Fair warning. You’ve seen the title, you know what you’re getting. Yes. It’s not Tuesday. But I feel compelled to write by the insanity I witnessed on televison last night. (I’m not talking about Arsenal v Dortmund. I approve of that immensely.) I’ll try to keep this as succinct as humanly possible. I said try. The tone might get a bit hectoring. I know that can be annoying. But please, please indulge me. Anyway, you should know by now that this blog is about my catharsis; your enjoyment is an added bonus.
I’m talking about Channel 4’s documentary, The Cruel Cut (which is available on 4od here). It is a documentary made by Leyla Hussein, a woman I now have immense respect for. She seemed very nice; I doubt she’d approve of the level of profanity in this blog. Anyway, her show concerned Female Genital Mutilation, a practice where a woman’s vagina is mutilated, to varying degrees, for non-medical reasons. I say a woman, but in the majority of cases the woman in question is not a woman at all, but a small girl of around five. What do you think of that, mums and dads? Disaprove or approve? Tricky one!
‘Non-medical’ mutilation, you say? That’s a nice term. It allows us to discuss what’s going on without mentally conjuring up images that might fit into the Saw movies. I find when it comes to slicing off parts of the human anatomy the term ‘non-medical’ is tantamount to the term ‘insane’. The vaginas of young girls are being mutilated (without anaesthesia) for insane reasons. .
But this much is obvious, right? You knew that? Didn’t you? Didn’t you? Here’s a two minute video that should clear things up:
So now you know. If you didn’t before, you’re in good company. Well, it turns out, no-one fucking knew this shit! Well, comrades, it’s about time they fucking did!
I witnessed, with despair, Leyla approaching passing old white people on a high street. She was asking if they’d sign a petition to support the practice of female genital mutilation, just to see if they would. MUTILATION! She said the word mutilation!
And they were all like “Yeah, sure. It’s your culture, isn’t it? SIGN ME UP FOR THE MUTILATION.” She asked twenty people, I think. Only one woman (bless her heart) offered the correct response, which is: “No, I don’t think I’ll be endorsing that; goodbye, you fruitloop.”*
Then after that Leyla went and found some of the people that do endorse it. I was thinking at this point, somewhat naively, that only a complete psychopath could possibly endorse this practice. She found five Somali guys. They seemed pretty normal. They didn’t have horns. They carried no pitchforks. They did not cackle maniacally at any point. She asked them if they approved of FGM. They replied yes, vaguely citing abstract concepts like ‘purity’ and ‘cleanliness’.
She then got them all into a room and began to demonstrate the practice by sawing off parts of a giant plastecine vagina with a pair of garden shears. It became clear that these people don’t know what the fuck FGM is either! One of them left and sat by the river for a while, staring blankly into space; another walked off in disgust, unable to watch; the remaining three then swore that they would never subject their daughter to this fucking abhorrent barbarism.
This demonstration was so brain-buggeringly effective it makes me want to scream into a pillow. I really thought these guys knew what was involved, but still supported it for some misguided reason. But no. They didn’t. And that’s all it takes. Just show people what’s actually involved with this procedure. That’s so goddam fucking infuriatingly easy! This isn’t like reforming the press or the banks or the unions or the energy companies or the police. There are no corporate powers involved here, fiddling with things behind the scenes with their horrible lizard-fingers. This is simple shit!
We spend, as a nation, £45,000 annually trying to tackle this problem. Fuck all, really. Would it not be cheaper in the fucking long run if we were to follow the examples of the French and the Dutch and just stump up a bit more cash? A tour of high schools, perhaps? That would go down a fucking treat! If only there were some way we could petition the government to address the current policy…that sure would be swell.
I know how easy it is to be cynical about the efficacy of online petitions, but i’m of the opinion that these government petitions actually help. They are, relatively speaking, democratic. They yeild concrete results. Beyond a certain threshold a petition will get an official response from the government. Beyond another it will get a hearing in parliament. That’s right. If a hundred thousand people sign this petition indicating that they’re not satisfied with the current state of affairs it will get a hearing in parliament. Wheels will start turning. The media will start to cover it. Shit will start to go down. Things will happen.
So sign this fucking petition, and pester like-minded people into doing likewise.
*I might not have entirely transcribed these quotes properly; please don’t sue, nice lady.