infibulation

anonymous asked:

The sad thing about pro-infibulation "discourse" is that it's been going on for decades and it's not really perpetuated by brain dead people on tumblr, it's something that actual anthropologist and academia (even renown ones) are totally pro because "it's their culture" and they don't understand how fucking privileged they are, if i remeber correctly a female anthropologist even got genital mutilation to show her support for the procedure, but the thing is she CHOSE to, unlike most of the girls-

and young women who are forced into it for entirely sexist reasons. If the preservation of a misogynistic, outdated culture is more important than the actual health and self determination of women than I don’t know what to say anymore. 

See, I am to some extent aware of the existence of a certain side of the Western intellectual establishment that’s sooooo liberal they circle all the way back to regressive, but I try to tune out as much of that stuff as I can unless I really have to so I was until now blissfully aware that A FEMALE ANTHROPOLOGIST UNDERWENT FMG but now I googled it and it’s like…. you know when you can feel your faith in humanity decliding by the second because this is what I am experiencing right now.

I’m just gonna say that 1. calling it “female circumcision” makes my blood boil, FGM entails the removal of a whole bodily organ (which incidentally is meant for female pleasure but sure, no harm meant whatsoever); 2. I’m wondering if this lady got her vagina sewn shut too, to be opened by her husband on her wedding night? that’s a thing that too happens! much wonderful diversity! it’s only cool to criticize the patriarchy when it’s Western; 3. I am getting War Flashbacks to that whole EU legislation debate about whether immigrants to EU countries should be allowed to keep their child brides because ~multiculturalism.

There’s being respectful and there’s having your entire head shoved so far up your ass you can’t even see daylight, and this “we shouldn’t do anything it’s not our place uwu” is in some ways is even worse than straight-up cultural imperialism, because it’s just as entitled and if possible even more self righteous. It’s just so - disgusting - how people refuse to understand that just because something is an accepted cultural practice it doesn’t make it above criticism. Slavery was an accepted cultural practice. Human sacrifice was. Hell, getting a pass on murdering your wife because she’d cheated on you used to be an accepted cultural practice in Italy up to thirty years ago, but that doesn’t mean it was right. I hope in about fifty years we can look back on these people and be glad we finally got over such regressive harmful do-gooder idiocy.

i literally know women my age who were infibulated how fucking dare you idiots think they could have opted out of it by ~changing their gender identity~
are we really gonna pretend trans men aren’t also oppressed by most of the things “cis” women are??

Kathleen Gough lists eight characteristics of male power in archaic and contemporary societies…:

the power of men

1. to deny women [our own] sexuality [by means of clitoridectomy and infibulation; chastity belts; punishment, including death, for female adultery; punishment, including death, for lesbian sexuality; psychoanalytic denial of the clitoris; strictures against masturbation; denial of maternal and postmenopausal sensuality; unnecessary hysterectomy; pseudolesbian images in media and literature; closing of archives and destruction of documents relating to lesbian existence];

2. or to force it [male sexuality] upon them [by means of rape (including marital rape) and wife beating; father-daughter, brother-sister incest; the socialization of women to feel that male sexual “drive” amounts to a right; idealization of heterosexual romance in art, literature, media, advertising, etc.; child marriage; arranged marriage; prostitution; the harem; psychoanalytic doctrines of frigidity and vaginal orgasm; pornographic depictions of women responding pleasurably to sexual violence and humiliation (a subliminal message being that sadistic heterosexuality is more “normal” than sensuality between women)];

3. to command or exploit their labor to control their produce [by means of the institutions of marriage and motherhood as unpaid production; the horizontal segregation of women in paid employment; the decoy of the upwardly mobile token woman; male control of abortion, contraception, and childbirth; enforced sterilization; pimping; female infanticide, which robs mothers of their daughters and contributes to the generalized devaluation of women];

4. to control or rob them of their children [by means of father-right and “legal kidnapping”; enforced sterilization; systematized infanticide; seizure of children from lesbian mothers by the courts; the malpractice of male obstetrics; use of the mother as the “token torturer” in genital mutilation or binding the daughter’s feet (and mind) to fit her for marriage];

