A woman’s body has been a playground throughout the human history. And still man cannot get enough and justifies everything in the name of some ideology – whether it is religious, cultural or modernity. The effect is always the same – mutilation of body parts. Here are some of the well known mutilations below but wait till you read of the latest one later in this post.
Lip Plate: It is very prevalent in Africa. A lower lip plate is usually combined with the excision of the two lower front teeth, sometimes all four. In some cases (Sara, Lobi) a plate is also inserted into the upper lip. Other tribes, such as the Makonde, wear a plate in the upper lip only. In many older sources it is reported that the plate’s size is a sign of social or economical importance in some tribes. Many recent sources claim that, for Mursi and Surma women, the size of their lip plate indicates the number of cattle paid as bride price. However, anthropologist Turton, who has studied the Mursi for 30 years, denies this.
Female Genitalia Mutilation: Also known as female circumcision – this is again most prevalent in Africa, but it is practiced throughout the world. It is said to have started in Egypt and the Nile valley during the Pharaohs. Evidence from mummies have shown both Type I and Type III FGC present. Now it is mostly practiced amongst the Muslims and Animists, although the theologians deny its relation to Islam specially since it predates Islam. The justifications have included aesthetic (enhances beauty) or medical ones (maintaining cleanliness as it removes secreting parts of the genitalia) – and of course, both have no bearing in reality.
Breast Augmentation: This is a curse of the modernity, where a lady to look “better” enhances her breasts by surgery and inserting artificial elements (implants – saline-filled and silicone-gel-filled implants.) to enlarge the size of her breasts. The implants surgery has been prevalent since late 19th century.
The earliest known implant was attempted by Vincenz Czerny, using a woman’s own adipose tissue (from a lipoma, a benign growth, on her back). Gersuny tried paraffin injections in 1889, with disastrous results.
Now, there have been many complications involved and also many controversies. In the end, ultimately a woman goes “under the knife” in order to be more pleasure-worthy to men – which is certainly not a very empowering way to live life!
And lets talk now of the latest one of the mutilations that took me by surprise – shock actually!
Cosmetic Gynoplasty: Also known as “Designer Vaginas”. Basically surgical procedures are used to “sculpt vulva” and make the vaginas look better. It is most popular of course amongst the porn stars, but its popularity is growing shockingly. Between 2005 and 2006, the incidents increased by 20%. Body insecurity has fuelled a market for female genitalia cosmetic surgeries which include – labiaplasty, clitoral un-hooding, G-spot augmentation and hymen reconstruction, a.k.a. “revirginization.”
Such is the growing demand and incidence of these mutilations that even the medical community has been forced to take notice.
And for the first time, a U.S. medical textbook on women’s reproductive health to be published in 2009 will include a chapter devoted entirely to female genital plastic surgery.
One plastic surgeon in Atlanta says that her patients are professionals in their 20s and 30s, who want “better control over their sexuality”.
Of course many women will call some or all these procedures “liberating” but are they? What do you think? Do you know of any other procedures which are as demeaning to the women?
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