This humorous BBC3 program covers the main issues in the UK.
Equal rights for boys …. Stop MGM… SHARE! … Gender equality for UK genital mutilation legislation! Sign the PETITION now.. (Click on link and follow instructions)
I started this blog to document my interest in the issue of genital mutilation legislation in the UK – it is currently illegal to cut a girl but legal to cut a boy.
In the UK, genital mutilation of children, has become an issue in the last thirty years or so. The majority of the media attention has been devoted to the ritual cutting of girls done in some Islamic cultures that have recently settled in the UK.
Parents who do this to their children genuinely believe that GM is a beneficial thing – usually for mainly religious reasons.
I became interested in this issue for several reasons. I’ve worked as a Teacher of “Looked after children”, young people who find themselves in the care of a local authority and are placed with a foster family or in a children’s home. Fortunately the issue never arose during my time as a Teacher. If I had suspected that a relative of a girl child wanted to take her to have GM done I would be legally obliged to inform her Social Worker and the Police. If a boy child was to be taken to be cut no such obligation would need to be observed. I trained as a Teacher at a time when equality of all kinds was quite rightly being promoted, gender equality, sexual orientation equality, etc.
I see several levels of hypocrisy, double standards, and misinformation in the current legislation.
The Rights of the Child compared to the Parents’ right to religious freedom.
Gender Inequality no protection for male children
No mention of inter-gender children and non-elective surgery
Child FGM is only practised in cultures where child MGM happens too.
While UK law protects girls from genital mutilation – there is no law for boys..
For those who are unaware of why various religious groups do MGM …
They normally cite Abraham’s circumcision, age 99, (he’s not a baby notice) (Majority of Muslims, most Jews, and some Christians hold this rite dear) the story’s told in the Old Testament.. MGM done as a mark of contract with his god and the male members of the tribe.
MGM was well established prior to Abraham’s time.
Its significance was as a serious contract, “signed” in penis blood for dramatic effect, as was the established custom, so it was then a “pagan” habit, that is, it was used by Abraham because it was already an ancient mark of contract or rite of passage in the Middle East *prior* to his awareness of the one god revelation.
Rather like European Christianity took over the time of the Pagan Winter Solstice celebrations to celebrate Christ’s birth, Abraham took an already meaningful rite and appropriated it for Judaism, and Islam, and for some Christians..
Abraham can be regarded as the father of all three branches of the one god fits all theory that has been popular for the past three millennia.
Abraham was divinely inspired to MGM his male slaves too – although most Rabbis agree (for once) that this did not make the slaves Jews. So applying reverse logic here .. circumcision is not the defining feature of male Jewishness.
Nowhere in the Koran itself does it say “Cut off the tip of your son’s wedding tackle”, or words to that effect. GM of both genders of Muslims has since become more popular in some Muslim cultures. But it’s not mentioned in the Koran itself explicitly.
The New Testament states GM is not needed to be a Christian – but some nostalgic Christians still do it for authenticity – as Jesus, being Jewish, was almost certainly unhooded.
Is GM done to remove androgyny? : Nobel Winner George Wald’s Essay
Viking Doctor says No! to cock docking of minors….