Aussie doctors condemn labioplasty, related procedures

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has issued a statement criticizing the safety, impracticality, non-necessity, and expense of an array of procedures performed with the intent to “rejuvenate” the vagina, or enhance sexual sensation thereof. From Fox News, of all places:

Most [women] have had labioplasty operations, to change the external appearance of the vagina or, less commonly, to narrow the vagina or “amplify” the female G-spot.

Many college members had treated patients with scarring, permanent disfigurement, infection and altered sexual sensations, some of whom required reconstructive surgery, he said…

There was concern that women seeking the most common operation, the labioplasty, did not understand there was a huge variation in how women’s external genitalia look.

“In one case we heard of a man bringing in a Brazilian pornographic photo and saying: `Make my girlfriend look like this’,” Weaver said.

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Egyptian veil ad: “‘Protect’ yourself”

I could not independently verify the origin and translation of the above PSA, but it apparently reads:

“You can’t stop them, but you can protect yourself.”

Rhetoric supportive of the enforcement of hajib seems to take the form of self-fulfilling prophecy: The veil is meant to symbolize an ideal of modesty the wearer may or may not strive to. Therefore, anyone presumptuousenough to violate the impossible standard of modesty advertises herself as necessarily immodest; the immodest is neccessarily inviting. The agency of male offenders is invisible in the equation.

To dust off such tired phrases as “false dichotomy” and “double stanard” seem redundant. Forgive me for referencing a Freudianism, even to refute it.

It’s been a long day.

Choice in Argentina

From Al Jazeera in English, a chilling report on illegal abortions in Argentina:

About 500,000 illegal abortions are performed every year in clandestine places like this, and around 400 girls die from botched terminations.

I would be curious as to how this figure was gathered, given the reluctance of abortion providers and seekers to discuss the issue openly. If accurate, the figure is not surprising; according to a 2007 study by Guttmacher Institute and World Health Organization, rates of termination in nations where abortion is illegal are comperable to those were it is legal. If a certain number of abortions appear to be an inescapable feature of human societies, it is reasonable to insure they are safe and sanitary.

If you hurry…

I probably won’t have the time for it myself, but Hulu.com is hosting Joss Whedon’s semi-homemade three-act musical Dr. Horrible’s Singalong Blog, for free. Today only!

Saudi man marries 10-year-old, promises to “wait” five years to consumate

From Arab News:

HAIL: In the latest twist to a high-profile marriage in this central Saudi city, a 64-year-old man has announced that he would wait five years to consummate his marriage with his 10-year-old bride.

According to local newspapers yesterday, the man — who has already paid a SR100,000 dowry to the father of the girl and signed the marriage contract — now says he would wait until the girl is 15 to complete the marriage.

In six states and over 60 countries, 15 is within the age of consent. I would be uncomfortable with that statute’s categorical application, but one must remember no age of consent or minimal age for enterance into marriage is recognized in Saudi Arabia. 

Furthermore, it is unlikely, even if the girl in question ever reaches a level of maturity and sexual awareness, she could ever give full consent to sex with her “husband,” having been bartered away as a child, on what amounts to a dare by her father:  

Explaining the circumstances that led to the marriage, the man’s son said his father never had a second wife. He said the girl’s father taunted his father saying he was willing to marry his daughter to him if he paid SR100,000 in dowry. “My father accepted the challenge, paid the money and became the husband of the young woman,” the son was quoted as saying.

Anti-gay sentiment motivated TN shooter

Sunday, a Tennessee man opened fire on a Knocksville church’s children’s production of “Annie,” killing two and critically wounding four more. From The Times Online:

Jim D. Adkisson, an out of work lorry driver, described his violent plans in a four-page letter, saying he intentionally targeted the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville because “he hated the liberal movement; and was upset with liberals in general as well as gays”…

 Sterling Owen, the local police chief, said today that Mr Adkisson indicated in his letter “that he expected to be in there (the church) shooting people until the police arrived and that he fully expected to be killed by the responding police. He certainly intended to take a lot of casualties”.

The Unitarian Universalist Association is a creedless liberal religious tradition, the first denomination to recognize Welcoming Congregations, and perhaps the only to offer egalitarian marriage services for LGBT couples, even those in the ministry.

I can only offer my condolences to the friends and families of the victims.

I wish that life should not be cheap, but sacred. I wish the days to be as centuries, loaded, fragrant.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Considerations by the Way ,” 1860

Update (12:11 PM 7/30/08):Blogger Elrod at The Moderate Voice, a Knoxville UU parishioner, refers readers to the Knocksville Relief Fund to help defray medical costs of the victims.

Is the new Checkmarq even less convenient than the old?

As of 1 PM today, Marquette student portal Checkmarq is back online after a week’s hiatus, updated with an entirely new layout I have not even begun to understand.

I don’t know where the email is. But Giving to Marquette is right at the top of the homepage. I don’t know what I was expecting.