Don’t let the crazies get something more right than you.

It’s pretty pathetic when Conservapedia is more accurate on female genital mutilation (link) than most other Internet debate on the topic.

The procedure may range from a simple cut in the pubic region to the complete removal of parts of the female reproductive organs.

There’s very little else there, and there’s no source for the specific claim. (That could be here, as an example.) But it’s accurate, in a simplistic way that’s almost always missed.

Unfortunately, that sentence follows a statement that’s inaccurate because it’s partially refuted by the statement above.

Female circumcision, practiced in parts of Africa, is a much different procedure that can have lasting effects on a girl’s health.

That’s all there is. It’s not possible to argue the accurate claim that a form of FGM involves only a simple cut and still adhere to a claim that male genital mutilation is a “much different procedure”. I’m sure many would defend this by going into intent. I don’t accept that because the claim that FGM is strictly imposed to eliminate the ability to feel sexual pleasure is often wrong. There’s also the core human right to remain free from harm. Genital cutting on a healthy individual without the individual’s consent is wrong. It’s ethically and legally incorrect to discriminate in judgment against this practice based on gender.

Not that the UN and World Health Organization understand this core stance. WHO defines gender discrimination in its glossary:

Gender discrimination refers to any distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of socially constructed gender roles and norms which prevents a person from enjoying full human rights.

There’s the irrelevant claim that women prefer circumcised partners. There’s the more vehement dismissal of any (equally irrelevant) claim that men in certain cultures prefer women with surgically altered genitals. Etc. etc. (c.f. this entry.)


Lest you think I give any actual credibility to Conservapedia, I quote this statement from the circumcision entry:

The procedure lasts only ten minutes and …

No source supports that statement in the entry’s footnotes. If, as the site’s About page suggests, this is the sort of thinking meant “to educate advanced, college-bound homeschoolers”, my low opinion of the site should be obvious.