When I stopped using the Latin word for what adults do to the bodies of children, and started calling it Genital Mutilation people stopped making excuses. Don't give people the chance to make excuses for this anymore. This is Genital Mutilation!
Genital Mutilation is what a man is forced to live with for his entire life. Genital Mutilation is what I call it because it is my experience. Like the female victims of Genital Mutilation, men are expected to let it go and to not think about it. Men daily have a visible and ever present reminder of what an adult did to their infant bodies.
Most men consider their mutilated condition normal, and they make excuses that reinforce it as "normal." When a man has the audacity to complain, he’s a cry baby; he should get over it, let it go.
How can we, the victims of Genital Mutilation, ever "let it go?" Would you ask the victim of a pedophile to "let it go," or a woman who was raped to "let it go." Can anyone whose human rights are violated, "let it go?" By not calling what they did to us - what it is - Genital Mutilation - we allow people to continue to make excuses for doing it to children.
I refuse to let the mutilator's word serve as a pretext. That word normalizes the atrocity. It sanctifies the crime, and it makes the mutilator a hero instead of a perpetrator because these adults are seen as doing it FOR the child, not TO the child.
How can any one of the victims, ever, "let it go," especially knowing that there is an adult, at this very moment, Genitally Mutilating a child?
I am a man, and Genital Mutilation was DONE TO ME. By not using their word I’m telling my culture that I refuse to accept what they did me, what they did to millions of us.
I refuse to allow them to continue to make excuses for Child Genital Mutilation.
Michael Dulin participates in awareness raising during Genital Integrity Awareness Week in Washington, D.C.