Lead Author: BALL Casey L.
Published by: Symposium
Year published: 2018

Female genital mutilation, cutting or circumcision (FGM/C) involves removing or altering the female genitalia. The UN’s Zero Tolerance Policy toward FGM disregards the cultural application of these practices and implements educational programs, while criminally prosecuting those participating in the performance of FGM/C. The UN and associated organizations reference female genital mutilation (FGM), although to maintain objectivity across genital practices, FGM/C will be used in this paper. This paper proposes that the double standard between Western-classified cultures and cultures traditionally practicing FGM/C exists as the international regime of human rights, created by the cultural hegemony, imposes a juxtaposition of acceptable and illegal practices of FGM/C. This is exhibited through Western FGM/C practices, other acceptable body alterations, male genital circumcision, and the intentionally abrasive language used to discredit the legitimacy of important and chosen cultural practices.