The Theme of Female Genital Mutilation in The Secret of Joy by Alice Walker

Cultural practices and traditions, have led to debates and wars for centuries. Cultural differences have enabled us to learn more about the world and the people around us. In Alice Walkers The Secret of Joy, the practice of female genital mublaton, is being discussed as ethical and cultural relaovism at ts finest. The idea of female genital mutilaton seems barbaric and wrong to westem society, With the pain and health problems that are direct inflicted by the practice, there is a reason why people believe itis unethical.

The story of Alice walker can be perceived as an attack on ethical relativism. The practice of female genital mutilation has been going on for centuries. For people to understand the tradition of this practice without Iving through with in that culture is very hard. The tibal way of thinking may Seem primitive, but tis a traition that is Seen as religious and ceremonial. The practice to them is normal and brings intrinsic value to them.

The story shows a very horrible side o this practice. An opposing story could have been about a wife enjoying her life because of her traitional practic.

There is an argument to the attack of ethical relativism. These tribes are usually male run tribes. The procedure is done for male gratification. Knowing that his wife wll be a virgin, and wall stay faithful, because sex wil not be pleasurable. Could it also be an egocentric religion that says women are loose and unclean if female genital mutation is not performed?

By a religion saying this, tis sure that if you do not perform this practice you will be an outcast.

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Therefore you are putin a place as a lady in this society to have no choice but to perform these acts of female genital mutation. Over periods of time, the women in the region are excepting with this tradition because itis all they know. Giving a choice and correctly educating them on the pros and cons, they may choose not to perform this surgery.

The theme of female genital mutation, ethical relativism is a problematic moral theory. | believe there are so many negative components of female genital mulation that are negative, that this practice should not be performed. | firmly do not believe these girts are giving an option to do this procedure, but are obligated under their ethical code to perform these rituals. Some of the negative components of genital mutilation are, Health problems, unnecessary pain and suffering, and it are an unhygienic procedure. | also understand traditions are very hard to stop.

We can understand why Tashi went back to perform this operation. She felt obligated by tradition to have this performed. She believed it was a sentimental gesture to her people to do this. This isa realistic idea: itis very conclusive that she wanted to feel close to the people she grew up with by doing this. To gain their respect and to feel as though she is stil part of there culture.

In my opinion, | believe Alice Walker is doing the correct thing by exposing the practice of genital mutilation. | believe it to € very barbaric and grotesque. There are tons of rituals and practices believe are truly ethically relative and great. This is not one of them. | do not believe these gifs are giving a choice to have this procedure. They are at an age were they can weigh out pros and cons of decision, But they are giving no decision, The fact ofthe matter is they are not giving a choice at all. They feel just as obligated to there society as Tashi did | would believe this to be a great procedure, it it caused no pain, or heath problems, no child barring problems as well as no sexual loss for the ladies. | believe as creatures of the human race, we are born with certain parts that shall nt be altered. | am not talking about a tumor or a cancer, but a body part every woman is born with. The sexual functions ofthe clitoris and vigina are tens of thousands of years of evolution, To me no cultural relativism can change that. | believe female genital mutilation is wrong, tis what you tod me. Remember? The uncircumcised women is loose, you said ke a shoe that all, no matter what their size might wear. This is unseemly, you said. Unciean. A proper women must be cut and sewn to fit only her husband, whose pleasure depends on an opening it might take months, even years to enlarge. Men love and enjoy the struggle you said. For the women But you never said anything about the women dd you, Missa? About the pleasure she might have. Or the suffering.

Tashi was correct in blaming Missa for what happened. i was Miissas fault. Not only was it her fault, but also the male dominated society in which brought about the idea of female genital mutiation. Missa fet it was an obligation to her society by being the medicine women to do this. | do not believe Tashi should have murdered her for this. But she could of tied to change the ways of her old tried, Ethical Relativism ister. | am for it Eighty Five percent. The Fifteen percent | am against it Js for issues like female genital mutilation. | believe ifthe ethical relativism of the issue harms, isks, or gives no way out for the persons doing the issue, then itis wrong. f does no harm to the Individuals or athers then Ethical relativism is ok. In this particular case | do not agree with female erital mutilation. l believe itis morally awful

Cuural practices and traditions, have led to debates and wars for centuries. Cultural diferences have enabled us to learn more about the world and the people around us. The idea ot female genital mutilation seems barbaric and wrong to western society in Alice Walkers The Secret of Joy, the practice of female genital mutilation, is being discussed as ethical and cultural relativism at its tinest. Wath the pain and health problems that are directly inficted by the practice, there is a reason why I believe it’s unethical to practice female genital mutation.



‘The issue of female genital mutilation is very controversial. Being in the society (vibe) that
adopts the idea of female genital mutlaton, it may seem normal. | believe though the man leaders
‘made it up centuries ago. | believe there is just one reason for doing this. tis for the sexual
‘ratification ofthe men in these tribes. For this tradition to change I bet no man in that area is going to
‘complain about female genital mutilaion, but itis the women who have to take charge.

Missa is an evil figure inthis story. She does not inform any of her patients about the
pleasure or pains ofthe procedure. She just does as they ask, and perform the procedure. Tashi says
to Miss

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The Theme of Female Genital Mutilation in The Secret of Joy by Alice Walker. (2022, Jun 12). Retrieved from

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