female genital mutilation controversies

Essay by andrea96University, Bachelor's November 2014

download word file, 6 pages 0.0

Ethical Reasoning 30: The Just World Andra Fehmiu

Adriana Alfaro, Mathias Risse 01/11/2014

Clitoridectomy: Are there hidden motivations behind the Westerners objections of this practice?

In the article "Hands Off Clitoridectomy", Yael Tamir criticizes the hidden motivation behind the Westerners' objections to clitoridectomy. the ritual removal of a woman's clitoris. Tamir formulates two arguments to support her stance: the first one is that references to clitoridectomy reveal the dominant position men assume by considering women as sexual beings and the second one is that references allow the Westerners to overlook their own deficiencies by condemning "them", the female genital mutilation (FGM) advocates, for what they do to their women. In my opinion, Tamir's best argument to support her stance is that the objections to FGM arise as a result of patronizing attitudes toward women (Tamir 1). Tamir claims that women's sexual enjoyment is a measure of men's sexual power and they (men) consider the achievement of this sexual enjoyment as a "trophy."

She also states that men in the Western society are more intimidated by women who do not enjoy their body and their sexuality than by those who do"(Tamir 4).

Tamir advances her argument by comparing the FGM practices with similar practices in the Western society, such as extreme diets. She suggests that the FGM practices can be "translated" into practices in the Western culture. Tamir argues that the perception of mutilation and improvement is shaped by the concept of beauty so as to imply that what the Westerners consider as improvement might not necessarily be considered as such by other cultures. She states that women who undergo painful processes in both cultures tend to do so for the same reason: because "the alternative is more painful- a life of solitude, humiliation, and deprivation". Therefore, by...