/ FGM prosecution
Curious that the first prosecution should be of a doctor for ‘repairing’ a previous FGM. There must be more to the story than is in the report.
Yes, slightly strange - I assume "repairing" a previous FGM doesn't necessarily mean returning things to as near (physiologically) normal as possible.
I think that 'repairing' (in this case) means restoring a type III mutilation following child birth. Apparently this is quite common. Wikipedia has more details than you would probably want to know.
To me it reads she had the original FGM, then the woman gave birth, then he 'repaired' it - i.e. returned it to the pre-childbirth state.
I hope anyone found guilty of this ends up inside for a very long time.
Yes, I'd agree that's likely what it means in this context, it's just that the language is potentially confusing.
Oh, I see. You mean the victim was the mother. I'd assumed he was doing his best to repair the child.
So even the consent of the victim is not a defence? Stranger and stranger. Assuming the victim was consenting, of course.
No, you can't consent to something that's illegal. People have been prosecuted for BDSM before.
Well, that depends how the statute frames the offence, of course. Strange to prohibit an act performed on a grown woman with her consent, though.
I think true consent here might be disputed, as it comes with huge cultural and family pressure often.
I would like to see those guilty of FGM deported and the victim's entire families deported. Give them 7 days to make their arrangements and then off they go. The government should begin work to make this possible.
The victims should receive massive financial compensation in my opinion.
Erm, you're assuming people undergoing FGM here are not from the UK?! Quite a big and mostly erroneous assumption. And the victims families deported? WHat?
Which is an interesting point. If people can consent, entirely legally, to have various wince-worthy parts of their body pierced or tattooed, where does consent to FGM stand?
Personally, I think that FGM (and circumcision, for that matter) appear to be religiously-pressured cultural norms and I pretty much dislike/disbelieve anything that is done as a result of the invisible fairy in the sky, but, objectively, what is the difference between damage to a sensitive part of your body to put in a piercing, or to chop bits of it off. OK, its a matter of degree, but should not an adult have the ability to consent to pretty much anything, however, as I say, wince-worthy?
They can consent to it. On the other hand, no medical practitioner should expect to retain their professional status if they perform unnecessary surgery that puts the patient at long term risk of health complications and has no scientifically demonstrable merit, regardless of any consent from the patient.
If you present to a doctor with body integrity identity disorder and ask them to cut your arm off, you are more likely to find yourself on antipsychotoics than under the knife. Health professionals are supposed to be bound by ethics that prevent them needlessly butchering people as a result of either their mental health problems or their belief in magic sky people.
No. I want them out of the country and I want the govt to facilitate this.
Erm, most are from this country, where do you suggest deporting them to?
Even if they were born here? Even if they have British passports?
You are on dodgy ground there
The key points here are control and mutilation. These women are pressured in to this culturally and normally at a very young age and it's horrific. They are in pain prone to infection and at massive risk when giving birth. Consent isn't an issue, it's illegal for a reason.
Male circumcision is different as after the effects of the procedure have passed he is able to live a normal life pain free.
No I'm not. I don't care where they were born I want them deported. I want England to completely disassociate itself with this practise.
The point people are trying to make is that deportation can only possibly be an option if the person you want to deport has at least some kind of connection with another country. If they are a British citizen, born in Britain, with no other connections or any kind of dual nationality, where are you going to send them?
To put it another way, why would you expect any other country to take them? I thoroughly deplore FGM but I don't see why somebody carrying it out suddenly makes that person some other country's problem.
Either where the FGM took place or they should be offloaded to another country - probably one that receives aid from the UK that a deal can be done with.
One further thing. Children from deported families should be exempt from deportation and be thoroughly protected and looked after by the state.
How to introduce FGM inspections should now be considered, worked out and implemented.
It's time to deal with this barbaric problem.
I'm aware of that. However, a strong message needs to be made and I believe deportation would send a dramatic message.
I'm sure there are plenty of dodgy countries a deal could be worked out with.
Deported where? A random country? A country that the perp has some historical link to? A country you don't like?
Deported why? Deport them to a country where FGM is maybe more culturally accepted? What if they have more children in the future - you suddenly make it easier for them to commit further barbaric crimes with impunity
The victims entire family deported? Why? What has it got to do with them unless you can prove some sort of involvement? Where exactly do you extend this? Those living in the same house? The same street? The same country? Do we deport all dependent children as well, or put them into state care?
The victims should receive massive financial compensation in my opinion. From who? The family? You've just deported them, remember?
FGM takes different forms, some women are sewn up with just a small hole for blood, unsewn to concieve, unsewn to give birth, and sewn up again.
