September 7, 2016

"If we stop FGM, we will need strong men and we don't have men of that sort."

"He said it was therefore better for women to undergo FGM 'to reduce a woman's sexual appetite' - an act, he argued, that would encourage women to 'stand by their man.'"

The words of an Egyptian politician named Elhamy Agina, as reported and (I think) translated by a website called Egyptian Street. Even if he said it — and, obviously, it's a horrible thing to say — I find it hard to credit the translation with the phrase "stand by their man," which I think only came into common parlance through the Tammy Wynette song, "Stand By Your Man." And yet the phrase from the song was virulently propagated — criticized by feminists, scorned by Hillary Clinton — so maybe it took root in Egypt to the point where it could be part of everyday political chatter.

42 comments:

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Does his middle name start with a "V"?

gspencer said...

Pretty hard to argue against the way women are viewed/treated in Islam since the Quran - which Muslims believe is the Direct (not interrupted) Words of their Allah - gives divine blessing, to the point of it being mandated by Allah, to their being treated as property.

Quran (4:34) - "Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them [called wife-beating in the West]. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them."

Quran (33:59) - "Tell thy wives and thy daughters and the women of the believers [descriptor used throughout the Quran for Muslims] to draw their cloaks close round them..."
~~~ Men determine how women dress.

Quran (33:33) - "And abide quietly in your homes..."
~~~ Women are confined to their homes except when they have permission to go out.

