“Khitan Perempuan: Who Speaks for the Indonesian Female Circumcision?”, by Vesna Bočko
Abstract: Throughout the paper the author focuses on the ritual of female circumcision in Indonesian Java, more specifically in the city of Yogyakarta. By the help of fieldwork and academic literature she examines this not merely taboo but also legally forbidden practice in the biggest Muslim country in the world. The author puts to the foreground the form of circumcision performed in Yogyakarta and its classification as a symbolic and less invasive one. She explains the history of this ritual in the archipelago, national and international regulations and guidelines, analyzes the role of different authorities (state, religious leaders and NGO’s) on the persistence / abundance of FC and as a consequence its ‘globalized’ form (medicalization of FC). For such research a careful approach is of key importance and the author frequently utilizes the help of cultural relativism, reductionism and the use of narrative. The author concludes with the following statement: “it’s the women here who have to do something. If it’s just a ritual, it’s not necessarily a horrible thing just because the genitals are touched.” The time has come to consider the perspective, from which we observe and research a topic, especially a controversial one like circumcision.