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(en) France, UCL AL #335 - Antipatriarchy, Gender-based violence: Against genital mutilation here and elsewhere (ca, de, fr, it, pt, tr)[machine translation]

Date Thu, 16 Mar 2023 08:40:22 +0200

If we associate the notion of genital mutilation with excision and other practices that are still current in certain countries of Africa and the Middle East, Europe, in other forms, is no stranger to it. ---- February 6 is the "International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation". Under this extended name, a flagship fight of the UN and UNICEF which focuses on the countries of Africa and the Middle East where these practices are still too common. ----- In the past two years, they have even experienced an upsurge linked to the pandemic. Preventive measures have, as everywhere, reduced economic activity and diminished the general resources of populations, thus increasing poverty and making it difficult to access various support services in the face of genital mutilation. On this international day, UNICEF warned last year of the consequences of this situation on young girls, who find themselves all the more vulnerable and exposed to forced marriages and genital mutilation[1].

Going beyond racist and imperialist biases, which only associate genital mutilation with countries in Africa and the Middle East, shows that Europe is not exempt on this issue. Far from it.

Witness the medical practices for which France has already been condemned several times and which regularly subject intersex children[2]to hormonal treatments and genital mutilation to conform to one of the two recognized sexes, and this without medical reason. .

(c) Estelle Prudent
But these mutilations are also found in the spectrum of gynecological violence. One thinks of the many testimonies, too little taken seriously, of genital mutilation during and after childbirth[3], or even deliberately botched vaginoplasties on transgender people.

Legal practices on intersex children
More generally, patriarchal injunctions to genital "beauty" lead to their share of surgical operations which sometimes lead to involuntary mutilation. It is a question of tightening the vagina, shortening the labia, reconstructing the hymen, whitening the vulva... In short, to find the genital characteristics specific to young girls who are barely nubile, that is to say minors. Even those who undergo excisions and genital mutilations elsewhere. Discoloration of hair and skin being the result of an eminently racist patriarchal system.

(c) Guillaume Piron
Here or elsewhere, the patriarchy remains true to itself and its victims are inevitably the same. Let us fight against all forms of genital violence, everywhere, and whatever their forms.

Bibi and Sissi

To validate

[1]See the UNICEF press release of February 3, 2022 on their website.

[2]Intersex people are people "who have sex characteristics that do not correspond to the typically male or typically female binary definitions, whether these characteristics are visible at birth or appear later in life, notably at puberty.», definition of the Stop Mutilations Intersexes website.

[3]For example, the "husband's stitch" involves performing an extra stitch after an episiotomy to increase the husband's sexual pleasure.

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