Black Women : Excision: A Polemic That Hides Cultural Imperialism

Discussion in 'Black Women - Mothers - Sisters - Daughters' started by I-khan, Jan 22, 2006.

  1. I-khan

    I-khan Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Ladies,i am not the author of this article,but I found it quite interesting. What do you think?
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    Excision: A Polemic That Hides Cultural Imperialism
    By Naba Lamoussa Morodenibig

    Opponents have dubbed the practice "genetial mutilation" and insist that its purpose is to oppress female sexuality. For the first time, a Traditional African Priest tells it like it is: the purpose, meaning and tradition of excision.

    Media, universities, and in brief, all the destructive machines of our so-called modern civilization, surprisingly do not care about how ridiculous they look. It has been more than 500 years since we understood that everything is simply directed against Africa, Black people, and people of color. When, in the 1940s of the Gregorian Calendar, Hitler was telling his people that he was planning to build a vast Nazi empire on the ruins of Christianity and primitive civilizations, he pushed diverse kinds of people to unify their strength with the goal of saving what we like to call humanity.

    I remember when I was a young boy attending European colonial school. My experience then should not be any different from any colonialized youngster anywhere in the world. What we learned about Nazism then dramatically resembles what we now see as the attitudes of the modern-day society. In Africa, before I even started understanding my own culture, there were the schools of the White man trying to teach me that the traditional religion was the one leading to hell and that polygamy, excision and traditional healing were the initiation of Satan!!! Nowadays, we can see it was a coincidence that polytheism, polygamy, excision and medicinal plants are the greatest pillars of the Black man's civilization.

    I know that when we look at these concepts from the position of the individual that is educated in this system of non-culture, we are at risk of finding them unacceptable; but this is simply the proof of how we have been transformed by the colonial forces. All is a matter of the "reality" that is imposed by force. The civilization of the people of color is seen like a reservoir towards which the modern man directs his attention only when he is short of concepts or ideas. This is his way of trying to face the boredom of the life without culture. A person of color is simply reduced to the state of apathy just like a part of the environment in which the culture of non-culture evolves; like a fruit that is infested with worms or a tree that is parasited by other plants.

    Now that the system has gained land on polygamy, polytheism and herbal healings, what is the logical argument our scientists are bringing against excision? Politics are saying that it is a way to oppress women, but let's be a bit more serious. The cultures that are practicing excision also practice circumcision, and the only reason why our politics are not daring to attack circumcision is because it was adopted by Judaism. All the other arguments that are brought by those who want to see in excision the will of a man to deny a woman her sexual pleasure do not even deserve the honor of being mentioned in these lines.

    There is a popular proverb that says that when you want to drown your dog, you accuse it of madness. It is simply surprising for me to see that a system that has presented itself as a system of intelligence goes this low in its vicious attack against other people. From the political soap operas, the loser is known in advance. It is the people themselves, whether they are American or non-American. Our people are not asking for anything more than what any kind of people would ask: their right for self-determination.

    And it is by accepting that principle that we will succeed in allowing all sorts of societies to freely evolve on the path through which they choose to look for the truth. The most surprising aspect of this international politico-intellectual conjunction is to see that a system that is not any older than 500 years is trying to teach values to the oldest civilization on Earth, and that it thinks that it has enough basis from which it can teach any lesson to the world. It is like an individual that is trying to cut the branch of a tree on which he is sitting.

    A lot of stories have been told by the media about a tradition that is now at least 60,000 years old. And maybe if the priests of the African civilization didn't find any need to give any explanation about these traditions, the way a person raised in a society without culture might understand it, it is because the attacks that are done against excision expose more of the ignorance and especially the arrogance of those who think that a thing or tradition can only have a right to exist if they understand it.

    In the following lines, I will pretend that the reader is an honest individual and that his questions are honest. I will pretend that he/she is simply trying to understand the Black civilization; a civilization that has set everything for the whole of humanity. After it has set the basis for the human genius, it found itself, very mysteriously, with a low rank in the modern society, and its children reduced to slavery.

    But one should first try to recreate the context and redefine the values. For people of color, there are two great worlds, all of them defined by the cycles of the transformation of existence: the world of the Gods and the world of humans. The world of Gods is the one on which the humans lay their eyes while they are trying to construct their own world. In other terms, the world of the Gods serves to us as a model, and it is a perfect model of conception of the existence that transforms itself.

    For the human being, the world of the Gods is and stays a place that is hardly accessible. This is why there are territories of reconciliation; territories that are, at the same time, enough de-humanized and de-deified that on which individuals that are pure enough could raise on the rank of half-Gods and brush with some categories of Gods that generally exist with humanized faces. These pure territories are conceived as the intersection between the divine world and the human world, and they are called djingili, meaning the sacro-saint or the saint of the saints of the temples in the Nile Valley or the Niger River Valley.

