Reaction Paper IV
FGM: Female Genital Mutilation
Female genital mutilation has been practiced in country's around
the world for thousands of years, and will continue to be practiced,
until those that practice it decide to stop.
Many people who live in country's that are more industrialized,
like the U.S.A., tend to think that no ones believes on right and wrong
is correct, except their own. That is what comes up in conversation
about FGM. Personally, I am not pro-FGM when it comes to its practice.
However, I believe people who want to practice it, should be allowed to,
without a bunch of "activists against the practice of FGM" telling them
to stop, or even "informing" them about the potential health risks. The
reason I am against even explaining the health risks to the people that
practice this is, because whenever you have people that believe enough in
something to base their entire life around it, there is nothing you can
do or say that will get them to change; it would be like talking to a
wall. They will only change when the people themselves that live by
these traditions get fed up with all the side-effects caused by the
practice of FGM. It is every person and community's right to decide for
themselves, without the intervention of outsiders, to decide to do
whatever they want to do to their bodies and minds.
I know, "these women that are being circumcised, aren't freely
deciding on this to be done to them, they don't know any better, they've
been brainwashed". I have two responses to this. The first is, if
they have grown up in this culture all their lives, and this procedure
has been done to their mothers, sisters, great grandmothers, etc. on the
fear that if it is not done, something tearable will happen, there is no
way they would not want it done; no matter how much pain it causes, and
besides those that are able to break away from the thought of why it must
be done, will do so with or without the help of outsiders. But if
they're that committed to the tradition, they will change for no one.
The second point is, when you decide you are going to educate these
people about how their traditions are wrong and unhealthy, that is saying
you know better. You may think they are stupid for preforming FGM, but
you must remember, they think you are just as stupid for not performing
it. Perhaps, these people that perform FGM have philosophy classes too,
where they decide if they should try and make the western countries, like
the U.S.A., see the great health risk they are taking when they do not
perform these circumcisions; "after all that is probably why babies die
and men are impotent in those countries".
That is why I believe it is wrong to intervene, in any way when it
comes to FGM. These people believe what they are doing is right and OK,
thus, what we do is wrong and not OK; to them we are just as wrong, as
they are to us.