you for your note to FEMINIST.COM.
First I want to point out that
just because female genital
mutilation is "willingly performed
in nations like Egypt and Somalia"
does not mean that it is "right."
It is not only "westerners"
that condemn this horrific experience,
but people from those countries
where it is widely spread. Most
famously--Efua Dorkenoo, Lydia
Oluloro, Fauzia Kazinga. By
describing this as "circumcision"
rather than "mutilation" it
equates it with male circumcision.
The two procedures are actually
entirely different as are the
potential outcomes. Many women
never have sexual pleasure as
a result, others develop severe
One reason that this procedure
has been linked to Islam is
1.) because it is common in
Islamic countries and 2.) because
many have wrongly tried to justify
this procedure by linking it
to the Koran. In fact, this
is just one more example of
women not having control over
their bodies and where our "preservation"
is determined by a man. Many
women are coerced into supporting
this procedure even if they
don't want their daughters or
friends or nieces to have it
for fear of social censure.
What really needs to change
is that women must no longer
have their value determined
by their sexual purity.
For more on this topic, I suggest
that you read Fauzia Kasinga's
book and Cutting the Rose
by Efua Dorkenoo available at
Bookstore under "Violence
Against Women". Thanks - Amy