Amnesty’s ad campaign against FGM

fgm.jpg
Amnesty International has launched an ad campaign to battle female genital mutilation (see full sized pics here and here). The images of sewn up flowers are striking, but effective. What do you think?

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86 Comments

  1. rileystclair
    Posted November 30, 2007 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    btw that new york times piece linked is awful. i skimmed the comments and it did seem like most of the posters were attacking it too, which was encouraging.

  2. Posted November 30, 2007 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    I had a very similar idea for an ad about FGM. There’s really nothing new under the Sun.
    It is very powerful and effective. I hope it opens the eyes of many who are entirely oblivious about this brutality.

  3. Marissa
    Posted November 30, 2007 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    EG, I agree with you in part. I am one of those visual people, and believe me, some people need images. (My career is directly related to the visual arts.) But even as a visual person, who absolutely would defend the important contribution of visuals to knowledge, I still think that sometimes visuals are inappropriate. I think it is inappropriate to depict rape scenes. I think it is inappropriate that there is always a (safely) sexualized image of a woman in conjunction with discussions of breast cancer. (Its not like there are sexy images of men in conjunction with discussions of prostate cancer.) I think it is also inappropriate to depict images of violence against women, especially when the image is so.. pretty. And pretty in reference to the genital region that the violence is being perpetuated against. I guess if there was going to be an image, it should be of the emotional impact to the person or family. We don’t need to romanticize this practice in such an explicit way. Are there images of delicately destroyed suggestive objects for men who face violence in war, for example?

  4. nata_was
    Posted November 30, 2007 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    sorry,
    Personally I am not going to go on arguing any further on the flower imagery. I find more disturbing the implications of these “awareness” ads and their perception in western society. While we think of the practice of FGM as digusting and inhumane, women who do not undergo the procedure in these societies are social outcasts, are rejected by family and will not be wed. More often than not, its women who have undergone FGM who impose the procedure on their young girls, and not men. Its almost a procedure driven entirely by female agency. It is seen as a rite of passage, same as jews regard Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, its seen as a female bonding ritual usually accompanied after by traditionally rich festivities. It is also the only source of income for many women.
    The western perspective on FGM fails to do these cultures justice because we’ll always see the practice in an eurocentric perspective (guess what? the United States, Britan and France used to practice them too!). It doesnt just take Amnesty International going into a country and abolishing the procedure, it will happen underground nevertheless because so much of a woman’s identity in these countries is associated with the procedure! Its a very close tranditional factor to these women’s lives, it defines their femininity, they cannot envision NOT doing it. A woman who doesnt undergo the procedure is simply ostracized. And this whole language of “human rights” is really divorced from the enabling situations that would abolish these practices. Human rights mean nothing unless there are means for the women to carry out their traditions but abolish the practice. If you give practitioners venues for other jobs. But the traditions are married to the practice, its not possible to intervene from the outside. Solutions would be promoting awareness in the communities and providing jobs to women whose lives rely on procedures and providing another sense of sisterhood that retains the festivities but abolishes the procedures. Such things are hard to do, and we cant just stand here and intervene on their behalf, they are the ones to do it! If we intervene we are basically saying these women are in incapable of taking action. We are infantalizing them and we’re exhibiting nothing short of imperialism, probably even encouraging these practices since outside western culture with its pornographic nature is percieved as threatening to the traditions of countries where female chastity is a defining national factor.
    Besides, think of vaginal recostructive plastic surgery and its increasing normalcy? *barf* so really, who are we to talk?

  5. Marissa
    Posted November 30, 2007 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    Oh, and by saying inappropriate, I am not making any sort of reference to ideas of religious purity/modesty/etc. I say inappropriate to mean these are contexts where the media/image makers are capitalizing on tragedy as an opportunity to objectify women’s bodies.
    And also, my comparison to men in war is a little bit of a weak parallel, because, well, men aren’t subject to the same kinds of sexual and sexualized violence that women face, at least to my knowledge.

  6. Marissa
    Posted November 30, 2007 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    Wait, hold on. Nevermind. Men are raped.

