Community standing over personal choice?

Tara - posted on 04/02/2011 ( 10 moms have responded )




This post has been edited to add a better video, the first wouldn't display and didn't work all the way through. Same video, better quality. :)

Do you think the strength of a community and its culture should depend on each individual conforming to the customs of that culture?

If you live in a community that practises scarification as a way to belong to the community, to be recognized as a member, do you think you would be able to have your own 2 year old's face scarred with intricate patterns to identify him as a child within the group?

If his acceptance within the community group depends on this ritual would you comply or risk him being different, not being the same, not being accepted as a real child within his own community and family?

it's only 5 minutes long

edited again to warn everyone this is not for the squeamish or the faint of heart. But is posted to display the differences in our mentality as parents over the globe.


Johnny - posted on 04/02/2011




Cultures can and do change and adapt. If they are violating their own people's human rights and rights to their own bodies, then they should adapt.

There are now a lot of women working in their home countries to stop FGM. They were cut themselves, and do not want it to be done any longer. The change is coming from within. The imams in these communities are beginning to speak out against it and many families are starting to question the practice. That is how change happens.

There is no reason why these communities can't move to doing this on teens or adults who choose to have it done as a right of passage. I'd like to think that I would stand up and not allow this to be done to my child. But like Lacye said, sometimes people do not really think about their ingrained cultural traditions enough to even let the thought of not doing it enter their mind. I think the circumcision debates on here have demonstrated that.


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Sal - posted on 04/02/2011




i haven't watched, my computer is so slow today that it wouldn;t let me even if i wasn't squeemish about kids being hurt, i wouldn't hurt my child for a tradition, my son isn;t circumsised as that was what i felt that was, so pretty much i am with the group, does it need to be done at 2, if it is so important do it at 18, or is it too hard to hold a teenagers down to do it.....

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I'm still feeling a bit icky after watching that Yoga Lady yesterday, so I gave this video a miss. I hope I'd have the strength to stand up for my child. Whenever a topic like this comes up I have to think of FGM first. The thought of me ever letting something so horrific happen to my daughter sickens me. I agree with Johnny. No culture is static, change always starts somewhere.

Minnie - posted on 04/02/2011




Yes- whatever this is (because I haven't watched the video) it is done out of ignorance. Likely if I had been born in whichever culture it was I would think it normal. Something about our culture though, despite a certain practice that I abhor being common and 'normal' I have been able to realize that it is a violation of human rights and would not do it.

[deleted account]

I think for the adults yes...i think its beautiful to be honest.

For the babies and small children,i do not think its okay.

Its there way of life, its all the know.I just think theres a time to do it.

When there older and can comphrehend whats happen to them and why.

Teach them about it, instill pride in it but not when there babys.

I had to click off when i saw them hold the baby down.It was very hard to accept that part of there culture.

Lacye - posted on 04/02/2011




I think this is just one of those things that go along with "ignorance is bliss". They don't know any better or any different. This is normal for them. I'm not excusing what they are doing because it is horrific. But I don't condone them because they really don't know that what they are doing is horribly wrong. I would love to sit here and say that I would never do it but to be honest, if I didn't know any better then I probably would. Yes that sounds really bad but it's just a fact.

Tara - posted on 04/02/2011




Some would argue that to not follow customs sentenced that child to a life of being ostracized from their own civilization, from their own group. Leading to a life as an outcast, unable to marry, unable to inherit property etc. and those same would argue that for the intents of being accepted these customs must be followed and therefore the parents are ensuring the childs future within the group.
I personally feel that is should be discouraged and less harmful ways of acceptance be adopted for those under 18. However that said I honestly feel that this is done with the best intentions of the child's future in mind, I just don't like it based on the human rights issue.

Minnie - posted on 04/02/2011




If the video contains violence against a child I won't watch it.

No, I wouldn't hurt my children to fit in with the traditions of culture. Yep, there are all sorts of cultures around the world but I don't respect all of their customs if they violate someone's human rights.

Amy - posted on 04/02/2011




Well, around here it's not acceptable to have an uncut boy, so I guess I deviated already from the community. Oh well. But really, I don't live in a society where I'd be left out of everything for not doing it.

Strength of community usually comes from emotional support and helping each other thrive. Scarring would hurt like tattooing [not sure the degree of pain - never done either]. Lots of people get 'friend' tattoos or family tattoos I hear. Not what I'd do since I was raised in this culture, but who's to say if I was raised there and it was the normal thing to do what I'd think.

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