From my May 8, 2010 piece at NewsReal Blog:
There is no limit to the depravity of the cultists who worship at the altar of multiculturalism.
100 to 140 million girls and women around the world have been subjected to genital mutilation. And now, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is embracing this barbaric expression of misogyny in the name of cultural sensitivity and immigrant outreach.
Equality Now is stunned by a new policy statement issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which essentially promotes female genital mutilation (FGM) and advocates for “federal and state laws [to] enable pediatricians to reach out to families by offering a ‘ritual nick’,” such as pricking or minor incisions of girls’ clitorises.
Surely pediatricians sworn to do no harm wouldn’t advocate a medically unnecessary practice rooted firmly in hatred of women. Equality Now must have misread the AAP’s statement on FGM, right?
Wrong. According to the AAP:
Most forms of FGC are decidedly harmful, and pediatricians should decline to perform them, even in the absence of any legal constraints. However, the ritual nick suggested by some pediatricians is not physically harmful and is much less extensive than routine newborn male genital cutting. There is reason to believe that offering such a compromise may build trust between hospitals and immigrant communities, save some girls from undergoing disﬁguring and life-threatening procedures in their native countries, and play a role in the eventual eradication of FGC. It might be more effective if federal and state laws enabled pediatricians to reach out to families by offering a ritual nick as a possible compromise to avoid greater harm.
Hey, let’s compromise! We can also reach out to the Muslim community and ask men to commit honor “nicking” instead of honor murder. It’s a win-win. They get to continue violently victimizing women under the guise of preserving “honor,” and we get to hold hands and sing “Kumbaya.” What’s a little broken skin as long as we’re avoiding “greater harm”?
The AAP statement also compares physician-assisted ritual puncturing of girls’ genitals to ear piercing. Ear piercing.
And apparently the AAP is concerned about the unintended consequences of continuing to prosecute people for “female genital cutting” (Newspeak for FGM):
Some physicians, including pediatricians who work closely with immigrant populations in which FGC is the norm, have voiced concern about the adverse effects of criminalization of the practice on educational efforts.
Go ahead and scream or puke or tear your hair out. I’ll wait.
Promoting a less extreme version of genital mutilation as a replacement for the horrors of clitoridectomy, excision, and infibulation is door we must never open in America. This is ground we cannot cede.
I don’t really see the problem with the American Academy of Pediatrics advising doctors to offer a “ritual nick” in lieu of the more serious forms of female circumcision that are often on offer in some other parts of the world. The practice is something that is done in modern places that want to have a link to tradition without actually doing any real harm to little girls, from what I understand. All they do is prick your genitals, or make a small cut that heals over, but nothing is removed. You’re basically scratching the girl. It’s not awesome . . . but comparing it to more severe forms of female circumcision troubles me.
. . . .
And it’s not like Western culture is so free of blatantly misogynist traditions, either. Part of me wishes that we had a two minute nicking at the doctor instead of the entire painfully misogynist wedding tradition that persists in the name of tradition.
Ritual laceration of the genitals doesn’t do “any real harm to little girls”? Really? Perpetuating the idea that women’s sexuality is an evil that needs to be suppressed or destroyed doesn’t do “any real harm”?
No, Amanda. Misogyny masquerading as a minor out-patient procedure is still misogyny. This medically supervised clitoral “nicking” still invites the continued importation of toxic, dangerous practices; it sends the unthinkable message that fear of cultural insensitivity makes it desirable to betray young girls.