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Female Genital Mutilation: Repair and Hope

POLITICS, HEALTH
Dori Hartley | VenusBlogs Managing Editor 



We, who are a far distance away…we, who know not of what truly goes on in other cultures…we, who have only heard of or read about what could be considered the cruel and barbaric treatment of young women in faraway countries — these hear-says — they are realities, and the coldest reality of them all is the ritualistic practice of female genital mutilation.

Oh, it’s not some rare and hush-hush event — not when 140 million women worldwide have been subjected to having their clitoris and labia removed — as children. And why? Because the culture that readily takes a razor to the genitals of a four-year old girl (lemme guess — male dominated?) wants to make sure that as she grows to be a woman, she will not be able to enjoy sex, her libido will be null and void, and, because her interest in sex will be pulverized — she’ll stay chaste. Which, of course, will make her the perfect wife, right?

Now, just because this poor woman was victimized, does not mean she is without intelligence or information. Culture is one thing, and yes, people often times do have to bow down to the society they live in — but not always. Sometimes this kind of victimization does not always beat the woman down — not intellectually, at least.

Maybe having to fight her own mother as she held her down so that the neighborhood slasher could spread her legs apart and cut her to ribbons taught her a life lesson she couldn’t easily forget. Perhaps, because of this horrifying event, her anger and rage will boil inside her until she can no longer bear the idea that she had to endure this indignity.

And then, one day she’ll cry out in shame and in horror, and she’ll scream, “I want to be whole again! I want to be me!” And she’ll weep and weep because this can never be…what was taken from her cannot be replaced. She was robbed, destroyed, mutilated and abandoned by her own culture.

But… times have changed, and now there is hope for surgical reconstruction, in fact, clitoral and labial reconstruction after genital mutilation is now possible. It is only the beginning, and doctors are now realizing that this is a very important cause: to rebuild a woman’s clitoris is to restore her identity as a woman.

This means women who have never experienced sexual pleasure or orgasm can now climax regularly — self confidence is restored, something none of us should ever have to do without.

What was taken from these young women is, to me, a crime against humanity. Culture schmulture.

Leave it to a woman to get what she wants.