Every Sunday night, I like to wind down watching Call the Midwife and I really admire the ways they represent women in the 1950s/60s and the way it relates to how women are represented now in society. Week after week, I marvel at how these women are delivering babies whilst also dealing with serious themes such as domestic violence of a pregnant mother and depression from a sexual assault. But this week, for the first time in watching the show I was affected more than I have been by their narrative storyline of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
FGM is a procedure that involves a woman’s genitals being deliberately cut or changed as a form of circumcision that has no medical reasoning whatsoever but is traditionally or commonly done based on religious and social beliefs that some cultures have such as helping preserve a woman’s virginity. I have only heard of this procedure a couple of times before this episode on Sunday and once I watched the episode I realized just how taboo this procedure really is.
The fact I have only heard of this topic a couple of times in my life so far really hit home with me as a woman. As a woman, I worry about being judged for my body and having to be stereotyped or be treated inferior because I am a woman. But, never in my life so far did I have to worry about being cut or physically injured because my religion or my culture says I have to. There has been so many protests that are fighting for human rights and feminist movements that upholds equality for all genders and sexualities, yet this procedure is being done to women right now as I was writing this article and right now as you’re reading it. Yet we are not aware of it or we never knew such a procedure exists.
The Call the Midwife episode really opened my eyes to start being more observant with the world and acknowledging others, especially other women who this procedure has been done to or is being done to or about to be done to because the torment and pain that comes with the procedure is something I will never personally experience and I am so thankful for that. After looking at the consequences and effects of female genital mutilation, I feel that we need to be aware that this is happening or has happened to other women who are grandmothers, mothers, aunts, sisters and daughters.
I know that I do not have the right to tell you to go and talk about Female Genital Mutilation or stand up for something that I or you do not have much knowledge of but I just want to say that we need to be more aware of this procedure happening in other countries or even within our own countries and just know and think for a moment that it is actually happening.