5. to confine them physically and prevent their movement [by means of rape as terrorism, keeping women off the streets; purdah; foot-binding; atrophying of women’s athletic capabilities; haute couture; “feminine” dress codes; the veil; sexual harassment on the streets; horizontal segregation of women in employment; prescriptions for “full-time” mothering; enforced economic dependence of wives];

6. to use them as objects in male transactions [use of women as “gifts”; bride-price; pimping; arranged marriage; use of women as entertainers to facilitate male deals, e.g., wife-hostesses, cocktail waitresses required to dress for male sexual titillation, call girls, “bunnies,” geisha, kisaeng prostitutes, secretaries];

7. to cramp their creativeness [witch persecutions as campaigns against midwives and female healers and as a pogrom against independent “unassimilated” women; definition of male pursuits as more valuable than female within any culture, so that cultural values become embodiment of male subjectivity; restriction of female self-fulfillment to marriage and motherhood; sexual exploitation of women by male artists and teachers; the social and economic disruption of women’s creative aspirations; erasure of female tradition]; and

8. to withhold from them large areas of the society’s knowledge and cultural attainments [by means of noneducation of females (60% of the world’s illiterates are women); the “Great Silence” regarding women and particularly lesbian existence in history and culture; sex-role stereotyping which defines women from science, technology, and other “masculine” pursuits; male social/professional bonding which excludes women; discrimination against women in the professions].

— 

Adrienne Rich, “Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence”

i’ve never snapped while reading an intellectual document before, but here we are

anonymous asked:

how do I explain to my straight best friend (who has a very basic understanding of misogyny and patriarchy, but wants to learn more) how heterosexuality works under patriarchy, how women are socialized to adopt a submissive role in heterosexual relationships and how unhealthy most heterosexual relationships actually are? do you have any resources for that, and sexuality under patriarchy in general?

You could maybe start with Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence by Adrienne Rich. The most significant part, I think, is this:

Characteristics of male power include the power of men:

1. to deny women [our own] sexuality

[by means of clitoridectomy and infibulation; chastity belts; punishment, including death, for female adultery; punishment, including death, for lesbian sexuality; psychoanalytic denial of the clitoris; strictures against masturbation; denial of material and postmenopausal sensuality; unnecessary hysterectomy; pseudolesbian images in media and literature; closing of archives and destruction of documents relating to lesbian existence];

2. or to force it [male sexuality] upon them

by means of rape (including marital rape) and wife beating; father-daughter, brother-sister incest; the socialization of women to feel that male sexual “drive” amounts to a right, idealization of heterosexual romance in art, literature, media, advertising, and so forth; child marriage; arranged marriage; prostitution; the harem; psychoanalytic doctrines of frigidity and vaginal orgasm; pornographic depictions of women responding pleasurably to sexual violence and humiliation (a subliminal message being that sadistic heterosexuality is more “normal” than sensuality between women)];

3. to command or exploit their labor to control their produce

[by means of the institutions of marriage and motherhood as unpaid production; the horizontal segregation of women in paid employment; the decoy of the upwardly mobile token woman; male control of abortion, contraception, and childbirth; enforced sterilization; pimping, female infanticide, which robs mothers of daughters and contributes to generalized devaluation of women];

4. to control or rob them of their children

[by means of father-right and “legal kidnapping”; enforced sterilization; systematized infanticide; seizure of children from lesbian mothers by the courts, the malpractice of male obstetrics; use of the mother as “token torturer” in genital mutilation or in binding the daughter’s feet (or mind) to fit her for marriage];

5. to confine them physically and prevent their movement

[by means of rape as terrorism, keeping women off the streets; purdah, foot-binding; atrophying of women’s athletic capabilities; haute couture, “feminine” dress codes; the veil; sexual harassment on the streets, horizontal segregation of women in employment; prescriptions for “full-time” mothering; enforced economic dependence of wives];

6. to use them as objects in male transactions

[use of women as “gifts,” bride-price; pimping; arranged marriage; use of women as entertainers to facilitate male deals, for example, wife-hostess, cocktail waitress required to dress for male sexual titillation, call girls, “bunnies,” geisha, kisaeng prostitutes, secretaries];

