Saturday, July 21, 2012

Winds of change

Until the 60's nobody had spoken against Female Genital Mutilation. It took until 1979 for the World Health Organization to hear about it. Today, most people in the Western culture agree that it is a barbaric practice and that it needs to be banned, even though it is still commonly practiced in parts of Asia and Africa.

In the U.S. it was legal until 1996 and it was somewhat commonly practiced among white Christian population - a result no doubt of the Victorian morality of the early XX century.

2012 is perhaps the first year that male circumcision (Male Genital Mutilation) has been questioned by governments. A citizen initiative in San Francisco (even if it was taken down by a court and any further discussion preemptively discouraged by an "urgent" state law), a ruling in Cologne Germany on a specific case -bringing outrage to Jewish and Muslim communities -and American conservatives who think it's an assault on religious freedom, proposed bans in Denmark and hospitals halting the practice in Switzerland.

Prior to this year, most people thought it was just something that Jews and Muslims and Americans did. Not many people spoke against it. It was a quiet taboo.

How long it will take for more people to see it for what is is? The times are changing.

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