A father in Georgia is accused of cutting his two-year-old daughter’s clitoris with a pair of scissors. The article isn’t specific about what exactly he cut or cut off, but Type II genital cutting (clitoridectomy, wherein the entire clitoris and sometimes part of the labia are cut off) is the most common form practiced in Ethiopia, where the man is from.
The father denies that he did the cutting, but the fact remains that someone either cut or cut off a two-year-old girl’s clitoris with a pair of scissors. This is horrifying, and keep in mind that this procedure has been performed on some 140 million women and girls world-wide. More than 90 percent of women in countries like Egypt, Ethiopia and Somalia have undergone it.
While we’re prepared (rightly) to prosecute people who cut the genitals of girls in this country, we’re also fully prepared to send at-risk girls back to their home countries to face abuse there. We aren’t doing enough to support organizations abroad that combat FGC in their own communities. And we’re too busy imparting our own anti-woman policies abroad, which kill and maim tens of thousands of women, to really take much of a moral high ground on this one.
If this man did indeed cut his daughter’s clitoris, he deserves to be punished for it (and this is a pretty good example of the idea that feminism/human rights ideology and cultural relativism become incompatible at some point). But we shouldn’t assume that this is an isolated case. Nor should we ignore the experiences of the hundreds of millions of women and girls who have had their genitals cut, and the 2 million girls who are at risk for genital cutting this year alone.
Thanks to Raging Red for the link.
*The article refers to it as “female circumcision.” I don’t believe that this term is at all accurate to the facts of this case, and I will not use it.