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Female genital mutilation (FGM) occurs in many parts of the world, especially in Africa. It is a cultural practice thought to have been established centuries ago, though its origins appear to have been lost in the past. International efforts to eliminate it also have a long history. As early as the 17th century, Christian missionaries and colonial administrations in Africa attempted to prevent the practice. Today, efforts to eradicate FGM are under way within and outside of practicing cultures.
This book discusses the definition and types of FGM and explores the common justifications for the practice, along with the incidence in Africa and other continents, global laws, legal issues, rights and religion. Ethical considerations are examined, as are progress and the role of culture. Personal interviews help to expand and enrich the discussion. The book concludes with thoughts on the movement from tradition to cultural evolution.
|1||A traditional practice||7|
|2||Prevalence (with James C. Skaine)||35|
|3||Globalism and law||57|
|4||Legal and practical issues in the West||80|
|5||Tradition and change in practicing cultures||94|
|6||Challenging the change and the challenge of change||125|
|7||The Maasai and female circumcision||151|
|8||Meeting the challenge in Tanzania||171|
|9||The changing status||198|
|10||A compendium of change||215|
|App. 1||Overview of the practice in traditional countries|
|App. 2||Law and outreach|
|App. 3||Overview of the practice in industrialized countries|
Posted July 25, 2009
This review is written by a 32 year veteran of campaigns against FGM and a recognized scholar in the field. I read this book some time ago but remember it as the worst edited I have ever encountered -- and with a Cornell Ph.D. in comparative literature, that means thousands. I don't know whether the fault lies with the author or publisher -- probably both. But I also remember on a single page, going through it with the red pen used for correcting freshman essays. I felt, in sum, as though I had been duped having bought a book with such truly appalling writing. To the publisher's credit, they offered me another of their books for free but I had already lost confidence in them. Now, I understand that you probably want to hear something about the relevance of content. The fact is, however, that bad writing prevented me from easily accessing the content, and the single aspect I remember years later -- original interviews with victims in Tanzania--, offended me for having had the words of people struggling with English simply transcribed from the tape recorder onto the page, without any effort at editing for clarity, wordiness, transition, or flow, thereby making the speakers sound, well, undignified if not simply stupid. My advice to all: don't buy this book.
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