Female Genital Cutting Essay

3429 Words14 Pages
The act of female cutting has been a controversial topic throughout today’s world. Many people believe that it is immoral and abusive to the women and children of these cultures that participate in the ritual, but most of the participants in these surgeries think that it is just a transition into womanhood or an act of purity. Alice Walker’s novel Possessing the Secret of Joy has opened the eyes of Westerners to this detrimental problem that has consumed many parts of Africa. Through her fictional story, she portrays the life of Tashi, a woman that has been demoralized and degraded through the traditional act of female genital cutting at a late age. Critics have depicted their ideas on female genital cutting over the years through their extensive and eclectic research. A few of the well-renowned researchers on this controversial subject are Ellen Gruenbaum, Seble Dawit/Salem Mekuria, Isabelle Gunning, and December Green. Some of these critics have been cited in scholarly journals and articles that are still widely studied today. Through the critiques of these scholarly researchers and Alice Walker’s enlightening novel, we get an abundant insight into their portrayal of what female cutting is all about. The first topic that is evaluated by these critics is the idea that African women and children are working greatly to eradicate these surgeries from their everyday lives. Green’s article, Gender Violence in Africa: African Women’s Responses, discusses heavily the ways that African women are working to abolish this mutilating ritual through the use of NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations). Green discusses the role of NGOs in abolishing female cutting when he says, “For many women, being treated well is associated with a return to tradition and the re-creation of the traditional protections that were lost with colonialism. The most successful of the African
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