BY: KHALED MOUNTASER

Sixteen years into the twenty first century, nonetheless some people in Egypt still retain a persistent medieval mentality. They still believe in the necessity of legalizing the most ruthless brutal crime Egypt has ever known; Female Genital Mutilation. They still attempt to submit a new bill that deems FGM a medical procedure, and allows it in hospitals. FGM is a crime regardless of where it is carried out, no medical references recognize FGM as having any medical necessities, moreover it is not recognized as a medical procedure by any reliable medical source. Deeming FGM as a medical procedure is a crime. There is no such thing as a legitimate -justified- FGM; FGM should only be perceived as amputation or mutilation of female genitalia, the way developed countries perceive it. FGM is a mere social custom not an act of worship, it is butchery not chastity. Contrary to the common belief, FGM does not reduce female libido, however it denies women sexual satisfaction where they are never able to reach orgasm, which society views as prerogative of men. And to put theory of “Circumcision keeps women chaste” to rest, statistics show that 90% of women arrested for prostitution had undergone FGM. In other words, cutting parts of our girls’ bodies will not protect them from slipping into adultery, good upbringing will. Some might argue back saying that it’s best performed by a physician, but physician/doctor is not synonymous to savior. FGM is a crime regardless who is committing it, be it a doctor or a midwife, the only difference is that it is a “rustic” sort of crime when it is committed by a midwife, whereas when it is committed by a doctor using disposable medical gloves and anesthetization, it is a “classy” crime. It is not the matter of who carries it out, but rather the fact that it is still performed. The question is, will we equip our nation to embark the future with civilized broad minds, or will we continue to live with a sex-driven mentality? Another, rather direct, question; when will we be able to abolish FGM? It is impossible to find an answer to this question without answering another, more crucial, question; what is our problem with women to begin with? To answer this question, we have to acknowledge our stance on women, which can be summed up in this folklore song addressing midwives after they help deliver a newborn girl “Oh Midwife, you don’t deserve a trifle, for baring the bad news of a newborn girl, in the presence of the gloating enemies.” Indeed, this is how girls are perceived in our society, they walk among us dragging their loin bodies wherever they may go. A girl comes into the world to her family’s scowling disappointed faces, she embarks her childhood with an act of butchery performed by a midwife, she commences her youth with marital rape, and in her old age, she is abandoned by her children and grandchildren and left in the pit of neglect until she migrates from the big coffin that is her life, to the small coffin where she rests to her death. In the ancient times, female infanticide –burying newborn girls alive- only took a moment, whereas now, it lasts for a women’s entire lifetime. It’s best to conclude this article with Salima Saleh’s, an Arab writer, words “it is extremely difficult being a woman, you have to maintain the appearance of a lady, think like a man, and work like a horse”

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