eumelia: (valerie)
In my previous post (DW/LJ) I wrote about the genital mutilation done in the name of science on young girls at Cornell University.

I was remiss is the that I erased the fact that this is an Intersex issue, that all the girls/women (51 of them) were not considered "normal" individuals. I put the word "normal" in quotes because I have issues with that word, it is not neutral and it is not an apt descriptor, I'll get to that in a moments.

As I said of the 51 participants, 46 of them had the condition of Congential Adrenal Hyperplasia which is a hormonal condition that affects the size, look and structure of genitalia.

Treating a hormonal condition does not mean that genitals should be restructured for cosmetic reasons without the informed consent of the child! Really, really, really!

3 other participants were transgender women and the remaining 2 had other sexual development conditions.

All this information is taken from [ profile] lizardspots' post on the matter.

The post itself is very informative, but suffers from "The Trouble With Normal" (i.e. Cisgender privilege, and no I'm not immune, hence this new post on the matter) and I advise everyone who goes to read the post linked above to read this brilliant anonymous comment that exposes the problematic nature of using so-called neutral language when discussing people who are routinely medicalised for not having genitalia that can be categorised so easy-peasy.

This post examines why this has hit the blogosphere only now when the research was done in 2007 and why intersex erasure occurred in the first place when this story broke.

My opinion has not changed, I still think the underlying motivations of misogyny (which informs homophobia, transphobia and intersex erasure) is the problem. That the need to make sure everyone fits in the box prescribed for them and woe be it onto anyone to steps outside the frame that social norms (may that word die in a fire) dictate who is human and who is not.

Obviously, these girls and women are not human enough. Not "feminine" enough.
The nightmare scenario of girls being carted off to be "fixed" still stands.

But that's just my own 2 cents.

H/T to [ profile] kynn.

In my previous post I got a comment from Advocates for Informed Consent, a non-profit USA based organisation that advocates for intersex children under the scrutiny of the medical profession. Here is their website: Advocates for Informed Choice.

There is a plethora of information from this international website Organisation Intersex International.
eumelia: (valerie)
This is a signal boost and and it may have triggers.

Female Genital Mutilation at Cornell University by Dan Savage, via [personal profile] copperbadge and Cornell Surgeon Used Vibrator To Stimulate 6-Year-Olds by Kathy Kellerher, via [ profile] rm.

In the name of "science" a doctor is cutting down little girls' clitorises because they are deemed too big, by whose standards, I cannot tell you.
Oh, and as a follow up to these horrifying and traumatising surgeries, these girls are then stimulated by vibrators to test if they still have sensation at the place of incision.

I have nightmares about scenarios like this.

What you can do to stop this "science" from happening? Here are some links and numbers you can use:

Write about your outrage and send it to Weill Cornell:
Or to the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, ORIA at, (646) 962-8200
Or to the Dean of the hospital, Antony M. Gotto Jr, dean at
Or to the college's general address: Weill Cornell Medical College, 1300 York Avenue, New York, NY 10065.

If you are calling from outside the USA, the international code, to be punched in before the actual telephone number is 1*.

And of course, pass it on.
H/T [personal profile] copperbadge

There is also an article in Psychology Today, which has more info and which made me need to step back from the screen in rage.

Because, as someone else said, the vibrators is not what this is about.

It isn't about pervy surgeons having their way with little girls. Paedophiles can be, much to our distress, found in every walk of life. It isn't that he followed up on dodgy medical practices with dubious procedures.

This is about the fact that genital mutilation was given carte blanche in the name of misogyny, homophobia and "empiricism".

This is about wanting to erase, as in to make non-existent, the mere idea of female sexuality that is like that of men. That is why intersex children with clitorises that are too big will usually be said to have small penises and be assigned male gender after "corrective" surgery.

I don't want to go Godwin on this, because the Nazis are hardly the first and the last to go Mad Scientist in the name of Social Order, but my god it scares me. The notion that ones "potential" sexuality will cause such great panic that it will be, literally, cut off.

