these are cultural reasons. They are not scientific ones,” says Prof. Boddy, author of Civilizing Women: British Crusades in Colonial Sudan.
Prof Boddy, of course, opposes the British colonial efforts to “civilize” the Sudanese. The axioms are simple. It starts off with the axiom that all cultures are equal. Colonialism tries to change native cultures, you see, so everything associated with colonialism is bad.
This included British attempts to outlaw FGM and slavery in the early 20th century. The British never had full control over Sudan so could not implement their imperial reforms to the extent they desired.
Sudan today has FGM and slavery.
To a degree, she also aligns feminists who are ardently opposed to the operation with British imperialists.
Today, Prof. Boddy says, the battle cry is human rights. Back then, it was colonial notions of civilizing the other.
Indeed. Sudan needs more imperialism. And apparently real feminism.
“The cultural context in which this practice takes place supports the idea of enclosing the body against harm,” she writes in her book. The social body is closed against intrusion from the outside by marriages between relatives. People marry cousins … The kinship system is quite closed. That image of the defensive society, the defensive social body, is carried over into this idea of defending the physical body.
“The idea of closing the womb, which is the most precious organ of the female body, is very highly supported by other kinds of practices.”
I can’t respond to cultural drivel. How about this? There is no such thing as culture. It’s just the conditioned behavior of apes.