I am speculating that it was something like this. Repair is not a good choice of word.
I would assume the issue here was that the woman hadn't given consent (or reasonable steps hadn't been taken to ensure that she was being unduly influenced if she did). I'd imagine a male family member had requested it, or the doctor assumed that it was desired because he came from/usually worked with a culture where it's the norm.
I agree it's a barbaric situation, but your posts have an uncomfortable 'send the buggers back' undertone to them.
And if they won't go may be some gas ovens?
0/10. Please don't attempt to become an MP. You'd be useless.
Think you just failed the Godwin test there matey ;-)
I think I like climbing beat me too it but no body noticed
No I'm not. I don't care where they were born I want them deported. I want England to completely disassociate itself with this practise.
Well, as it's only England that you're concerned about, you could deport them to Wales, Scotland or Ireland.
Ok, I initially responded to this with a less than pleasant remark, but i've deleted it for a (hopefully) more reasoned one.
Here's how things should work (in my opinion)
1) You make a statement that anyone found guilty of FGM should be deported along with their family somewhere (which is your right) - correct?
2) I think your statement is silly, ill thought out, reactionary, small minded, impractical, unworkable, counter productive and illogical. (which is my right). I list my reasons, and invite you to respond. That's usually how debate works.
3) You respond with a silly remark.
You do see that you're not 'really' doing yourself any favours, don't you.
Again, if you'd like to respond to the question about how your solution would work in practice we can try and proceed.
I still think they're unworkable, unfair, illegal and ill thought out but I'm willing to be convinced otherwise?
I think that is unlikely as there is not a consent issue with FGM. It isnt legal here, consent or not.
Which is what I thought of your comments. Hence I posted a response that suggested the logical progression of your chain of thought in an attempt (admittedly a wild one) to get you to see how you came across. In other words you are responding to a morally indefensible position (FGM) with one that is equally morally indfensible
Exactly. You can not consent to being murdered for instance (hence some of the legal problems surrounding assisted suicide)
Is it just that the religion and traditions that support it are a bit more powerful and wide spread than some dodgy African tribal rituals?
No one should be cutting bits off anyone genitals unless there is a sound medical reason for doing so.
can't fault you there
Personally, I wouldn't say it is right. Logically I suppose it is less damaging both practically and emotionally so it is harder to argue against. Doesn't make it right, but maybe makes it less of a priority to change than FGM at this moment in time.
Also its considered normal in America so again harder to argue against.
Let's cut to the chase. You sound like a racist.
You said what I was thinking.
No, it's because it's much less painful, risky, and emotionally/physically problematic and effectively doesn't interfere with anything practically. Personally think it's awful but you can't compare it in any way with FGM.
That is likely true but I think chopping bits off people against their will is a bit crazy.
As soon as you remove the element of religion, whether male or female, genital or otherwise how can the idea of cutting bits off other people ever be justified other than when its medically needed regardless of severity?
If tomorrow someone started a new cult where it is written that parents must remove the little toes from their babies it would be illegal. Even if it was done under pain relief and was seen to cause no real physical impediments.
I'm surprised it's taken something like 30 years for the first prosecution to actually happen.
But then again, along with Sharia law, treating women like second class citizens and having 8 kids (for the tax-payer to pick up the tab for) it' s just their "culture innit" and we should all just sit back and watch it happen as whole areas of the UK are dragged back to the stone age.
Oh wait, it already has in certain parts of East London...
I agree. But then again I think anyone that believes in any kind of 'God' is delusional and probably a bit irrational and stupid.
That's a pretty incoherently idiotic rant that seems to mix a classist hatred with EDL like bigotry all wrapped up in completely fabricated idea about East London being some kind of mini-Taliban controlled area.
Yet in my mind, it still falls under the "unnecessary and barbaric mutilation of the genitals of an infant before they can actually give their consent"
If it's such a big deal in the eyes of your particular skygod, why not wait until the individual is old enough to give their informed consent?
Sam, wrapping this debate up in that type of BNP rant doesn't really help mate.
Under the legislation it is not an offence for a woman to mutilate herself, but it is an offence to aid and abet this. So consent won't be a defence.
I don't know what the thinking behind that is. It's the same position with suicide: no longer an offence, but assisting suicide is illegal. One factor there is obviously issues of proof ("he asked me to blow his head off") and there may be similar worries with FGM, but I suspect it is also the thinking that, as with other serious mutilations, this is just not something people should be doing to each other irrespective of consent.
I've just come back from climbing and seen your post so I missed whatever you said.
