Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Female circumcision, virginity, patriarchy and religion

"The trouble with Islam" as highlighted by Irshad Manji and Ayaan Hirsi Ali
is not just the trouble of the Muslim world per se. It is, to be more specific, the trouble with the male world. Especially that beloved patriarchal mindset that would have us believe that women are property, specifically the property of the male. And it goes without saying that anything produced by the woman is by definition the property of the man as well. The same way a farmer, who owns a cow, owns any offspring that cow produces.

When it comes to his feminine assets, the prized possession of man or the farmer has always been the chastity of his females, after all a promiscuous female could wind up combining her DNA with anyone. And while the farmer can just lock up the cow in the barn to avoid unwanted insemination, female human beings have never been willing to be placed in the barn and left there indefinitely. Therefore we men have had to come up with alternative methods for controlling our women who've developed wanderlust.

One particularly sadistic example of such an attempt at control of our girls would be female circumcision, though I use that surgical term rather loosely in this regard. Because when I think of surgery I don't usually think of some doddering old man in a beard, shakily wielding a crudely sharpened spade shaped blade, he's just wiped off on his shirt for cleanliness. Some crazy eyed fanatic hacking off appendages between your legs and not being too particular about it. (Speaking as a male, I can't think of anything more horrifying, something worse than my worst nightmares.)

But there is a good reason for this behavior, some forward thinking and enterprising male, deep in our primordial religious past, came to the conclusion that if you could remove a woman's sex organs, or at least the ones not necessary for the actual reproduction, possibly we males could gain some measure of control over this female sexuality thingy. Apparently the idea being that if you destroy the pleasure involved with sexual intercourse, women would lose interest, thereby making it unlikely that they would seek out others to procreate with.

Boy, I'll bet it was some deep thinking paranoid psychotic who came up with this idea. Obviously only a mind whose logic had been warped beyond recognition by some patriarchal religious zealotry, could conceive something so totally obscene. No doubt he was just following that old axiom, "he who can destroy a thing, controls a thing." And apparently we've been destroying the sweetest parts of our females ever since.

These days the Muslims seem to have a lock on this practice, though by no means is this practice exclusive to Islam. Apparently some men prefer their women clipped, and find those that have not been well cropped rather unappealing or downright unacceptable. Throughout the Muslim world and Africa, the shrieking of toddler aged females can be heard from border to border as they have their ability to orgasm and enjoy sex removed from them and thrown into a biohazard bin or fed to the dogs.

It's interesting to note in light of this bizarre custom, that surgical practices have sprung up across Europe and the Middle East, specializing in the repair of the hymen. These foolish young girls keep damaging their marketability when they fall off their bicycles or have a monkey-bar accident. Across Africa and the Middle East, an intact hymen is a far more valuable commodity than the character, educational accomplishments or beauty of a woman or girl. (Now I'm all in support of cultural differences, and I applaud their defense of the most vulnerable and fleeting of human appendages... the hymen? But I think these Islamists need to get their priorities straight, we here in America know that the most important thing about a woman is how she looks, especially how she looks naked, our culture has depth.)

Unfortunately hymens are very perishable commodity (thus the business in hymen repair arising) a commodity which renders a girl of great value if she can be proven to be virginal. Often a girl will bring her father great wealth in the form of cows, goats, horses etc. -- a good price for an otherwise useless female. But if she is raped or her chastity is brought into ill repute in anyway, her value, like a crashing stock market, plummets into the minus column. She is in fact immediately transformed from asset to liability, something to be discarded on the streets with all the other prostitutes. I hear you can buy sexual favors from fallen Congolese teenagers for one dollar these days.

We here in the Christian West only practice male circumcision among a few select religions, Judaism being the most prominent, and while the Christians no longer practice such things, the Catholic and Anglican churches still celebrate the circumcision of Jesus every year.

But there really isn't much comparison between these divergent practices among cultures, except when you consider who's being circumcised. While the male may lose some sensitivity connected with sexual intercourse, no one ever seemed interested in removing sexual pleasure from the male altogether. If a môhel slices off a baby boy's penis, he quickly finds himself out of the business.

But the control of women's bodies, and the importance found there in, has never been confined to any one religion or group. We Westerners, Christians and Jews alike have a long history of trying to maintain our grip on the female. With the recent explosion in the Conservative Cultural Revolution, we're beginning to see men trying to reassert their dominant position over the feminine once again.