The real problem, was that this research was approved in the first place and that obviously, there was no one in fucking control of that lab!

Talk about oversight.

I am very curious to know what was going through the minds of the parents who agreed, in the name of these little girls, for this to happen. Have doctors terrorised them for so long, that their child was abnormal, that they simply handed her over? Were these parents so scared of their children?

I cannot imagine that anything short of abject terror of not being in control of your child's body would get you to do something like that. Because it is a fear many parents have regarding their daughters. When I was 11 I'd had my first hair cut in 8 years, I think my mother cried.
When I shaved my head when I was 20, I cried as my mother said to me "I can't believe you would do this", the "to me" hung off the end of that sentence like dying worm.

That is just a normal example.

I think [ profile] rm said it best, and I'll paraphrase as to how it relates to me, that one of the most queer things about me is the ability to leverage my shame into action. I don't do it well, nor do I think I did it right when that action was needed, but it is that that makes me queer - I will not hide away because my presence causes someone else embarrassment and through that shame me into silence.

Little girls are not the arena upon which to shove your anxieties.
Gender non-conforming people are not the ones who deserve the shame thrust upon them.
Mutilation is the destructive symptom here, that it was given legitimacy in the first place is the problem.
eumelia: (Default)
Amnesty International has launched a new ad campaign to raise awareness for the fight against female genital mutilation.
Pandagon and Feministing have already posted about it.
I found the ads very evocative: Pictures under the cut )

I think it details the meaningless destruction of something beautiful, without making it look obscene or cliched.

Flowers have more often than not been used to describe or be a euphemism for female genitalia, not just the vagina, but the vulva, the clitoris, the labia majora and minora, and of course we can't not think of famous painter Georgia O'Keef who made famous the use of flowers to describe the beauty and sexuality of female genitalia.

I've heard from people that it is now considered cliche to use flowers as genitalia, but I think in this ad campaign it is used excellently, because the flowers evoke innocence, which is exactly what these (most usually) pre-pubesant girls lose when they are mutilated in such a way.

I'd love to hear what y'all think.


eumelia: (Default)

June 2015

 12345 6

V and Justice

V: Ah, I was forgetting that we are not properly introduced. I do not have a name. You can call me V. Madam Justice...this is V. V... this is Madam Justice. hello, Madam Justice.

Justice: Good evening, V.

V: There. Now we know each other. Actually, I've been a fan of yours for quite some time. Oh, I know what you're thinking...

Justice: The poor boy has a crush on adolescent fatuation.

V: I beg your pardon, Madam. It isn't like that at all. I've long admired you...albeit only from a distance. I used to stare at you from the streets below when I was a child. I'd say to my father, "Who is that lady?" And he'd say "That's Madam Justice." And I'd say "Isn't she pretty."

V: Please don't think it was merely physical. I know you're not that sort of girl. No, I loved you as a person. As an ideal.

Justice: What? V! For shame! You have betrayed me for some harlot, some vain and pouting hussy with painted lips and a knowing smile!

V: I, Madam? I beg to differ! It was your infidelity that drove me to her arms!

V: Ah-ha! That surprised you, didn't it? You thought I didn't know about your little fling. But I do. I know everything! Frankly, I wasn't surprised when I found out. You always did have an eye for a man in uniform.

Justice: Uniform? Why I'm sure I don't know what you're talking about. It was always you, V. You were the only one...

V: Liar! Slut! Whore! Deny that you let him have his way with you, him with his armbands and jackboots!

V: Well? Cat got your tongue? I though as much.

V: Very well. So you stand revealed at last. you are no longer my justice. You are his justice now. You have bedded another.

Justice: Sob! Choke! Wh-who is she, V? What is her name?

V: Her name is Anarchy. And she has taught me more as a mistress than you ever did! She has taught me that justice is meaningless without freedom. She is honest. She makes no promises and breaks none. Unlike you, Jezebel. I used to wonder why you could never look me in the eye. Now I know. So good bye, dear lady. I would be saddened by our parting even now, save that you are no longer the woman I once loved.


-"V for Vendetta"


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