I am not persuaded to change my mind and I respect your right to disagree. I know my position is controversial and we were debating it this afternoon at the Westway. I don't think my mates agreed either but it is what I think should happen. The victims should be really looked after. Their life has been ruined and the guilty ones and the adult family members who would have known what was going on should be made to leave.
Again I know this is controversial and respect your opinion.
F*ck off Sam.
They can ban me if they want. Ive had enough of your nasty racism.
Who was smacked him?? I owe them a pint.
No one disagrees that its nasty and victims should be looked after. The practicalities of the rest of your ideas just dont work.
Complete bollocks. What a ridiculous attempt to try and gain the moral high ground.
Thanks - and likewise, I respect yours!!! (despite strongly disagreeing with it!!!) - but I think it's good to debate these things rationally without getting emotional about it, and to be blunt, I dont' think saying "send the buggers back where they come from" is constructive - quite the oppostite in fact. I think it makes the problem worse for the reasons I stated.
So I'm sorry if my response came across as agressive - that was probably counter productive as well . I wanted you to respond to my points so that we could get some sense out of the whole thing.
Thanks for taking the time to respond (and I hope you had a better day climbing than I did painting the bedroom.)
I'm sure deportation won't happen. However, one thing I hope all of us agree on is that the country needs to find a solution.
I am concerned that because of the sensitivity of the issue nothing appears to get done. It's easy for politicians to not go near it. I think there was a very brave teenage girl who spoke out about it and I hope the debate and some action gets taken.
Thanks very much. I hate decorating so well done for going through that !
10am no other plans , seemed like a good idea.
Now, it's a job I wish I had't *&**&*& started.
Send them back does make you sound racist, its just one of those things.
I usually agree with comments you make on other threads so although I accept you don't agree with me on this - can I ask you how you would deal with the problem or do you think the law as it stands right now and the efforts of the authorities are sufficient ?
My position has got nothing to do with racism. Stopping this vile procedure is a totally separate issue.
Im just pointing out your choice of words makes it sound that way.
The law as it stands (ie the FGMA 2003) is as yet untested this case will be the first to test in the courts (quite why it should have taken so long to get a test case is anyones guess) so it will be interesting to see where it goes.
I do not agree with deportation for performing FGM for the following reasons:
a) While it is permissible to deport foreign nationals for crimes committed in this country (though it remains illegal to deport someone to a country where their life may be in danger or where they may not get a fair trial - unless it is America of course - and that is a whole other area of debate) it can not be permissible to deport British subjects from the land they were born in for crimes they commit here (I know we did it once but we stopped)
b) Neither should it be permissible to deport those who have obtained British citizenship as I know (and am even related) to some people who were not born in this country but whom have spent most of their lives here and consider themselves British. It would set a dangerous legal precedent.
c) Legal aspects apart it would merely move the problem on and not solve it. More importantly by including the families of such people there is the potential of sending vulnerable people away from a place where they would have some legal protection to a place where they would have none.
Your position on FGM generally might not have anything to do with racism, but your use of language and suggestion to deport people even when they're from the UK is not only illogical and stupid but does make you sound very close to the racist far right.
incidently I entirely agree with your outrage over this barbaric practice
Currently the Home Secretary can remove citizenship from people with dual nationality if their presence in the UK is ‘not conducive to the public good’.
This power has been used 20 times since 2010.
The Nationality Act forbids using this power if it would leave the individual stateless, so by default can only be used if the person has dual nationality, although Teresa May is supposedly trying to get this changed so it applies to naturalised citizens, ie those not born in the UK.
Thanks for your comments. The case will be very interesting.
I'll re-read my posts and consider your points.
How would you deal with FGM?
And your response makes you sound racist too.
In some of the countries where the practice is most prevalent (ie Egypt) the proportion of women circumsized is at the 90% or higher mark. Somalia is 98%!
The actual procedure varies widely, so claiming all types involve an equal moral dimension is inaccurate.
It's a wimminz issue, as women are usually the facilitators, so as the victims also, it is highly unlikely that they perceive it as ruining their lives or they wouldn't pass it on.
The actual scale of the problem in the UK is very unknown but is very small. Most estimates put 20-24,000 girls at risk, But this is often described as an annual figure. In fact, as it is only done once and usually before the age of 16, the actual annualised number at risk would be nearer 1,600.
'At risk' is defined as a girl who lives with a mother or grand mother in the house who has also been cut, but therefore would include girls living in families where the grandmother was cut but the mother already not cut ie families where the cycle has already been broken.
How many does that leave at real risk? A few hundred? How many of those are being cut? And which procedure are they having done?
