Friday 24 February 2012

Thought Picnic: FGM - On my use of "Clitoral Disgust"

Why the title?
Soon after publishing my blog about FGM in Nigeria, I entered into discussion about the title I had given the blog with the view that I review the construct and possibly the wording.
I am sure most of us know what Female Genital Mutilation is, it is also called Female Circumcision and it is evident what the practice entails; the mutilation of female sexual organs.
In coming up with the title, I could have used one of seven easily mentionable names of the object but I chose an adjective which contextually was already attributive and followed that with the noun form rather than the verb form of Disgust to create an adjectival phrase.
This in my view captured the fact that butchering exercise redolent of abattoirs was in traditional disgust of the object that was only mentioned in my blog within the types of FGM that WHO indicated.
Between abattoir and surgery
The use of the word abattoirs cannot be faulted if one views the implements used in this exercise which are by no means surgical by any stretch of the imagination and primitive in the extreme. The victims of FGM do not have the luxury of anaesthesia when then these caveman procedures are done apart from physical restraint and it is unlikely that the practitioners are trained to handle emergencies if they do occur.
If we can move beyond the title which at worst should be forgiven for taking artistic licence and read the story, it is of a girl, Joy Youmgbo who went to visit her grandmother for Christmas, she was mutilated, suffered great agony for days and died a horrific painful death that medical records cited as a result of post-circumcision haemorrhage.
Face up!
We would not have heard of this criminality – and I say criminality because no such operations as cutting the flesh in tender areas, no matter the traditional expertise should ever be conducted outside hospitals, in this day and age – if the other sister had not run away from home in the fear that the same fate might befall her.
Now, this topic is controversial and there are those for and against FGM, in my view, if the practise cannot be stopped, then the theatre of that practice must change.
If FGM must occur then it should only be in hospitals under strict medical supervision all the parties involved having undergone essential counselling and therapy before the decision to cut is made.
In the end, I stand by the title I chose, it in my view conveys the complete context of the blog that follows and the sooner we called a spade, a spade, we can start digging.
Thank you.

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