ActivistResource.org apprised us of a 2009 documentary being screened in our neck of the woods (Hudson Valley) tonight called Mrs. Goundo’s Daughter, so we checked out the trailer. It’s the story of one woman’s quest to save her young daughter from the horrors of the African tradition of female genital cutting. In her native Mali, up to 85% of women and girls undergo clitoral excision, which can result in lifelong pain, infection, infertility and even death. After watching the trailer, you’ll think “This is crazy! How can people still think this is a good idea? Thank goodness I live in a Westernized country.” But then we’d point you to this report on the increase in labiaplasty by Hungry Beast (a television show in Australia where they can show a lot more — warning: this is NSFW).
photo by dalbera
The South African runner Caster Semenya recently withdraw from a competition amid speculation about her sex. The rumor is that she is intersex — or a hermaphrodite, as they used to say in the olden days. If it’s true, then it’s too bad she withdrew, as we would have loved to see the world of international athletics try to wrangle this one. After all, it’s not like they could force her into the operating room in order to compete. Plus, it’s a subject rife with misunderstanding and stubborn rumors, and the more people talk about this stuff openly, the better. For now, we’ll try to clear up a few things as best we can: