Vagina Piercings To Be Classed As FGM Under New Guidelines

Yep, medical staff are going to be encouraged to report when a woman, of her own volition, has had her vagina pierced…

Vagina Piercings FGM

by Sophie Wilkinson |
Published on

Getting your fanny pierced isn’t really something for the faint-hearted, but now the Department of Health (DoH) is dictating that it’s a form of FGM.

FGM is a traditional practice occurring in certain African countries where young girls’ (we’re talking girls under 13) clitorises and labia are cut off and whatever’s left is stitched back together. It’s done to remove that girl’s ability to feel sexual pleasure so she won’t bring shame upon the family and to make her vagina tighter for a future husband.

Clit and labia piercings? They’re done to adult women (over 18), who consent to having it done so much that they’re willing to pay for it.

However, the DoH has introduced mandatory reporting regulations, which mean that if a medical professional sees a woman who’s had FGM or a woman with a genital piercing, they’re to be treated the same. Their situation is to be reported, the woman is to be treated as a potential victim of crime and the person who did the cutting/piercing could be guilty of an FGM offence.

The Commons Home Affairs Committee has warned, reports the Evening Standard, that current FGM legislation means that all those ‘designer vagina’ surgeries are technically committing FGM.

READ MORE: Septum Piercings: Everything You Need To Know About The Piercing of 2016

We’ve got to question a society that provides supposedly liberated women choices like ‘get your vagina cut to appear more attractive/re-virginise yourself’ but deeming it FGM when adult women are consenting to it seems a little demeaning to women’s rights to make choices.

A DoH spokesman said: ‘While there are challenges in this area and adult women may have genital piercings, in some communities girls are forced to have them.

‘The World Health Organisation has quite rightly defined this as a form of FGM. We are taking every precaution to record genital piercings that have been done within an abusive context.’

Of course we’d rather FGM be policed with caution – fewer than half a dozen people have ever been arrested for committing FGM in this country – but while 20,000 British girls are at risk of FGM, women having genital piercings forced on them doesn’t sound like something that happens.

In fact, according to the International Joural of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, over half of women with FGPs (female genital piercing) said that they had been abused, and a third had suffered from forced sexual activity. Many said their reason for FGP was because it ‘helped them to take control of (or reclaim) their body after these violations.’

Maybe someone needs to take better control of this legislation.

You might also be interested in:

'People Need To Know What's Happening Here.' Why You Need To Watch Zawe Ashton's Comic Relief Documentary On FGM

We Are Dealing With A Preventable Evil: FGM Does Not Need To Happen

FGM Charity Returns Funds Raised From Sex Toy Stunt

Follow Sophie on Twitter @sophwilkinson

Picture: Lukasz Wierzbowski

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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