What values are being supported?
The fact that there may be some cultural value to something does not-
-or should not--prevent us from examining it.
Footbinding in China had a lot of value--crippling a girl in infancy
was indicative of a social status that did not require her to walk easily.
As to the "pride" of those who have undergone mutilation--a child who
started to earn a living by digging in mines in the 19th century might
also have felt pride. Does that mean we should reinstigate this practice?
As to the cosmetics of genitalia--many women in New York get a
"brazilian" wax--extremely painful, but setting a new standard on what is
considered good grooming. But that is a choice made by a grown woman, not
And as to those who consider the choices equivalent, I would urge
them to consider how they would feel if forced to undergo genital
mutilation--at childhood or any other point.
Competing interests: No competing interests