FGM Paper 1
October 2, 2012
Arizona State University
Female genital mutilation (FGM) is to this day a current issue in many societies and cultures. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines female genital mutilation as "all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons." In this paper I will argue that female genital mutilation is an antiquated and unseemly practice and should be promptly discontinued.
Nussbaum draws from first-hand experiences of victims in order to provide first hand evidence of the exact feelings, routines, and positions that people (mostly women) in the main countries in which FGM is practiced. Nussbaum dispels the obvious argument of her position being considered “ethnocentric” by engaging in the overall health concerns and issues that the act of FGM can cause women. In this way she criticizes the way in which FGM can affect women both physically and psychologically, rather than its place in their cultures. She mentions examples of people living in countries in which FGM is illegal that are opposed to FGM, and fought for their children’s right to choice and consent, though it is the cultural norm. To summarize, Nussbaum’s position on FGM is plain and simple: FGM is a problem and that something needs to be done about it, namely through education and the enforcement of laws, which are in most cases, are already in place. FGM is, according to WHO, said to have been performed in one of three commonly practiced ways on between “approximately 85 and 115 million women” The three types of afore mentioned genital mutations are as follows: “Clitoridectomy, a part or the whole clitoris is amputated… In excision, both the clitoris and the inner lips are amputated… In infibulation, the clitoris is removed, some or all of the labia minora are cut off, and incisions are made in the labia majora to create raw surface....
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