May 8, 2010

"If we just told parents, 'No, this is wrong,' ... they may take their daughters back to their home countries, where the procedure may be more extensive cutting..."

"... and may even be done without anesthesia, with unsterilized knives or even glass. A just-say-no policy may end up alienating these families, who are going to then find an alternative that will do more harm than good."

And so the American Academy of Pediatrics' committee on bioethics has issued a policy statement recommending an exception to the criminal law against "any nonmedical procedure performed on the genitals" of a girl. A small cut of some kind... for the greater good. A ritual nick is that's "supposed to be as benign as getting a girl's ears pierced. It’s taking a pin and creating a drop of blood."

Creating a drop of blood.

48 comments:

Alex said...

Honestly if the Islamics want to do their thing - who are we to judge?

Jason said...

If a non-Jewish man wishes to convert to Judaism, if he is not circumsized, then Jewish law requires him to become circumsized as part of the conversion.

If he is ALREADY circumsized, as is common in this country, then traditionally, he still gets a poke with a pin in a ritual drawing of blood.

Jews, naturally, are concerned that more and more people are leaving the faith, while the stock of Abraham is not being replenished with enough new converts to replace those who leave Judaism.

I wonder why that could be?

Almost Ali said...

Rather than placing the parents/family on the no-fly list, accommodation. Rather than contacting child-welfare services, accommodation.

Now you're beginning understand why we're all "Almost Ali." If not, stay tuned.

sunsong said...

Dr. Friedman Ross said, “If you medicalize it and say it’s permissible, is there a possibility that some people will misunderstand it and go beyond a nick? Yes.”

That's what concerns me. I applaud the effort to do something about this barbaric practice - but the law of unintended consequences almost kicks in.

Rialby said...

Why is anyone shocked? Just like the AMA, the AAP is full of liberals. They took a political stance on global warming a few years ago!!

Liberals will find any excuse to excuse the strange ways of the noble savage.

save_the_rustbelt said...

These are the same folks who wanted pediatricians to ask parents about gun ownership and then lecture them.

So what's a little mutilation if it keeps Muslims happy?

And about that infection.....

Gahrie said...

What is the big deal here?

Neo-natal male genital mutilation is the norm.

This isn't even mutilation...most times it won't even produce a scar.

Unlike male gential mutilation, this produces no major trama, no lasting effects, and probably not even a scar.

Moira Breen said...

A while back I was reading some blogger admonishing her readers for being too critical about this very issue: blah blah blah these cultural practices we don't understand blah blah blah that the women themselves do not look at negatively blah blah blah...though of course of course we should of course never allow these procedures in our country...

And I thought to myself, "Ya know, in two or three years time she's going to be defending allowing these procedures in the U.S., on the grounds of hygiene and safety and promoting 'inclusiveness', etc."

I don't remember who that blogger was, so I can't speak for her current position, but...here we are.

Everything, every last inch of cultural territory is going to be ceded by these people. Everything. And sooner rather than later.

tim maguire said...

If we tell people they can't commit honor killings, they may just take their daughters and sisters back to their home country to kill them there. Possibly with dull, rusty knives.

Sure, some of them won't be killed at all, but better to sacrifice those than to expose others to the horrors of an inelegant murder.

Fred4Pres said...

You are all racists for judging. What's next? You are going to oppose nine year old brides? I mean, if it was good enough for Mohammed is is good enough for everyone.

Fred4Pres said...

Let's draw some cartoons about it.

Wheeeee.

edutcher said...

Ann Althouse said...

A small cut of some kind... for the greater good.

We keep hearing that phrase. Who gets to decide the greater good and how are they designated?

Alex said...

Honestly if the Islamics want to do their thing - who are we to judge?

Honestly if Himmler and Heydrich want to do their thing - who are we to judge?

Honestly if Stalin and Beria want to do their thing - who are we to judge?

Honestly if Saddam or Assad want to do their thing - who are we to judge?

Need some more alternatives?

Julie C said...

FGM predates Islam and Christianity. It is thought to have started in Egypt, and it remains prevalent there.

Where I lived in Africa, it was practiced by certain tribes. In fact, one way tribes distinguished themselves was whether or not FGM was done. The tribes that didn't do FGM were in the minority.

I got the distinct impression that this is a practice encouraged by women (in Africa, not Egypt). It is part of a coming of age ritual, is done in secret, and is not discussed with outsiders. Men are kept out of it.

That's why it is tough to fight - at least where I lived, men were definitely not asked for their opinion on such matters. You can't just say, oh those men are trying to keep you oppressed. That's not how they view it.

In any case, it is such a disgusting practice, and it is sad that there are soft-brained academics trying to put some stamp of approval on it. And there is no comparison to male circumcision, so don't even go down that road.

Joe said...

Why do people keep insisting on calling the practice female circumcision when, in fact, it's the removal of the entire external clitoris or a clitoridectomy. In some cases, the entire external genitalia of the girl is removed. (It sometimes, and quite horrifically, goes beyond even that.)