  7. rileystclair
    Posted November 30, 2007 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    vaginal plastic surgery is performed on ADULTS, not children or adolescent girls. as long as FGM is practiced on children, who are not old enough to give legal consent just about anything in this country, it is abuse and i cannot support it.
    the fact that it is a tradition carried on primarily by women is of no consequence to me. that’s like saying we can’t critique ann coulter or phyllis shlafly or that horrible stepp woman becaus they are female. or even worse, that we have to support foot-binding or sex trafficking of young girls because women are the ones who foist these things upon other females. women can be just as guilty of sexism, misogyny and barbaric behavior.
    also, simply because some women, like the ones in the new york times piece, had positive experiences with FGM, does not somehow obliterate all the horror stories of women who were unwilling participants, who were cut on as children, under dangerous and unsanitary conditions, or who have suffered medical and sexual consequences as a result.

  8. mael
    Posted November 30, 2007 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    nata_was,
    I totally disagree.
    FGM is a problem. It’s not “their” problem. It’s our problem. As a woman, it’s my problem.
    Trying to find solutions to a clear violation of human rights is not infantilizing the cultures and women who practice and are subject to FGM. Education is the key, and it’s important that these women be helped find control of their bodies and sexuality. They cannot make their own choices until they *have* choices.

  9. chaoticheartt
    Posted November 30, 2007 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    It really bothers me how many comments here are using the term vagina to refer to their inner labia. Do we still have a problem using the term labia or do women still not know the names for the different parts of their genitals or do women still not know which part is which in their genitalia?

  10. EG
    Posted November 30, 2007 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    Besides, think of vaginal recostructive plastic surgery and its increasing normalcy? *barf* so really, who are we to talk?
    Given that vaginal reconstructive plastic surgery is very, very rare, not a procedure that anyone “has” to undergo in order to be considered a woman or an adult, and that it isn’t a rite of passage, I don’t see why we shouldn’t talk.
    While we think of the practice of FGM as digusting and inhumane, women who do not undergo the procedure in these societies are social outcasts, are rejected by family and will not be wed.
    Indeed. That’s a major part of the problem. But how does that make FGM less horrible? It just means that it is in now way, culturally, a voluntary procedure.
    More often than not, its women who have undergone FGM who impose the procedure on their young girls, and not men.
    So what? We’ve all agreed time and time again on these boards that women can and do act as agents of misogyny and sexism. If an American mother tells her daughter that only whores want to have sex, does that make it less misogynist?
    Its almost a procedure driven entirely by female agency.
    No. If, as you state above, women’s status, family acceptance, and marriage prospects are entirely dependant on whether or not she goes through this, I don’t see much agency at all. We’ve discussed time and time again the ways in which we, as western women, bow to patriarchal pressures to wear high heels, change our names upon marriage, etc. How come when it comes to other women far away, the fact that they do something indicates that it’s an expression of agency? Are they somehow magically immune to patriarchal pressure?
    It is seen as a rite of passage, same as jews regard Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, its seen as a female bonding ritual usually accompanied after by traditionally rich festivities. It is also the only source of income for many women.
    Again, that’s pretty horrifying. But it doesn’t make FGM not an outrage against women’s bodies.
    The western perspective on FGM fails to do these cultures justice because we’ll always see the practice in an eurocentric perspective (guess what? the United States, Britan and France used to practice them too!).
    I’m not sure what your point is here. The US, UK, and France, used to use clitoridectomies as a way to control “unruly” women–they were pretty up-front about exactly what it was for. And…so we’ll see it from a eurocentric perspective. How does that make ripping the clitoris and labia off of a young adolescent OK?
    It doesnt just take Amnesty International going into a country and abolishing the procedure, it will happen underground nevertheless because so much of a woman’s identity in these countries is associated with the procedure!
    Amnesty International is not a law-making body. It can’t “go into a country and abolish the procedure.” It’s an international agency that works with groups and individuals from a wide variety of cultures and countries. Why do you assume that they’re not working with activists from cultures that practice FGM?
    But the traditions are married to the practice, its not possible to intervene from the outside.
    Tell me, do you make this argument about the torture of prisoners as well? All cultures that I know of are traditionally misogynist. Many, if not most of them, have traditionally tortured prisoners, executed heretics, and committed assorted other atrocities. But plenty of people argue for bringing international pressure to bear on countries that continue those practices into the present day. Why not FGM?
    Solutions would be promoting awareness in the communities and providing jobs to women whose lives rely on procedures and providing another sense of sisterhood that retains the festivities but abolishes the procedures.
    And why do you think such tactics are incompatible with legislative activism? It’s not an either/or situation.
    we cant just stand here and intervene on their behalf, they are the ones to do it! If we intervene we are basically saying these women are in incapable of taking action. We are infantalizing them and we’re exhibiting nothing short of imperialism,
    There are plenty of activists from these cultures who appeal to the international community for support. Don’t they deserve the support of feminists from outside their culture? Or are we supposed to abandon them to fight on their own? Was it culturally imperialistic of western feminists to support RAWA and try to get the international community to condemn the Taliban? After all, they claimed to be the bearers of traditional culture as well.
    You’re reifying the cultures that practice FGM, acting as though these cultures are simple, undifferentiated, as if there is no division of opinion within these communities. But if that were so, there would be no activists from them advocating against the procedure.

