Hooray hooray hooray for FGM

Fuambai Ahmadu is really quite creepy.

I am not surprised that the women of Kailahun have taken to the streets to protest what is now becoming a brazen attack by anti-FGM activists against female initiation and excision in Sierra Leone…I have witnessed first-hand the proliferation (and invidiousness) of this alarming multi-million dollar “development” industry, financed largely by western countries and international agencies such as UNICEF, WHO, UNFPA and so on. Faced with a global media onslaught depicting the most insidious and racist types of representations of African men and women witnessed since colonial times and the downright force of anti-FGM campaigns to shame, more and more circumcised African women have come to see and define themselves through these media lenses as “mutilated”.

Lots of emotive language there, along with a fair amount of trendy code. Anti-FGM activists are ‘brazen’ – as if there is something shameful about opposing the mutilation of girls. And then there’s all the sly nonsense about money and scare-quoted ‘development’ and industry and financed and western and international – as if it were Walmart and McDonald’s and Coke teaming up to make a profit from saying girls shouldn’t be mutilated. The disdain for UNICEF, WHO, and UNFPA is odd too. But no problem, just pretend it’s all racist and colonialist and there’s no further need to explain. So her position is that international agencies are, by definition, invidious and racist/colonialist and anti-FGM campaigns are brazen and corrupt (being financed by all those invidious international agencies), while people who mutilate girls are all that is good.

[T]here ought to be some respect and sensitivity to Sierra Leonean women and our culture. The term FGM is offensive, divisive, demeaning, inflammatory and absolutely unnecessary!! As black Africans most of us would never permit anyone to call us by the term “nigger” or “kaffir” in reference to our second-class racial status or in attempts to redress racial inequalities, so initiated Sierra Leonean women (and all circumcised women for that matter) must reject the use of the term “mutilation” to define us and demean our bodies…For those of us who take pride in our culture, our ethnicity, and our female ancestors, which Bondo represents, we must continue to stand up for ourselves and defy any attempt by others, however powerful they may be, to rewrite their own histories onto our bodies, to negate our particularities as they universalize their own.

That ‘as…so’ is completely bogus, obviously, because ‘nigger’ does not work the same way as ‘mutilation’ does. Ahmadu calls herself a scholar but her way of ‘arguing’ is not very scholarly.

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