The Corner

Multiculturalism Trumps Feminism

I wrote last week about the American Academy of Pediatrics’ support for Female Genital Mutilation-lite – a “ritual nick.” In return, I received a remarkable number of letters asserting I’d invented the whole thing. Not so. You can find chapter and verse and here.

One reason why readers think we right-wing madmen are just making this stuff up is because of the shameful silence (and worse) of western feminists, who implicitly accept a two-tier sisterhood, in which some women get to lead the lives they choose while others, in the interests of “cultural sensitivity,” get a literally rawer deal that begins with FGM and, if they’re really unlucky, ends with “honor killing.”

So I’m happy to salute the great Tina Brown, a fully paid-up Clinto-Blairite but not one prepared to descend into barbarism. Over at her Daily Beast, Ms. Brown has published a tough and unsparing column by Ayaan Hirsi Ali on what the AAP’s “nick” really means – and where it leads. I have one tiny quibble with the e-mail alert Tina sent out:

Do read the extraordinary piece by Ayaan Hirsi Ali this morning on The Daily Beast on the outrageous proposal from the American Academy of Pediatrics to “nick” little girls, a slippery slope to tolerating genital cutting in the U.S. — Tina Brown

“Genital cutting” is itself a euphemism. In its 1998 policy position, the AAP used the phrase “female genital mutilation.” A decade on, they prefer to call it “female genital cutting” – “mutilation” being regarded by cultural accommodationists as too judgmental. At the rate this slippery slope is greased, you can guess where we’ll be in another decade.

Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.

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