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Clit Envy?

You thought female genital surgery for religious reasons was sick? This is even sicker:
A pediatric urologist at Cornell—Dix Poppas—has been operating on little girls with what he judges to be oversized clitorises, cutting away important clitoral tissues, and then stitching the glans to what remains of the shaft. Poppas claims that, unlike past clitoral-reduction procedures, his procedure is "nerve sparing."

You can read about the long-terms practices of Doctor Dix Poppas of Cornell in removing clitoral hood tissues, documented as early as 2007 in this article where he boasts about his techniques. Essentially, what Doctor Dix does to these little girls is remove clitoral tissue, then stitch the glans, the tip of the clitoris, to what remains of the shaft. The best source on this bizarre fetishistic torture are two articles by Alice Dredger and Ellen Feder, first at the Hastings Bioethics Forum and secondly, at Psychology Today.

He's doing this for no medical reason, at all. He's doing this for cosmetic reasons, because he believes these little girls have a clitoris that is "too big." (I will refrain from speculating about what particular Freudian anatomical obsessions this points to).

Yes. That's right. This ass-hat has seen so very few adult women that he thinks there's a "proper" and "normal" size for a clit—and that he's qualified to judge.

But it gets worse. He has follow-up exams with the little girls and a parent in which

while a parent watches, Poppas touches the daughter’s surgically shortened clitoris with a cotton-tip applicator and/or with a “vibratory device,” and the girl is asked to report to Poppas how strongly she feels him touching her clitoris. Using the vibrator, he also touches her on her inner thigh, her labia minora, and the introitus of her vagina, asking her to report, on a scale of 0 (no sensation) to 5 (maximum), how strongly she feels the touch.

At five these girls are more than aware enough to know that an adult is touching their clitoris, their vulva, and their vaginal opening and asking them questions. That's sick, twisted and perverted—it's not pediatrics, it's sexual molestation, and the parents don't even realize what's going on.

Think about it; most women, most doctors, and most parents have little or no experience in (FOLLOWING LINK NOT SAFE FOR WORK) the wide range of size and shape and even the position of a woman's clitoris. So if a doctor tells a parent that their little girl has an abnormal or "too large" clitoris, they are likely to believe the doctor.They're not likely to say "So what? Makes it easier to find, right? Maybe she'll orgasm more easily!" Instead, out of ignorance and fear, they authorize surgery, and then, annual office molestations. Keep in mind, please, that this is surgery performed on babies for cosmetic reasons. Keep in mind too that the clitoris, as well as the vulva, change dramatically during puberty. And remember that they're exposing a baby to the dangers of surgery, and post surgical infection, as well as nerve damage, for cosmetic reasons. Their isn't even the pretext of a religious reason; this is entirely based on assumptions about "normal" genitalia.

Some other things to keep in mind; many women find the glans clitoris too sensitive for direct stimulation, and masturbate by manipulating their clitoral hood; for many women, this happens during coitus, when the penile shaft and pelvic bone stimulate the clitoral shaft. Except for these little girls, the shaft has been reduced.

I think that, as Dan Savage notes, that there's an assumption that women with large clits may be more likely to be lesbian; this is, of course, stupid on the face of it, but there you have it. That's the fear around the coded language and use of words like "androgyny." But bottom line, it's really about controlling women's bodies, by controlling their ability to have pleasure.