Thursday, March 25, 2004

i'm not playing with myself, i'm adjusting my jewelry

The Georgia House just voted 160-0 to ban all forms of female genital mutilation. The primary intent of the bill is to prevent parents from having such procedures performed on their daughters for religious or cultural reasons. An interesting side-effect of the bill is that it also bans piercings for adult women... while there is no similar ban for adult men.

Amendment sponsor Rep. Bill Heath, R-Bremen, was slack-jawed when told after the vote that some adults seek the piercings.

"What? I've never seen such a thing," Heath said. "I, uh, I wouldn't approve of anyone doing it. I don't think that's an appropriate thing to be doing."

I'm not a big fan of piercings on anybody, but I am a big opponent of ignorant white guys telling everyone else what they do or don't 'approve' of. Who gives a fuck whether or not he thinks something consenting adults do is 'appropriate'?

Not to belittle the problem of female genital mutilation, but I have always been surprised at how something like 'female genital mutilation' is considered to be horrible, yet 'circumcision' is so commonplace that hospitals often just do the procedure without even asking the parents. It can be argued effectively that the effect such mutilation has on men is not quite as extreme as the effect it has on women, but I don't think this means we should just dismiss the idea that there is something wrong with circumcision being applied more as a cultural fashion statement rather than as part of a religious or social belief system. They'll pass a law stopping adults who want to modify their bodies in some way, but cutting off a newborn baby's foreskin is just fine? What a barbarous world we live in.