Is one region’s genital mutilation another’s beautification?

I enjoy watching documentaries. On a haunt for one recently I stumbled upon one titled ‘Perfect Vagina.’ Intrigued by such an uncommon title for a body part many know is there but probably hardly ever talk about – at least not openly – I decided to give it my attention for that Friday evening, which is usually when I watch documentaries.

Some minutes later, needless to say, I was knee-deep in this feature film by one Heather Leach (watch the film on the link below) about the ‘growing popularity’ of Labioplasty (or the cutting off of what its owners consider to be ‘excessive and ugly’ folds around the vagina entrance) in the United Kingdom.

Whilst I came away amazed by the length we women will go in these days of innovation and technology to put right what we believe nature had wrongly endowed upon us, one point held me bound by its irony.
None can fail to note western nations’ growing stance on the issue of genital mutilations – a process that more or less performs the same function as Labioplasty. But, while there are countless discussions about the ‘evilness’ of this practice – and I am not saying here that their views are invalid; whilst African countries (predominantly where ‘genital mutilations are carried out) are touted as ‘barbaric’ those in the ‘civilised’ nations chairing this discourse have conveniently overlooked the fact that the same procedure is being carried out in their own backyard, and by licensed medical practitioners. Which begs the question, is genital mutilation considered ‘barbaric’ by its opponents on the basis of the unsanitary environments in which it is almost always performed, or by the reasoning behind the need for the procedure?

You see, though the mutilation of the genitals may be less acute in Labioplasty than those brought about by the ‘rusty’ razor blades of the village Mamas in Africa, the principle, however, for why folds of the vagina walls are chopped off remains the same. As Ms Leach films shows, those who undertake to go under the Labioplasty knife do it for one reason and one only: to make themselves more attractive to men. It’s the same reason behind virginal mutilations: it is done principally to satisfy the wishes of men.

‘Perfect Vagina’ watch it here:

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