Re: female circumcision-A

Christopher King (
Sat, 26 Nov 1994 03:55:00 GMT

On 11-25-94 CTFAULKN@UTKVX.UTK.EDU wrote about Re: female circumcision-

C>In Article <>
C>ay773@FreeNet.Carleton.CA (Ray Sullivan) writes:
C>> For
C>>adolescent females however, removal of the clitoris is more analagous
C>to >castration.
C> This is not quite analagous. Castration effects reproduction.
C>A clitorectomy has no effect on a women's ability to conceive and
C>carry a child to term. I think it is best to consider both
C>clitorectomy and infibulation as genital mutilation.

This is certainly a better definition. However, I wonder about the term
"mutilation" which has emotional overtones. In the same vein, I wonder
if the cultures in which these practices are carried out attach any
aesthetic value to the finished product. All this talk about mutilation
and degradation seems to overlook the questions of how the practice is
constructed in local terms. Or is it just a barbaric practice of
degradation and suppression physically forced on resisting girls?

C>As I recall anthropological training should be directed at
C>teaching skills necessary to conduct research on cullturally sensitive
C>issues. This means learning and listening from those on the inside of
C>the culture we wish to study. we can enforce our liberal values without seeming to do so. I
thought this kind of anthropology was something of the past.