Illiberal Liberalism: How to Explain the Clash of Western Feminism and Female Genital Circumcision

This article aims to show how Western liberal thinking has in large part shaped the negative discourse regarding the practice of female genital cutting, or FGC, without giving adequate space to the facts and opinions owned by the actual cultures that practice it. While Western feminism is certainly justified in exercising its beliefs within its own domain, the application of Western thought to non-Western cultures skews not only the practice and meaning behind it, but also the entire basis for what is considered morally “right.” By investigating some of the major points of contention surrounding the FGC debate, this paper brings to light the importance of embracing third-wave or intersectional feminism as the most appropriate avenue to discuss issues regarding diverse cultural groups.

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Nooriya Sadiq_FGC and feminism - Copy

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