Young women are still being forced to undergo genital mutilation in parts of Africa. An interesting video about the efforts of Kenyan girls to change people’s perceptions of the practice intrigued me. Would young men actually marry women that were not circumcised? What are the reasons for it? Some believe that you may decrease a woman’s sexual desire; others want to prevent a woman from having extramarital affairs, even though their husbands may have extramarital affairs themselves. This is one of the more literal forms of sexual oppression that exists around the world, often to women that are already ostracized and undereducated than men in their societies.
It brings about a few questions though. While you can make the realization of sexual desire difficult, and painful (other practices exist in Africa such as dry sex, in which men prefer to have sex with women in the absence of whatever natural lubrication a woman would have to prepare herself physiologically for intercourse, which sounds a lot like rape) does that complete rid of a woman of all sexual desire in the first place? What good are women that cannot fulfill their own sexual desires, and how do men in such cultures satisfy their own desires under such circumstances.
I do not know about other men, but the idea of a woman’s own sexual autonomy is as important to me than whatever sexual release I would experience with that woman to begin with. I could not be with someone that was dry, without a clitoris or that would otherwise be unable to experience the same sexual gratification that I can. How can I get excited if she cannot get excited? If she cannot experience the same physical satisfaction then I am only left with whatever emotional satisfaction she might experience. I am not interested in forcing a woman to do anything.
Yet we live in a society that while, clearly is not into the more explicit, physical acts of sexual denigration that are practiced in the East, is still into violating a woman in other ways. This is in a Western society; where we say that we believe in a woman’s rights, empowerment, education and advancement, but we still hold it against women, and are still for denigrating a woman. Pornography often celebrates rape and violence against women; society is now influenced by pornography (now that is has finally surrendered to it and is in the same bed with the pornographers) and women are celebrating the denigration of each other. Supposed feminists ostracize women for not meeting the sexual needs and desires of men that do not love said women; encourage them to lose weight, encourage them to dress themselves up like dolls or act as caricatures of a womans sexuality and encourage them to pursue sexual relationships with each other. Women that are supposed to uplift women only do so through the traditional means in which a man would, which is often discriminatory and celebrates the outside of that woman, not who she is inside as a person.
So women in third world societies in Africa are forgotten. After all, in the first world a woman is more educated than a man and has a better job that he does. An angry man cannot get a decent job, and is left out on the sidelines. The government has told the average woman that she does not need a man for anything, and men are often mere donors when a woman decides that she wants to have a child; which she may raise with another man or with another woman. So who really cares about what happens elsewhere? Or perhaps the battle between the sexes consumes women who used to care about how Muslim women were oppressed in Afghanistan. Genital mutilation is not right, forcing a woman to cover her face is not right; but what more can one expect, when women are being oppressed everywhere, even when they perform better than their “equals”, they are not respected as such and men never will respect their authority …