A refuge from tradition and the refuge of tradition: On anticircumcision paradigms

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Scopus citations


Female genital surgeries can pose signifi cant health hazards. Yet women engage in them. Interrogating some of the variables that account for gravitation to the practice offers insights into the nature of corrective measures that can viably counter its appeal and force. It is in interrogating the dynamics of the range of factors that underpin the incidence of genital surgeries in contemporary Africa and how these material conditions can be effectively dislodged in keeping with the emerging global consensus that the notion of culture is less ambiguated and the objective of gender reform substantiated beyond rhetoric. In an instructive analogy between gender oppression and the structure of a birdcage, Marilyn Frye contends that a bird is not necessarily entrapped by the individual wires of a cage, but that it takes a network of wires to constitute an effective barrier. There are discernable parallels between Frye's analogy and the lived experiences of women implicated by the controversy around female circumcision. This collection copyright

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTranscultural Bodies
Subtitle of host publicationFemale genital cutting in global context
PublisherRutgers University Press
Number of pages24
ISBN (Print)9780813540252
StatePublished - 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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