[UPDATED] Islamic FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION gets seal of approval from American Academy of Pediatrics

Hey, it’s just a little nick “down there.” Oh, and so much better than the total genital mutilation Muslim cultures perform on little girls, usually by the neighborhood clit cutter, lacking medical training or sanitary instruments. What’s important is that it would “build trust” with Muslim immigrant families.



5/27 – Equality Now Welcomes Decision by American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to Withdraw its 2010 Policy Statement on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) that Endorsed Pediatricians’ ‘Nicking’ of Girls’ Genitalia.

Immediately following the announcement about AAP’s new policy statement on April 26, 2010, Equality Now launched a global campaign, which called on its membership of over 35,000 individuals and organizations from 160 countries to put pressure on the AAP to revoke its statement. LINK H/T Jackie

5/28 – Just as I was posting the good news about the AAP’s decision not to go ahead, I find this from Australia: The Daily Telegraph reveals that the practice involving cutting a girl’s genitals, sometimes with razors or pieces of glass, could be allowed in a clinical setting to stem illegal backyard procedures which are leaving young girls scarred for life.

The Royal Australian New Zealand College of Obstetricians will next month discuss backing “ritual nicks”, a modified form of genital mutilation. Female genital mutilation has been outlawed in Australia since the 1990s but is common among African, Asian and Middle Eastern communities.

With the rise in Somali and Sudanese living in Australia, doctors are seeing more cases of young girls, and women, needing surgery after illegal operations. Backers of “ritual nick” said it was a superficial procedure leaving no long-term damage. But experts are divided on whether to allow the practice, given that in some cultures it is used to remove the sexual feelings of women.

“We need to make sure we do not legitimise the ritualistic maiming of children.” Many are outraged, some saying a “ritual nick” is still child abuse and legitimises female mutilation. DAILY TELEGRAPH


The American Academy of Pediatrics has suggested a new way to fight female genital mutilation in the United States: Allow doctors to give girls a “nick” down there. In a policy statement titled “Ritual Genital Cutting of Female Minors,” the Academy suggests that allowing such a ritual could serve as a way to “build trust” with immigrant families and prevent parents from sending their girls overseas for far more extensive, and potentially life-threatening, procedures. It’s a “possible compromise to avoid greater harm,” the statement says.

As you might imagine, the Academy’s endorsement of a ritualistic “nick” has not gone over well. PZ Myers of Pharyngula mockingly wrote: “We’ll just mutilate baby girls a little bit, to make the misogynist patriarchal assholes happy.” Taking a similar tack, Shakesville’s Melissa McEwan turned up the snark real loud: “Girls get only a little heinous physical and psychological trauma, and their guardians get to practice their violent misogyny, just in a slightly less violent way.

The position statement seemed so ambiguous to me that I had to give the Academy a call to ask just what it meant by a “nick.” Are we talking about the sort of shallow cut that might result from the slip of a razor or full-on female circumcision, where the clitoral hood is removed? Neither, it turns out. Dr. Lainie Friedman Ross, one of the statement’s authors, compared it to an ear piercing. It wouldn’t involve the removal of skin, instead it would be more like “a pin prick, a drop of blood.” As she described it, the “nick” would be ritualistic and symbolic.” SALON

BUT HOW MUCH BLOOD will parents be satisfied with, asks Georganne Chapin, executive director of an advocacy group called Intact America. She was “astonished that a group of intelligent people did not see the utter slippery slope that we put physicians on” with the new policy statement. She added: “There are countries in the world that allow wife beating, slavery and child abuse, but we don’t allow people to practice those customs in this country. We don’t let people have slavery a little bit because they’re going to do it anyway, or beat their wives a little bit because they’re going to do it anyway.”

Currently, more than 130 million women and girls worldwide have undergone female genital cutting, according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. It is mostly performed on girls much younger than 15 in mostly Muslim countries including Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan and Somalia. Consequences can include severe complications with pregnancy, childbirth and sexual dysfunction. NY TIMES

(As you will see if you view the videos below, FGM is barbaric as well as unhygienic. For the Academy to think there is any compromise is to completely misunderstand why the mutilations occur in the first place. FGM is a misogynous practice with serious intentional consequences. It is a violation of a female’s human rights. The Academy is either naive or culturally patronizing to think a centuries old practice will be abandoned because Western medicine gives its approval to a substitute. The Academy is wrong in suggesting there is a benign form of FGM.)