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Author Topic: Very Sensitive topic- female circumcision in Singapore  (Read 30182 times)
Ladybug
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« on: 14 August 2002, 15:01:00 PM »

I hope I don't offend anyone by posting this topic, but I was recently shocked to discover that a seemingly liberal muslim friend of mine had had her newly born daughter 'circumcised'. Isn't this illegal and if not, does it affect the sexual development of the child- or is it, as one Singaporean website states, merely 'a small cut off the foreskin and does not affect the genitals at all.' I hope this subject isn't too topical for this website!
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InvisibleExpat
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« Reply #1 on: 14 August 2002, 16:28:00 PM »

I'm shocked.  never occurred to me that this existed here.  could you please e-mail me the website address which you quote from(or just post it here if you think its OK).
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smooth
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« Reply #2 on: 14 August 2002, 16:58:00 PM »

This usually common in few african countries, dont have links right now to give.
it happens in indonesia and malaysia also.

[This message has been edited by smooth (edited 15-08-2002).]

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smooth
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« Reply #3 on: 14 August 2002, 17:08:00 PM »

here the few links:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/1916917.stm[/URL]
 http://www.religioustolerance.org/fem_cirm.htm  

http://www.oneworld.org/ips2/sep/circum.html

[This message has been edited by smooth (edited 14-08-2002).]

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Ladybug
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« Reply #4 on: 14 August 2002, 17:37:00 PM »

Invisible Expat, the website is: http://www.pointpub.com/kampungnet/rites.html
I too was shocked or perhaps (without offence to the Muslim culture), disturbed when my friend told me. I suppose I should confront my friend and ask a few questions about it, but wanted to try to get some info first myself and also wasn't sure how to approach the topic as it's quite a personal one. If the child's sexuality is disturbed by the procedure, it seems a lot like a violation of human rights to me.
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Ladybug
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« Reply #5 on: 14 August 2002, 17:43:00 PM »

I also found this link: http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/54/009.html Might I add that the 'operation' in this case was carried out by a non-medically trained 'midwife' in the apartment of the mother who apparently 'does all the babies' in the community.

[This message has been edited by Ladybug (edited 14-08-2002).]

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cactus
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« Reply #6 on: 14 August 2002, 19:04:00 PM »

Good God,
"circumcision" is a misnomer for actual mutilation - the clitoris is amputated in most of these cases. No one has a right to damage a woman's sexuality in that way, not to mention the trauma the young girls are put through.
Funny, they would never do this to the willys of young boys, but then I guess they can be trusted to behave responsibly.

Sexual mutilation in the name of God is nauseating. If someone finds that politically incorrect, too bad because its the truth. Singapore has stricter laws on Asian herbs than North America, I can only hope its taken action on this matter too.

As someone who writes the occasional feature article, I wouldn't mind making the world aware of this practice. Hopefully someone out there is interested and people can be shamed into ending this disgraceful custom.

[This message has been edited by cactus (edited 14-08-2002).]

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Purrfect Purrson
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« Reply #7 on: 14 August 2002, 21:30:00 PM »

Oh crumbs, that's horrible. It hurts. It's completely and totally unnecessary. It's awful - I would have thought it's not allowed in Singapore!
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yoyoyo
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« Reply #8 on: 14 August 2002, 23:40:00 PM »

  cactus: not all female circumcisions are peformed 'in the name of god' but have cultural origins as well. also, not all female circumcisions involve removal of the clitoris. there are various methods used, the most extensive, brutal and the one all readers might want to cross their legs before reading is the so-called pharoanic method widely practised in the sudan and also algeria.
 this involves removal of both the labia minora and majora as well as the clitoris. normally sharpened stones or knives are used and the gaping wound packed with a poultice of dung and feathers in order to 'heal' the wound....go figure.
 a small straw is pushed inside the wound around which the scar tissue forms, this ensures a degree of patency so the poor girl can at least urinate.
 this is often done just prior to marriage and this is why i mention culture as opposed to religion in this situation: the man is seen as a failure if unable to penetrate and penetration may take a number of days: the act of consummation therefore declares him a 'man'. clearly the act of sex is nothing but excruciating for the girl so the procedure also has the added advantage of ensuring she doesn't (of her own volition anyway, stray...)

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boardsurfer
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« Reply #9 on: 14 August 2002, 23:56:00 PM »

This is quite a common occurrence in Africa and the Middle East.

It is an abhorrent practice, but at the same time that is their custom... sure try and change it with logic etc, but don't accuse or denigrate the individuals that do it as they probably know no better or know nothing else.

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Ladybug
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« Reply #10 on: 15 August 2002, 10:49:00 AM »

Africa and the Middle East are one thing, but Singapore?!!! Someone should write an article, but I doubt it would get printed due to the censorship laws here.
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yoyoyo
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« Reply #11 on: 15 August 2002, 10:55:00 AM »

ladybug, checked out that website and i'm not sure what, or where, a female 'foreskin' is...
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smooth
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« Reply #12 on: 15 August 2002, 12:30:00 PM »

This practice is still existing in malaysia and indonesia and many singaporeans who are of inodnesian or malaysian background still believes in this.
It is a very good suggestion that somebody has to do something about it.
May be more awareness about this topic will do something good to it.
If somebody has some links in press and can get this topic a press coverage in singapore that would be good platform to start with

[This message has been edited by smooth (edited 15-08-2002).]

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fifa
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« Reply #13 on: 15 August 2002, 14:34:00 PM »

Since there are so many gradations of female "circumcision" - what your friend did may have been a ceremonial version, where there is no mutilation, merely the nick as is described by the website. I do not believe that FGM is practiced in Singapore. In fact, FGM isn't a muslim practice, as others have mentioned, it has roots in Africa.

Of course, I could be naive. But given the flack the government is willing to get into over banning tudungs from school, I don't think FGM is being ignored in the name of religious tolerance.

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CK
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« Reply #14 on: 15 August 2002, 15:03:00 PM »

Whilst being terrible to us remember its part of theor culture. One of my friends used to shag a circumcised girl and there was no complaints from either party. Whilst you guys get on your high horse about injustices in the world how about feeding the homeless man you walk past each morning.
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