7. to cramp their creativeness

[witch persecutions as campaigns against midwives and female healers and as pogrom against independent, “unassimilated” women; definition of male pursuits as more valuable than female within any culture, so that cultural values become embodiment of male subjectivity, restriction of female self-fulfillment to marriage and motherhood, sexual exploitation of women by male artists and teachers; the social and economic disruption of women’s creative aspirations; erasure of female tradition]; and

8. to withhold from them large areas of the society’s knowledge and cultural attainments

[by means of noneducation of females (60 percent of the world’s illiterates are women~; the “Great Silence” regarding women and particularly lesbian existence in history and culture; sex-role stereotyping that deflects women from science, technology, and other “masculine” pursuits; male social/professional bonding that excludes women; discrimination against women in the professions]

Information about the inadequacy and phallocentrism of sex education should be easy to find, there are a lot of articles written on that; I would just recommend getting one from a radical feminist and piv critical perspective.

You can talk about the risks and disadvantages of piv sex, like the fact that 75% of women do not orgasm during piv (I’ve seen some speculation that the number is actually even higher than that, but whatever the number in a given study, it is always the vast majority). Also, 75% of women experience pain during piv at some point during their lives. Then of course, there’s the whole reproductive aspect, the burden of which falls on women (the risk of pregnancy, the side effects of contraceptives, difficulty obtaining an abortion, etc.)

If your friend is receptive to all that then you could suggest some books for her. Some radical feminist books that critique sexuality under patriarchy are:

1. Sexual Politics by Kate Millett

2. Anticlimax: A Feminist Perspective on the Sexual Revolution by Sheila Jeffreys

3. Intercourse by Andrea Dworkin

For the non-sexual aspect of the dynamics in heterosexual relationships, I recommend this article called “Children don’t ruin women’s careers–husbands do,” which is about a study that found that gender roles are still strong in the 21st century, and most men still expect their wives to do the majority of the housework and child care.

I hope that helps!

dailymail.co.uk
Women with vaginal piercings to be classed as having suffered female genital mutilation says Department of Health

Under new NHS rules to be introduced next month, any woman whose labia or clitoris has been pierced must be recorded as suffering FGM, a procedure which is illegal in the UK.

First article I’ve been able to post in a month, the new effort to put women who made their own decisions in the same categories as those who have been infibulated. Pretty insulting on both sides.

Even the more female supremacist leaning women on bookface responding to this are getting sick of the victim politics.

In her essay “The Origin of the Family,” Kathleen Gough lists eight characteristics of male power in archaic and contemporary societies that I would like to use as a framework “men’s ability to deny women sexuality or to force it upon them; to command or exploit their labor to control their produce; to control or rob them of their children; to confine them physically and prevent their movement; to use them as objects in male transactions; to cramp their creativeness; or to withhold from them large areas of the society’s knowledge and cultural attainments.”(14) (Gough does not perceive these power-characteristics as specifically enforcing heterosexuality; only as producing sexual inequality ) Below, Gough’s words appear in italics; the elaboration of each of her categories, in brackets, is my own.

Characteristics of male power include the power of men:

1. to deny women [our own] sexuality

[by means of clitoridectomy and infibulation; chastity belts; punishment, including death, for female adultery; punishment, including death, for lesbian sexuality; psychoanalytic denial of the clitoris; strictures against masturbation; denial of material and postmenopausal sensuality; unnecessary hysterectomy; pseudolesbian images in media and literature; closing of archives and destruction of documents relating to lesbian existence];

2. or to force it [male sexuality] upon them

by means of rape (including marital rape) and wife beating; father-daughter, brother-sister incest; the socialization of women to feel that male sexual “drive” amounts to a right,(15) idealization of heterosexual romance in art, literature, media, advertising, and so forth; child marriage; arranged marriage; prostitution; the harem; psychoanalytic doctrines of frigidity and vaginal orgasm; pornographic depictions of women responding pleasurably to sexual violence and humiliation (a subliminal message being that sadistic heterosexuality is more “normal” than sensuality between women)];

3. to command or exploit their labor to control their produce

[by means of the institutions of marriage and motherhood as unpaid production; the horizontal segregation of women in paid employment; the decoy of the upwardly mobile token woman; male control of abortion, contraception, and childbirth; enforced sterilization; pimping, female infanticide, which robs mothers of daughters and contributes to generalized devaluation of women];