David said...

AND LO, THERE WAS BLOOD . . . .

Nels said...

Why do we keep giving into these Jewish thugs?

Oh wait, sorry, I thought the topic was male genital mutilation.

mariner said...

What's wrong with that?

Otherwise aren't we just "imposing our morality" on those proud Muslim girls?

mariner said...

Julie C:

And there is no comparison to male circumcision, so don't even go down that road.

That's right. Because this is evil, but it's perfectly OK to cut up the genitals of defenseless baby boys.

John Burgess said...

Is it really necessary to again point out that FGM is not an 'Islamic' practice any more than it's an animist or Christian practice among certain African tribes?

Muslims in some regions (particularly Africa) have picked it up and somehow confused it with religious obligation. It is not.

It is a society obligation among many tribes, regardless of their religions.

Janis Gore said...

But what is the deep cultural reason for female circumsision? In the case of male circumcision, I'd assume it would be self-identification among the members of the group.

There are a couple of ideas here.

Possibly protection for the females of a tribe? (Look at her, she ain't right.) But that doesn't seem very practical.

What if you cut off a woman's visible organs of reproduction because you didn't want her to entice males into reproducing because she had already produced a defective and non-functional child?

She could live, because all hands were needed, but was off-limits.

Alex said...

edutcher - I fail to see how Islamic female circumcision is the same as the Nazi "final solution". One case is a community exercising it's own culture within it's boundaries. The other is genocide.

bearing said...

And here I've been hoping that our revulsion at female genital mutilation would lead us as a society to see the light and ban the practice of male genital mutilation, protecting baby boys too.

Sigh.

Julie C said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gahrie said...

We are not talking about female genital mutilation here...almost everyone opposes that.

We are talking about a ceremonial substitute that replaces female genital mutilation..one that does no lasting damage and probaly doesn't leave a scar.

mariner said...

bearing,

No. We can't do that, because that would make it all about our dicks.

Julie C said so.

Oso Negro said...

On the other hand, if we slapped their asses with criminal charges, that might smarten them up considerably. It is a contemptible god that demands the sexual mutilation of children. That goes for Yahweh, too.

Expat(ish) said...

Funny, the last time we took youngest son to the doctor she asked him, in front of me, if "mommy or daddy have guns" and he piped up: "Daddy says that is none of your business. Maam."

He's a great kid and enjoyed the post prodding milkshake.

I did tell the nice lady from Brown and Rutgers that it was none of her business and that when the zombies were chasing her she was welcome to come to our house as reloaders were important.

No sense of humor, she didn't get it.

Next time I may tell the next nice lady that we're well armed enough to protect our women-folk against Islamists trying to cut off their woman bits. And she's welcome to shelter with us, but be prepared to learn to milk a cow.

I'm sure that won't be appreciated either.

Seriously, were I to have any respect for medical professionals outside their limited and narrow window of understanding this would shock me.

-XC

wv - gypol. The politics of gynecology. Amazing.

david7134 said...

I can't believe this. As a physician, I am appalled that the Academy would give lip service to this concept. On the other hand, if you looked at some of the other recommendations from the Academy of Pediatrics, you would ask yourself what planet they come from. If we are going to allow this, then lets keep women from voting (not really a bad idea) or driving (agian not too bad of an idea). At some point, you have to say that even the concept of this cultural ritual is against what we in the western world adhore.

And no, it is not anywhere near the same as male circumcision. Male circumcision is preformed and has been preformed for health purposes. Contrary to what you are taught recently, men who are not circumcised have a greater percentage of issues. In the female mutilation procedure, the process is being preformed to keep women from enjoying sex.

At some point we have acknowledge that we are not compatable with Islam. After all, we are at war with them.

sunsong said...

This is a pretty good discussion of FGM:

link

Alexandro said...

"ban the practice of male genital mutilation, protecting baby boys too."

Good grief. I thank my parents for sparing me a life with an anteater dick. I'm clipped and I'm proud.

William said...

I disapprove of the practice but question whether we are the right ones to lodge a protest. Have you seen the trauma inflicted on Pamela Anderson's breasts. Look what those savages in San Francisco did to Nancy Pelosi's face. There's a high risk that Barney Frank will have his stomach stapled as an offering to the Cambridge god of Slender. People with pierced belly buttons shouldn't lecture about nicked labias.

Dogwood said...

No need to compromise when it comes to such barbaric behavior.

John said...

Why is it OK to routinely slice off the end of a penis for no medical reason?

Seems like both should be illegal.

John Henry

PatCA said...

Has the feminist activists spoken up yet?

bearing said...

And no, it is not anywhere near the same as male circumcision. Male circumcision is preformed and has been preformed for health purposes. Contrary to what you are taught recently, men who are not circumcised have a greater percentage of issues. In the female mutilation procedure, the process is being preformed to keep women from enjoying sex.

I'm sure the experts over there tell people that mutilated women have fewer "issues." Sorry, mutilating babies is wrong, period.