  11. Marissa
    Posted November 30, 2007 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    I have to defend nata_was. She is right that we cannot just go in and abolish FGM and call it a day. This HAS happened in the past where white priviledged feminists have succeeded in abolishing FGM, but did not do much to change the overall social and political system that oppresses these women. We have to find ways to change the system as a whole, so women can have opportunities and the freedom to pursue them. In the past when the FGM practices were abolished, women sought them out anyways because they had to to survive. They needed this symbol of beauty to be married and survive economically. FGM is horrible, but we need to stop making it the primary focus. When we do, we strand women from their means for social acceptance and survival.

  12. UltraMagnus
    Posted November 30, 2007 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    Coming in late in the day but I just discovered this article in the New Yorker about the debate over FGM in Washington.
    http://tierneylab.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/11/30/a-new-debate-on-female-circumcision/
    Sorry but I don’t know how to do links in postings yet. What’s interesting about this is there will be two female African scholars who have had the procedure done (as adults no less) and are defending the practice as matriarchal and empowering to the African tribes who practice it. They also are trying to dispel the “myths” about sexual dysfunction in women who have had the procedure. One even has a 32 page essay in favor of the matter, which you can go to here:
    http://humdev.uchicago.edu/postDocsDirect.html

  13. rileystclair
    Posted November 30, 2007 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    but where was anyone suggesting that we could do that with regard to FGM, marissa?

  14. smashpatriarchy6
    Posted November 30, 2007 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    I really like the analogy of the vagina to a flower – it’s a universal symbol of beauty. These ads really convey the horror of destroying something that’s natural & beautiful.

  15. Posted November 30, 2007 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

    “also, simply because some women, like the ones in the new york times piece, had positive experiences with FGM, does not somehow obliterate all the horror stories of women who were unwilling participants, who were cut on as children, under dangerous and unsanitary conditions, or who have suffered medical and sexual consequences as a result.”
    I meant to post the article to Dr. Ahmadu’s paper; it’s an interesting and disturbing 33-pager on sexuality after circumcision.
    It’s disturbing (to me) because (as I posted on my blog when I stumbled across the NYTimes blog and link to the paper) I’m having trouble relating “empowering” to “removing a small body part with the potential to cause enormous pleasure in a woman’s body during sexual intercourse.” I’m having trouble also sorting through Dr. Fuambai Ahmadu’s paper; a lot of it seems to be her desperately trying to cling to her ideas of culture and female sexuality (sans clitoris and other parts of the vulva), while accusing anti-FGM/FC scholars/advocates of clinging to their ideas about culture and female sexuality (that of sexuality involving a fully intact vulva).
    Even if one believes that Dr. Ahmadu’s research is valid (I’m…skeptical to say the least), I would strongly question the validity of “a woman can still orgasm” being some kind of basis for even sterile FGM/FGC/FC being at all “acceptable” regardless of culture.

  16. Taisa-Marie
    Posted November 30, 2007 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    While normally I would find some issue with the use of a flower to represent a woman’s anatomy, I think to complain about it in this case misses the point.
    I think it can be seen as a way to bring the conversation and issue out to people who may not know about it because as much as we would like people of the world to be comfortable with speaking/talking about genitalia, most people will be turned off to the topic (no matter how important) if you throw them into the gruesome details.
    I don’t think it is perfect, and in a perfect world we’d be able to make the point without having to worry about people being offended, but we do. I’d rather have a flower euphemism and awareness of the problem versus no awareness at all.

