Wednesday, November 01, 2006

A Serious Moment

I'd like to mention something in my blog today that will be very difficult for people to read. I'm warning you now in case you find you need to pass this one over.

The subject is female genital mutilation (FGM)

As an anthropologist, I have been aware of this practice for years. It is most common in Africa but crosses many ethnic, cultural and religious lines. In countries that practice FGM, the clitoris and often labia are removed from young girls to make them more "marriageable." It is believed that if girls do not find sex pleasurable then they will be more virtuous. The "operation" is often performed using scissors or sharp glass or rocks and many many girls wind up with serious medical complications.

It is important for everyone to understand that this practice DOES take place within the United States. Although federal law bans FGM, many states do not have any laws addressing it. So, many individuals have gotten away with it. Especially in cases of religious freedom.

Today, the first criminal case in the U.S. on this issue was decided. The father was given a 10-yr-sentence.

See this article:

Please find out about your state's stance on this issue. I think it is so important that we push for legislation to protect young girls from this horrible practice. And part of that is making people aware that it is happening.

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