Farzana Doctor: Speaking Out Against Female Genital Mutilation

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Author Farzana Doctor sits down with Tristan Taormino to discuss her latest novel Seven which revolves around the practice of khatna, a ritual female genital cutting in Dawoodi Bohra communities. According to the World Health Organization, more than 200 million girls and women alive today have been cut in 30 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia where female genital mutilation (also called female genital mutilation or female circumcision) is concentrated. They discuss what it means when religion attempts to control women’s bodies and sexuality, and the devastating effects of silence, secrecy, and trauma. Her novel explores themes of family, loyalty, generational trauma, and the shame that persists for women to talk openly about their own sexuality. Throughout this riveting story, she offers models for resistance, activism, hope, and healing.

Farzana Doctor is a writer, activist and psychotherapist. She is the author of four novels: Stealing Nasreen, Six Metres of Pavement (which won a 2012 Lambda Literary Award), All Inclusive (a Kobo 2015 and National Post Best Book of the Year) and Seven which Ms. Magazine says “is fully feminist and ambitiously bold; this is an important book for our changing times.” Farzana volunteers with WeSpeakOut, a group that is working to ban female genital cutting in her Dawoodi Bohra community.

This episode is sponsored by Intensity by Pour Moi and Trivia Star.

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