There is no room in this country, not one inch, for these gruesome practices. Nothing—not a witless respect for the cultural traditions of others, not a craven impulse to avoid looking intolerant—nothing should stop us from protecting every single American girl from being abused in this manner. Nothing should stop us from unequivocally prohibiting this kind of savagery, least of all the absurd insinuation that to do so would be somehow racist or ethnocentric. We do not reject FGM because it is practiced primarily by dark-skinned people, or because it is often erroneously presented as an Islamic commandment. We reject FGM because it is barbarism.

We have planted every flag we have in the name of civilization, and it is time to plant one now. America is the inheritor of that long tradition that slowly, over centuries, produced John Locke, Mary Wollstonecraft, Abigail Adams, Frederick Douglass, and Martin Luther King Jr. Want to fight the patriarchy? Look no further than Somalia, where women are disbarred from making every major decision, including that most delicate and tender decision of how to manage one’s own fledgling sexuality. The Somalis take that right from 98 percent of their girls when they cut them open and rip away parts of their vagina. But this is America. These are our girls. And we don’t do that here.

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One Response to “‘We don’t do that here.’ — Caitlin Flanagan on FGM”

  1. theprofessor Says:

    “We don’t do that here.” Let me fix that for you, Caitlin: “We don’t do that here-YET.” But we will–yes, indeed, we will, and after Caitlin and the other progs have emerged from Room 101, they will denounce anyone who opposes it as a loathsome bigot.

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