The Cruelty of Circumcision
Throughout the years, many traditions have had their customs and have practiced rituals and beliefs. Many of these practices have been harmless and focused more on spiritual lifestyles, while others have gone to the extremes in human sacrifice, including mutilation of a human being. Many have gone to the extremes as to mutilate the human body to please a superior being. When it comes to circumcision, males have been known to undergo such process in stories of the Bible as a sign of leadership and sacrifice and many others have seen it as a sign of honor and loyalty. However, men are not the only ones that go through circumcision. Female genital mutilation has been a tradition for many years in places of Asia, Africa, and Europe for centuries and has spread to various nearby areas and even into North, Central and South America. Even though to the communities of such practices it is seen as a sacred and holy action, it has become a controversial issue where women are tortured, mutilated, and stripped from their rights. Woman are affected physically, emotionally, and mentally after undergoing such process and is believed to make them superior and more “clean” and “modest” than women who haven’t. However, many organizations have attempted to stop the practice and prevent other women to go through the circumcision, making it a controversial issue among the world.
Female genital mutilation is practiced in many places in Asia, Africa and Europe including 28 African countries, Egypt, Sudan, Indonesia, and the Arabian Peninsula. According to the World Health Organization, it is estimated that 100 to 140 million girls and women have been circumcised throughout the world. It becomes even more devastating to hear that an estimated 2 million girls are circumcised every year. Female circumcision has extended worldwide to many different parts of the world and has even introduced itself into the United States as a type of plastic surgery intended to reshape the vagina and give it a ‘clean’ look. Such trend has become popular by pornographic actors and models who present their genitals on magazines and television programs with an “airbrushed symmetry and lack of variation” (Boskey, 2007). In contrast to female genital mutilation in such places as Africa and Asia, plastic surgery in the United States requires anesthesia to complete and may extend more than the removal of the inner and outer labia. It can involve tightening of the vagina, resulting in damaged nerves and muscles and causing little to no sexual pleasure. Female genital mutilation is the removal of all or parts of the external female genitalia for non-medical purposes. It is usually performed by an older woman of the community on newborn girls, young girls, adolescent girls, and in rare occasions, women, and is usually performed without the use of anesthesia. The elder would use any sharp object ranging from a knife, a piece of glass, a sharp rock, or a cutting tool. In order for a circumcision to take place, a public ceremony has to be held in which multiple girls are chosen by their parents to go through. In the ceremony, girls lay one next to another, sometimes held by other women to prevent from moving during circumcision. The elder woman proceeds the circumcision by using the object and continues onto the next girl until she concludes. This can be a serious problem and can cause HIV and AIDS to spread due to the lack of sanitation in the surgical instruments. There are various reasons for which a girl is circumcised. The main reason is to remove from girls the ability to enjoy sexual pleasure and keep them faithful and reserved for their husbands; the removal of the clitoris reduces sensitivity within the vagina. It is a method used to protect virginity before marriage and keep young girls “pure” for future husbands. It is also used to maintain marital fidelity. According to the World Health Organization, female genital mutilation reduces...
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