No one has ever been prosecuted under the FGM legislation.
Almost all cultures that practice the genital cutting of children cut both sexes. Female circumcision will continue as long as society tolerates male circumcision.
Female circumcision and male circumcision are always compared selectively. The very worst form of female circumcision is selected and contrasted with “normal” male circumcision. Females are protected by law from even a ritual pinprick that removes no tissue and quite right too. Men Do Complain believes it is right to protect females and all children from any unnecessary interference. Sadly the argument that all children should be treated equally works both ways, those in favour of cutting females say, with some justification, that if you tolerate the cutting of boys then you should tolerate the cutting of girls.
There are of course differences between male and female circumcision, although the tissues most commonly excised are similar in structure and function. The fixation on the differences between male and female circumcision loses sight of the greatest similarity, which is that all non-therapeutic genital cutting is an assault if there is no valid consent to the procedure. No one would argue that a black eye and a cut lip are the same; yet all would agree that if an adult hit a child in the face and left an injury then it was the blow that defined the offence not the nature of the resulting injury.
In an age where children’s rights are increasingly recognised, equal opportunities promoted, and human rights incorporated into our legislation it is difficult to see the non-therapeutic cutting of children’s genitals as anything other than a crime. All children should be protected from the inappropriate activities of adults.
MDC supporters took the message that no children should be discriminated against to the Department of Health. Whitehall was also the venue for another demonstration which provided a stream of people on a very cold afternoon. Ninety seven leaflets were handed out and some new friends were found among the passers by. The young man in the picture below certainly noticed our presence and asked if he could be photographed with Richard in the bloody overalls. The general public seems to get our message it is the politicians and institutions that are so very resistant to a change that is long overdue.