The outrage that surrounds female genital mutilation is widespread and understandable. The procedure is archaic and has been outlawed in most countries, yet millions of girls are taken to homes and hospitals during their spring and summer breaks, mutilated, and then tied up for the week(s) before being unbound and sent back to school, dealing with their trauma in silence. Thousands of young girls and women die each year due to complications – shock, hemorrhaging, and infection.
There is, comparatively, little outrage surrounding male genital mutilation. This kind of circumcision is equally as archaic, and has also been outlawed in many countries, yet the tradition still persists, as doctors talk their patients into strapping their baby boys down in plastic contraptions and being mutilated, before being sent home to work past the trauma enough to maybe conquer breast feeding. Thousands of male infants die every year due to complications – shock, hemorrhaging, and infection.
Given the attitudes when presented with the two elective procedures, I wonder where the hatred of FGM really stems from – and in this I mean both in general and as a comparison to the acceptance they have of and for male circumcision. Is it a cultural thing? Do people hate it because it’s seen as something “other”, barbaric, people do to their little girls to dissuade them from having sex? That’d be very weird considering the fact that MGM was proposed and made a mainstream medical necessity by Dr. Kellogg for the exact same reason. Is FGM hated because women are already subjected to such inequity and subjugation in life? Or do the masses only detest FGM because a medical doctor didn’t present the option as “the best way to curb sexual desire, self-pollution, and a good way to keep one clean” the way they did in the Canada, Australia, the UK, and United States when selling male genital mutilation? Why do the same people who shy away from scientific data cling to the admittedly sketchy claims (the CDC’s own studies say that the findings in favor of circumcision are largely inconclusive if not entirely incorrect) that purport the benefits of slicing open one’s penis? Why pretend that there’s a difference between the two when they’re both harmful tools of oppression? I know badly aging people like their face cream, but is a fear of wrinkles really enough to advocate cutting?