Sunday, August 15, 2010

Female Circumcision in Oman

I wanted to write about something I just learnt about.

I had honestly never thought it was a big issue here in Oman and I know some "Bedu" stock families for have waaaay weird traditions and it never came up. They themselves always went, "not Omanis."

Of all the Omani I know, and I know alot, none have ever practiced it, but now there are about three women of my aquaintance who had female circumcision (the tip---very small ammount--- of the clitoris is removed from the vagina in this operation---it is NOT the same as the African one which is more like female genital mutilation and all is cut out and then closed and makes giving birth to children difficult) and WHO actually advocated it. I was shocked, plainly, as I am posting on the subject.

But it exists here, and I guess Reality posted on it a while back because when I googled it her post came up. But really, it is only recently I heard about it.

****It is a cultural practice neither advocated or condemned by Islam---and is something outside the Islamic religion, incase you didn't know, because, in case you are curious like the customs guy at the US border, I myself am not circumcised, and am most definately Muslim****.
Customs Tool: "OPNO, do you have anything to declare?"
OPNO: "No."
Customs Tool [looks at my passport]: "You can't be a Muslim. Your eyes are blue."
OPNO: "Religion is not the same thing as a 'race'.'" [the last time I made a joke, I was in a room for 3 hours/ which is MAYBE why they give me a hard time now]
Customs Tool: "So... If you are Muslim does that mean you are circumcised?"
OPNO [give him a 'what the hell?!' kind of expression]: "No. Does this have anything to do with customs, not my 'customs' but US customs?"
Customs Tool: "." [looks like a dear caught in the headlights]
OPNO: "I will answer the following, 'Business or pleasure, no, I have no currency over such and such ammount, my address is such and such hotel, and circumcision has nothing to do with the Muslim's religion."
I am a bit mouthy. A friend, we'll call her L, does not like traveling with me. Moral of useless commentary documenting why I don't like US customs (even alot of American don't!:D) is the fact that people have a misconception the custom is tied to our religion. It is not.
Back to circumcision in Oman.
One woman I know from Dakliyah near Nizwa had it done, and went to take her 1 and half year old daughter to have it done. As the heat in Oman can make a woman more sexually aroused, some women advocate the practice. But it does make a woman less sexually stimulated during marriage. Which this woman's husband admitted when I investigated, he'd in general prefer a woman who wanted sex more that two times a week, and didn't find such a thing intimidating in the slightest.

As an unmarried, uncircumcised woman, I myself can admit, yes, sometimes it is a pain, but the potential for being a better match for a man I might someday meet and marry in that regard? I don't want to give that up LOL!

As with the other two women I know who had it done and who were doing it to their daughters, it was actually their father who put an end to the practice within the family when their baby girl had an issue, when she'd cry when she had to urinate, as it got a little infected (most of the circumcisions done in Oman are done very hygenically BTW, not that I wanted to witness them) but the grandfather FREAKED on the women and threatened to divorce Baby girl's grandmother if it was done to another little girl.
Some Omani women admit it is part of their family culture and prefer it for their baby daughters, most Omani men I asked, would 100% rather their future wife be more sexually stimu-late-able [fun making up words].
For the Omani girls, feel free to post anonymously, is it common in your families? Do you prefer it? Do you think no way you'd want it for your daughters, and for the women who prefer it, what do the men in your family think? [ha ha, I know you won't be brave enough to ask them, that's why I already did].

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