Female Genital Mutilation Essay

1780 Words 8 Pages
I decided to do this paper in an effort to try and become less ethnocentric and find an appreciation of cultural practices which were not of my own. I feel I have found a deeper appreciation for many African cultural practices, but my research of African culture has exposed me to many practices that seem inhumane and barbaric. One cultural practice that I just cannot bring myself to agree with is the treatment and oppression of African women by men. Through my studies on Female Genital Mutilation, I had hoped to find a valid explanation for this procedure that is so frequently being done to women and female children. Instead, I found something deep within myself that wishes this mutilation would come to an end. Allow me to …show more content…
(Prisoners of Ritual. 1989. pg. 33) The legs of the woman are then bound together from the ankle to the knee until scar tissue forms, up to 40 days. The surgery usually occurs between the age of one week and fourteen years. It is generally a midwife who performs the surgery. A razor blade or kitchen knife is used, usually without the use of anesthesia. A single blade is often used on several girls. "Clitoridectomy appears to have been restricted to those of high social rank. Infibulation seems to have been reserved for slave girls. This was to prevent their getting pregnant. An infibulated virgin fetched a far higher price on the slave market." (Prisoners of Ritual. Pg. 28)

Female Genital Mutilation most frequently occurs in Africa, Malaysia, and the Middle East. In Africa, infibulation is often seen in Ethiopia, Kenya, Egypt and all along the coast of the red seas. Some say the practice originated in Africa, others say it started with the Muslims. We really don't know for sure when it began. It is assumed to date back thousands of years. We do not know why the practice began either, although we do have theories. One theory is that it began as a need for population control due to the lack of water when these areas became desert. It has also been said that it was as a result of primitive man's desire to gain mastery over the female sexual function. (Prisoners of Ritual. Pg. 28)

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