4. to control or rob them of their children

[by means of father-right and “legal kidnapping”;(16) enforced sterilization; systematized infanticide; seizure of children from lesbian mothers by the courts, the malpractice of male obstetrics; use of the mother as “token torturer”(17) in genital mutilation or in binding the daughter’s feet (or mind) to fit her for marriage];

5. to confine them physically and prevent their movement

[by means of rape as terrorism, keeping women off the streets; purdah, foot-binding; atrophying of women’s athletic capabilities; haute couture, “feminine” dress codes; the veil; sexual harassment on the streets, horizontal segregation of women in employment; prescriptions for “full-time” mothering; enforced economic dependence of wives];

6. to use them as objects in male transactions

[use of women as “gifts,” bride-price; pimping; arranged marriage; use of women as entertainers to facilitate male deals, for example, wife-hostess, cocktail waitress required to dress for male sexual titillation, call girls, “bunnies,” geisha, kisaeng prostitutes, secretaries];

7. to cramp their creativeness

[witch persecutions as campaigns against midwives and female healers and as pogrom against independent, “unassimilated” women;(18) definition of male pursuits as more valuable than female within any culture, so that cultural values become embodiment of male subjectivity, restriction of female self-fulfillment to marriage and motherhood, sexual exploitation of women by male artists and teachers; the social and economic disruption of women’s creative aspirations;(19) erasure of female tradition];(20) and

8. to withhold from them large areas of the society’s knowledge and cultural attainments

[by means of noneducation of females (60 percent of the world’s illiterates are women~; the “Great Silence” regarding women and particularly lesbian existence in history and culture;(21) sex-role stereotyping that deflects women from science, technology, and other “masculine” pursuits; male social/professional bonding that excludes women; discrimination against women in the professions]

These are some of the methods by which male power is manifested and maintained. Looking at the schema, what surely impresses itself is the fact that we are confronting not a simple maintenance of inequality and property possession, but a pervasive cluster of forces, ranging from physical brutality to control of consciousness, that suggests that an enormous potential counterforce is having to be restrained.

Some of the forms by which male power manifests itself are more easily recognizable as enforcing heterosexuality on women than are others. Yet each one I have listed adds to the cluster of forces within which women have been convinced that marriage and sexual orientation toward men are inevitable, even if unsatisfying or oppressive components of their lives. The chastity belt; child marriage; erasure of lesbian existence (except as exotic and perverse) in art, literature, film; idealization of heterosexual romance and marriage–these are some fairly obvious forms of compulsion, the first two exemplifying physical force, the second two control of consciousness. While clitoridectomy has been assailed by feminists as a form of woman-torture,(22) Kathleen Barry first pointed out that it is not simply a way of turning the young girl into a “marriageable” woman through brutal surgery; it intends that women in the intimate proximity of polygynous marriage will not form sexual relationships with each other; that–from a male, genitalfetishist perspective–female erotic connections, even in a sex segregated situation, will be literally excised.

—  Adrienne Rich, Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence

anonymous asked:

What do you think of intersectional feminists and radfem who say that FGM isn't that "bad"? They say it is ethnocentric to criticize it and that if you do criticize it even if you're a WoC then you must have internalized western misogyny. They also say that victims who speak against it erase and stigmatize women who feel "empowered" by it. I don't know where we're going with this cultural relativism, but it sounds very essentialist (logical fallacy) thus racist and pro-patriarchy to me.

I have to tell you, I’ve never heard any of those things said.  I find that shocking.  And desperately ignorant.  Funny, isn’t it, how this sounds exactly the pro-prostitution arguments floating around out there.  Who gives a shit about the people who articulate their pain!  Racist!  Colonialist!  Empowered!  Slut Walk!   It is nonsense.  Nonsense.  And who are these people saying that girls are empowered by FGM?  It is performed on girls from the ages of 3-14.  Is someone really asserting that a 4-year old is EMPOWERED by having her clitoris hacked off?

One of the main ways that I avoid ethnocentricism in my life is to listen to females who are in the trenches, doing the work.  Its that simple.   I listen to people who are actually being affected and I try to understand why the issues are what they are.

