What’s your immediate reaction to this sentence:
University research into the long term effects of using a sharp blade to hack bits off the genitalia of young girls.
If you thought something along the lines of “sounds pretty fucked up to me“, you’re not alone. (That quote isn’t the abstract of a scientific paper or anything, but I’m paraphrasing pretty accurately what’s going on.)
I won’t go into any of the graphic detail described in the write-up on that site, for which you can thank a combination of ‘lazy’ and ‘ew’, working together to make me want to stop talking about this as quickly as possible. But you should probably read it.
If the reporting of this “research” is accurate – and that may be a big “if” – then I cannot fathom a way by which this is remotely conscionable. I’d love to hear someone try and explain it. Seriously. Someone needs to have a fucking good explanation for something like this.
I’m really trying not to be too knee-jerky. I know almost nothing about how most kinds of scientific research work, and wouldn’t necessarily know a legitimate, carefully controlled experiment into sexual and reproductive health from a dangerous and sloppy one unless it was explained to me very carefully.
But all the obvious criticisms being made seem pretty convincing so far. Oddly enough, I’m inclined to side with the people who don’t approve of cutting a six-year-old child’s clitoris down to what you deem a more acceptable size and then asking how strongly they feel this vibrator you’re pressing against what remains of their sex organs.
Aaaaand that was one of the least fun sentences I’ve ever typed on this blog.
The doctor involved in the controversial procedures has a solid background in doing good medical science. He has plaudits and accomplishments aplenty, which the Heresiarch has been good enough to research so us lazy folk don’t have to.
In short, whatever you might think of this guy, he’s a proper doctor. And what he’s doing here is, at worst, an invasive and inappropriate medical procedure which fails to sufficiently take into account the wellbeing of his child patients.
Don’t get me wrong, that still leaves the potential for a horrendous situation. But however bad that might be, what he’s pretty definitely not is an inhuman slathering paedophile who’s somehow sneaked his way into professional medicine so he can fiddle with young girls. And it won’t help the ethical debate if things devolve to the point where the only arguments being made against this dubious medical research are the mob’s outraged screams about touching children.
Right. Now, I’m going to get started on my weekend, which I’m hoping will have no sexual assault in it at all. Fingers crossed!