home what'snew resources ask amy news activism antiviolence events marketplace aboutus
Ask a Question!
Meet Amy!
Amy's Resource Guide
Ask Amy Main
TOPICS
Feminism
Girls/Children
Health
International
Media
Miscellaneous
Most Asked Questions
Politics
Reproductive Rights
Sexual Harassment
Violence Against Women
Women's History
Work/Career
   
 


 
Health

I am a 15-year-old German girl. When I was 10 my mom found a friend and I playing gynecologist. My mom accused me of masturbating. She told me that I will have early sex and that sexuality will destroy my life. The next day we went to a gynecologist. The doctor amputated my entire clitoris and most of my labia. After that I could not walk for about 2 weeks. How important is the clitoris? Will I be able to have an orgasm? Was that a female-circumcision? Can the little lips be rebuild?

Thank you for your note to FEMINIST.COM--and for taking the time to reach out. I'm sure there are many people struggling with similar issues, but who keep it inside. This is the worst scenario because then you feel like you are alone and the only one. So I'm glad that you are reaching out--and hope that you are reassured that you are not a bad person--nor is there anything "wrong" with you. Your mother seems to be scared of something and is taking it out on you. For that I am so sorry--and sure that she is, too, deep down inside

From what you have described, it sounds like you were circumcised. You should know that female circumcision is very different from male circumcision. Men rarely lose any level sexual pleasure when they are circumcised--and many women do. There are also many health-related consequences. This female circumcision is very common in different parts of the world--in many instances Africa and Muslim countries, but it does exist in every corner of the world.

From what you described, you specifically had what is know as a Clitoridectomy--which means that your entire clitoris was removed and your lips. There are many health consequences that can result from this procedure--not only does this include pain with intercourse, but it could also include bleeding, shock, damage to the fetus, etc.. So if you find it hard to seek medical help because of intercourse, think at least about the basic health risk. Beyond this information, all of your other questions require an expert in this area. Although I'm not one, I could try to help put you in touch with one in your area. If this is something that you want me to do, please let me know where in Germany you live--or what the closest big city is. I can also refer some books to you--most of which you can access at the FEMINIST.COM bookstore.

I hope that you will write back if you want to--and that you will take the time to revisit a doctor (without your mother). I also hope that you have friends who can support you through this. Let me know if I can help in any other way and good luck.


Amy

home | what's new | resources | ask amy | news | activism | anti-violence
events | marketplace | about us | e-mail us | join our mailing list

©1995-2002 Feminist.com All rights reserved.