    These places are the places of partiality for Gods that are having a direct impact on human destinies. According to the organization of temples and spiritual places, the djingili, or the saint of the saints, after being built, can only be visited by special individuals, and purity is the decisive factor. Excision and circumcision are the first steps of purification.

    Excision and circumcision predispose the individual to the possibility of accessing the saint of the saints, meaning the possibility of brushing with the world of Gods. There are other acts of purification, but these simply become invalid if circumcision or excision is not done. This is why, until today, in most of the African languages, there is no word to mean excision that does not mean, at the same time, purification. In Soninke, excision is called "salinde", which means "purification".

    In Gourmantche, the word is "kontiagu", which means Òthe opening of the gate of GodsÓ, etc. To understand the spiritual value of excision in the African civilization, in Burkina Faso, the Lobi tribe would even exercise excision or circumcision on a dead body of a woman or man that could not get it done before their death. In the Mossi lands, a Bilakoro, or a non-excised woman, will not give food to an elderly person or a priestÉ…the list of examples is endless. This is what the ignorance of the scholars is attacking, and every time they find themselves under fire, they are the first ones to say that no one can claim to have the monopoly on values. In the same way that our values, wherever we are from, appear logical to us, we should have the decency to admit that other peopleÕs values are logical to them.

    Cultural Tragedies

    For the last tens of years, the relation between Africa and the other continents has always been uni-directional. Everything happens according to the will of the White man; he wanted us as slaves and we ended up on slavery ships. What is left of the Motherland is reduced to a stage of a reserve of minerals and wildlife, denying us all aspects of our identity. All of the countries of Europe and America are ready to accept the Black person only under one condition: if he accepts to be defined by other people. All this leads to a question that many of us will find naive: why so much hate against us?

    I think the whole of humanity should wake up from this madness and vicious hate against Blacks. One does not destroy a culture that has built pyramids. One does not destroy a culture that has calculated pi and phi, while the rest of the world was sleeping in the primitive stage. It is like killing the golden chicken. Even those who are orchestrating the division among people are forced to recognize the African civilization as the one that has set the basis for human knowledge.

    From all the questions that are asked about excision, there are some that we find honest and we think are coming from individuals who are simply questioning the world. We must somehow realize that in one way or another, the questions we asked the world define us in general and mark our level of understanding of material and non-material values of the world we see. It is very easy to expose our ignorance to the world, especially if we believe that our limitations are also the limitations of the rest of the world.

    It is clear that we always find explanations for our actions, and for us, as long as our explanations exploit all the potentials of intellectual capability, we become simply incapable of perceiving logic on the other side of our frontier. What we see and for which we don't find an explanation in our intellectual territory is simply perceived as unnatural, unreal, superstition, etc. This aspect of human nature is the one that conditions a degeneration of every civilization.

    We can see throughout the world ancient monuments from which the elaboration and ingeniousity are a proof of the dedication of the people that built them; we also know that if these people have dedicated so much time, energy, and work to their construction, it is because these constructions represent something very important to them. But for us, they are nothing but the expression of a talent from which the results are added to the wonders of this world. It is then very easy for us to convince ourselves that these people are simply superstitious or believe on the basis of what they believe instead of on the basis of reality, or in other words: what we believe today.

    An attitude or an act perfectly normal stays only normal as long as we can explain it to ourselves. It stays normal only if its intelligence does not elude us. An act is important only if it is perceived as important to the construction of the world that we want to see, and this is if we see it as practical as how the drinking of alcohol becomes an important act to the one that wants to get drunk and a disgraceful and incomprehensible act to the one that is sober; like how the act of eating is perceived as necessary by the one that wants to live; like lying, cheating, killing, etc.

    All this is to say that the goal we give to life becomes what determines what we consider superstitious or perfectly normal and understandable. Every goal has its intelligence and every intelligence selects its values.

    In the world that is purely materialistic and rejects the existence of the divine world, the practice of excision and circumcision simply have no place. The society in that case is focused on "today and now" and conditioned the individuals into the pursuit of pleasures and sexual orgies by convincing him that there is not very much left after death. With the notion of orgasm as the ultimate point of ecstasy, sexual pleasure becomes, in a way, a goal to pursue and reach without any risk of trying to understand why and what happens after, etc.

    As long as the individual does not have the intelligence beyond these notions, it becomes very easy to convince them that there is a place on the clitoris of a woman that could allow them to reach that point of supreme ecstasy. Excision then becomes what the male has initiated to stop women from enjoying their sexuality as a way to materialize oppression on them. And we very intentionally forget to mention that the sexual frigidity exists a lot more in non-circumcised women that on the circumcised ones.

