FGM, Female Genital Mutilation

Essay by Dan3High School, 11th gradeB, April 1996

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Female genital mutilation has been practiced in country's around the world for thousands of years, and will continue to be practiced, until those that practice it decide to stop.

Many people who live in country's that are more industrialized, like the U.S.A., tend to think that no ones believes on right and wrong is correct, except their own. That is what comes up in conversation about FGM. Personally, I am not pro-FGM when it comes to its practice. However, I believe people who want to practice it, should be allowed to, without a bunch of 'activists against the practice of FGM' telling them to stop, or even 'informing' them about the potential health risks. The reason I am against even explaining the health risks to the people that practice this is, because whenever you have people that believe enough in something to base their entire life around it, there is nothing you can do or say that will get them to change; it would be like talking to a wall.

They will only change when the people themselves that live by these traditions get fed up with all the side-effects caused by the practice of FGM. It is every person and community's right to decide for themselves, without the intervention of outsiders, to decide to do whatever they want to do to their bodies and minds.

I know, 'these women that are being circumcised, aren't freely deciding on this to be done to them, they don't know any better, they've been brainwashed'. I have two responses to this. The first is, if they have grown up in this culture all their lives, and this procedure has been done to their mothers, sisters, great grandmothers, etc. on the fear that if it is not done, something tearable...