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Between Rites and RightsExcision in Women's Experiential Texts and Human Contexts$
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Chantal Zabus

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780804756877

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804756877.001.0001

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The Whole Woman and the Law

The Whole Woman and the Law

Keïta, Ahmadu, Kassindja, Dirie, Khady, Abdi, Korn

(p.202) Nine The Whole Woman and the Law
Between Rites and Rights
Stanford University Press

Both religion and culture can shape ideas of completeness and perfection. Sami Al-Deeb Abu-Sahlieh, a staunch critic of both female excision and male circumcision, argues that genital intactness for women is part of God's plan. This chapter explores texts that examine spectral wholeness in African women who had undergone excision or infibulation: Fatou Keïta's Rebelle (1998), Fauziya Kassindja's Do They Hear You When You Cry? (1998), Fuambai Ahmadu's Rites and Wrongs: An Insider/Outside Reflects on Power and Excision (2000), Nura Abdi's Tränen im Sand (2003), Waris Dirie's Desert Children (2005), Soninke Khady's Mutilée (2005), and Fadumo Korn's Born in the Big Rains (2006). These women come from countries studding the Sudanic excision belt such as Togo, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, and Somalia, and their stories further highlight African views of gender and sexuality (including masturbation) while helping refine concepts of home and exile.

Keywords:   excision, women, wholeness, infibulation, gender, sexuality, Fatou Keïta, Fauziya Kassindja, Soninke Khady, Fuambai Ahmadu

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