  17. EG
    Posted December 1, 2007 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Even if one believes that Dr. Ahmadu’s research is valid (I’m…skeptical to say the least), I would strongly question the validity of “a woman can still orgasm” being some kind of basis for even sterile FGM/FGC/FC being at all “acceptable” regardless of culture.
    I agree. Look, if I were to lose my right hand, God forbid, I’d probably learn how to write with my left hand. And there are plenty of documented cases in which people who lose or are born without hands learn to do quite dextrous things with their feet and toes. But that doesn’t mean that cutting off someone’s hands isn’t a horrible mutilation that deprives them of a fully-functioning body, and it’s not the kind of thing people should have to depend on. It just means that the human body can be resilient and resourceful in the face of terrible trauma.

  18. Posted December 1, 2007 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    Neither the images nor the text come close…
    I’m really disappointed in this campaign. Neither the images not the text come close to conveying, or even suggesting, what really happens to these girls.
    First of all, they deceptively cover only one of the (arguably) less destructive types of FGM. Secondly, the rose isn’t DAMAGED at all! It’s not MUTILATED. It’s an lovely image of a rose that has been sewn in the middle. In fact, the rose is so unblemished it appears that the stitches could be removed and it would bounce back into its former perfection.
    The text doesn’t describe what female genital mutilation really is and it doesn’t suggest the physical, emotional, and psychological consequences of the act.
    Given that the actuality of this horror is beyond what anyone unacquainted with it could or would imagine without being explicitly told, this is just too vague to be of any consequence. FGM is so unpleasant to contemplate and so removed from most of our everyday lives that the only way to get someone to fully experience the stomach-turning, chill-inducing discomfort of recognizing the detailed reality , is to be BLATANT.
    And, I’m sorry but in the pink image the “clitoris” is healthy and thriving and absolutely untouched.
    Too artistic. Too (thriving, unblemished) beautiful. Too vague.

  19. kamikazebirds
    Posted December 1, 2007 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    I think this ad is extremely effective. We can’t expect it to address all the complexities of the issue, but I think it will be successful in getting average people to think about the issue of FGM.

  20. Posted December 1, 2007 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    nata_was: How can you say this tradition is perpetuated by “female agency” and in the same breath admit that women who don’t do it are completely ostracized? Obviously it is a means for social survival.
    I work with torture survivors from all over the world, and this is a form of torture. The woman may be sold on it, but it doesn’t change the fact that they feel no choice but to have their bodies mutilated.
    Too many people apply the “cultural relativism” logic where it doesn’t apply and overlook it when it does. Yes, some things are subjective and we as westerns can’t superimpose our values onto them. But some things are violations of universal human rights. Sexual mutilation is one of them.
    And I know it’s easy to talk ourselves out of action because we can just play the “well, we’re hypocrites” card, citing male circumcision and vaginal rejuvenation, but they are hardly the same things (and I don’t support either of them, so I don’t believe I’m a hypocrite). Cutting off or tightening up bits of skin is weird and medically unnecessary, but it can’t really be compared to undoing a woman’s ability to enjoy sex (cutting off the clitoris), or endangering her life so that her man gets a better jack (sewing up the vaginal opening).
    The women of these cultures do need to rise up, but we, as their sisters, need to use our power to help them. You can’t put all the responsibility on the disenfranchised and expect it to work itself out. These women will be killed; they need momentum. Do you think the slaves could have abolished slavery on their own and were just too lazy to bother? Mmmm, no. Those with power need to take responsibility for that power and use it well.