Quran (2:223) - "Your wives are as a tilth [a field; that is, property] unto you; so approach your tilth when or how ye will."
~~~ Note well, "when or how ye will," NOT how she wills. Wives are to be sexually available to their husbands in all ways at all times. They serve their husbands at his command.

sean said...

As I understand, there is a verb in modern Hebrew, "to wynette [or wnt, if you omit the vowels]," meaning to stick with a bad husband. Whether that meme made it into Egyptian, I can't say.

Terry said...

And, of course, Hillary did 'stand by her man', while Tammy Wynette did not.
Tammy left her worthless husband even though she had no money, no career, and a child with a disability. Tammy W. achieved her dreams without help from a philandering husband.

Mike Sylwester said...

I agree with Trump's plan to develop an "extreme vetting" that will include a question about honor killings. Another question should be about female genital mutilation.

BarrySanders20 said...

Continuing the "People believe what they want to believe" theme

Big Mike said...

Nice to see Egyptians admitting the inferiority of Muslim men to us Western males. Our women stay married to us even though each retains her clitoris.

buwaya puti said...

Egyptian men lack sexual appetite?
They must be unique in the world.
I have never heard of a case where a woman has greater sexual appetite. It seems like it would be very rare.

rhhardin said...

A snake bit Cleopatra in the ass and ruined it for her.

rehajm said...

...so maybe it took root in Egypt to the point where it could be part of everyday political chatter.

There are planeloads of seven sisters graduates in that part of the world working for NGOs and their government counterparts to help such things 'take root' in an informal, organic, grassroots way.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

But...what if it's their choice, Professor? Just another form of self-expression, right? Like the burkinis, right? That's their culture, remember--it's their women's choice to cover women up and if I remember correctly you were on board for that, so isn't it their women's choice to mutilate their genitals? Is it the REASON expressed here that's a problem (because it burdens women with taking actions to prevent men's problems/bad actions)? Isn't "modesty" part of that same continuum?

Anyway here in the U.S. we're all for letting people "mutilate" their bodies in an effort to express themselves--doing so is what gets you called "stunning and brave," right? What's so different here?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Why is it a horrible thing to say?

If he was smart he would have said "women should undergo FGM because it allows them to fully appreciate a chaste life without immodest urges" or something similar, right? Would that be less horrible? The effect is the same--creating and supporting a culture that encourages and (subtly & not-so-subtly) coerces women to mutilate their genitals.

That was ok, as a cultural argument for modesty, in the case of the burkini (and presumably the hijab, niquab, and burka) wasn't it, Professor? Why is it not ok now?

Sebastian said...

"it's a horrible thing to say" Why? Because you think they do have "men of that sort," and he therefore maligns Egyptian/Muslim men?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

buwaya puti said...I have never heard of a case where a woman has greater sexual appetite. It seems like it would be very rare.

That's sexist, buwaya. Men and women are the same. Women have exactly the same sexual appetites as men, and it's de facto sexist to claim otherwise. Stop being sexist.

Kate said...

When you think your penis belongs in a boy's anus, a woman's vagina can be a scary place.

Clyde said...

Elhamy Agina
Doesn't have a vagina
And doesn't care about those who do;
They're just a receptacle
For a man's genitals,
Something for someone to screw.
So what's a little chopping
If it will be stopping
Them doing what they want to do?

Achilles said...

Just remember that if you tell people what Muslims actually do and believe you will be called racist.

The people who cry racist are ignorant of many things.

John said...

What does Huma think?

John Henry

damikesc said...

Comically enough, Hillary "stood by her man" more than any woman I can imagine in history. What a doormat.

Lucien said...

It's so much easier to say FGM than female genital mutilation (or infibulation, or clitoridectomy). But the guy is basically saying that making men happier is so important that it is worth mutilating women for.
By the way, Muslims are still enslaving black Africans -- somebody tell Colin Kaepernick.

Owen said...

Clyde: On first reading, nice work.

On second reading, borderline brilliant.

Thanks!

Virgil Hilts said...

It sounds like the Sharia concept of a "hand for a hand" might be a good way to deter this stuff (if Egypt actually wanted to deter it rather than pass an unenforced law to make Egypt look less barbaric to the U.N. and the West than Egypt in fact really is).
On principle I detest Sharia, but I would be in favor (including in the U.S.) of a law providing that any male found to have participated or conspired in any FGM procedure shall be castrated.

Unknown said...

Brigadier Napier had the right attitude:

"You have your custom of throwing women on the funeral pyre. Well and good. We also have a custom: we hang men who kill women. Build your fire, and we shall all follow national customs!"

For some reason, it turned out that the custom of throwing the widow on the funeral pyre was not as necessary as they thought.

--Vance

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Virgil Hilts said...On principle I detest Sharia, but I would be in favor (including in the U.S.) of a law providing that any male found to have participated or conspired in any FGM procedure shall be castrated.


What do you mean by "participated or conspired in," Virgil?
From the Wiki on FGM:
It is usually initiated and carried out by women, who see it as a source of honour, and who fear that failing to have their daughters and granddaughters cut will expose the girls to social exclusion. In many cases you won't find a man to punish unless you're including men (elders, preachers, etc) who advocate for the practice...but after all you wouldn't punish free speech and free expression, would you?!

Also from that Wiki, and back to my question to the Professor: The practice is rooted in gender inequality, attempts to control women's sexuality, and ideas about purity, modesty and aesthetics.

Ideas about modesty and aesthetics, initiated and carried out by women as part of their culture. Isn't that almost EXACTLY how you characterized the burkini, and for exactly those reasons found the burkini unobjectionable?

What's different here?

Smilin' Jack said...

The words of an Egyptian politician named Elhamy Agina, as reported and (I think) translated by a website called Egyptian Street. Even if he said it — and, obviously, it's a horrible thing to say...

So now we know who wins when multiculturalism meets feminism.

