Friday, August 23, 2013

It's Nice That "Female Genital Mutilation" Is Included in a List of "Gender-Based Violence" the TDSB Won't Tolerate, But How Is That Going To Work, Exactly?

From the TDSB's "Gender Violence Policy" (the link to which can be found here):
Gender-based violence is any aggressive action that threatens safety, causes physical, social or emotional harm and denigrates a person because of his or her gender identity, perceived gender, sexual identity, biological sex or sexual behaviour. 
Gender-based violence includes, but is not limited to, the following:   
  • Sexual assault (perpetrator aged 12 years and over)   
  • Inappropriate, problematic and intrusive sexual behaviour (perpetrator under age 12 years)   
  • Sexual exploitation (perpetrator an adult employee/victim a student)    
  • Sexual misconduct   
  • Sexual harassment   
  • Sexist discrimination   
  • Domestic violence   
  • Emotional abuse   
  • Psychological abuse   
  • Forced prostitution   
  • Homophobia   
  • Transphobia   
  • Harmful gender-based social practices, e.g. female genital mutilation
Gender-based violence operates on a societal imbalance of power and control based on social constructions of sexual identity, sexual orientation, gender, perceived gender and sexual behaviour.  This imbalance may manifest in multiple forms as aggressive and discriminatory behaviours and expressions of hatred. 
Good to know. It seems to me, though, that including FGM here amounts to little more than paying lip service to opposing it. I could be wrong, but because of the provenance of girls who are subjected to it (i.e. Egypt, Somalia, etc.) and because Islam is often used to justify the repellent "social" practice, I have a hard time believing the TDSB, home of the world famous mosqueteria, is serious about doing much of anything to prevent it.

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