Originally Posted by K703
About the government needing a purpose in passing a law that treats the genders differently: In the case of MGM vs. FGM, what government goals does it accomplish by protecting one but not the other?
With genital mutilation though, no apparent government incentives are accomplished by protecting girls but not boys (other than satisfying the cultural wishes of those who want to continue circing boys but not girls).
Upon further reflection, I think there actually is a government incentive to fail to protect boys from genital mutilation, although it would never be voiced or even acknowledged. It's the same reason that we as a society have not stopped violence against women and children in childbirth yet, and unrealized in that manifestation as well.
A society that promotes violence against newborn infants values and promotes aggression and dominance. Michel Odent has excellent writings on this topic. A society that promotes genital mutilation against boys promotes conditioning for them to be aggressive, mistrustful, and violent. As a country that boasts the most powerful, mostly male military in the world, I believe it would be fallacy not to recognize the power that routine infant circumcision has in furthering our cultural mores in the US toward independence (mistrust) and power over others.
Protecting women from this violence allows them to develop "normally," and has in the past made it easier to control them in our male-dominated world. However, I think therein lies our hope. I believe that the explosion of information communication has had the effect of mobilizing a positive force in women and men to "wake up" to many different cultural issues. We are the force for change. It will happen.