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Year: 2013 Type: Book Chapter Language: English

This chapter uses rhetorical analysis to analyse the Clitoraid campaign, an American initiative started by the believers of the Raelian religion that set out to raise funds to build a ‘pleasure hospital’ in Burkina Faso that would perform operations to ‘restore’ the capacity of excised women for clitoral orgasm.

Boynton raises questions about the project itself – its financial transparency and technical competence. Why haven’t women from Burkina Faso themselves been consulted? Why is Clitoraid trying to build their own hospital instead of supporting the existing hospitals there, which are already providing surgery for women to undo some of the effects of FGM? She critiques the colonial overtones of western occupation of African bodies, with westerners being invited to donate by ‘adopting’ an African woman’s clitoris. And she challenges the notion that only women with clitorises can experience pleasure, and that the solution to a lack of pleasure would necessarily be another operation.

Resource is unavailable online, but can be viewed at the British Library of Development Studies in Brighton, www.blds.ids.ac.uk.

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