October 25, 2009

Adopt a Clitoris - Awaken Your Pleasure and Hers

CLITORAID is a powerful and eclectic organization whose mission is to help as many female genital mutilation (FGM) victims as possible regain their dignity and their sense of pleasure, and in the process, help eliminate FGM once and for all worldwide.  CLITORAID’S public education program informs mutilated women and their communities of the possibility of having the new restorative surgery free of charge, its worldwide fundraising campaign pays for such operations and for establishing conveniently located facilities where the procedure can be preformed.

The organization was founded in May 2004 by Rael and his Raelian followers (yes, the man and the movement associated with scientology, UFOs, and such) and with the generous participation of famous French urologist Dr. Pierre Foldes, who developed a technique to help victims of FGM regain their clitoral sensation.

According to a barbaric tradition that persists even today on an alarming scale, female children in many parts of the world are forced to undergo an excruciatingly painful procedure through which their clitoris is removed. This brutal and senseless act, known as female genital mutilation (FGM) is typically carried out without anesthesia. It is usually performed by female relatives, themselves earlier victims of the practice.

About 7,000 girls worldwide are subjected to this horrific violation daily. That adds up to over two and
a half million FGM victims per year, with approximately 150 million women living today without their
genitalia intact.

Until now, with the damage done, little could be done to help them achieve the sexual pleasure known to the rest of humanity.

CLITORAID's team includes pioneer FGM reconstructive surgeon Dr. Pierre Foldes and world renowned gender reassignment surgeon Dr. Marci Bowers.  Dr. Larry Asley, sexual trauma therapist, joined the team to address the numerous psycho-sexual injuries that occur as a result of FGM, as well as Betty Dodson, Ph.D., famous sexologist, artist, and author whose most notable work is Sex for One: The Joy of Selfloving

The following is specific information about FGM as reported by CLITORAID:

FGM is a practice that removes part or all of the external female
genitalia. How much is removed and the method used varies
widely, depending on the region and cultural affiliations.
There are different types of FGM, from the least invasive, a cut in the
clitoral hood, to the most damaging, wherein the clitoris, labia minora,
and flesh of the labia majora are entirely cut out, and the remaining skin
of the labia majora is sewn together. This leaves a small hole (perhaps an
inch long), for the expulsion of urine and menses. This form of FGM, called
infibulation, occurs more commonly throughout the Horn of Africa where
health infrastructure and access to information are largely non-existent.
Excision takes place in some 28 countries in Africa, Asia, and parts of the
Middle East. Women with FGM are increasingly found in Europe, Australia,
New Zealand, Canada and the USA, largely as a result of migration. There
are an estimated 150 million mutilated women and an estimated 2-3
million girls are subjected to the practice each year - 7,000 girls per day.

Medical Facts about FGM:

Immediately following the procedure, which is most commonly done on girls between 4 and 12 years of age, complications include:

• Hemorrhage
• Shock
• Severe pain
• Possible death

Long-term medical consequences can also include:

• Sterility
• Sexual dysfunction and pain
• Anemia
• Complications in childbirth and infant death
• Cysts and abscesses
• Incontinence and/or difficulty in urinating
• Menstrual disorders
• Recurring bladder and urinary tract infections
• Fistulae
• Psychological disorders

In the weeks after the procedure further complications can include:

• Injury to adjacent area
• Wound infection
• Urinary infection
• Shock
• Hemorrhage
• Septicemia
• Ulceration of the genital region

By educating ourselves and others we can work to stop one of the most heinous human rights violations.  FGM affects not only the women who are the direct reciepients of the crime, but you and me as well.  When one woman or a collective of women are violated biologically, psychologically, sexually, and socially, we all are.  Given our gender alone, we as women are vulnerable and susceptible to such violent crimes.  Our work now is in the discovery of our own right to pleasure and freedom and to empower women and girls worldwide to restore theirs.

To learn more about FGM or how to be invloved in activism against these atrocious human rights violations, please visit: http://www.clitoraid.org/, http://www.unicef.org/, http://www.lightfoot-klein.com/ and http://www.crip.org/ for a list of resources including academic articles such as this one, Female Circumcision Comes to America by Linda Burstyn for the Atlantic Monthly, 1996.  For information regarding documentaries please visit the FGC Education and Networking Project, as well as other resources.

If you are intersted in becoming involved or starting a group to address FGM, contact us!

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