Jun 18, 2010
commented on Female Genital Mutilation at Cornell University
"The Rape of Innocence: Female Genital Mutilation and Circumcision in the USA" is my bio and gentle rant on this subject - It took me ten years to edit the fury out of my heart and the book so it could be published. FGM used to be quite common in the US. No, i'm not of African descent, but WASP - English & French - born & raised in Kansas. I've met other women who were c'd. It was not rare. Blue Cross Blue Shield covered clitoridectomies until 1977.
There is WAY too much preoccupation in the medical community on the genitals of tiny children. Medicine is a convenient career for people who care overly much about children's genitals. And there is WAY too much "fanning the flames of neuroses" over the appearance of children's genitals. Genital are not designed for eyes to look at; they are meant to feel good. Cutting makes scar tissue and then genitals feel icky, rather than good. Cutting is abusive and counterproductive.
Leave the fate of children's genitals to their owners... not parents or MDs.
My concerns: I am relatively certain if male circumcision was not practiced in the US, then I wouldn't have been circumcised, these little girls we are freaking out over at Cornell wouldn't have been "genitally reduced" and most of the little boys in the US wouldn't have had their foreskins cut off (and sold to pharmaceutical and cosmetics companies), because genital interference and alteration would be the LAST thing on any normal, natural, healthy adult mind.
Little children who are cut (or sexually abused in other ways), have no words for their distress and so they "act out" - dramatize - what happened to them by cutting others. Monkey see, monkey do. Circumcision makes circumcisers; mutilation makes mutilators. To end the cycle of abuse, we have to end the abuse of everyone, of both genders and learn to accept diversity with peaceful minds. It's not rocket science. As long as someone sick can justify cutting anyone's genitals, they will cut and cut and cut. It would be better to get them help when they indicate they might want to take a knife to human flesh. The compulsion to cut human flesh is a disease... the unfortunate remnant of Nazi experimentation when thousands of German MDs immigrated to the US in Operation Paperclip after WWII & taught cruelty to US medical students.
All that said, my main concern is not the physical but the psychological impact. A knife to the genitals significantly diminishes the quality of life for any person who has been cut. Sensual comfort is gone. PTSD is common. Suicidal ideation is common. Night terrors & nightmares. Self-hatred. Feelings of powerlessness, learned helplessness. All sorts of ills are possible due to negative decisions made by the very young child.
Mutilation is mega-rape, rape by knife. Rape may or may not be any individual MD's intention, but rape is how those who were genitally cut depict it.
It's terrible cruelty, all genital cutting.