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In White America, Girls’ Clitorises Were Cut Off Because Christian Parents Feared Masturbation

Posted by on Jun. 18, 2017 at 11:53 PM
  • 58 Replies
by: Terry Firma
Dr. Renée Bergstrom, now 72, was just three years old when, back in 1947, her Christian mother took her to a doctor to have the girl’s clitoris removed. The problem, as the concerned parent saw it, was that the toddler had possibly been rubbing her private parts. The physician performed a clitorectomy, and that was that.
Bergstrom, in a brave opinion piece for the Guardian, points out that the barbarity
“… took place in a church clinic that used a scalpel on girls who masturbated.”

Bergstrom

“I remember the excruciating pain and feeling betrayed. I was told not to talk about it, but keeping the secret meant I was alone with my questions as I grew into puberty: what was missing? What would it be like to be ‘whole’?”
The procedure didn’t just rob Bergstrom of a lifetime of sexual pleasure, causing discomfort all the way; it indirectly put her life at risk when she and her husband started a family.

“My first child and I could have died — an almost universal impact of FGM is difficulty giving birth. I, like so many women around the world, did not know genital scar tissue does not stretch. I wanted to be fully awake to experience giving birth, but my obstetrician performed an extensive episiotomy under anaesthetic that took months to heal. He was compassionate and shocked to hear the origin of my scar.”
Bergstrom wasn’t the only one.
“I witnessed Christian religions declaring masturbation a sin, some Christian leaders and doctors recommending circumcision to prevent it, physicians carrying out the practice, and our American culture first accepting this form of sexual abuse and then denying it ever occurred.”
It seems impossible to know how prevalent this shameful practice was. Dr. Sarah Rodriguez of Northwestern University’s Medical School, interviewed in the YouTube video above, says that

“It was a quick procedure, it was done in a physician’s office, and also because it probably wasn’t anything that families talked about amongst themselves either — largely because it was done as a treatment for masturbation.”
That such a thing existed at all in America’s Christian midwest culture is all the more shocking because a pioneer of the field, the 19th-century British obstetrician Isaac Baker Brown, had been roundly denounced seventy years earlier for performing clitorectomies — sometimes without patients’ consent — in an effort to “cure” women of epilepsy, catalepsy and “mania,” all of which he thought were caused by masturbation. In 1867, Baker Brown was kicked out of London’s Obstetrical Society, and his career never rebounded. In America, his dubious legacy lived on until — probably — the 1960s.
Says Rodriguez:
“It was never rare, but it also wasn’t common. One physician would have done it once or twice in his or her practicing lifetime, perhaps, and other physicians wouldn’t have done it at all.”

Although Bergstrom has broken loose from shame and silence (and in fact is part of a campaign to end female genital mutilation across all cultures), she is still in the thrall of religious thought, openly believing in divine blessings and a Creator. That kind of magical thinking will probably be harder to stamp out than FGM.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2016/12/06/in-white-america-girls-clitorises-were-cut-off-because-christian-parents-feared-masturbation
by on Jun. 18, 2017 at 11:53 PM
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Replies (1-10):
EireLass
by Ruby Member on Jun. 19, 2017 at 12:04 AM
2 moms liked this

It was only made illegal for girls under 19 in 1997 (in the US). Blue Cross insurance covered it.

joyful.noise
by Member on Jun. 19, 2017 at 12:08 AM
2 moms liked this

Holy Shit! I had no idea. WOW!

Quoting EireLass:

It was only made illegal for girls under 19 in 1997 (in the US). Blue Cross insurance covered it.


joyfree
by Platinum Member on Jun. 19, 2017 at 12:09 AM
10 moms liked this
Well, surprise, surprise, surprise!

That shines a nasty light on some of the anti-Islam crowd's misguided logic.
pdxmum
by Gold Member on Jun. 19, 2017 at 12:38 AM
2 moms liked this
I had no idea.

Quoting EireLass:

It was only made illegal for girls under 19 in 1997 (in the US). Blue Cross insurance covered it.