Birth control, long considered an affront to the natural order of offspring production, has long been a point of contention. Most notably the Catholic Church continues to denounce contraception as a sin and an affront to God's plan.

Birth control and abortion both give a woman the power of veto over the insemination of the male. And men have never been too happy about this, because though we don't like to admit it, we need these silly females and their crazy hormones if we're going to make more boys.

Now some Right minded pharmacists are taking action. Though this has happened across the country, it is most often to be found in those deep bastions of Christian patriarchal control, such as Utah, Idaho and a number of places in the South, all those quaint little locales that haven't really recognized those pesky apocryphal constitutional amendments.

You can bet these same pharmacists were raised by parents who were deeply opposed to the ERA, and had grandparents who were deeply opposed to women's suffrage, and great great-grandparents were deeply opposed to the Emancipation Proclamation.

These crusaders of Christian fundamentalist belief have been willing to stand up for the rights of men, whose reproductive redresses are being trodden upon by this laissez-faire feminism.

With the kind of courage last seen during the civil rights era these pharmacists are refusing to fill birth control and morning-after pill prescriptions of any female that cannot prove she is a married woman. Some have now posted public signs, "NO MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE, NO RING -- NO BIRTH CONTROL," or "WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO REFUSE REPRODUCTIVE PRESCRIPTIONS TO ANY FEMALE," with the proviso that even married women must have the consent of their husbands.

Yes we've come a long way in America, and could never be compared to those backwards Muslim countries.

I'd like to send a message out to all you males wherever you may be in the world.

A woman's virginity, and sexuality for that matter, is not something that can be taken or bought or compelled, or even repaired. It's something that can only be offered by the female, something to be shared freely with another. By its truest definition it is the soul of a woman. An entity that remains untouched by external forces, a gift of unencumbered joy, and remarkably free of anything resembling market forces in its most genuine expression.

For those of us lucky enough to have had a woman grace us with that most precious of non-commodities, we know it's a present that can be as fleeting and free as Mariah or as lasting and unshakable as the Rocky Mountains. But regardless it is always something from within the heart and mind of a woman, and only she decided when, where and especially who she will bestow them upon. So be ready guys, don't blow it.

And as for all you chicks, sistahs, sheilas etc. out there – Come on girls just because you get off on that male dominance shit in the bedroom, doesn't mean you have to put up with it in the rest of your life.

Isn't it about time that the girls stop suffering the slings and arrows of this outrageous male oppression, and took up arms against this sea of troublingly gender challenged fools? And perhaps, just perhaps by opposing, put an end to them. I realize most males will not go quietly into that good night, many will need to be dragged kicking and screaming into the future, not unlike a temperamental toddler throwing a shit-fit.

So perhaps it's time for drastic action, I realize I will be vilified by my brethren for this suggestion, but as Malcolm X. once said, "By any means necessary." I propose a national week of "You Ain't Gittin’ None". Hit the boys where it hurts, solidarity my sisters.

For my part, when war comes, I'm ready to become a spy for the cause. I have no particular liking or connection to my own kind, so I'm willing to betray my sex and cross over to the other side. All I ask in return is that I get-sum on a daily basis, a harem of 20 or 30 young women should meet my immediate needs. I know, I know, I'll be branded a traitor and despised by men everywhere, but I'm willing to make that sacrifice for the rights of all women, it's a matter of principle.


Blogger Purplesage said...

You realy want the revolution? Then offer you "chastity" as a the first gift. When the revolution comes, stand up tall and admit that you don't want any, until all women are free.

That would be true revolution!

April 28, 2005 1:48 PM  
Blogger Aaron X said...

Okay, well let's not get crazy.

Because it's only the dead, and the chronically frigid who don't want any. That's just biology nothing you can do about that.

May 03, 2005 6:04 PM  
Blogger bikipatra said...

Must you use "orgasm" as a verb? Is your header supposed to be funny?

June 18, 2005 3:16 AM  
Blogger Loga'Abdullah said...

I reviewed Irshad Manji’s book here – I think you may find it interesting

Feel free to contact me if you have any comments or suggestions about this book review.

April 30, 2010 10:11 AM  

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