Rite of Passage

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Crystal Castillo
MLNG. 301
Dr. Drissi
Oct. 2, 2012
Rite of Passage
While many people may consider female and male circumcision as a mutilation, it is important to identify the distinction between the two. One of the most compelling reasons for the distinction between the two, is that some of the more extreme forms of female circumcision have very serious short-term and long-term health consequences; consequences that don't arise for males who are circumcised. In this paper, the distinction between female and male circumcision will be discussed. I will be referring to two stories that demonstrate the differences between the two cultural practices; “The Initiation of The Maasai Warrior.” and “The Tragedy of Female Circumcision.” “The Initiation of a Maasai Warrior” by Tepilit Ole Saitoti, tells the story of a Maasai w, who writes about his process of his initiation as a warrior. It is such a painful and dangerous tradition for the Maasai. The Circumcision implies a sharp knife cutting that is made on the skin of the male. The cutting is made on the most sensitive part of the body. During the process, the boy is not to make any movement. Any slightest facial expression or movement during this is seen as incompetent and untrustworthy. The boy is portrayed as a coward by the community. Circumcision is a rite of passage in this cultural tradition for the male. For the first time in one’s life, they are regarded as a grownup, a complete man. Several days before the practice was to be performed on Saitoti, he himself had to sharpen the knives that would in days be used on his own organs. After the circumcision is done successfully the person is rewarded, in Saitoti’s case he received a total of eight cattle and the respect of the community for his bravery. To end the ceremony he slept with a woman and thus a warrior. Circumcision is also done on women. Female Circumcision is the ritual cutting of the female’s genitalia. It is performed on girls between the...
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