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goldman Female circumcision

" A Look Into Female Genital Mutilation"
                             
"She only loses a little piece of the clitoris, just the part that protrudes. The girl doesn't miss it. She can still feel, after all. There is hardly any pain. Women's pain thresholds are so much higher than men's" (Denniston, 7).
This was a direct quote from an interview of people who unquestionably accept sexual mutilations. The interviews were conducted from 1979-1994 in Sudan and from 1984-1995 in parts of the United States and Europe. The exact location and date of the person who said this was not revealed. Sexual mutilations among females are also known as female circumcision, infibulations or clitoridectomy. Although there are variations in procedure, many times the above names are used interchangeable. The practice of female circumcision has long been a part of the lives of many young Muslim, Christian, Jewish and African girls.
The July 14, 1996, Los Angeles Times, states that more than 120 million women across a broad swath of the African continent have been subjected to the brutal genital mutilation.  Most are children between the ages of 4 and 10 when the ritual takes place. Although Westerners condemn it as torture, child abuse and a violation of human rights, it remains a revered rite of passage in parts of Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. According to the World Health Organization, circumcision dates back almost 4,000 years. No one knows exactly how the practice began, though scholars speculate its origins lay somewhere along the Nile Valley.
The reasons for performing this procedure are almost as numerous as it's consequences. The procedure can simply be a small but painful nick across the hood of the clitoris, but is typically more severe.  The most severe type of circumcision is called infibulation.  The clitoris, inner labia and most of the soft flesh of the labia are scraped or cut away.  Often with a double edged blade, scissors or even a shard of glass,  performed by a close relative,   midwife or barber. The July 14, 1996, Los Angeles Times, states:
"The child is then bound from waist to toes, and she will remain tied for weeks until scar tissue nearly seals the vagina.  She is left with just a pencil-thin hole close to the anus for urination and menstruation.  It can take the child a quarter of an hour to urinate, drop by drop.  She could develop a kidney or bladder infection.  When her menstrual periods start, they will last 10 days and she will be incapacitated by cramps nearly half the month caused by the near impossibility of flow passing through so tiny an opening.  The odor of soured blood will linger".
"If the wound heals improperly, shiny keloid scars will crisscross the otherwise soft tissue of the vulva.  Childbirth will be difficult, and the thick scars may have to be cut through to the rectum." The trauma of a child's pain transcends into adulthood.  A normal and happy sex life is almost never enjoyed, and I am influenced to believe that the magnitude of female circumcision is not understood by the child and rarely explained.  To some children it is a way to stop the painful teasing of others who believe that those who have not been cut are inferior.  For most it is the only way to become a woman.
Female circumcision, better known as Female Genital Mutilation, is an ugly monster finally rearing its head from out of the depths of time. It can attack a girl at any age, with a little prompting from her society, and the aid of an unsuspecting human wielding the knife. Usually, it is performed from a few days after birth to puberty, but in some regions, the torture can be put off until just before marriage or the seventh month of pregnancy (Samad, 52). The reality of female circumcision is that it is still accepted, regularly practiced, and willingly exercised as a rite of passage for young girls into womanhood. Female genital mutilation (FGM) is believed to have been performed at least 1400 - 2000 years ago beginning during an era know to the Muslims as "al-gahiliyyah" or "the era of ignorance". FGM is generally associated with ... more

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Elvis

Elvis by Albert Goldman is a book about the life and
times of the king of rock and roll.  It shows how a country
boy rose up and ruled the world of music, and also showed
his downfall.  It starts by telling about Elvis' childhood, and
moving to his teenage years.  Elvis was always a
wholesome country boy no matter if people considered him
leud, or outrageous.  In fact, Elvis was discovered when he
made a record for his mothers birthday, Elvis always
respected his parents.  Next it moves on to the first few
records that Elvis cut at Sun Records with his first producer
Sam Phillips.  What made Elvis different from other singers
was that he was "a white boy who could sing like a nigger."
as Sam Phillips described his style.  It then moves on to
detail his breakthrough year of 1956 in which he had such
hits as Heartbreak Hotel, and Hound Dog.  1956 was the
year that Elvis took America by storm, and earned him the
title "The King of Rock and Roll".  After that, it states the
hardships that Elvis faced over the next few years in the
military.  These few years were not very good for Elvis, for
the first time he had to leave the US, and his beloved
mother passed away before he left for his assignment in
Germany.  Moving on it tells us about his glorious return to
the United States, reclaiming his title as "King", and
moving on to something bigger and better the movies.
Over the course of the next few years Elvis made a lot of
movies, but none were liked by the critics, but they did
make money.  After his less than stellar movie career Elvis
came back to music with a blast the 68' Comeback Special.
Once again Elvis was on top of the music industry.  After
the 68' Comeback Special Elvis moved on to very
successful shows at Las Vegas.  Elvis played in Las Vegas
until his death.  He also started to tour again.  It was during
this time that he and his wife of only a few years, Priscilla,
got a divorce.  This is the main reason Elvis was soon very
heavily addicted to drugs.  Elvis was always addicted to
drugs, but it was after his break up with Priscilla that led
him on a downward spiral leading to his death.

In my opinion this book is just great.  I really enjoyed
reading this book very much.  It was very informative, and
gave good insights into Elvis' personal life.  The aspect of
this book which I loved the most though, is the honesty.
The author, Albert Goldman, pulls no punches when he
talks about Elvis very eccentric personality outside of the
spotlight.  One example of this strange behavior is that
when Elvis played in Las Vegas, he was so paranoid that
someone might kill him, he went through a long drawn out
ordeal just to walk to the ballroom that was only a few
floors down from his suite.  And when he went he carried
about 3 to 4 loaded guns with him.  This is one of the many
strange aspects of Elvis' personal life in his later years.
One more thing I like is the honesty of Elvis's drug
addiction.  Like most Americans I didn't think of Elvis as a
big time drug user, until I read this book.  It tells about how
Elvis spoke out against drugs to kids, and even met with
then President Nixon about the drug problem in America.
The funny thing is that Elvis was probably one of the
biggest junkies in the entertainment industry.

As for the authors point of view, I think Albert
Goldman was very very honest in this book.  And that is
one of the best features of the book.  To take some one who
is a national hero, and tell the vivid details of his chronic
drug abuse, his abuse of his money, and the abuse of the
people around him must have been hard,  but is was just the
facts.  I think that most of the people who have read this
book had no clue what the real Elvis was like.  Don't get
me wrong, the author takes nothing away from Elvis the
singer, he was, and still is one of the greatest entertainers of
our day, but Elvis the person was a totally different person.
A classic case of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde.  So
inconclusion I would just like to say to any Elvis fans read
this book to find out what the "King" was ... more

goldman

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