Hilary couldn’t be more right. Yes, courtesy will govern private conversation, and good writing, to avoid repetition, will also deploy a variety of terms, but public speech and policy deliberations should avoid language that trivializes and understates the reality best described as mutilation and, often, torture. See Kiminta, for instance … Maria Kiminta and Tobe Levin. _Kiminta. A Maasai’s Fight against Female Genital Mutilation_. Frankfurt am Main: UnCUT/VOICES Press, 2015. Including Tobe Levin. “Critique of anthr/apologists observing a Maasai rite.” 116-126.
The Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Walk-A-Thon to End FGM, in Washington DC on 15 October 2016, brought together many activists from around the world – an exciting and truly inspiring experience, which I describe in more detail here.
I was privileged to attend the event as an Awardee (for my books) and I took the opportunity to deliver a very simple message: If we are serious about eradicating FGM we will call is as it is, Female Genital Mutilation. Here is the text of my brief address:
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