  21. Mina
    Posted December 1, 2007 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    “The western perspective on FGM fails to do these cultures justice because we’ll always see the practice in an eurocentric perspective (guess what? the United States, Britan and France used to practice them too!)”
    Hold it, since when is condemning FGM a Eurocentric thing? Guess what, Chinese and Iranian and Swahili cultures call FGM barbaric too!
    “A woman who doesnt undergo the procedure is simply ostracized.”
    Not all societies which have FGM still have it that entrenched. For example:
    http://abcnews.go.com/International/Story?id=79133&page=3
    “…In Fouzia’s case, her father — an Eldoret businessman — was opposed to having his daughters circumcised. It was only while he was away on a business trip that her mother called in the local circumciser and had Fouzia and her younger sister Fardhosa circumcised…”
    Somehow, I doubt Fouzia’s father ostracizes women and girls in his society when he knows they have (or thinks they might have) healthy genitals.
    “Solutions would be promoting awareness in the communities and providing jobs to women whose lives rely on procedures and providing another sense of sisterhood that retains the festivities but abolishes the procedures.”
    Good points. Also, in some cases nobody makes a living from FGM because Mom or Grandma tortures the kid herself instead of outsourcing the hazing.
    “vaginal plastic surgery is performed on ADULTS, not children or adolescent girls. as long as FGM is practiced on children, who are not old enough to give legal consent just about anything in this country, it is abuse and i cannot support it.”
    Exactly.
    “the fact that it is a tradition carried on primarily by women is of no consequence to me. that’s like saying we can’t critique ann coulter or phyllis shlafly or that horrible stepp woman becaus they are female.”
    Right on. Since when must feminism mean agreeing with absolutely every female person about absolutely everything?
    “And…so we’ll see it from a eurocentric perspective.”
    Speak for yourself. My mom’s from Iran, which means she and I get to condemn FGM as part of our Asian heritage too. ;)

  22. Mina
    Posted December 1, 2007 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    “nata_was: How can you say this tradition is perpetuated by ‘female agency’ and in the same breath admit that women who don’t do it are completely ostracized?”
    Maybe she was talking about the female agency of female adults when they participate in the ostracizing, not of female children when they get pinned down and tortured?

  23. IncredibleKates
    Posted December 1, 2007 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    I like the ads. They’re extremely powerful without being in poor taste.
    I also think that the flower imagery is a good idea here. Even if you aren’t usually comfortable with the flower=vagina comparisons, you’ve got to admit: It conveys perfectly the beauty of the natural organs women are born with and the painful unnaturalness of altered genitals.

  24. prof/activist
    Posted December 1, 2007 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    I showed these to a friend of mine — she’s from Congo, with extended family from Cameroon; she’s been genitally mutilated, but that happened while she and her family were in France. In all of my whiteness and American-ness, I showed these photos to her, and we discussed our reactions.
    First reaction: ugh. Flowers? Sure it makes for a great photo op and white/American imagery of vulvas but lacks any analysis of the realities of FGM. The same red rose advertised such nonsense as “American Beauty” and is a symbol of undying love and fidelity in this country. Makes me think of Valentines Day and romance and love and shit. Maybe that’s the point. But it struck us as the “this is your brain. this is your brain on drugs. any questions?” ad campaign of the, what, late 80s/early 90s. Yeah, an egg, then an egg frying. I get it. But so what??? Finally, we were angered (as others have pointed out) that it ignores clitoridectomy and other forms of cutting (internal cuts for scarring, labia minora, etc.) that are a part of FGM. Vaginas are not flowers; flowers are not vaginas. No matter how you spin it or render the beautiful metaphor, a vagina cannot be reduced to a simple little rose, not to mention a pretty pale one — how very ignorant of the realities of race re: FGM.
    Others are doing much more powerful campaigns that don’t sugarcoat the issue — I know some German and Nigerian feminists are on this job and doing incredible work. And they aren’t talking about pretty roses rendered ugly by stiches!! They’re talking about real women, women with scars that will never heal, women who will never walk completely upright for the pain from long-term infections, women who will never urinate again without excrutiating agony, women who will never bear children or will do so with life-threatening pain, women who are ashamed of their bodies. Roses?? (yawn.) How about real women? Their faces? Their bodies? Their scarred vulvas and nicked clits? That’s the ad I want to see. I don’t want to “feel good” about this ad and I certainly don’t want to feel “empowered” by it. I want to see real women — women are not flowers!

  25. Mina
    Posted December 1, 2007 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    “Others are doing much more powerful campaigns that don’t sugarcoat the issue”
    Meanwhile, an ad that may be very powerful to one audience may be merely tuned out by another. I’m still wondering who the audiences are for the campaigns you mentioned and the one in the original post (and whether they’re the same audiences).
    People who just got told about a local referendum on FGM and are wondering “should I vote to outlaw this?”?
    People who just got told “it’s a girl!” and are wondering “should I let her keep her clitoris?”?
    People who just got told about Amnesty International or another NGO and are wondering “should I contribute to it and its causes?”?
    None of the above?
    More than one of the above?