“Female genital mutilation has nothing to do with culture, tradition, or religion. It is torture and a crime. Help us to put an end to this crime.” — Waris Dirie, Survivor of FGM, UN FGM Ambassador, Founder of the Desert Flower Foundation and former Supermodel

That is call for help.  It is calling FGM what it is.  Torture.  And I’m not here to pretend that we don’t have a responsibility to assist in ending torture of women.

This beautiful woman’s name is Efua Dorkenoo.

She died in October of last year and was generally regarded as the mother of the worldwide movement to end FGM.

She was first exposed to FGM in the 1970s when she witnessed the agonies of a woman who had undergone infibulation, as she struggled to give birth. To Efua, FGM was the most inhumane practice she had ever seen, and the failure of doctors to help women who had undergone it, or even to acknowledge it, made them complicit in the suffering.

She began campaigning against the practice in the early 80s, while working for the charity Minority Rights Group. She went on to research FGM at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and gained a master’s degree in 1982. Under the auspices of the MRG, Efua published the first report on the subject in Britain. This helped her secure the necessary funds to set up the Foundation for Women’s Health, Research and Development (Forward), in 1983. It aimed to safeguard the sexual and reproductive health and rights of African women and girls, with a focus on the abolition of FGM. Within two years of the organization’s arrival, and with Efua’s work acting as a catalyst, FGM was made illegal in Britain, with the passing of the Prohibition of Female Circumcision Act in 1985.

Her struggle was not without personal consequences. By taking on an age-old custom, she often provoked the wrath of traditionalists. Efua’s determination to end FGM, however, did not allow her to slow down. She often remarked that “there is no time to rest while children are being abused”.

There is a grassroots movement against FGM that has been in place for more than 40 years across Africa and the Middle East, it is spreading to Malaysia and it is also taking root in the West amongst communities who practice FGM.  These women want this practice to stop.  Have they internalized “western misogyny” too or are they fighting for their bodily autonomy?  Because when you actually listen, it sure sounds like the latter to me.

FGM is thought to have affected 20 million plus women in at least 28 countries in Africa alone.  This isn’t about cultural practices, this is about human rights abuses.  And these people are saying to turn away from these women?  To not acknowledge this struggle?  Funny, that this issue that affects women of color almost exclusively, we are being told to ignore.  Because empowerment!  Because women of color who are struggling with this have NOTHING to say.  Because women of color who are fighting this haven’t been trying to have their voices heard for decades?

Please watch THIS.  I think the answer to your question is, once again, listening to the people who are directly impacted, not the people trying to silence them.

bbc.co.uk
Gambia's Yahya Jammeh bans female genital mutilation - BBC News
The Gambian president bans female genital mutilation - in a country where 76% of women get the risky procedure.

The Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh has banned female genital mutilation (FGM) saying it is not required in Islam.
The announcement at a rally was met with a huge applause, AFP reports.
Three-quarters of women in the mostly Muslim country have had the procedure, according to Unicef.
In the procedure’s most severe form, after removing the sensitive clitoris, the genitals are cut and stitched closed so that the woman cannot have or enjoy sex.
FGM, also known as female circumcision, can be extremely painful, lead to tetanus, gangrene, HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C and effective sterilisation.

Types of FGM
•Clitoridectomy - partial or total removal of the clitoris
•Excision - removal of the clitoris and inner labia (lips), with or without the outer labia
•Infibulation - cutting, removing and sewing up the genitalia
•Any other type of intentional damage to the female genitalia (burning, scraping et cetera)

anonymous asked:

Please do tell exactly how women "have more rights than men."

The right to genital integrity. MGM is completely legal worldwide, while FGM was banned in western countries pretty much the same afternoon they first learned of it. In third world countries they mutilate all children, male and female, yet no one is campaigning for banning the genital mutilation of children, just girls. There was a feminist who said that if we mutilated boys it wouldn’t last five minutes let alone 4000 years, this is the attitude feminists have, that men are idolised and cared for while women are disposable when the exact opposite is the case and always has been. It’s the reason we’re not extinct. This woman was Jewish by the way.