JAL said...

What the heck is a "ritual nick?"

Who determines what the nick is?

According to Dr. Nawal Nour:

Q. What kinds of clinical problems do your circumcised patients bring to you?

A. The major complications are seen on women who have undergone Type 3 circumcision. Type 1 removes the clitoris -- this is common in Ethiopia. Type 2 excises the clitoris and the inner vaginal lips, which may end up fusing together.

Type 3 is removing the clitoris, the inner lips, the outer lips, then sewing everything together, leaving only a very small opening for urination and menses. This is mainly done among Somalis and Sudanese and in parts of West Africa. Female circumcision, you see, is nothing like what we know as male circumcision. In the latter, the foreskin is removed from the penis. With female circumcision, we have the equivalent of the penis being removed.


So. Where does the "ritual nick" fit in this schema?

Here's another look (not the one filmed in Africa)

Not all women are loving it.

paul a'barge said...

Somewhere, Satan is laughing his ass off.

Methadras said...

So 8th world shit-holes prove once again why they despise the right for humanity to experience pleasure by ritualistically conferring a lifetime of pain. Can we please obliterate these people once and for all?

Palladian said...

"Why do we keep giving into these Jewish thugs?

Oh wait, sorry, I thought the topic was male genital mutilation."

Islam demands male genital mutilation as well. But our societies already happily do that to their boys so it's not really a point of contention.

Moira Breen said...

Expat(ish): Funny, the last time we took youngest son to the doctor she asked him, in front of me, if "mommy or daddy have guns" and he piped up: "Daddy says that is none of your business. Maam."

"None of your business" and "ma'am"! Does my heart good to see children being brung up right.

amba said...

I don't believe the verification word right now is

nicrosag

but it is

jwvansteenwyk said...

I have no real objection to a 'ritual nick.'

Not all FGM is equal. The Type III practice is abhorrent and should be a criminal offense. A ritual drawing of a drop of blood, if it serves to replace a more severe practice among assimilating families, and is done using sterile instruments seems reasonable to me.

If you believe that an outright ban on abortion ----> thousands of deaths by coathangers, then it seems you also ought to believe that an outright ban on a ritual nick ----> many more clitoridectomies.

I'm saving my outrage for the more severe practices. Outrage at this decision by the AAP - whom, I presume, know their Sudanese immigrant patients better than I, seems shrill to me.

Michael Hasenstab said...

A small cut of some kind... for the greater good.

Sure, nick off the clitoris. Why bother arguing about it? It's okay, just do it. No one will mind. It's for the greater good.

Just a small nick, you know, like a slice through the carotid artery. Nothing to it. It's part of their culture. Who are we to judge?

God forbid that American feminist women, especially those of the political class, could find time to defend helpless young women form third world countries.

It's for the greater good, you know. It's what those people do.

And it won't be much longer before some good-hearted institution sets aside a nice, clean, safe, and caring room where genital mutilation can be done, you know, safely, because we expect safety in our dhimmitude.

Largo said...

A ceremonial pinprick (but certainly not "nicking off the clitoris"!) bothers me not the least. I might not approve of pierced earrings for toddlers, but it is the banning of this that would cause be to worry of a slippery slope.

At the same time, a pediatric policy on this seems ridiculous. That is, the ceremonial (non medical) function of the pinprick, combined with it's utter lack of health consequence (if a pinprick is all it is) suggests that it is not a matter for medical practitioners at all.

Although, I must confess to talking out of ignorance here. Do people generally go to doctors to get their ears pierced? (They don't go to doctors to get tattoos, which certainly quite a bit more than a pinprick.)

Michael Hasenstab said...

It's quite possible that I'm wrong, though. I am, after all a crusader western male, so my perspective may be entirely wrong.

In times of uncertainty, like these, I'll do what many Americans do to find the answers to difficult problems. I'll turn to Hollywood celebrities for the answer.

Paging Chaz Bono.

jwvansteenwyk said...

Michael - Nobody's talking about "nicking off the clitoris." They're talking about specifically NOT nicking off the clitoris.

Sheesh.

Abdul Abulbul Amir said...

...committee on bioethics has issued a policy statement recommending an exception...

It seems that the ethicists main function these days to dream a reason to call the unethical ethical.

Jason Greaves said...

I am a non-Jewish man and I was circumcised as a baby. If/when I have a son, will I circumcise him? Probably. To the best of my knowledge, it does not harm the child, and is done for health and sanitary reasons. If there were evidence to the contrary, I would reconsider.

FGM is completely different. It doesn't matter if the females of FGM cultures embrace the practice. What matters is the result: oppression. It makes women less than human. They cannot enjoy sex; they are merely creatures to be used and abused by men for their pleasure and procreation.

If this "nick" somehow prevents full on mutilations, that is great. But as I see it, American doctors endorsing/performing a procedure related to FGM is morally reprehensible, and I doubt it would have any of the aforementioned pragmatic benefit.