Yoder and FGM
conlawprof at YAHOO.COM
Wed Jan 9 12:07:15 PST 2002
Pain is only part of the compelling interest
supporting a ban on FMG. The primary difference
between FMG and male circumcision is that one practice
is pure mutilation (cutting off parts of a young
girl's body with no medical justification) and the
other is accepted by the medical profession as a
reasonable type of optional surgery that produces some
I think the Yoder/FMG analogy is a silly one for many
reasons. The Amish do not physically mutilate their
children's bodies, rather they provide a different
(but still a valuable) type of education for their
children following the 8th grade (vocational training
instead of 2 or 3 years of high school academics).
Moreover, FMG is permanent. Once the mutilation
occurs, it cannot be undone when the child becomes an
adult and decides her parents ways are not her ways.
However, if an Amish child changes his or her mind
about education when he or she comes of age, he or she
has 50 or 60 years to read Shakespeare and Dickens and
Frost and Whitman and perhaps even Paul Monette (and a
very useful skill such as carpentry or farming to
It is almost slanderous to compare the Amish lifeways
to FMG. I don't see the slightest similarity.
Cheers, Rick Duncan
"Do you not think an angel rides in the whirlwind and directs the storm."
--President George W. Bush (quoting John Page)
"When the Round Table is broken every man must follow Galahad or Mordred; middle things are gone." -C.S. Lewis
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