As recent news stories have highlighted, female genital mutilation is a disturbingly common evil which needs to be eradicated as a matter of urgency. It is, quite simply, a heinous abuse committed by those entrusted with a child’s care and protection. In truth, however, we must go further than merely ending that practice: all genital mutilation needs to be stopped.
Circumcision, as we euphemistically term the genital mutilation of boys – and, make no mistake, mutilation is what it is – is inexplicably tolerated by society, but it is also an egregious wrong performed on a child, and the acceptance of that practice normalises the act of genital mutilation upon children. Both procedures hark back to a time when sexual pleasure amongst all ages was considered to be sinful – an idea espoused only by puritanical zealots. Such dark-ages thinking has no place in modern society and it ought to be consigned to the history books.
As to those who will no doubt claim that the performance of these archaic rituals is demanded by their belief system: religion has its place, but that place should not be cowering in guilt, shame and fear but in celebrating life and the perfection of creation. The butchering of children should be no part of it.