Labiaplasty the modern woman’s choice for Female Genital Cutting (FGM)

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I was watching Dr. 90210 last night on the E channel and much to my entertainment and surprise one of the patients wanted to get a labiaplasty….which is plastic surgery to enhance the labia. She complained that one of her labium was longer than the other and that both lips had thinned out. I was so intrigued by the show that for the first time ever I found my self trying to make out the image of her vagina underneath the blur that was censoring it. When the show ended I couldnt help but ask myself how we got to this point. What makes a woman look at her vagina and think hmm….i really need to get some work done down there and say “Dr. please inject some fat into my labia so they can look plump”. Are you kidding me!?!
As i thought about the labiaplasty my mind naturally went to female circumcision, a rite of passage that though brutal, I cannot bring myself to say that it is wrong (blame it on the anthropologist in me). About 90-95 percent of women and girls in Sierra Leone are circumcised and while countries like Senegal and Burkina Faso have passed laws banning the practice, Sierra Leone is one of those that has not (www.amnesty.org) . I remember reading an article a while back that said that during the 96 elections the late Mrs Kabbah funded the circumcision of about 1000 girls all over the country (some say it was a way to garner political support for her husband’s campaign). What is to be said about the political culture of a nation when something as “sacred” and “private” as female circumcision becomes a tool for political manipulation?

  • Otolo