Veils, virginity and victimization

News & Politics

From Vanessa at Feministing:

Reuters reports that Muslim women in France are beginning to have vaginal reconstructive surgery to reattach their hymen so that when they get married, their past sexual experiences will remain private.

While this is obviously upsetting, I fear the trend will be used as a means to push the xenophobic agenda that has been, to a large extent, controlling Muslim women's lives in Europe for quite some time now. Called now by some "the two 'V's' -- veils and virginity," I wouldn't be surprised if there is a proposed ban for the procedure. (They already banned headscarves from schools in 2004.) But what would that actually do? A serious backlash could occur for women who would be seeking the surgery; it could very well just oppress them more.

Am I saying hymenoplasty is a good thing for Muslim women? Not at all, but to prohibit women from doing something personal with their bodies to avoid potential shame due to their religion while women in our own Western culture willingly have been seeking hymenoplasties because "it's so hot" and want "designer vaginas" would just further exemplify how Muslim women are consistently victimized by Western cultures for entirely different purposes than "liberating them."

But who knows, maybe France won't be willing to give up their own designer vaginas.

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