FGM – “Why?” Is Not Good Enough

FGM – “Why?” Is Not Good Enough

By: Tracy Madlener

 They told her that she would be rewarded.  They lured her to believe it was easy.  She believed her parents would never harm her.  She trusted them and followed their lead. Once she entered the room, her 8 year old body was restrained by grown women, her legs spread far apart and her blood curdling screams were muffled by the hands that she trusted.

This is the image that plays in my head when I read about the horror of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).  Maybe I have rose colored glasses on compared to what really happens, but no matter what color my lenses are, my gut and my heart feel a squeeze so tight that I can barely breathe and with each new piece of information that I read, my mind is shouting… “WHY?!”


Sometimes there are stories within our society that are so unimaginable to me, that I push it aside and pretend that we live in a world that would never do such a thing.  That world is only in my dreams and the vision of a young female child being held down with a razor or a pair of scissors or a piece of glass shard… with no anesthesia… It is a scene that is all too common for about 140 million girls and women worldwide.  More than 3 million girls a year are at risk of having this happen to them.  And my question is still the same, “Why?”

It’s a good tradition they say.  It will help marriage prospects they claim.  I’ve even read that FGM is the passage to womanhood and will empower these girls.  Empower?  In what ways?  To never trust anyone again?  That love and physical pain go hand in hand?  I don’t get it… and yet there are women who have had this done to them that will have it done to their own daughters.  When does the insanity stop?

There are no benefits for the women who have been through FGM, only long lasting physical health problems such as constant infections, problem pregnancies, a high percentage of new infant mortality and the constant question that looms over their heads… “Why?”  But some of the women don’t question it, otherwise, wouldn’t they put their foot down and say, “No!”?  Are the women of this tradition have it so ingrained on their minds as to believe that you must endure a horrific physical torture to be considered pure and good?  Whose idea was this anyway?

It sounds like a ownership thing to me.  Ownership, branding, marking territory… we’ll show these girls whose in charge from the get go and make them always feel inadequate.  I Know! Let’s cut off her most sensitive part of her entire body and see what happens!

What is the prize for hurting innocent girls? Their version of the perfect virgin?  I thought  God makes people perfect in their own individual ways, who is man to say otherwise?

So now that my stomach is tied in knots by the anger I feel, I am going to do something about it.  I am going to sign every petition I can find to stop this barbaric treatment of young innocent girls.  If your gut and your heart feel the same way, please join me and sign the one petition that I did find by clicking the petition hyperlink.  I don’t want my daughter to ask, “Why?”  I want her to grow up in a world that believes that women are perfect the way they are… that’s why.

WARNING: Although this video does not show the graphic nature of FGM being performed, the still images may be too disturbing for some viewers.

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  1. MM says:

    This is a true horror, I emphatically agree. As someone who studied anthropology, I try to be open minded when it comes to many cultural practices, but I draw the line at acts like this. All this does is degrade and harm females. There is nothing good in it.

    Thank you for posting about this!

  2. OBFF says:

    What a horrible practice this is! I am horrified!

  3. MC says:

    This is done to surpress woman’s certain pleasures and is very common in certain middle eastern and north African countries. I am not sure how petitions can stop this practice there. Women have been kept virtually as slaves…

  4. Dennis says:

    There are so many atrocities in the world, that man is doing to others in this world, in this life. I’m not sure that religion is totally to blame, most religions urge us to seek the truth. Somewhere along the line, some have believed they have found it, and thus, it was no longer necessary to continue searching. Then a ritual was started, celebrating around this ‘truth’, whether or not it was the truth, at all. It’s possible that the end of our injustices will only come by way of our own destruction, which we are working on just as steadily, as we continue.

  5. Tracy says:

    Good point Dennis. Many think that this tradition is religious, but as I have found in my research, it is not. This practice has been done by Animists, Christians, and Muslims. So whose truth is this? Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  6. Sarah Wilson says:

    Removal of all pleasure makes women much less likely to roam, I suspect. And that is key in many cultures. With so much time/effort/money invested into child-rearing, control over a woman’s body so men know a child is theirs is a top (if unconscious) priority.

    Thankfully, many cultures use less violent means but this one removes pleasure/adds pain. “Lust” is lessened substantially, if not completely, I imagine.

    So yes, I agree, all about control.

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