The Vixen Thinks: FGM =/= Genital Piercings

The Vixen Thinks is an almost weekly feature on this blog. Posts vary in topic, I'll talk about anything I have an opinion on! From blogging to relationships to feminism and anything beyond. If there's anything you'd like me to write about, feel free to get in touch: emily[at]theglittervixen[dot]com! Thank you!

Under new NHS guidelines, vaginal genital piercings will be classified as female genital mutilation (FGM) - a practice that is against the law in the UK. Naturally, I have an opinion on the subject and obviously that opinion is that this is outrageous.

For me, the main issue here is choice. More often than not, FGM is performed not only on those with vaginas who did not make the decision themselves but on those far too young to have the ability to make an informed decision.

On the other hand, people with vaginas over the age of 18 often decide that a vaginal or clitoral piercing is something they want and take themselves to a piercer to receive one.

Of course, there are always exceptions - I do not doubt there are piercers out there who fail to check ID before piercing genital areas and there will be people under 18 running round with piercings in this area. In this case, the piercer should be punished, absolutely, but it still doesn’t fit the definition of mutilation for me.

I’m not here to go into the gruesome details of FGM, but from what I gather, the practice severely hinders/removes a person’s ability to feel any sexual pleasure. The process is extremely dangerous and extremely painful. It is often performed in unsanitary conditions. It affects reproductive abilities. It can and is very debilitating.

Meanwhile, people with vaginal lip piercings or clitoral piercings can still enjoy sexual activities with pleasure and in some cases, this pleasure is actually enhanced.

For me, it is clear that there is a huge difference between FGM and genital piercings, one that the NHS should not ignore and one that certainly should not be disregarded when it comes to taking legal action against FGM.

DISCLAIMER: While writing this post, I have tried to be as conscious and inclusive as I possibly can towards trans people. I am more than aware that not all people with vaginas are women and have tried to write my blog post in a way that reflects this knowledge. Unfortunately I am unaware of any universally recognised terms for FGM that are trans-inclusive. If you feel I have missed an alternative name or I have caused offence within this post with my language, please do not hesitate to get in touch so I can make the necessary amendments.