FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION (OR FGM)
by Dr. Lawrence Wilson
© July 2020, LD Wilson Consultants, Inc.
All information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.
Female genital mutilation, or FGM, is the removal of a part or all of the clitoris of a young girl, teenager or adult woman. A slang name for the procedure is cutting. Hence, some refer to the procedure as FGM/C.
A more technical definition is “all procedures involving partial or total removal of the female external genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.” (from the World Health Organization)
The clitoris is a small tuft of erectile tissue that lies at the top of the vagina, right near the opening of the urethra (where a woman urinates).
The clitoris responds to stimulation very much the way a man’s penis responds. It becoming engorged with blood, and it gives a woman a tingling sensation in that area of the body.
FGM/C: A human rights violation
FGM/C is a violation of girls’ and women’s human rights and is condemned by many international treaties and conventions, as well as by national legislation in many countries.
Yet, where it is practiced, FGM/C is performed in line with tradition and social norms to ensure that girls are socially accepted and marriageable, and to uphold their status and honor and that of the entire family.
UNICEF works with governments and civil society partners towards the elimination of FGM/C in countries where it is still practiced.
[i] World Health Organization, Eliminating Female Genital Mutilation: An interagency statement, WHO, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNIFEM, OHCHR, UNHCR, UNECA, UNESCO, UNDP, UNAIDS, WHO, Geneva, 2008, p. 4.
NOTE: Serious mistakes in the UNICEF, UNITED NATIONS and the WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION websites are that they do not emphasize two important facts about FGM:
1. It is a feature of the Islamic religion and no other.
2. The websites focus on Africa. However, FGM is also common in the Arab nations of the Middle East. It also occurs in parts of Asia, especially nations with Islamic nations.
THE EFFECTS OF FGM
These can be divided into effects at the time of the procedure, and effects that occur as a result of it.
Effects at the time of the procedure:
1. TOTAL HUMILIATION AND TOTAL ANGER. The girl or young woman is often stretched out naked on the kitchen table of the home, or on a dirty floor. Besides her nakedness, she is often stimulated by her father sexually by rubbing the breasts roughly until she begins to orgasm. After at least 10 orgasms (that is the law), he pulls out the knife, which is often dirty, and does the deed.
The immediate effect on a girl, in particular, is devastating that her parents would do such a thing, often as her brothers and sisters watch and giggle nervously. When it is over, she is left alone and not even comforted. It is considered a “lesson” to teach her to behave with more “respect” to her father.
Many women in the Arab nations go through this experience. In most instances, it is done around the age of 10 or younger. At times, it is done during the teenage years or during the twenties.
Some husbands-to-be demand an “inspection” before they will take a woman for their wife. If she still has her clitoris, he insists it be cut off. The young woman, of course, has no say in the matter and must submit or be killed.
2. FILTH. Female genital mutilation or FGM is one of the most barbaric practices in the entire world. It is often done at home, under filthy conditions, with a dirty kitchen knife, and with no anesthesia.
3. INFECTION, SOMETIMES TO DEATH. FGM can cause serious infections for at least five reasons. These are:
a) This area of the body is hard to keep perfectly dry and clean, and it tends to be a seat of infections.
b) There may be a lot of bleeding from the operation, and the blood loss can contribute to infection.
c) The nations where FGM is done are often unclean, with very unsanitary conditions.
d) The procedure is often done using unsanitary instruments and improper or no sterilization methods.
e) In many instances, the girls or young women are poor and malnourished, which also increases the likelihood of infection.
4. HEAVY BLEEDING, SOMETIMES TO DEATH. There is often terrible bleeding, and many young women die from the blood loss. No effort is usually made to stop the bleeding, which is difficult to stop even in a hospital.
5. EXTREME PAIN. FGM is extremely painful, shaming and maiming. It is extremely painful because it is a very sensitive area of the body. It is rare that any attempt is made to numb or anesthetize the area. The pain alone makes many women go unconscious.
Lasting effects afterwards, if one survives.
1. PAIN INSTEAD OF SEXUAL PLEASURE. The clitoris is a main site of sexual pleasure for women. After this procedure, a woman rarely feels as much sexual pleasure. Instead, there is usually pain upon sexual intercourse, which, of course, the woman must endure for the rest of her life.
Those who suggest this procedure know this well, and it is sometimes one of the goals of the operation. It is done to “teach her a lesson” to obey her husband or another man without question, and sadly, it often works.
The punishment for the next infraction of the rules is death, the women are told. Murder for disobeying a man is legal in many nations of the Middle East today.
2. SCARRING AND DISFIGUREMENT. The operation of FGM often leaves scars, skin tags, and other things that mark a woman for life. This adds to a woman’s shame, in fact, and shaming in this way is one of the goals of the practice.
3. PERMANENT DIFFICULTY OR PAIN UPON URINATING. Most women who experience FGM have damage to the opening of the urethra. This happens easily because this opening is very close to the clitoris. Scar tissue forms in the area after the procedure. As a result, there is often pain and trouble urinating.
This might include difficulty fully emptying the bladder, leakage of urine or incontinence, and unusual sensations in this area of the body.
4. EMOTIONAL EFFECTS. FGM makes a woman so angry and so distraught that in some cases, the woman goes crazy. If she does not, she usually shuts down emotionally because the entire procedure is such an emotional shock and horror.
