Friday, 23 March 2012

What sort of world do you want to live in?

A conversation with some people the other day about feminism lead to a tangent on female circumcision. Now, I know that there are many awful, horrible things going on in the world, but I truly think that this is one of the most vile and completely unacceptable things ever. Yet there are, apparently some people who consider this to be a cultural issue which has nothing to do with the likes of you and I.

Now, as we all know, I am incredibly vocal. So I have been complaining about this quite a lot following this, but, it has also got me thinking. What is the line between wrong and cultural difference? Is there ever a line or should we just let every country get on with their own thing? Well, that could have worked once, but nowadays there is such a mix of culture everywhere you go, and if something's right for one culture but not their foreign neighbor, well, it could get messy. But surely we're going backwards if we decide that the UK's laws should take presidence over the views of every body else. So, I would like to make myself clear, I am in no way advocating that Britain should reign supreme, I think we should relish how diverse our world is and in many cases we should look to how different cultures and countries deal with certain things and take advice. I mean, Norway is regularly listed as the happiest country in the world, so I'm all for us looking other there to see how we can cheer ourselves up.

But, can we really live with ourselves if we've become a race who just ignores problems if they're not in front of us? Or if they're not predominate in our country, does that mean we should just let bad things happen? Female genital mutilation isn't like male circumcision, this is the partial, or more commonly the complete, removal of external female sex organs. A lack of knowledge leads many people to believe that female sex organs are dirty and need to be removed for the child's own safety, many men from these places refuse to marry a woman unless she has undergone this process and folklore aggravates these beliefs, for instance that if a newborn touches the clitoris during childbirth it will die. I want to live in a world where myths like this don't exist and where women don't feel ashamed. I want to live in a world where the happiness and safety of everyone is of concern to everybody who lives in it irregardless of where they live. Procedures like this are completely unnecessary in 21st century society and the subsequent pain and death of them is surely unnecessary too? We have so much knowledge which could be used to empower these women so that they realise this is in no way a necessary procedure.

At least 2000 young girls from the UK will potentially be victims of genital mutilation this summer, is that still too far away?

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