This is why the charities that have (previously) been working on the issue have focused their efforts in those origin countries rather the UK.
Whilst the lack of prosecutions is undoubtedly partly caused by over sensitivity, the main problems may just be that it doesn't happen often enough and that the members of those communities where it does happen don't view it as sufficiently serious to involve the law.
There may even be evidence that it is so rare in those comunities in the UK that it isn't easy to get done.
On the BBC there was an example from one of the FGM helplines where one guy thought it was literally an FGM helpline and called them to ask for advice on where he could go to get his daughters done.
I've re-read my posts. Let's use the word exiled. Forever. I don't see any racism in that and I didn't see any racism before.
You and I are not going to agree and I respect your right to disagree.
Many thanks for taking time to write that. I found it very interesting and you raise some very good points.
It would be good to actually find out the scale of the problem and hopefully it is on the lower side.
> may just be that it doesn't happen often enough ...
One data point is that in France there have been over 100 successful prosecutions for it. So, I'd guess that the prevalence is at least 10 times that rate, both here and there.
I think I missed your point.
But the 'At risk' population of France would be entirely different - much much larger and much longer established communities. Muc hlarger means a more diverse range of attitudes so morechance of containing FGM proponents, longer establishment means you get networks developing to facilitate FGM.
Plus the French haven't shied away from Fanny Patrols that actually investigate.
In the UK these are much less culturally acceptable, to the FGM communities and the rest of us.
No attempt at anything. Your statements so far on this thread have sounded racist. I'm totally against FGM btw.
Be interested to know how you arrived at that
It's over la Manche.
You don't know what a troll is.
La Manche? You will have to explain French history to me. Is this to do with a higher percentage of North African colonies?
No I didn't. I don't have a clue how you "clearly" get that.
All I said was that most people react to the "send them back where they came from" conversation as racism. I've heard it used about Polish people, and they are not generally "dark hued". It was explaining to him why people thought what they did, not that I thought he was (If I did he would get a similar response to the one I gave to Sam in Leeds)
You do talk a lot of nonsense.
No, I think it's because he assumed that everyone who does it are 'not of these isles', which is why he wants them deporting.
That, and the comment about 'sending them to a country that receives UK aid' does smack of lazy racism. Use weasel words to try and defend it by all means, but come on - see if for what it is, yeah?
And I'm still waiting a response as to how deporting them can actually solve the problem, as opposed to sending them to a country that is potentially more sympathetic to FGM than the UK (and therefore likely to make the problem worse for any future children)
He didn't state it explicitly, but the inference was fairly clear from the language and the terms used in this and in later posts. In short - "Send the buggers back".
By all means feel free to defend his position, but don't try to white wash over his motives.
And still, I'm waiting for answers to the the practical issues his solutions raise.
Again though...exiled to where?
How many times? I don't take him to be racist. I tried to explain to him why some people thought he was from the words he used. He assumed that those involved were from elsewhere, I didn't. Deportation isn't a strategy, its a knee jerk reaction.
I can't decide if you are trolling or just an idiot. Whatever....
It is easier to demand that people you don't want to be like are deported/'sent back where they came'/removed from your England than to realise that all people are basically the same - and so you and them are more alike than you would like. This requires a bit more empathy, and requires you to think about _why_ ordinary people do terrible things.
The very concept of 'evil' is another easy get-out clause to avoid thinking; letting you just say 'those people are evil'. The logical conclusion of this argument is that virtually the entire populations of countries like Somalia where the practice is commonplace are 'evil', stupid, or just bad people. This is inherently racist. People in these countries do these terrible things because it is 'normal' and perhaps because they are uneducated; which is hardly their fault in poor parts Africa (arguably it could be 'ours' with our various empires? But that is another debate).
Yes, you can get bad individuals, usually as a result of a toxic culture, poverty or upbringing, but you should not extrapolate this to an entire people.
Future generations looking back at us will no doubt think us barbaric; yes, I think we are significantly less barbaric than some cultures (such as those engaged in FGM), but barbaric we will still be in comparison to future cultures (hopefully). I hope we are not judged as harshly as ilikeclimbing judges people...
To conclude, it is important to realise that people are not inherently bad, but they can do bad things as a result of a bad culture. Blame the culture, not the people; education is our only salvation.
PS As for the male vs female genital mutilation, I support neither and would support a ban on both, but recognise that FGM is much 'worse' medically than MGM. Men who have been circumcised have only very slightly impaired sexual function, whereas FGM can be a complete removal of normal sexual function, and is tied in with cultural ideas about male dominance and female submission (women aren't supposed to enjoy sex etc).
