(9) Remarkably, the focus of this classification is distinctively the prepuce, or, more precisely, its removal-in sharp contrast to the new, redefined categorization which centers on a different part of the genitalia, the clitoris; hence, the appellation "clitoridectomy
," which would have been clearly and linguistically inappropriate had the prepuce remained the focal point of attention.
useful function: "The male equivalent of the clitoridectomy
Specifically, there are early signs of as to whether Type I FGM (clitoridectomy
), which is one of the two most common forms of the practice, rises to the level of persecution.
We need only consider the perhaps over-emphasised case of Isaac Baker-Brown and the disastrous (for him) consequences of his practice of clitoridectomy
, to see that the Victorian medical profession (and society in general) did not want to go there, in all senses of the phrase.
However, they found that these feminist reinterpretations seemed to have had little effect on dominant anatomy images, and suggest that what influence they had could be characterized as a backlash of deletion--a "visual clitoridectomy
after a few decades of minimal inclusion" (1995, p.
It should be noted that infibulation cannot be the specific focus of Wangila's book, for the simple reason that the kind of circumcision that is commonly practiced in Kenya is clitoridectomy
, sometimes termed clitorectomy, which is a far milder form of mutilation.
Even in contemporary times, rituals that involve either self-flagellation and intentional bloodletting or beatings by others is common in Muslim ceremonies; Hindus and Buddhists pierce the face and body during certain rites, and often burn the top of the head; and in Africa and Australia, indigenous people sometimes use genital mutilation on boys and girls that is intentionally painful, including circumcision, subincision, clitoridectomy
, or infibulation.
In 2006, as part of an undergraduate senior honors thesis on female circumcision, I lived in a village in southwest Kenya where partial clitoridectomy
is widespread and yet highly contested.
Type I is clitoridectomy
, in which all or part of the clitoris is removed.
: partial or total removal of the clitoris (a small, sensitive and erectile part of the female genitals) and, rarely, the prepuce (the fold of skin surrounding the clitoris) as well
(77) I have opted to use neutral phraseology, notwithstanding the prevalence of other descriptive terms such as "female circumcision" or "mutilation", or of technical terms such as "clitoridectomy
", "excision", or "infibulation".