Re: braces?

Cliff Sloane (cesloane@MAROON.TC.UMN.EDU)
Tue, 10 May 1994 15:50:48 -0500

> Karen Carr compares having braces to female infibulation. Karen,
> you had your braces removed didn't you? Perhaps it was painful, but
> I hardly think it is comparable to having your sexuality denied, or worse,
> excised. Infibulation is a means of controlling a resource, namely
> sexual access to women, whereas, hopefully, the orthodontist merely
> corrected your chewing, speech, etc.

I agree with Margaret. Further, it brings back the distinction based on
benefit. While there certainly are grey areas, and arenas for dispute, the
example of braces versus infibulation is not one of these. The complaints
of children notwithstanding, braces have a clear and undeniable benefit.
The increased risk of death in childbirth places infibulation at the
opposite end of the "benefit" scale.

If you want to compare similar practices across cultures, I would submit
that the American frequency of C-sections is closer to the mark.

Cliff Sloane