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April 24 2017

New York Times: Female Genital Mutilation Is a "Culturally Loaded" Term

by Charlotte Hays

Female genital mutilation, a gruesome practice in Muslim cultures, is an operation designed to prevent women from enjoying sexual stimulation. Should be an easy call--it's anti-woman, right?

Western feminists used to speak out against female genital mutilation, but now fewer and fewer are willing to do so because it is not politically correct to do so. The New York Times is the latest entity to cave on the matter of sexual mutilation of women:

A top New York Times editor decided the paper shouldn’t use the term “female genital mutilation” because the phrase is too “culturally loaded” and widens a divide between the Western world and “people who follow the rite.”

Health and Science editor Celia Dugger said she came to the conclusion to refer to the act of removing the female genitalia of young girls as “genital cutting” during a trip to Africa in the 1990s. She spoke about her decision in a Times mailbag article in response to a reader’s question.

“I never minced words in describing exactly what form of cutting was involved, and there are many gradations of severity, and the terrible damage it did, and stayed away from the euphemistic circumcision, but chose to use the less culturally loaded term, genital cutting,” Dugger wrote. “There’s a gulf between the Western (and some African) advocates who campaign against the practice and the people who follow the rite, and I felt the language used widened that chasm.”

 

So female genital mutilation is merely "following a rite," and we mustn't call the rite by an accurate term because--well--we don't want to offend followers of the rite.

Never mind that the mutilation is designed togrant men full sexual control over women in in societies that are, in contrast to the United States, actually patriarchal societies.

Not everybody has caved:

The Daily Caller was one of the first organizations to draw attention to the Times’ practice; however, groups as ideologically opposite as the United Nations Population Fund have also written about the potential danger in referring to

genital mutilation as “cutting.”

“UNFPA embraces a human rights perspective on the issue, and the term ‘female genital mutilation’ more accurately describes the practice from a human rights viewpoint,” a question-and-answer section of the UNFPA website says.

Contemporary feminists (and the New York Times) seem to regard offending mutilators as more culturally insensitive than altering the genitals of women for the convenience of men.



Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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