And they say all the news is bad

But I’m here with some good news reported recently in the New York Times.

(Warning, this report may contain irony.)

Yessir, the Times reported that there has been a documented, gradual decline in the practice of female genital cutting, known in Africa as female genital mutilation. That’s right, over the next decade young women are somewhat less likely to have their clitorises hacked off with crude instruments under septic conditions by old people with filthy hands. Man, that really raises my hope for the female gender! Only 30 million young women are projected to have their external genitalia mutilated in the next ten years. BTW, in Egypt, 91% of women between 15 and 49 have already undergone the “procedure.”

I was surprised and somewhat relieved to learn that genital cutting is not a religious practice per se and that major branches of Islam denounce it. Others, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, are supporting the barbaric practice in some places. So while religion doesn’t bear the lion’s share of the blame, it is clear from the numbers that religious leadership is not concerned enough to undertake a serious effort to end it. And there are still areas where it has strong ties to religion.

So two faint cheers for a “gradual fall” in an insane and brutal cultural custom. And a half-hearted, reluctant, muffled cheer for some religious organizations, but in this instance only.

This entry was posted in human rights by SJ. Bookmark the permalink.

About SJ

I'm an older married guy, a former college psychology instructor and editor at a national magazine. Every stage of my very full life has been dominated by a passionate interest – from chess to distance running to photography (my current interest). I write under a pseudonym because the opinions I express, particularly about religion, might very well cause problems for my wife and me. I plan to "come out" after she retires. In the meantime, I'll do my best to defend and promote science and reason and to help keep power out of the hands of the proto-fascists who have declared war on just about everything I value.

2 thoughts on “And they say all the news is bad

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