Apologia for FGM (Female Genital Mutilation)

Young Girl Undergoing Female Genital Mutilation with RazorSeven Things to Know about Female Genital Surgeries

by the Public Policy Advisory Network on Female Genital Surgeries in Africa

from the Hastings Center Report ( a bioethics research institute)


Starting in the early 1980s, media coverage of customary African genital surgeries for females has been problematic and overly reliant on sources from within a global activist and advocacy movement opposed to the practice, variously described as female genital mutilation, female genital cutting, or female circumcision. Here, we use the more neutral expression female genital surgery. In their passion to end the practice, anti-mutilation advocacy organizations often make claims about female genital surgeries in Africa that are inaccurate or overgeneralized or that don’t apply to most cases.

The aim of this article—which we offer as a public policy advisory statement from a group of concerned research scholars, physicians, and policy experts—is not to take a collective stance on the practice of genital surgeries for either females or males. Our main aim is to express our concern about the media coverage of female genital surgeries in Africa, to call for greater accuracy in cultural representations of little-known others, and to strive for evenhandedness and high standards of reason and evidence in any future public policy debates. In effect, the statement is an invitation to actually have that debate, with all sides of the story fairly represented.


For nearly three decades, there has been an uncritical relationship between the media and antimutilation advocacy groups. In the face of horrifying and sensational claims about African parents “mutilating” their daughter and damaging their sexual pleasure and reproductive capacities, there has been surprisingly little journalistic exploration of alternative views or consultation with experts who can assess current evidence.

We recommend that journalists, activists, and policy-makers cease using violent and preemptive rhetoric.

We recommend a more balanced discussion of the topic in the press and in public policy forums.

Many highly educated women in Africa embrace the practice and do so without negative health consequences.

For the sake of a balanced discussion, it will be necessary to create a context where women can express their support for the practices without being attacked. African women who live outside Africa but who grew up in regions of Africa where genital surgeries are routine and have a positive connotation should be included in a more respectful and productive discourse that creates a supportive or protective context against stigmatization, fear, or humiliation.  

Some medical practitioners have suggested that the horror-inducing media coverage of the topic over the past three decades can have a psychological impact on a woman’s genital self-image upon immigration to countries where female genital surgery is condemned, thereby inducing an “acquired sexual dysfunction.”

Read the rest of this detestable article: Media Should Not (sic) Condemn Female Genital Mutilation.

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About Asma Marwan

The Story of the Poetess Asma bint [daughter of] Marwan and her Death * There was a poetess [in Medina] who wrote a poem against Mohammed and his new way of life, Islam. Mohammed said, “Who will rid me of Marwan’s daughter?” One of his followers heard him and on that very night went to the woman’s home and killed her. The assassin was able to do the work in the dark as the woman slept. Her other children lay in the room, but her babe lay on her breast. The stealthy assassin removed the child and drove the knife into her with such force that he pinned her to the bed. In the morning, he went to Mohammed and told him [what he’d done]. Mohammed said, “You have helped Allah and his Apostle.” When asked about the consequences, Mohammed said, “Two goats won’t butt their heads together over this.” Mohammed turned to the people in the mosque. He said, “If you wish to see a man who has assisted Allah and his Prophet, look ye here.” Omar cried, “What, the blind Omeir?” “No,” said Mohammed, “call him Omeir the Seeing.” * from the Sira (the life of Mohammed) Source Texts Guillaume, A. 1955. The Life of Mohammad: A Translation of Bin Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah Oxford: Oxford University Press, page 996. Muir, Sir William. 1923. The Life of Mohammad: From Original Sources Edinburgh: Reprint, John Grant, page 239.

One thought on “Apologia for FGM (Female Genital Mutilation)

  1. Anggun Astuty

    don’t you think they use no anesthetic and razor because they live in isolated community in the middle of Africa ? other countries that more modernized surely use one..