    For a world turned towards Gods, our existence as humans is viewed as an apprenticeship for our access to the divine world. We recognize that our corrupt and corruptible nature is one of the biggest handicaps to our spiritual growth. Excision and circumcision are first acts of purification. At birth, we have sacrificed our umbilical cord to the Earth to announce to the world of the Gods that we have arrived and are ready to start a new cycle of reincarnation, ready to enter an active dialog with the cosmic energies. Our excision or circumcision will come to announce that we are ready to open the doors of reincarnation for our ancestors and our dead relatives.

    The circumcision and excision present us as ready to express our maturity in the human and non-human world. It is after excision and circumcision that the spirit of the individual is seen as having past the first step of their earthly experience, meaning that they are being ready to pass the level that has been announced by the burial of their umbilical cord.

    For more on this topic, be sure to read The Destiny of Becoming: From Reincarnation to Reincarnation that will be released soon by Naba Lamoussa Morodenibig.
     
  2. nevar

    nevar Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    wow is all i can say to this. aside from what i just read i remember in school that when a girl or boy is impending adulthood. that's when they give both circumsion. girls/**** and boys well you know. i know i heard iman from her country has this done. when i didnt know any better much younger i thought it was cruel. but you cant look down upon a country culture. thanks for sharing this.
     
  3. jamesfrmphilly

    jamesfrmphilly going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    a male cannot speak on this. only females can advocate this practice.
    males have no standing in my book.
     
  4. karmashines

    karmashines Banned MEMBER

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    True.

    The male equivalent to excision would not be circumcision, because the man is still able to have sexual pleasure (though I still don't necessarily agree with male circumcision). The true equivalent would be either castration or cutting off the penis.

    Excision greatly reduces sexual pleasure for women, mainly because the clitoris is a pertinent organ in sexual excitement. Women themselves who have had this done testify to other problems with childbirth, infection, etc.

    Cultures have a right to have their own lifestyles, initiation rites, etc. But if it's hurting someone else and people within that culture are protesting themselves, that practice should be re-evaluated.
     
  5. jamesfrmphilly

    jamesfrmphilly going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    sometimes a little cultural imperialism is a good thing......
     
  6. Riada

    Riada Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I try to keep an open mind about the practices in other cultures, but to me frank, excision seems to be a horrific practice to me. I won’t be judgmental because I know that some cultures believe there are more important things in life than a woman enjoying sex.

    I recently heard a presentation from a Nigerian female doctor regarding the practice of young females in Nigeria being married off to wealthy, middle-aged Nigerian men. These girls are as young as 9 or so and have under-nourished and under-developed bodies. The part that made me cringe was that these girls are penetrated by these men and in the process of intercourse, many of these girls develop internal organ damage because their sexual organs are not mature enough for intercourse. The bladder is frequently damaged, and can no longer contain the urine. There is constant urine leakage and the girl has urine odor on her all the time. Once this happens, she is shunned by the rest of society because she smells. Sometimes, the bowels are damaged, causing peritonitis. Sometimes intercourse causes death.
     
  7. jamesfrmphilly

    jamesfrmphilly going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    anyone who would do this to a child is a savage.
    sometimes a little cultural imperialism is a good thing......
     
  8. Riada

    Riada Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    James, I know how you feel, but childhood varies from culture to culture. In this culture, a female is still a child at 15, but in many non-western cultures, she is an adult. What happens to these young Nigerian girls may be brutal pedophilia to those of us in the west, but it is not looked at like this in some other parts of the world.

    Nigeria is not the only place where this goes on. I think it was "60 Minutes" or one of those shows that did a story on how common it is in India for poor families to sell their very young daughters to wealthy Arab men. Some of the fathers of the girls explained that if they don't do it, the entire family will starve to death, so it's a matter of survival for some of these families. Another aspect of this is that females have a low status in these cultures, so it's no big deal to the people in those cultures.
     
  9. jamesfrmphilly

    jamesfrmphilly going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    do i stutter?
    do i seem uniformed as to the situation in the poorer countries?
    do you feel that i make a statement without fully considering all factors?

    i said, sometimes a little cultural imperialism is a good thing.
    i said, any man who would do these things is a savage.
    i meant what i said.

    i would add: those who are in the wealthy countries and who act to keep the poorer countries down, thereby aiding the conditions in those countries, are even MORE savage. they do not have the excuse of ignorance.
     
  10. Riada

    Riada Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Well, the main solution to a situation like this IMO is not to have more children than you can afford. On Judgment Day, I hope these parents don't get off the hook by saying, "The white man made me do it."