The Cruel Cut: the barbarism of FGM

November 7, 2013 at 11:58 pm (child abuse, Guardian, Human rights, internationalism, Jim D, reactionay "anti-imperialism", relativism, secularism, television, women)

I missed Wednesday night’s Channel 4 documentary by Leyla Hussein on FMG (female genital mutilation). Fortunately, there are several excerpts available on YouTube, of which this is one:

We also have a helpful review by Zoe Williams in the Graun, which includes the following:

Another caper saw Hussein demonstrate the perils of political correctness by asking people on a high street to sign a petition in favour of FGM, on the basis that it “keeps us clean, it keeps me pure” (19 people did and only one refused). She was terrifically upset at the end of it, in tears, saying: “I can’t believe people would sign this petition.” And that makes a sound point about the relativism in gender politics now, where all the people who should naturally be defending women against the barbarism committed in the name of purity are instead looking the other way, fearful of an accidental alliance with Richard “When did you last see a poppy on a burqa?” Littlejohn. Hussein is right; what a shocking waste of “cultural sensitivity”, for it to be used as a cover for avoidance, the genuine disregard for the suffering of other cultures

When even the Graun attacks relativism, and calls barbarism by its right name,  you know that humanity and universal enlightenment values are winning the day.

* End FGM: Amnesty’s European campaign against this barbarity:
* Stop FGM in the UK:


  1. The Cruel Cut: the barbarism of FGM | OzHouse said,

    […] Nov 08 2013 by admin […]

  2. R F McCarthy (@RF_McCarthy) said,

    Presumably its on 4OD?

    I literally could not bring myself to watch it.

    • Rosie B said,

      I find these things impossible to view.

      I did catch something on the Beeb a couple of months back. It was Gambia I think. A cleric was telling the journalist that having a clitoris was bad for women’s health, leading to discharges etc. The female journalist, instead of kicking him in the crotch, said she’d had one for 60 years and had suffered no ill effects. He told her she was lucky.

      Ignorant vile shits.

  3. flyingrodent said,

    Just for a bit of perspective on the supposed role of “relativism” in folk signing petitions, here’s a short clip of female students signing a petition to end women’s suffrage…

    …And here’s one with loads of folk signing a petition that says they agree they’re morons.

  4. Sue R said,

    To be honest, this doesn’t demonstrate anything other than peoples’ fear/dislike of openly disagreeing with another person, even one they don’t know. If she is telling them enthusiatiscally that ‘it keeps me clean and pure’, then, they are hardly likely to disagree, even if they know the precise details of what it entails. I suggest it is support for the British, er English trait of retinance and ‘not wanting to make a fuss in public’. Can’t really argue that it has anything to do with moral relativism. To show that the petition should argue that FGM is an acceptable practice in African culture and should be allowed in the NHS for those that want or require it, or something a bit more concrete.

  5. Jim Denham said,

    I suspect both Mr Rodent and Ms Sewer are right about petitions. That seems to me to be a side issue, and – perhaps – a result of the rather stunt-laden approach of the programme’s creator, Leyla Hussein (as criticised in the Graun piece I linked to).

    The important points about the barbarity of FGM and the reluctance of the UK authorities to do anything about it, remain.

  6. FGM. Channel 4 and BBC. | mariyahr said,

    […] The Cruel Cut: the barbarism of FGM ( […]

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