Worried the term "female genital mutilation" might sharpen the divide between those who oppose brutally cutting away a little girl's genitalia to deprive her of sexual pleasure and those who practice the "rite," one New York Times editor instead refers to the ritual as "genital cutting."
"There's a gulf between the Western (and some African) advocates who campaign against the practice and the people who follow the rite, and I felt the language used widened that chasm," NYT science and health editor Celia Dugger explained Friday. She also said the widely used term (FGM) is "culturally loaded" in the explanation, which came as a result of inquiries from The Daily Caller News Foundation regarding a reporter's decision to use the term "cutting" in a recent story about a doctor in Michigan.
The doctor was allegedly caught mutilating innocent little girls as young as six and charged with a felony. Performed in American culture and subject to American laws, female genital mutilation carries a sentence of up to five years.