OPINIONS ON FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION (FGM)

The issue of female circumcision, also known as Female Genital Mutilation is a contemporary topic that seems to cut across race and creed. Over the years, the issue of female circumcision has become a growing concern among women and gender groups. Female Genital Mutilation is the ritual cutting or removal of some or all of the external female genitalia.
The reasons for and problems arising from the practice have taken the front burner such that a young lady, a few years ago, sought asylum in United Kingdom to prevent being circumcised. Also, in December 1980, a Kenyan court ruled in favour of two teenage girls who argued that their father should not force them to undergo FGM. Below are various opinions from residents of Ika land.
According to Chief (Dr.) F.A. Onyekpeze; “considering the medical to physiological and emotional trauma, anti-female circumcision campaigners has called for legal backing to the banning of the practice. Their efforts have yielded much positive change to the extent that some state governments in Nigeria have promulgated laws protecting the rights of women in this and other crucial issues.
This perhaps due to ignorance and attempt to hold on to cultural heritage, a lot of people such as Ika and her neighbours hold to the practice; still believes that female circumcision is the only way that the society can curb the sexual excesses of their females.
Male or female circumcision is the practice of surgically modifying the private part of the human being; that is removing the foreskin. The practice, in one form or another, exists in many parts of the world, Africa, in Nigeria and Ika inclusive. Female circumcision is negatively referred to as female genital mutilation. It is difficult to understand why male circumcision is not referred to in the same way.
Female circumcision is not synonymous with diseases as many groups have fraudulently imposed. And the general conception that it is performed to reduce female sexual pleasure has been manipulated to inflame gender rights emotions. This was effectively shown a few years back in Lagos when in an “Igbo phone in programme”, the presenter asked people to call in and air their views on the issue of female circumcision. The responses were enlightening; not only were all the callers female and circumcised, each and every one of them insisted that she will circumcise any daughter of hers. None believed that her circumcision also had affected her negatively, and all considered it a practice worth retaining.”
The impression observed was that it was the circumcised (and many opportunistic NGOs) that had a grouse with the practice. One would wonder what the western advocates of Human Rights would think about some girls who have a clitoris which extends outside the virginal. For such girls, even the simple act of walking can be a serious turn-on. In this situation, how can anyone say that a well-performed circumcision will not be morally beneficial to the girls?
A critic would insist that this is the same as trying to stop promiscuity. But if a mother helping her daughter to manage sexual excesses as stated above is wrong, then taking her to a doctor to correct a malformed leg should so be wrong.
“Depending on your viewpoint (Western or Traditional), female circumcision may or may not be expedient at this point in our Ika development; but for God’s sake let us stop the unethical fuss or presuming that our forefathers were idiots who did things without reason and who enjoyed the pain of their screaming baby; mean old men who approved a practice fraught with risk for the baby and its parents (to whom the baby was considered precious). Thinking so would be the height of colonialism”.
“In the days of our ancestors, the practice of female circumcision carried risk of infection, deformation, bad scarring, hemorrhage, pelvic inflammation, and urine retention problems delayed baby delivery in pregnancy, which on their own or collectively, had serious health effects. Also, they suffered obvious consequences such as caesarean section which made natural childbirth a safe option and other problems due to the way female circumcision was performed by old women using blunt and not properly sterilized knives.”
“But presently when it is being handled by qualified medical practitioners as it is done for males, one would advise that the choice of circumcision remains with the parents until such a time when the practice is well researched and understood without western bias by our people and in our environment”. This writer holds this opinion because most of the NGO’s discussions refer to the worst forms of the practice usually based on information from other parts of the world where circumcisions are performed very differently both in content and in context. For some, it is just a token removal of the tip of the foreskin, which is milder form of circumcision (clitoridectomy); while in others like among the Somali, Sudanese, etc where women undergo the most extreme form of what is referred to as FGM (infibulations), it is major surgery. Using inapplicable or exaggerated examples give rise to serious misinformation with its attendant error of judgment.”
“All the arguments against female circumcision also apply to their male counterpart. The main difference is that well-trained doctors and birth attendants handle the boys. The big question is; why often the female circumcision and not the male circumcision.”
For a spinster, Joy Iyama, “though circumcision is good in the aspect of giving birth, that is, if a woman is giving birth it makes it easy. I think circumcision is good. Naturally, when a lady is not circumcised they feel uncomfortable and usually have the urge of being with a man; though the issue of being promiscuous has to do with the individual mind set, because most girls that are circumcised are also very promiscuous.
Personally, I am not circumcised but I really respect my dignity. I have not heard about someone having an infection because she was circumcised. However, my submission on the issue is that we should stop female circumcision, considering the fact that we are now in the digital age and no longer in the stone age we don’t really need that pain please.
Pastor Austine Ikpegbu, “our elders used to say that when you circumcise the female child the urge for sex during marriage will be lacking and the man will be starved of sex. Hence to some school of thought, it is not advisable considering the implications it will cause in the marriage outlined above. On the issue of a lady being promiscuous if not circumcised, the bible said that when a man is born again there are gifts of God in the man’s life that will help to control immorality and promiscuity. Hence, I will advise that as parents, we should try and bring up our in children in the ways of God that will help to reduce the issue of sexual immorality and make them to abide on the principle of one man, one wife. For the bible admonishes parents to train up a child in the way he should grow so that when he is old, he will not depart from it. Actually it takes the training of the word of God to stop a lady from going from one man to another. My opinion on the issue is that our society should stop the circumcision of the girl child.”
Pastor Patrick Ojougboh, “female circumcision is not scriptural, because in the book of Genesis 17:9-12, God said to Abraham, that you shall circumcise every male child after eight days of delivery, God did not give instruction to Abraham to circumcise the female children, though it was a covenant between God and Abraham so that every male child must be circumcised. So, biblically it is ruled out that females should not be circumcised. Hence because it is not biblical, it means it is not advisable. The bible made us to understand in Colossians 2:8 that we should beware lest any man spoils us with philosophy and vain deceit after the tradition of men. Men have their tradition, God has his own tradition and Apostle Peter said that whom do we rather obey? Is it God or men? On the path of the tradition of the land, those were traditions that were founded by our fathers, may be to settle some core concerns of promiscuity.
They thought that may be in doing it, they can bring the women to subjection, whereby they will not be living a life of promiscuity and on the long run that is not true because female circumcision does not bring a female or a girl under subjection not to involve in promiscuity. So what I am trying to say is that it is not advisable and that it is not true from the traditional angle of our elders, because there are some side effects concerning female circumcision; one, it exposes them to some Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) and also it can introduce them to infections like genital infection, which is dangerous to their heath, so on that ground advise that female circumcision should be totally abolished, we should not practice it. Even the hospital today the World Health Organization is against female circumcision.
CONCLUSION: The simple truth is that, ladies who took their time to study as it partakes to the sex organs and how it functions find it easier to achieve sexual connection with their spouses. In the same vein, a man who is well informed about the female body will be able to figure out how to please his lady.
A 2007 report by sexual medicine experts suggests that in many women who have been cut, some of the fundamental structures needed for orgasm remain intact and that most women in the study have been reported being able to achieve orgasm as well as that arousal and sexual satisfaction. It is all about the mind-set.

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