There are various forms of MGM and FGM. They are none of them trivial, look up penile subincision if you have some bleach to hand. The shaft of the penis is slit through the urethra, to make the penis resemble the “purer” vagina. Apparently if feels good for the woman, reminds me of when Sharon Osbourne declared that a woman cutting off and destroying her husband’s penis for asking for a divorce was “fabulous”, the whole studio of hundreds of women were laughing their heads off. How did women come to be known as the empathetic ones? The most common form of the latter is not, as people like to believe, infibulation, but the equivalent of the most common form of MGM, removal of the clitoris or clitoral hood. Still barbaric, it’s bad enough without using the victims as a weapon against men who have nothing to do with it. Even in those cultures it’s the women who are in charge of mutilating their daughters, the fathers usually don’t want it to happen. There is no such care towards boys. There are countries that charities have succeeded in advocating against FGM, those same charities support the mutilation of men and boys though, in Kenya they hunt men down and cut them against their will.

The foreskin is an important part of the penis and has up to 20,000 nerve endings. and it’s not “just a flap of skin”, removing it doesn’t cure anything. Even if it did, we don’t cut out newborn girls’ breast buds to prevent their 1 in 8 chances of getting breast cancer. Prevention of penis cancer is often used as an excuse, a man is more likely to get breast cancer than penis cancer. As for UTI’s, girls get antibiotics and boys get half the skin of their penis amputated? Not to mention that a shitty nappy on an open wound isn’t going to help.

Reproductive rights. Men have none, women get to decide whether she wants to be a parent but men do not have an equivalent right not to be forced to pay for it even if he was raped. There have been female rapists who were not only allowed to keep the resulting child but were allowed to sue the victim for child support and win. I’m pretty sure they’re more likely to win than a rapist suing for custody, which is an unintended oversight, a loophole, not a legal right granted to rapists.

Speaking of which, the right to be legally recognised when they are raped by women in any country would be nice. For a group so dedicated to declaring they are strong and men are fragile, feminists have an odd belief that men just shrug off being raped by women. As if real harm can only be perpetrated by men. It’s actually easier for a woman to rape a man than the other way around because of how the penis responds to stimulus regardless of the man’s state of mind. So many people think of erections as consent in itself (even if he’s unconscious?) yet don’t think that women lubricating during rape means it wasn’t rape. I’ve seen what it can do to men, what having nowhere to go does to them, what being threatened with a false accusation if he reports does to them. My sister and I know of 17 men that mother raped, most of them are dead, one was a child who developed traumatic mutism afterwards. He was my brother’s father. Now our dad is dying as well, and mother gets to keep working as a bloody dominatrix (seriously, no one was surprised when she told us, she was disappointed in our lack of shock). As if the legal system wasn’t bad enough, nature gives her a pussy pass as well.

The right to vote without having to sign up for selective service. Women got the vote as soon as more than half of them agreed they wanted it. Unlike men they didn’t have to die in their millions to get it, and still don’t have any responsibilities to go with that right. Contrary to feminist belief, a right is not a gift invented for the sole purpose of bestowing men with power and control over women, but a privilege bought and paid for by the responsibilities that go with it. For example, being the head of the family came with being obligated to protect (even at the cost of their lives) and financially support their families, even if they worked (and women did work, there were female master blacksmiths in the middle ages, they were never legally excluded, they either didn’t want to or didn’t know they could, rarely were they forced not to by their families, and not just fathers).

Most men would risk their lives to save a woman they don’t even know and what do they get for it? Hatred and demonisation, propaganda about how all men are rapists or could be if given the opportunity. Bullshit studies with circular citations, or ones listing blogs and opinion pieces as “evidence”, small sample sizes, manipulated results (such as examiners deciding for the participants whether they were raped or not, an interesting parallel), ambiguous questions, combining male and female victims and publishing the figure as the number of female victims only, avoiding asking the sex of the perpetrator, not considering male victims of women to be victims as all and on and on it goes.

You can give as many anecdotes about men being Satan incarnate as you like, but the law is where it really counts.

Name me one right men have that women do not. Especially one that justifies ignoring all of the above while demonising the only people who give a toss about men. Because if you don’t hate men or blame them for all of the world’s problems and see them as wife battering, child abusing, woman hating rapists, you must hate women. Because feminism.