Saturday

Designer Vagina : Don't Mum the Monologue


In a society that so loudly outcries on behalf of millions of girls and women in 28 countries who've been forced to have their genitals mutilated, a new cosmetic surgery craze in the U.S. and Britain chops, slices, and sews up "downtown" primarily to make the kitty pretty. Really, who could have imagined East meeting West on such intimate terms?


The suspect new surgery is called elective genitoplasty. It usually entails shortening or changing the shape of a woman's outer lips (the labia). The surgery also could include reducing the hood of skin covering the clitoris, or even shortening the vagina itself.

Some patients cite "lifestyle restrictions" as the impetus for pursuing genitoplasty, say researchers in this British Medical Journal article. However, the BMJ -- which does not condone elective genital plastic surgery -- warns that it can damage the all-important nerve endings that allow the sensation of pleasure.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, sometimes deadly female genital cutting (FGC) is practiced in 28 African countries. These dangerous and often unwanted circumcisions also are customary among women and girls in some Middle Eastern countries including Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Israel, as well as among some Muslim groups in Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan and India. Some immigrants practice various forms of FGC even in the United States and in European nations. Here's video of the ritual in Africa...


FGC is considered an important rite of passage into womanhood. It's closely linked to a woman’s/girl’s sense of purity, as uncircumcised women are considered unclean. Other rationale for it include beliefs that FGC enhances male sexuality; curbs female sexual desire; has aesthetic benefits; and prevents promiscuity because the clitoris is considered an unhealthy, unattractive and/or lethal organ.

Tools used for female circumcisionSo much talk of cutting one's "cookie" makes that Courtship of Eddie's Father theme song play on loop in my head. In my mind, I'm singing, People let me tell you 'bout my best friend. She's a... In other words,
Come near my "best friend" with these evil tools and it'll be a battle to the bitter end!

Links:

~ BBC story looks at the practice and complications of FGC, clitoris removal and more in the Sudan

~ Afrol News covers Ethiopian women who say "no more!"

~ Association for Genital Integrity classifies the four distinct types of female circumcision practiced around the world

~ Vagina Monologues [Wiki], the Obie Award-winning play, includes a sketch highlighting the tragedy of female genital mutilation (FGM)



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2 comments:

hamsammich said...

Very nice piece. Love the electric pussy, too! hehe

Paula Neal Mooney said...

Oh God.

I can't even watch that video. Is it horrific?

And the elective surgery we're undertaking here in the US, I admit it sounds tempting.

But I read about it right next to another news piece about suffering around the world -- juxtapositioned just as thought-provokingly as you've combined the two here.

And it mad me feel like us Americans can be such a selfish lot.

I pray to God we all change and have more compassion for the hurting.

On another note, did Robin Thicke come play at the Riv this weekend?

Did you see it?

Paula

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