Female Genital Mutilation: Why Aren’t You a Feminist?

Female Genital Mutilation: Why Aren’t You a Feminist? February 19, 2024

Source: Wikimedia Commons, free to share.

Women are raped, murdered, mutilated, sold as slaves, forced into marriage, forced to submit to sex, forced to bear children, denied education, medical care and individual freedoms. Denying women and girls basic civil and human rights is regarded is regarded as righteousness all around the globe … all simply because they are female. 

I passed a law back in 2009 making it a crime to perform what is known as Female Genital Mutilation (FMG) in Oklahoma. 

It’s not easy, passing any law that protects women and girls from the violence and cruelty that all women and girls understand is part of being female. No matter what the law is, whether it addresses rape, domestic violence, or discrimination in jobs, wages or education, the men in legislative bodies will dream up reasons to oppose it. 

That was just as true of my bill making the mutilation of little girls’ bodies illegal. I had to fight that bill through the process every step of the way, right down to the legislative wire. By “fight” I mean I got up every day for months and went to work and twisted arms to shove it through committees, onto the floor, get it a hearing on the floor, and then through conference committee and back onto the House floor. 

I asked Senator Debbe Leftwich to be sign on to the bill as Senate author and she not only did that, she fought it through the Senate. It would not have become law without her commitment to making it happen. 

Getting the votes wasn’t the problem. The problem was getting a boy legislature to allow a vote on a bill about a trivial “woman’s issue” in the first place. That was true every step of the way, every vote, throughout the whole process. 

The only reason Senator Leftwich and I were ultimately able to pass the bill into law is that a woman doctor was the head of the Oklahoma Medical Association’s legislative committee and she decided to back the bill. That powerful lobby, coupled with the fact that no Republican billionaire or think tank came out against the bill, allowed me to wrangle it through the process and into law. 

Without the OSMA’s muscle, the outside interests who decided what bill would be heard in that Republican dominated House would have killed the bill. It was put on the do-not-hear list. When I learned that, I was able to get the OSMA lobbyist to come on board and knock it loose. 

Here is the statute I created and, with the help of Senator Leftwich and the Oklahoma State Medical Association, passed into law:

A. Female genital mutilation shall be unlawful in the State of Oklahoma. Whoever knowingly circumcises, excises, or infibulates, in whole or in part, the labia majora, labia minora, or clitoris of another shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a felony punishable by incarceration in the custody of the Department of Corrections for a term of not less than three (3) years nor more than life and a fine of not more than Twenty Thousand Dollars ($20,000.00). Consent to the procedure by a minor on whom it is performed or by the parent or parents of the minor is not a defense to a violation of this subsection.

B. A surgical procedure is not a violation of subsection A of this section if the procedure:

1. Is necessary as a recognized treatment for a known disease or for purposes of cosmetic surgery to repair a defect or injury for the person on whom it is performed and is performed by:

a.a licensed physician, or

b.a physician in training under the supervision of a licensed physician; or

2. Is necessary in the assistance of childbirth or for medical purposes connected with that labor or birth and is performed by:

a.a licensed physician,

b.a physician in training under the supervision of a licensed physician, or

c.a certified nurse-midwife.

C. Any physician, physician in training, certified nurse-midwife or any other medical professional who performs or participates in a female genital mutilation procedure shall, in addition to the penalties in subsection A of this section, have the professional license or certification of the person permanently revoked.

Added by Laws 2009, c. 406, § 1, eff. Nov. 1, 2009.

I saw the need for the law, got it written, found a senator to co-author it, and filed the bill. I did this because I am a feminist. 

Female Genital Mutilation is a horror. It is misogyny, written, as misogyny so often is, in female blood, agony, and life-long suffering. Female Genital Mutilation, is bloody, cruel misogyny that comes, as misogyny so often does, with a claim that it is “necessary” to “protect” the society from the rapaciousness of an untrammeled, uncontrolled female population. It is backed, as misogyny so often is, with claims that supporting the mutilation of little girls is righteousness and opposing it is ungodliness. 

Over 200 million women and girls in 31 countries in the world today have had their bodies cut and mutilated by FGM. We need laws forbidding it in the USA because immigration from countries where FGM is practiced were doing it to their little girls here.

FGM Operators, worldwide. Countries where Female Genital Operators are currently practicing are in blue. Source: Wikimedia commons, free to share.


Female Genital Mutilation involves cutting little girls between the age of infancy and 15, with nothing for pain and little concern for sanitation, using household knives, scissors, scalpels, pieces of glass or razor blades. The children’s clitoris and labias are cut off, and their vaginas are sewn almost entirely shut. 

A lot of little girls die from this, and those who live are so scarred that intercourse will be extremely painful and the problems it causes in childbirth can kill both the mother and the baby. The damage causes incontinence, bleeding and infection. Many girls die from the blood loss and infection of the mutilation itself.

But misogyny says that Female Genital Mutilation is necessary to protect morals and so that the girls can find a husband who wants a chaste wife. Misogyny says that opposing Female Genital Mutilation is sin. 

Misogyny is satanic. Like everything from hell, misogyny is a liar. 

I wrote and filed the bill making Female Genital Mutilation a crime in Oklahoma. I got the stiffest penalties I could in a male-dominated legislature. I did this because I am a feminist. 

My question — and I’m going to be asking this question over and over again — is if you believe in a Risen Savior Who was born of a woman, who spoke out for women and treated them as disciples when they chose “the better part” of sitting and listening to His teaching instead of mutely serving the men, Who appeared first as the Risen Christ to a woman and Who sent her to tell of His resurrection; if you believe that there is neither Greek nor Jew, slave nor free, male nor female, but all are one in Christ Jesus; if you believe in Him, then why aren’t you a feminist too? 

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