Today seems to be a day for really bad news. First it was the declaration from Anwar that he would be okay if those douchebags from PAS were able to get their supreme leader into the highest political office in the land, now I have to read about the prevalence of female genital mutilation (FGM) in neighbouring Indonesia.
Warning, reading this article may make you physically ill.
During the morning, 248 Indonesian girls undergo the same ordeal. Suminah is the oldest, the youngest is just five months. It is April 2006 and the occasion is a mass ceremony to perform sunat perempuan or “female circumcision” that has been held annually since 1958 by the Bandung-based Yayasan Assalaam, an Islamic foundation that runs a mosque and several schools. The foundation holds the event in the lunar month of the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday, and pays parents 80,000 rupiah (£6) and a bag of food for each daughter they bring to be cut.
Evidently, the practice is already unappealing when objectively evaluated, that the universal douchebags running this scheme have to pay people to do it. Religion truly thrives in conditions of poverty.
“It is necessary to control women’s sexual urges,” says Hakim, a stern, bespectacled man in a fez. “They must be chaste to preserve their beauty.”
Because these people have an infantile attitude towards sex, and being of a religion and culture that reinforces the supremacy of male pleasure, they sincerely think it is a legitimately beneficial practice to use sharp objects on a vagina.
Although Indonesia is not a country where FGM is widely reported, the practice is endemic. Two nationwide studies carried out by population researchers in 2003 and 2010 found that between 86 and 100% of households surveyed subjected their daughters to genital cutting, usually before the age of five. More than 90% of adults said they wanted the practice to continue.
What. The. Fuck.
In early 2011, Indonesia’s parliament effectively reversed the ban on FGM by approving guidelines for trained doctors on how to perform it. The rationale was that, since the ban had failed, issuing guidelines would “safeguard the female reproductive system”, officials said. Indonesia’s largest Muslim organisation, the Nahdlatul Ulama, also issued an edict telling its 30 million followers that it approved of female genital cutting, but that doctors “should not cut too much”.
This is a disgrace. Indonesia is clearly not a safe place to grow up if you happen to be born with two X chromosomes.
The article gets progressively more enraging the more one reads it. It was as if I was reading the setting to a medieval era film set in the Middle East before the advent of civilization.
I actually live right next to these people? That thought disgusts me.