For now.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Wiki: FGM - Reasons: Support From Women


Also, from the "Religion" section of that main Wiki:
Surveys have shown a widespread belief, particularly in Mali, Mauritania, Guinea and Egypt, that FGM is a religious requirement.[2]:69–71 Gruenbaum has argued that practitioners may not distinguish between religion, tradition and chastity, making it difficult to interpret the data.[97]

FGM's origins in northeastern Africa are pre-Islamic, but the practice became associated with Islam because of that religion's focus on female chastity and seclusion.[n 16] There is no mention of it in the Quran. It is praised in several hadith (sayings attributed to Muhammad) as noble but not required.[n 17][19]:6 In 2007 the Al-Azhar Supreme Council of Islamic Research in Cairo ruled that FGM had "no basis in core Islamic law or any of its partial provisions."[98][2]:70[n 18]

There is no mention of FGM in the Bible.[100] Christian missionaries in Africa were among the first to object to FGM,[101] but Christian communities in Africa do practise it.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Vance: Brigadier Napier's attitude would get him recalled and probably cashiered or court martialed today. It's silly to pretend otherwise. His statement is pure cultural imperialism (literally!) and even expressing such a thought will get you fired today.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

FGM's origins in northeastern Africa are pre-Islamic, but the practice became associated with Islam because of that religion's focus on female chastity and seclusion.

Once again: the same focus on chastity and seclusion is a big part of the cultural preference for burkinis. In the case of burkinis that choice--by women--to act, behave, and express themselves was to be embraced and protected. Isn't the same true of FGM?

I am really asking here, Professor, if the only "horrible" thing about that statement is the fact that it ties FGM to serving the needs of men. One could easily make the same statement in favor of the burkini--that it is necessary in order to prevent easily-riled up men from impulsively acting on their urges and sexually assaulting women, etc. I'm certain you'd find that argument "horrible," but you didn't find the cultural embrace of the burkini itself objectionable. Along those same lines: do you find FGM (the cultural embrace of same by women in Egypt and elsewhere) horrible, or only this argument for it?

Mary E. Glynn said...

Newsflash: The hospitals in Minneapolis perform FGM on their Muslim immigrant mother.

Clarification: The women who have been cut and ... "sewed up" are unsewed for them to give birth. (They are not sewed all the way shut obviously, for penetration and conception to occur.)

After birth, many of these women want to be sewed up again. The doctors at first were strongly against such practices, but in honoring the women's cultural wishes, agree to perform such things as ... minor nicking of the clitoris.

It's thought that in this way, young women can share their mothers' traditions (remember folks: it is the older women, not the men, who encourage these practices and help perform them in Muslim countries) and retain their religious traditions, without too much damage to their genitalia.

http://www.citypages.com/news/for-victims-of-female-genital-cutting-pregnancy-brings-tough-questions-7749410

mockturtle said...

Isn't sex more fun when both parties are enjoying it?

Mary E. Glynn said...

Isn't sex more fun when both parties are enjoying it?
-----------------

Both? How binary of you!
Why limit the numbers at the party, after all?

Rt1 Rebel said...

"But the guy is basically saying that making men happier is so important that it is worth mutilating women for. "

Sheesh, I wouldn't even WANT to have sex with a woman that I knew I couldn't pleasure.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

mockturtle said...
Isn't sex more fun when both parties are enjoying it?


Read the Wiki on FGM, mockturtle (again from the Reasons - Support from Women section):

In communities where infibulation is common, there is a preference for women's genitals to be smooth, dry and without odour, and both women and men may find the natural vulva repulsive.[89]:435–436 Men seem to enjoy the effort of penetrating an infibulation.[90] The local preference for dry sex causes women to introduce substances into the vagina to reduce lubrication, including leaves, tree bark, toothpaste and Vicks menthol rub.[91] The WHO includes this practice within Type IV FGM, because the added friction during intercourse can cause lacerations and increase the risk of infection.[13]:27–28 Because of the smooth appearance of an infibulated vulva, there is also a belief that infibulation increases hygiene.[89]:437

"The local preference for dry sex...causes women to introduce substances into the vagina to reduce lubrication." You have to put aside what you think of as "enjoying it" and examine the actual culture and actual practice, there.

jaed said...

I have never heard of a case where a woman has greater sexual appetite.

That's not the way it's seen in the Arab world. (Or here, for that matter.) There is a saying to the effect that Allah divided sexual desire in ten parts, and gave nine to the women and one to the men. The idea that women's desire is strong, ravening, is behind a lot of the support for sexually mutilating them; the idea is that this desire is uncontrollable in a natural woman.

mockturtle said...

I guess they like to rape little boys for the same reasons. :-( And then the goats...

Arab saying: "A boy for pleasure, a goat for ecstasy."

mockturtle said...

I have never heard of a case where a woman has greater sexual appetite.

Depends a lot on age.

mikee said...

Go Napier on these idiots, internally from among those affected. Sure, the men can demand FGM be performed, as it is their cultural heritage to do so. But it could be a new tradition for the anti-FGM people to hang anyone who actually does that to a female. See how long it lasts.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

miles, read the FGM wiki. Your comment assumes men are forcing this on women. The wiki's evidence suggests it is women pushing FGM on other women in those cultures.
Adjust your predjuces to the evidence.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

miles = mikee

mockturtle said...

Younger men probably have a greater sexual appetite than younger women but I think that reverses itself by middle age.

jaed said...

Go Napier on these idiots

Are you willing to go Napier on women? On the victim's mother, aunts, grandmother? Because that's what it will take.

(You could kill the men, come to think of it, even though they're not the ones doing it. If you started killing the men, they possibly would prevent the women of the family from mutilating the girls. It doesn't seem very fair, but might be effective.)

mockturtle said...

Of course it's women who perform these procedures. Male physicians are not allowed to touch Muslim females--for any reason. That's probably why there are so many Muslim women physicians.