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[AFF] Female Genital Mutilation

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1. Nobody would advocate it. It's kind of sick.

2. You can't run feminism, which is the best thing this case has going for it.

3. No real advantages except preventing infections. It won't save many lives - actually, it would probably do the opposite by legitimizing and spreading the practice.

4. FGM is illegal in most countries, so there's no real mechanism for a "female circumcision good" case.

 

I would have to disagree. Third World Feminism totally links to t his case. Western feminism criticizes FGM, while TWF supports it in a cultural way. Pushing our education, meds, or whatever the plan does would overcome TWF, all while using a system that is inherently violent towards women...and so on and so forth.

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There are extreme cultural relativists who believe the practice of female genital mutilation should be tolerated. They are a very tiny minority of academia. They don't call themselves feminists, and nobody calls them feminists.

 

Also, there is no such thing as "Third World Feminism." There are feminists who focus their attention on the developing world, but they don't call themselves "Third World Feminists," and they generally believe in the elevation of the status women regardless of culture. They are therefore not cultural relativists.

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And why is extinction bad? Isn't valuing humanity above the human also a Western (albeit leftist) mindset too?

 

Look, I'm not saying extreme cultural relativism is impossible to run. It's a perfectly legitimate response on the neg side of a typical FGM debate. But it is extremely difficult to win, and putting all your eggs in that basket on the aff side is idiotic. It's infinitely regressive, for one. But more importantly, nobody in debate actually believes it, and for good reason. Mutilation and oppression of people on the basis of sex is NEVER an inherently good cultural value, and you aren't going to find a debater who says otherwise.

 

Don't worry, I know you're playing devil's advocate. Just tossing out the response for good measure. :)

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I think you just need to ditch the extinction impact entirely if you're going to sensibly run a full-on cultural relativism critique. As its adherents see it, CR isn't a fact of utilitarian calculus or really even a moral principle. It's a tool for learning about cultures.

 

CR comes from anthropology at the turn of the 20th century as a reaction to evolutionary theories of culture. The idea was that we need to look at cultures in their own context rather than compare them to one another and make judgments. If we don't, we lose our scientific objectivity, what we learn is mostly a product of our own prejudices, and we remain ignorant of the cultures we are attempting to understand. But here's the twist: today the American Anthropological Association does support the idea of human rights. See here. They specifically mention the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Their official position seems to be that living according to one's culture is also a human right.

 

I think this is how you would need to run a cultural relativism critique and do well: more toned down, taking human rights into account, and possibly with some kind of "cultural understanding" pre-fiat implications. Whether female genital mutilation should be considered a cultural practice worthy of respecting is where the debate will be. I think most debates would come out on the feminist side as it really is a horrible thing to do to little girls, but this is literally a textbook case and there is room for debate.

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I dont know if anyone cares, but there is sweet irony lit out their for a male GM aff. The idea would be to denounce male circumcisions in africa, even though, of course, it is a standard (and more common) practice in the United States. The distinction that people make between male circumcisions and FGM can be pretty ridiculous/asinine. I think that it could work well as a sweet kritik of the larger feminist kritik of FGM overseas. Kind of like a specific K of western feminism in general.

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The irony idea is misinformed. There's a *big* difference between removing foreskin and removing the clitoris. Many forms of female genital cutting go even further than clitoridectomy, removing parts of the labia and stitching what's left together to leave a small hole for urination. It is extremely painful, it greatly increases the chance that the woman's children will die in childbirth, and often the girl dies from shock or bleeding shortly after the procedure.

 

Read more about the practice at Amnesty International's FGM page.

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The irony idea is misinformed. There's a *big* difference between removing foreskin and removing the clitoris. Many forms of female genital cutting go even further than clitoridectomy, removing parts of the labia and stitching what's left together to leave a small hole for urination. It is extremely painful, it greatly increases the chance that the woman's children will die in childbirth, and often the girl dies from shock or bleeding shortly after the procedure.

 

Read more about the practice at Amnesty International's FGM page.

 

Right, and most plans probably wont ACTUALLY lead to a nuclear holocaust, but we still say it does.

 

There are a lot of things that can be considered FGM that is more similar to foreskin removal than the extreme forms that you describe. I'm a gender studies major at UT-Dallas, and I've read a lot of literature on both sides of this issue. You speak truths about several forms of FGM, but I think there is still plenty of room to argue against a lot of interpretations of these practices that are held by western feminist authors. I think if a team runs this position, they wouldnt have to defend the whole of female genital cutting to criticize the western/african dichotomization of the two practices.

 

also, from your link:

 

"The vast majority (85%) of genital mutilations performed in Africa consist of clitoridectomy or excision.

The least radical procedure consists of the removal of the clitoral hood."

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I've read a lot of literature on both sides of this issue. You speak truths about several forms of FGM, but I think there is still plenty of room to argue against a lot of interpretations of these practices that are held by western feminist authors.
Post a source, please.

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Post a source, please.

 

Ahem!

 

Pomo-quoting gender studies major, care to share?

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I have better things to do than to get into an online debate with someone I've never met. I posted an idea in a relevant thread, and though I wish I had the time to constantly check and respond to cross-x.com, I simply don't.

 

If you want more information on the subject a quick google search for "male genital mutilation" turned up over 30,000 links. A lot of the links do decent comparison on the two issues and focus on why western feminists have such a genered view of a similar practice.

 

Some specific ones that might help you in whatever the fuck you're trying to negate me about:

 

Kirsten Bell

Genital Cutting andWestern Discourses on Sexuality

Medical Anthropology Quarterly, Vol. 19, Issue 2, pp. 125–148

 

Abstract: This article explores dominant discourses surrounding male and female genital cutting. Over a similar period of time, these genital operations have separately been subjected to scrutiny and criticism. However, although critiques of female circumcision have been widely taken up, general public opinion toward male circumcision remains indifferent. This difference cannot merely be explained by the natural attributes and effects of these practices. Rather, attitudes toward genital cutting reflect historically and culturally specific understandings of the human body. In particular, I suggest that certain problematic understandings of male and female sexuality are deeply implicated in the dominant Western discourses on genital surgery.

 

Gregory J. Boyle (Bond Univeristy, Australia), Ronald Goldman, J. Steven Svoboda and Ephrem Fernandez

Male Circumcision: Pain, Trauma, and Psychosexual Sequelae

Journal of Health Psychology, May 2002, Vol 7 (No. 3), pp. 329-343

 

Abstract:

Infant male circumcision continues despite growing questions about its medical justification. As usually performed without analgesia or anaesthetic, circumcision is observably painful. It is likely that genital cutting has physical, sexual and psychological consequences too. Some studies link involuntary male circumcision with a range of negative emotions and even post- traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some circumcised men have described their current feelings in the language of violation, torture, mutilation and sexual assault. In view of the acute as well as long-term risks from circumcision and the legal liabilities that might arise, it is timely for health professionals and scientists to re-examine the evidence on this issue and participate in the debate about the advisability of this surgical procedure on unconsenting minors.

 

Also, this list is pretty useful

http://www.circumstitions.com/References.html#Bell

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