Utne Blogs > Mind and Body

Muslim Mother, Honest Blogger

by Staff


Tags: Islam, feminism, motherhood, parenting, female genital mutilation, circumcision,

Muslim mom and blogger who writes anonymously under the name Muslim Hedonist left behind her hijab and her polygamous husband, but not her faith. On her blog, she contemplates what it means to become a self-seeking Muslim:

To be sure, identity questions are probably best dealt with way before anyone has kids–say, in first year university, with a group of equally wide-eyed first-year students over pizza and beer.

But for those of who went straight from high school into conservative Islam, first year university didn’t offer us a chance to explore such questions.

Recently she mulled over a conversation with her pre-teen daughter about female genital mutilation, sparked by a Somali contestant on America’s Next Top Model. She wondered what to call the practice, how to explain its purpose, and how girls living in a sex-saturated world could still find the clitoris a mystery.

How do I explain this so that she can understand?

I’m not going to repeat any sanitized Muslim excuses–that it’s sunna (the practice of the Prophet), or that it’s supposedly cleaner, or that it’s just a cultural thing that some people happen to do, or that some people think that it will keep girls from having sex before they get married.

“They cut off the clitoris so that a woman won’t enjoy sex,” I answer.

“Eww,” my pre-teen daughter responds, and goes off to watch TV with her sister.

(Thanks, Feministing.)

Lisa Gulya