FGM From Out Of Nowhere

The UK’s National Health Service yesterday revealed that there had been over 1000 women seen by NHS in a three-month period after undergoing female genital mutilation (FGM). The number was shocking to many, especially given that the practice has been illegal in the UK for 30 years.

What is going on? Who are these women and girls, and why is this happening? The Daily Mail explains

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a harmful traditional practice that involves the partial or total removal of the female genitalia.

Ah, a “harmful traditional practice”.  Was it some kind of agrarian tradition in the UK, like maypoles or Morris dancing? I was thinking about my own Irish-American family’s traditional practices –singing, step-dancing, taking small children to see dead people in their coffins –but no, no FGM there. Then I thought of my own religious traditional practices as a sometimes-lapsed Catholic –no meat on Fridays, eat His body drink His blood –but I could think of not a single instance of FGM. Nor could I think of any friend or acquaintance, or relative however distant, who had ever experienced such a thing. Most Americans had no inkling that such a barbaric practice even existed.

Until the first Gulf War. That was the first time most Americans ever heard of this revolting, misogynistic practice, because that is the first time many of us were exposed to the details of Muslim life. I remember some of my friends stumbling onto the topic a couple of years after the war was over, and even though we were talking about it in a gingerly way, one guy who had fought in the war said, “Stop, don’t talk about it, I’ll be sick.”

So there are traditions and traditions, and the Daily Mail, as well as The Guardian, The Huffington Post UK, and the BBC online, is apparently determined to NOT identify whose tradition this particular savagery is part of. In paragraph after paragraph, FGM is decried as a violation of human rights, a global threat to women and girls, a threat to the infants of women who have undergone the procedure. Experts from the UN and the World Health Organization weigh in, about what a terrible practice it is, endangering life and health, that it is extreme discrimination, and a global problem which cannot be solved in the UK alone, but must be tackled worldwide.

Don’t say the “I” word. Don’t say the “M” word.

Islam did not invent FGM. There is evidence that the practice has existed in Africa and the Middle East for thousands of years. But it is Islam that has dragged this ancient outrage into the modern world. It is Islam whose ferocious hatred of the Feminine and the people who embody it has carried this atrocity into every part of the world where Muslims are found.

But you’d never know it from reading the Daily Mail.

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Let’s Prevent Misunderstandings

Germany’s Die Welt is reporting that a school in Bavaria has sent a letter to parents warning them that their daughters should dress modestly, due to the close proximity of Muslim migrants housed in the school’s gym. “Modest clothing should be adhered to, in order to avoid discrepancies. Revealing tops or blouses, short shorts or miniskirts could lead to misunderstandings.”

The school gardens and buildings have been placed off-limits to the migrants, and the number of teachers on duty has been increased. But still the possibility of misunderstandings persists. A local politician confirmed that

When Muslim teenage boys go to open air swimming pools, they are overwhelmed when they see girls in bikinis,” he said.

“These boys, who come from a culture where for women it is frowned upon to show naked skin, follow girls and bother them without realizing. Obviously this is concerning for us.

Let’s hope someome can advise the recent arrivals that importuning schoolchildren is frowned upon in their host country, so it will not be the responsibility of the girls to avoid misunderstandings.

A (Locker) Room of One’s Own

On Monday, about 150 high school students in Missouri walked out of class in protest of a male transgender student who wants to use the girls’ locker room. The boy, who goes by the name of Lila Perry, has masculine genitalia, making him what we would call a “boy.” He “identifies as a girl” however, so the female students are expected to make way for the boy in their locker room.

Perry wears wigs and skirts to school, and does not want to use the gender-neutral bathroom the school already provides.  “I am a girl. I am not going to be pushed away to another bathroom,” Perry said, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

But Lila Perry is not a girl. He is a boy –not female, but male. The misunderstanding arises from the conflation of sex, of which there are two, and gender, of which there are apparently dozens. Facebook now offers 56 gender options to choose from, rendering the whole concept meaningless. Title IX, the 1972 law designed to prohibit sex descrimination in schools receiving federal funding, dates from a time when sex descrimination involved bias against those of one particular sex, or the other.

And while it is possible to feel sorry for the confused and solipsistic young man, his aggression against the girls in his school is well beyond the micro level. He seems certain that his preferences are more important that those of anyone else, that the girls must resign themselves to putting up with the boy in the locker room.  And when he shows up for school in costume, a school attended by girls who feel no need to wear wigs or skirts to be girls, even he must feel just a little bit inauthentic, must entertain a tiny suspicion that he is perpetrating a fraud.