The headline on the story is, ‘Barbaric’ rituals a no-no, feds warn, and here I am completely underwhelmed. Of course it’s true that in Canada we have laws against “barbaric cultural practices that tolerate spousal abuse, ‘honour killings,’ female genital mutilation or other gender-based violence”. And yes, I suppose warning people who want to come and live here that such practices are against the law is fine.
A few things bug me. First, do you really think that people who think it’s completely OK to cut off a young girl’s clitoris and labia with a pair of scissors or an old razor blade, scrape off some of the remaining tissue for good measure, and sow the resulting mess back together so tight that the girl may not urinate properly until the day her husband unceremoniously re-opens her wound – do you really think those people who have this done to their own daughters will look at the Canadian government’s guidelines for immigrants and say, gosh, honey, we better change our ways, pronto? Says here it’s a big no-no?
Me, neither. So I worry that those words in the document will allow too many of us to feel a warm and fuzzy sense of security and go back to sleep.
And another thing: Female genital mutilation is recognized by every civilized country for the outrageous violation of a person’s most basic human rights, and we treat it with white gloves? We gently warn would-be immigrants that we don’t like it here?