I don't know yet. My initial thought is as far away from this country as possible. I am so shocked that English people engage in this practise and exiling seems to me to be a statement of national revulsion.
Interesting post and I generally agree with you. I agree with trying to change the culture and that argument has been used to address other problems. I am not advocating deportation for a variety of offences, just this one.
I think there are a number of practises in different cultures that are offensive but identifying those practises doesn't make you a racist.
I judge people as I come across them and would never denigrate an entire race or culture. FGM is an aspect of a culture that I want something done about.
If you criminalise the behaviour that is pretty much blaming the people because it is holding them accountable for their actions and then applying sanctions.
Are you saying that it shouldn't be criminalised?
The FGM campaigner who did the Channel 4 program and set up one of the petitions made the point that FGM was abuse, not culture, she thought a big part of the problem was that people perceive it as culture.
In this country, where it is rare, it should definitely be criminalised. But it is also important to change attitudes to prevent it before it happens; to understand why people do it. Criminalisation is not going to be that effective where there is a culture of secrecy around it, as evidenced by the low number of prosecutions over the 30 years it has been illegal in this country. Changing attitudes is more important, and this can only happen with understanding (and without the kind of knee-jerk racism that is common in some parts of the media). Understanding is, of course, not the same as agreement.
Criminalisation is presumably not terribly effective in Somalia either (where a recent law makes it illegal), given that 90%+ of all women there have had FGM. Criminalising it hasn't made everyone stop doing it overnight. Educate and reduce the practice, and then once the problem is manageable it can be backed up with enforcement.
It's both - you can have a culture of abuse. That doesn't make it right. 'Culture' is neither inherently a good or bad thing, although I agree 'culture' has been used to support and preserve a multitude of sins.
I am so shocked that English people engage in this practise and exiling seems to me to be a statement of national revulsion.
How about the other countries that make up the UK?
Are you equally shocked if it happens there, or is your shock restricted by the confines of Offa's Dyke and Hadrian's Wall?
I agree with Andrew, it is both culture and abuse.
We need to move away from a relativism that says that all cultures are equally "valid" and be willing to say that some aspects of other cultures are wrong and harmful.
Too often campaigners try to make out that FGM is nothing to do with religion and nothing to do with culture, and is simply abuse -- but understanding that religion and culture can be abusive is part of the solution.
What I find odd about your position is that your instinct seems to be to protect children in the UK but not children elsewhere i.e. the country the perpetrators would be "exiled" to.
My own view is that people found guilty of FGM should be given stiff jail terms in the UK.
I'm shocked it happens anywhere. Why wouldn't I be ? I'm sure you are too.
I think you are the first person on this thread to suggest an alternative so I respect that. My position is not perfect and you make a good point.
My suggestion may help here but it wouldn't help elsewhere. Perhaps an international body should get involved but frankly that would take years and I don't think there is the "will" generally to eradicate it.
I'm shocked it happens anywhere.
Good, glad to hear it!
Just that you mentioned England unilaterally in two of your posts and that came across as presenting the problem on a nationalistic level as opposed to a global moral one.
Consent doesn't legitimise euthanasia (so far, in this country anyway). If euthanasia is murder even with consent, I don't see why FGM even with consent couldn't be GBH. And that's aside from the rules the GMC might have about the sort of behaviour that might get surgeons struck off.
Good point !
Why would it make sense to wait until it's managable before using enforcment?
That is part of the leadership the state should be showing, it could be much harder to break down the practice if it isn't something that's illegal.
But I think this demonstrates the problem that Leyla Hussein means when she says it's abuse not culture, namely that people should treat it as abuse rather than fudging the issue with cultural explanations.
Spousal Abuse is prevalent enough to be called culture but the whole point of the way it's challenged now is that the police don't treat it as a domestic.
It's treated as abuse not culture, even though people wouldn't deny that there is a culture behind it.
While your distaste is understandable I don't think penal transportation is the answer.
How does collective punishment of the family/families fit with punishing an individual or group of individuals for their actions? Their family is surely being punished for who they are, not what they did.
It may not be a racist position he's coming from but the language used does not make that very clear and the proposed solution is counterproductive reactionary nonsense.
Positive change in areas like this is best effected through education and empowerment, not a return to hanging and flogging (or in this case transportation).
I agree with you totally on this one Coel, just because serious or any abuse is protected by a cultural and religious nonsense does not mean that we should accept or put up with it, indeed we should try hard to eradicate it.
Not just me who thought this was a bit of a worrying place to start, then:
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