PinkButterfly66
by Platinum Member on Jun. 19, 2017 at 12:59 AM

WTF?!?  But then little boys with botched circumcisions had their penises removed and 'turned' into little girls too.  

Dardenella
by Bronze Member on Jun. 19, 2017 at 1:13 AM
1 mom liked this

So the gyst of the story is that this occurred in the white christian culture.  Ok  yes it did.  It does not now.

That is what hapens  after fifty years (or more)

It also was not common practice so that leads you to believe that ceratin groups  may have done these  mutilations.  People are stupid and do many stupid things and do experiments and later are made into non practice or even out lawed.

Mentally ill pationts were routinely sterilized and that could be someone who stuttered and that was about the same time period.

What has that got to do with  a belief in God?    This had nothing to do with God or his words.  It had to do with men doing what they wanted to do and using religion to justify it.

MissAndree
by Gold Member on Jun. 19, 2017 at 1:30 AM
4 moms liked this
Is that your stance when certain Muslim sects do it?

Quoting Dardenella:

So the gyst of the story is that this occurred in the white christian culture.  Ok  yes it did.  It does not now.

That is what hapens  after fifty years (or more)

It also was not common practice so that leads you to believe that ceratin groups  may have done these  mutilations.  People are stupid and do many stupid things and do experiments and later are made into non practice or even out lawed.

Mentally ill pationts were routinely sterilized and that could be someone who stuttered and that was about the same time period.

What has that got to do with  a belief in God?    This had nothing to do with God or his words.  It had to do with men doing what they wanted to do and using religion to justify it.

Bookwormy
by Ruby Member on Jun. 19, 2017 at 1:39 AM
1 mom liked this
I hope you never take an anti-Islam approach, using FGM to justify your bigotry.

Quoting Dardenella:

So the gyst of the story is that this occurred in the white christian culture.  Ok  yes it did.  It does not now.

That is what hapens  after fifty years (or more)

It also was not common practice so that leads you to believe that ceratin groups  may have done these  mutilations.  People are stupid and do many stupid things and do experiments and later are made into non practice or even out lawed.

Mentally ill pationts were routinely sterilized and that could be someone who stuttered and that was about the same time period.

What has that got to do with  a belief in God?    This had nothing to do with God or his words.  It had to do with men doing what they wanted to do and using religion to justify it.

idunno1234
by Platinum Member on Jun. 19, 2017 at 10:20 AM
2 moms liked this

"What has that got to do with  a belief in God?    This had nothing to do with God or his words.  It had to do with men doing what they wanted to do and using religion to justify it."

Exactly the point regarding the assholes who use Islam or any other religion/belief/ideology/cultural bs to oppress/suppress/rape/torture/kill.

Quoting Dardenella:

So the gyst of the story is that this occurred in the white christian culture.  Ok  yes it did.  It does not now.

That is what hapens  after fifty years (or more)

It also was not common practice so that leads you to believe that ceratin groups  may have done these  mutilations.  People are stupid and do many stupid things and do experiments and later are made into non practice or even out lawed.

Mentally ill pationts were routinely sterilized and that could be someone who stuttered and that was about the same time period.

What has that got to do with  a belief in God?    This had nothing to do with God or his words.  It had to do with men doing what they wanted to do and using religion to justify it.


couture-mommy
by Catfish on Jun. 19, 2017 at 10:28 AM
2 moms liked this
You are such a hypocrite

Quoting Dardenella:

So the gyst of the story is that this occurred in the white christian culture.  Ok  yes it did.  It does not now.

That is what hapens  after fifty years (or more)

It also was not common practice so that leads you to believe that ceratin groups  may have done these  mutilations.  People are stupid and do many stupid things and do experiments and later are made into non practice or even out lawed.

Mentally ill pationts were routinely sterilized and that could be someone who stuttered and that was about the same time period.

What has that got to do with  a belief in God?    This had nothing to do with God or his words.  It had to do with men doing what they wanted to do and using religion to justify it.

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