[W]hy are we so reticent about the clitoris? Why is … mention of it … deemed too sordid for BBC news?

The big difference here seems to be that while the vagina has an obvious functional utility, the clitoris exists entirely for female pleasure. It seems that the issue stems, not from the provocative nature of a word, but our continued societal taboo regarding women daring to enjoy sex. Sure, we can see depictions of women shrieking with pleasure plastered all over any porn site. But that is exactly the point. Female sexual enjoyment remains exclusively in the realm of the forbidden.

Lucy McCormick, The Guardian

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2 Responses to “‘Young girls around the world are suffering horrendous mutilation because of a deep-rooted cultural fear of female pleasure, and the same fear is preventing us from even articulating the problem.’”

  1. David Foster Says:

    Is that *really* the issue here? I’d bet it has more to do with a certain interpretation of multiculturalism (“if it’s their culture, who are we to say anything?”) coupled with outright fear of violent Islamists.

  2. Margaret Soltan Says:

    David: I’d say there’s more than one issue, to be sure, and that this is an important, elemental, silent part of the many dimensions of the problem. As for violent Islamists — since it’s practiced by many non-Islamic groups, I don’t think it’s that so much as the other thing you mention – if they WANT to do this to their women — along with total veiling, child brides, honor killing, restriction of education, restriction to the home, and the rest of the list – we have no say in the matter. Which is I suppose largely true as long as the behavior happens there. It’s when it happens here that we have a duty to intervene.

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