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21 April 2004 @ 10:49 pm
I'm seriously sitting here with my legs crossed, whimpering.  

I just got the most recent Jane magazine, and they have an article on women in the US and UK who are choosing to have their genitals mutilated. As in the labia and/or clitoris REMOVED. And the best part is that a lot of these women are having someone do it at home, like they're having a freaking bikini wax. Pain, the possibility of infection, no more orgasms... I am just gibbering at this article. Have some quotes:

Crazy-Ass Chick in England who has been dreaming about being circumcised (okay, a small rant quickly - I HATE that they consider this on par with circumcision. I realize I am not male and therefore I can't know what it's like to have or not have a foreskin, but you can't tell me that cutting out the entire clitoris is the same as skin only, especially as any study of physiology will tell you that the clitoris is basically the same as the penis in structure. Clitoridectomy is really the correct word here. Okay, rant done.) for 3 years: "I will be closer to who I want to be - a more compliant female." Okay, WHAT THE FUCK?!

Another freak decided to have her boyfriend circumcise her because "during intercourse, I want to be able to concentrate on my partner without being hindered by my own lust." O_O_O_O_O_O_O_O

Yet another woman has her husband remove her labia because they "protruded out further than any other girls'." Once hubby was down there cutting off bits, they decided they didn't like the way her clitoris looked either, so on a WHIM he cut that off, too. *speechless*

The article ends with this paragraph about second freak mentioned above:
After four intensely painful sessions, she seems to have gotten exactly what she wanted. Now, she says, having sex is "comparable to a French kiss." She continues, "I am convinced I will never again experience an orgasm. I am very happy with the results." *runs around screaming*

Just... just... AAAAAAARRRRRGHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so disgusted and angry about this on so many levels. Sure, you can go ahead and argue that they are doing what they want to their own bodies, and yes, I'll buy that to a certain extent. But what happened in their psyches that made them decide that pleasure was such a horrific thing that they had to make sure it could NEVER, EVER occur again?? And when you think of all the women in the world who can't orgasm at all and wish they could, these women are even more shocking. Plus, I admit, the fact that they seem to be doing it for the men in their lives really bothers me. Yes, relationships take compromising and sometimes you do things you don't really want to, but there is a limit to what one person should do for another. And WTF is wrong with these men that they don't want the women they are involved with to have pleasure?!?! Why didn't they speak up and go, "Uh, honey? Maybe you should think this thing through. I happen to like it when you are experiencing pleasure," or whatever. Because if they don't feel that way, again with the WTF?!

The only thing that's somewhat reassuring is that if the people doing this are somehow caught (and granted, if it's just a couple doing it, it's probably unlikely unless the woman ends up needing medical treatment), they will go to jail in this country (can't speak for UK laws). It is against the law to perform FGM in the US, or to ask to have it done unless there is a medical reason to do so and it's performed by a physician. However, what I think these people need even more than jail time is some serious psychological help.

And I'm done.
I feel: scaredscared
Vicki: You'll get the wand!hermorrine on April 21st, 2004 10:35 pm (UTC)
Was there a reason for it? Did a doctor perform the surgery? I am not saying there are not legitimate reasons for such things.
furious george: The only way to get what you want.weatherby on April 21st, 2004 10:41 pm (UTC)
The reason was just that she wanted it removed. She's also one of the most down to earth, intelligent, thoughtful people I know--the only person who can make me feel comfortable in social situations. I find it kind of offensive to say people who do this are insane, because I know that she isn't. It's like assuming that everyone who writes HP slash is a paedophile. And while someone can say, "HP slash is hardly the same, that's not harmful!", it's all in the eyes of who's doing it, really. I mean, HP slash is normal to us and what we wanted to do, and that's what she wanted to do. Certainly abnormal to a great deal of people, but not to her, and that's the only person she's affecting.
Vicki: *SIGH*hermorrine on April 23rd, 2004 11:29 am (UTC)
Sorry for the delay in getting back to you - I was totally swamped, but I didn't want you to think that I didn't want to respond.

I know that there are women who are unhappy with how their labia looks/feels/whatever, and they do have procedures done to remove/change them (usually by a plastic surgeon). I have no problem with that (hell, I think my own are kinda weird, but I'm not going to go changing anything because I wouldn't take the chance of screwing up the nerves in that region). My issues are with women who a) do these things without the care of a medical professional, because frankly, I find that to be very stupid - we're not talking just a little cut here, and the chances for infection seem very great, and b) have their clitoris removed - I can never, ever be okay with someone who does that.

If that means I'm being offensive or judging someone, well, I'm sorry for that but I guess it's true. To me, it would be another form of cutting or self-mutilation, and that is not something I can find acceptable.
furious george: I've been a nasty.weatherby on April 23rd, 2004 07:33 pm (UTC)
Oh, it's okay. I'm not like, irritated at you, btw.

I do see the problem with women doing it because they think it will satisfy their partner; however, as weird as it sounds, I've known more than a few people who have either done this or wanted it done, and none of them wanted it done for their partner. I think this article went with a certain tone and I imagine that a lot of people found it offensive. (Of course, I haven't read the whole article, but. -.-)

There are women who want their clitoris removed for themselves, not their partners--whether because orgasming is painful for them or because they just don't want them for reasons of their own. It doesn't really bother me, but again this is something I've known about for years and known on a personal level due to friends, so of course I don't find this as weird as you do, or anyone else who just heard about it. And while I am bothered by people doing it for their partner, the sad fact is that a lot of women are duped into doing things like that for their partners. There are plenty of women who get breast enlargements for their partners, hell, even Asian woman who get the eye fold surgery done for them. And while FGM is definitely less conventional and more permanent (as far as the clitoris removal goes, anyway--frankly I don't see a problem with the labia removal at all), I don't see much of a difference between the two, aside from the methods. Definitely not for me, but plastic surgery is equally dangerous even in the hands of a professional surgeon.

I guess I just don't see how this is self-mutilation but breast surgery isn't. Or especially the Asian eye fold surgery. (Sorry, I have that on my mind because I just saw a show about it.) And really what I take offence at is calling them freaks, because I don't think most people would call cutters freaks (since it's mostly a psychological problem anyway, and saying 'freak' would not exactly be helpful) or someone who had a breast reduction done. Despite the tone this article seems to have given, these things are done mostly for appearance, which is why I liken the two. I think that if breast surgery was something someone could even attempt replicating at home, there would definitely be people who did that. I mean, people are always doing things at home--piercing, tattoos, scarification, branding, etc.