My friend and fellow blogger sent me a link with that headline a couple of nights ago and I instantly felt sick to my stomach.
Just wait until you read the actual article.
In very short, the AAP is suggesting pediatricians in the United States be permitted to legally perform Level IV female genital mutilation (FGM) which is constituted by a clitoral "nick," a procedure that is not physically or psychologically harmful, in the name of cultural sensitivity. They are hoping that by legalizing this, it will prevent the performance of more serious and currently illegal levels of FGM.
Not surprisingly, they are using circumcision, which in this country is not a medically necessary procedure (though it has been found in some studies to decrease the chance of UTIs as well as the spread of AIDS in third world countries), as a way to further their argument.
And really, I can't fault them there. From my reading, the clitoral "nick" is less painful and less "disfiguring" than the current male circumcision practices in this country.
However, even though one could compare the Level IV clitoral "nick" with male circumcision, as my friend points out, FGM practices stem from a completely different source.
"Female genital mutilation not only results in physical and psychological trauma (including long-term health problems and possible death), it is rooted in gender politics. Female genital mutilation is done to control women at their very core. Not only does it subjugate them to men, but it is perpetuated by women as well."
And, aside from all that, I just don't think it's wise for the AAP to institute FGM as a means to make things "even-steven." They're basically saying "Well, we cut off a boy's foreskin, so we should be able to nick a girl's clitoris" (which by the way is illegal).
Don't get me wrong. I'm not a fan of circumcision and my son is uncut.
But I'm still completely stunned by these suggested amendments, regardless of what is hoped they will prevent.
And I firmly believe that it is possible to take the words "cultural sensitivity" way too far.
What's next? Foot binding?
Please go read my above-mentioned friend's outstanding post highlighting the details of this suggested AAP amendment regarding Female Genital Mutilation. She's also included ways that you can loudly voice your disdain for these suggestions.