Thursday, 6 December 2018

#FEMALEPLEASURE




The film begins with some alarming statistics regarding the spread of female genital mutilation. It's not just a problem in Africa or in Arab lands. It's a problem in Europe too. Not least in countries like Great Britain and Germany. In fact, as the film says, it is now a world problem.  

Five "courageous, intelligent and independent women break the taboos of silence and shame that their societies and/or their religions with their archaic and patriarchal structures have imposed upon them. 

"With incredible positive energy and strength Deborah Feldman, Leyla Hussein, Rokudenashiko, Doris Wagner and Vithika Yadav" courageously show the way forward. 

In the picture above a group Kenyan women courageously decide to break with tradition and form a circle which cannot be broken. They will spare their daughters the shame and pain of female genital mutilation. 

The technical details of the ancient Egyptian practice were effectively demonstrated using a giant vagina moulded from different colours of plasticine was presented and cut to pieces by a woman armed with a knife and a pair of giant scissors.

First comes a so-called "grade 1 cut" where the clitoris is removed and finally a "grade 3 cut" where the whole vagina is removed and the subsequent hole is tied up with string and a giant needle to make it smaller. 

The shock and horror on the faces of the young men who witnessed the demonstration was surely a sign of hope. 

One muslim woman said: I don't know which mutilation I had to undergo. I've never had the courage to look. 

Deborah Feldman, a member of a Jewish sect forced into an arranged marriage, told how for years she hadn't seen her own body since she was a child. She had to dress and undress so that "not even the ceiling would see" her body.  At the end of the film she walks into the sea clad in a holy garment that only a Jewish man is allowed to wear. With this act of defiance she claims back her own body. 

Doris Wagner, a one time nun, tells how she was raped by members of Roman Catholic clergy. 
And how her two letters to the pope went unanswered. 

The Japanese artist, Rokudenashiko, takes impressions of her vagina. and with the aid of a 3D copier constructs a plastic boat in the shape of a vagina. She is charged with obscenity. And has to appear before the court. In her defence she points to the myriad of sex toys on sale throughout Japan. The judge rules that her vagina boat is an example of pop art.  One small victory for common sense. 

In India, where women are beaten and raped every day, there's a festival where men walk through the streets with a giant penis.  A counter movement is started by Vithika Yadav. With street theatre and red t-shirts they bring their situation to public attention. 

The above are just a few examples of women's courage taken from the film #FEMALEPLEASURE. Hopefully we will soon witness a new dawn for millions of women and their daughters. And for future evolution of all mankind. 

You can go to the official trailer via the link below. 


18 comments:

  1. We had a FGM unit in Norwich when I worked for the Child Safeguarding Team. Some girls would just disappear from school and the school told they were going home to see relatives. Midwives would also refer. I will look out for the film; hopefully it will be early next year in the UK. Thank you for the information.

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    1. I'm interested and impressed that you have worked in safeguarding of children from this archaic custom. My questioned is why aren't there any prosecutions brought against the offenders? It's clear that multiple of fences are committed ranging from grievous bodily harm to sexual assault on a juvenile and even to kidnapping of children for the purpose. These are very serious crimes, and as it happens they are breaches of the UN Declaration of human rights.

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    2. There have been some prosecutions in London. All local authorities in England have FGM awareness high on the safeguarding of children agenda along with all forms of child cruelty.

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  2. A very welcome addition Gwil to the information I have gleaned from various sources (including an article in today;s Times 2) about the plight of women throughout the world. This is my chosen charity this Christmas - the Times charity : Mercy Corps Yemen Appeal. The more the suffering of women is brought to the attention of the World the quicker it will die out - but we can't expect miracles - old habits did hard. Sadly.

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    1. We can't expect miracles, that true. But perhaps we can demand them. Should demand them. Expectation is like waiting for a bus that is no longer on our route.

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  3. It is like railing against the wind. We put in our small bit. Will it ever end?

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    1. A million women in yellow vests should march on parliament and demand of the Home Secretary and the PM that the law prohibiting violent assault, kidnapping, and cruelty to children be rigorously enforced. My grandfather was on the narrow March. Actions speak louder than words!

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    2. ". . . on the Jarrow March"

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  4. Possibly the worst atrocity to women (girls) anywhere. I hardly bear think about it.

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    1. Seems nobody can think about it.

      The police and the politicians in many European countries including the UK don't seem to want think about it judging by the absence of any meaningful prosecutions.

      All very sad. But the women in the film fighting this torture and child abuse are terrific!

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  5. Thanks for telling us about the film. I looked up the subject and its more of a cultural thing rather than a religious practice. So sad.

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    1. Thanks Dave. The practice predates the present religions. Its origin is in the times of the pharaohs. Personally I'd think it's even older. The women in the photo above are a clue. Modern religions appeared in time and promulgated ancient customs and festivals, ceremonies and rituals, using false pretenses and as we see included this one. It's not that long ago that people were sacrificing virgins on tops of mountains in the Andes. Human history is a bloody horror when you look into it. No wonder people don't want to think about it. But we have to don't we?

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  6. Listen to Edna Adan Ismail, Midwife and former Foreign Minister of Somaliland, on the Desert Island Discs archive and hear her very disturbing story and her campaign on behalf of FGM victims. She is a wonderful woman.

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    1. Thanks. I will. And I hope others will too.

      In addition to UN Human Rights issues there are at least three serious fgm offences being committed daily in the UK: (1) kidnapping, (2) assault occasioning grievous bodily harm, (3) sexual assault on a juvenile. And there are doubtless several other laws pertaining to this offence but they are not enforced. Our politicians are a disgrace. What's May say about it?

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    2. The intention of local authorities is that they are enforced. It is an area of secrecy amongst the ethnic communities and hard to bring prosecutions. It is wrong to say nobody is doing anything.

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    3. Let's hope for a lot of showings of the film. Maybe concentrate a few minds. Thanks.

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  7. looks like a film to see, I've read books on this shocking practice, hope the film helps change things

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