Bodies of Flesh, Bodies of Knowledge: Representations of Female Genital Cutting and Female Genital Cosmetic Surgery



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"Fact Sheet: Female Genital Mutilation." World Health Organization. World Health Organization, 2010. Web. 12 Oct. 2010. .

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Kobrin, Sandy. "More Women Seek Vaginal Plastic Surgery." Women's ENews. 14 Nov. 2004. Web. 3 Apr. 2011. .

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Appendix I

The following sources are those that were used in my content analysis.

"A New Beginning...A New You." Manhattan Center for Vaginal Surgery. 2011. Web. .

"Designer Laser Vaginoplasty." Women's Pelvic Health and Wellness. Dr. Khaled Hassan, 2010. Web. 22 Oct. 2010. .
"Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation for Enhancement of Sexual Gratification." Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation Institute of Michigan. Dr. Joseph Berenholz, 2007. Web. 22 Oct. 2010. .
"Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation Institute of San Antonio." Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation Institute of San Antonio. 2003. Web. .

"Rejuvenation Through Labiaplasty - Los Angeles Plastic Surgery Options." Mommy Makeover - Plastic Surgery After Child Birth. 2011. Web. .


"Vaginal Cosmetic Surgery." LabiaplastySurgeon.com ...discreet and Confidential Help for Women. 7 Dec. 2009. Web. 12 Oct. 2010. .
"Vaginal Rejuvenation Overview | What Is Vaginal Rejuvenation? | Atlanta Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation and Cosmetic Vaginal Surgery | LVRAtlanta.com." Atlanta Center For Aesthetic Vaginal Surgery | Atlanta Labiaplasty and LVR | LVRAtlanta.com. Web. .

"Welcome." Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation Institute of Michigan. Dr. Joseph Berenholz, 2007. Web. 22 Oct. 2010. .



1 Both Sullivan (2007), Wade (2009), and Davis (2002) discuss FGC in conjunction with FGCS.

2 Widstrand (1965) wrote that clitridectomy was once reserved for those of higher social class, while infibulation was practiced on slave girls to prevent them from getting pregnant. Lightfoot-Klein (1989) comments: “An infibulated virgin fetched a far higher price on the slave market” (28).

3 It is speculated that Egyptians believed that the gods as well as people’s souls were bisexual. It was believed that each person possessed a masculine and feminine soul when they were born and these souls manifested themselves through the procreative organs. The feminine part of males was believed to be the foreskin and the masculine parts of females was believed to be the clitoris and labia minora. The removal of these parts ensured manhood and womanhood as well as capability in sexual life (Lightfoot-Klein, 1989: 29).

4 Braun (2010) and Davis (2002) relate this occurrence of “pathologization” to breast augmentation. The terms “micromastia” and “hypomastia” or the “disease of flat-chestedness” began being used in the 1950s as medical justification for breast augmentation surgery, just as the term “hypertrophic” labia minora is used for women’s genitalia. Just as the diversity of female genitalia is made to be seen as “abnormal” so has the diversity of women’s breasts.

5 “A practice where the groom gives money, goods, or livestock to the parents of the bride in return for her hand in marriage” (Burn, 2005: 358).

6 See Appendix I for content analysis sources.

7 Sullivan’s argument that every woman “knows” that the uncircumcised clitoris is important to sexuality is not necessarily true. Due to abstinence-only sex education, many women in Western countries such as the United States may know nothing about their clitoris, anatomy, or sexuality. However, the point here is that Western feminists place tremendous emphasis on the clitoris as crucial to women’s sexuality and sexual enjoyment while this may not be true for all cultures.

8 Sussman, Nadia (2011). “After School in Brooklyn, West African Girls Share Memories of a Painful Ritual”. New York Times.

Kristof, Nicholas (2011). “A Rite of Torture for Girls”. New York Times.



9 Fistulae are holes that are created between the vaginal wall and the bladder or holes created between the vaginal wall and the rectum. They are a health consequence of both childhood marriage and female genital cutting.

10 Referring to the advent of drugs such as Viagra®, Cialis®, and Levitra®.

11 Burn (2005) defines “cultural relativism” as “the notion that right and wrong are determined culturally” (313).

12 Although it can be contested further that what constitutes domestic violence varies by culture.
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