Warrior Marks

Essay by togglesUniversity, Bachelor'sB, April 2004

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According to the movie "Warrior Marks", Female Genital Surgery/Mutilation as many may call it is a tradition that is usually performed on girls before puberty. Female genital mutilation, also known as female circumcision, is a practice that involves the removal of part or all of the female external genitalia. It occurs throughout the world, but most commonly in Africa where they say that it is a tradition and social custom to keep a young girl pure and a married woman faithful. But to some, the practice is viewed as being primitive and barbaric.

In Warrior Marks, Alice Walker looks at the reality that millions of African women suffer from genital mutilation. The movie begins with the story of how she lost one eye. This wound was inflicted on her when she was three years old by the hands of her older brother, and for years, she felt handicapped and isolated.

Her brother, who caused this accident with a bird gun, is referred to as a "warrior" and the blinding of her eye is the "warrior mark". Her visual mutilation is what helped her see the subject of genital mutilation. She sees it as a terrible form of patriarchal oppression, characterized by "the feeling of being overpowered and dominated by those you are bound to respect."

The part that really stood out to me was the fact that women who perform the surgery seem to disregard for the consequences of FGS, and it all stems from the lack of knowledge of anatomy and hygiene, which can result in infections of the genital and often results in the transmission of the HIV virus. Besides the initial pain of the operation, these girls also suffer long-term physiological, sexual and psychological effects. A mother reveals that she would stop the pain...