  26. oenophile
    Posted December 1, 2007 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    Coming in late:
    I like the flower imagry. First of all, it’s universal (at least in America); viewers will have an idea of what it is about. You can’t expect the makers of these ads to both retool the entire culture and criticise FGM without confusing viewers.
    Second, IIRC, an author once said, upon seeing herself for the first time, that it looks like a wet rose.
    The ads would be more effective if they showed two flowers – one beautiful and unharmed, and the other destroyed (torn and sewn).

  27. yeuxlibres
    Posted December 2, 2007 at 12:39 am | Permalink

    I understand both the problems and the pluses with the flower imagery. And I agree that, although appropriately shocking, graphic and truthful images of FGM would certainly detract a significant number of people from even looking at them so as to make the ads less effective.
    I think a good alternative would be to show the emotional and physical pain on a girl’s face. After all, it isn’t about the physical brutality of the practice as much as it is about how that affects the girls and women who experience it.

  28. Lizzy
    Posted December 2, 2007 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Perfect metaphor

  29. Lizzy
    Posted December 2, 2007 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Perfect metaphor

  30. abra
    Posted December 2, 2007 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    “If we intervene we are basically saying these women are in incapable of taking action. We are infantalizing them and we’re exhibiting nothing short of imperialism…”
    Infantilizing? Um, isn’t most FGM performed on children?
    The roses are too pretty.

  31. holly
    Posted December 2, 2007 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    thank you TinaH and lizadilly for bringing the troop back to what’s really important.
    People should be more concerned with raising awareness of FGM, as opposed to “omigod, my vulva is being compared to a flower!”

  32. prosaica
    Posted December 3, 2007 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    In my european country we had a doctor that worked with a local Imam. He got the Imam to explain to the mothers that the prophet actually said girls should be cut only until the first drop of blood. Then, with their consent, he performed a very small incision: it didn’t impact functionality and was not dangerous.
    As you can imagine, there was an enormous outcry against the doctor, saying his medical licence should be revoked. Personally, I find it was a very beautiful solution. If female GM were more like male GM (i.e., compatible with a completely normal life) many of us would not oppose it.

  33. Posted December 4, 2007 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    They actually emotionally overwhelmed me…

  34. Sarah Connor
    Posted December 7, 2007 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    “In my european country we had a doctor that worked with a local Imam. He got “the Imam to explain to the mothers that the prophet actually said girls should be cut only until the first drop of blood. ”
    prosaica just to ask you about your point, i’m not sure if by your post you are saying that FGM is acceptable or even indorsed by islam, because its not. sorry i hope i’m not coming off as annoyed or anything i just wish to point out that what the prophet (pbuh) was commenting on was a pre-existing practise where he said if she really must be cut, it should only be a little, as to not make sex painful for her.
    sorry, i just have very strong opinions on this issue and there is ABSOLUTLY NO NEED for FGM as its another example about how patriarchal societies have a problem with women’s sexuality and feel a need to control it.
    personally i think the adverts are brilliant. I think the reason they made the adverts like this was so they could be published in many countries and raise awareness. and instead of bitching about somthing which is actually trying to help women, and is making some impact at least, we should support it.

  35. Alias_Grace
    Posted December 12, 2007 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    Okay, I recognize that the flower image could be considered problematic. However, I think these images are able to get the message across – in a simple, visual way – of what FGM would physically DO to a woman. As in: if you think it looks horrible on a flower, imagine that being done to a woman’s vulva. A lot of people aren’t educated about FGM and would have trouble even imagining the physical reality of what it does to a person. These images are powerful because they get the reality across.

  36. ritawg
    Posted December 26, 2007 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    Try getting people outside the choir to talk about FGM, let alone learn more about it. If a flower makes it easier for adults to deal with it and know about it, bring on all the stitched up roses.
    FYI, teens are never too young to know about FGM. Twelve-fourteens are so down to fight the good fight by wanting to know even more. Good ad.
    ritawg, author
    No Laughter Here

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