It may be done to a young girl – at age 4 or a little older. This is legal in many Arab nations. Mother often holds the child down while father does the deed. It is disgusting, and the parents become her instant enemy. It tears apart families, and instills hatred in the hearts of all women who experience it – which most do, in the Middle Eastern Arab nations.
It completely ruins any relationship the girl or young woman had with her parents. Women also hate all men, as a result of this procedure, including possibly her future male children.
In this way, FGM has serious sociological consequences that help explain the horror of life in the Middle East today, for example, and the horror of life in Northern Africa and parts of Asia, as well.
The girl’s mother is usually horrified by the cries of pain of her child. Too often, however, mother is forced to block her tears or she will be beaten and raped some more. So she just accepts it as part of the lot of girls in many Islamic nations.
It also affects every Islamic woman’s self-esteem, dignity, and self worth as a woman. This is one of the worst misogynous (woman-hating) procedures imaginable.
5. MENTAL EFFECTS. FGM always alters a girl’s mind and her general mental status. The trauma of the procedure, and its results, have an effect like a bad rape, which may precede the procedure.
In fact, often the father of the girl or young woman tickles the clitoris until the girl has an orgasm – even a four-year-old. Then, when the clitoris is erect, he does the deed. This causes even more bleeding, more pain, and more horror.
It takes months for most girls and women to recover from the procedure, and even then, their brain has often been altered for life. There is a correspondence between the clitoris and the brain, and those who promote the procedure know that FGM dulls the mind – one of the goals of the procedure.
6. Sociological and spiritual effects. FGM literally ruins society! We believe this is one of its secret goals. The women are left mental and emotionally defective and this influences the children and therefore the entire society.
OTHER TOPICS RELATED TO FGM
FGM IS NOT FEMALE CIRCUMCISION
At times, FGM is falsely called “female circumcision”. However, this is not accurate. Cutting off the clitoris is more like cutting off a man’s penis, which is not done and cannot be done without severe bleeding, usually to death.
Male circumcision on the eighth day of life in the Hebrew tradition is part of the covenant with God in the Hebrew Bible. Done properly, it is relatively painless.
It is done for reasons of cleanliness and to reduce sexual aggressiveness in men. It is not “ideal”, but it works and we strongly recommend it. It used to be done on most male babies in America and was one reason for the success of this nation. For details, read Circumcision.
FGM, in contrast, does nothing for cleanliness and is completely barbaric and extremely dangerous.
Please do not become confused on this subject. The circumcision argument is commonly used as a completely false excuse to continue the horror of FGM.
HOW MANY WOMEN ARE AFFECTED, AND WHERE?
According to recent statistics, at least 200 million girls and young women have experienced FMG. Most live in about 30 Islamic nations in Africa and in the Middle East. It also occurs to some degree in the Islamic nations of Asia, such as Pakistan and Indonesia, and perhaps in isolated places in South America.
WHY IS IT DONE?
The reasons are mainly to control women. FGM makes women more manageable and docile. It ruins their self-esteem, as do the rapes that are common in these same societies.
In a few nations is used as a punishment, at times, for the following “crimes”:
1. Resisting the sexual advances of any man who wants to have sex with you.
2. Disobeying one’s husband in any way.
3. Causing a man to be embarrassed in any way.
4. Causing another woman to resist the sexual advances of a man.
Women are forced to have the operation and are told it is for their own good. Girls are often told falsely that the Israelis are to blame.
Some falsely believe that FGM is a “cultural norm” that must be continued or the society will fall apart. The opposite is the truth.
Other reasons for FGM are more bizarre, stemming from theories - or really fears - about women’s sexuality and an attempt to stop it. Some books that are available through Amazon.com and other book outlets discuss this. In these cases, it is clearly a misogynous (meaning woman-hating) aspect of some cultures that believe that women deserve this type of torture.
Sad to say, FGM is found mainly among followers of Islam. It is becoming more common today, thanks to the rise of radical Islam. Islam is the only religion on the planet that we know of that allows it and even suggests it for some “crimes” such as resisting a rape.
SECRET MAIMING OF WOMEN
Not only is FGM one of the most barbaric, painful and disfiguring practices the world has ever known. It is also one of the most secretive.
Few are willing to talk about it, or to discuss what to do about it, including the women themselves. They are often threatened with death or other punishments if they object to it or discuss it with strangers from outside the tribe or family.
DEVELOPMENT AND FGM
A development program can help retrace the trauma of FGM and undo some of its psychological and emotional damage. The program will:
1. Balance and strengthen the entire body and brain.
2. May cause a retracing of the actual trauma.
3. It is possible as a woman develops enough to regrow the clitoris. This would take many years on a program.
A very important and somewhat unusual aspect of the program is to rub the feet at least once, and better yet, twice or three times daily. This is called reflexology, and it has a profound balancing and strengthening effect on the brain and the body.
The most important reflex area on the feet that must be stimulated daily are the toes, which correspond to the head in terms of reflexes. Fairly firm pressure is needed to obtain these results.
Some women report that following a complete development program with one of the Approved Practitioners only who are listed on this website has been the only program that has given them relief and healing of the mind after FGM, even if years have passed since the trauma.
To read more about it, type “female genital mutilation” into a search engine on the internet. Several books have also been written about it over the past 20 years that are available via the internet and at some book stores.
1. Unicef Report On Female Genital Mutilation or Cutting: http://www.unicef.org/media/files/FGCM_Brochure_Lo_res.pdf