R-E-S-P-E-C-T: find out what it means to me (Still ranting about Clitoraid)
Sign the petition here
Chris asks a fantastic question that deserves its very own blog post. He asks: If there was someone besides the Raelians who was offering it (reconstructive surgery), or if there was an African-based organization that made these treatments available, would you object to that?”
the quick answer is simple: NO!
I WOULD NOT OBJECT TO OTHER ORGANIZATIONS ADDRESSING THE NEEDS OF WOMEN WHO HAVE BEEN CIRCUMCISED!
In fact, I agree that there is a need for services to such women. According to the research I’ve done, there are indeed local Burkina Faso doctors offering surgeries to reverse the tissue damage. Indeed it seems that the government of Burkina Faso itself offers these surgeries and since 2001 975 women have had state-funded genital repair surgeries. (If Good Vibrations had done their due diligence they would have known this!)
Some of the people performing the surgeries include Dr. Michel Akotionga, a gynaecologist and one of the first gynaecologists in Burkina Faso to perform the reconstructive surgery.
I am NOT opposed to Clitoraid because it offers reconstructive surgeries. I am opposed to it because of their demeaning campaign. Again, I am ALL for women’s pleasure! But I am also for respect and against humiliation. Nobody’s genitalia should be talked about in the way that Clitoraid is talking about African women’s genitalia. In fact, no part of anyone’s body should be up for adoption in this way that reminds us too much of the slave trade (Oh no, I went there!).
Seriously, what does it mean to ‘adopt a clitoris’? Does that mean you own said clitoris or are you just fostering it for a little bit? Do you get to name it? What are the implications for the person whose clitoris is being adopted?
As an African woman I’m sick and tired of my entire experience reduced to what is between my legs. And this is not a new feminist argument. Western feminists have been arguing this for generations now. Why is it o.k. for Western feminist to argue that they should not be reduced only to what is between their legs while an allegedly feminist organization like Good Vibrations engages in such a practice? Where is the sisterhood there?
That is why I’m angry. But behind the anger is a real sense of betrayal and being thrown under the bus by Good Vibrations. All in favor of a UFO cult that has my clitoris up for adoption for anyone with spare change. Thankfully they do not have a price tag on it. How much would it suck if it only cost $1!!! 🙂
Apparently the disrespect extends to the way Clitoraid carries out their activities in Burkina Faso where it sounds like the Raelians have ran afoul of local authorities with their activities.
In further research about what the Raelians are doing on the ground I have found the following links rather helpful:
Their own newsletter describing their operations in Burkina Faso further confirms my suspicions. In this newsletter they brag about misrepresenting the name of the hospital they are building stating,
“The official name of the Hospital was another ball game! The name “Pleasure Hospital” seems to have shocked some people along the administrative trail of the file. One of the women who were to sign for the Health Ministry, retained the file for several months, asserting that she would never sign as long as the word pleasure would not be removed from the official name. After many endless discussions, the women’s access to pleasure who were waiting, appeared more important to us than the name itself and the hospital thus became: The “KAMKASSO HOSPITAL” which means in the local language, the women’s house. But we will keep for our communications the name “Pleasure Hospital”, no matter how displeased that woman was that we could associate a clitoris and pleasure”.
They admit to blatant duplicity in how they are marketing the hospital!! And that is their side of the story. I’m eager to find out how the opposition would describe their activities.
Doesn’t it seem like strange bedfellows for Good Vibrations? where was the due diligence before pledging their support? Did they know, and decide to ignore, all this before they decided to support the organization or was the temptation to adopt clitorises just too much to resist?