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More adventurous than the average bear

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Friday, October 26, 2012

On the narrative of Female Circumcision

"in anthropology there is controversy over western attitudes toward female circumcision. In many cases, the extent of the cuttings and the conditions in which they are performed are exaggerated for purposes of sensationalism and othering and the continuation of the colonialist narrative of "those barbaric Africans" while male circumcision that we are familiar with and practice in this country is hardly an issue. Additionally, most of the practitioners and defenders of FGC are women so it's really problematic to just swoop in and say "oh well you don't know, but your traditions are barbaric so you should stop them this instant!" Where is the space for agency? Why is it assumed that only Western European women speak for all women everywhere? And that they were the only ones who were ever able to stand up to patriarchy and can now help all those less fortunate women? This is a serious issue. Cultural imperialism is not a good thing. It spawns many many problems in the attempt to "fix" others so that they are more like us."

(I think this was from some Jezebel comments thread)
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