Desert Flower

desert flower

Is female genital circumcision in Africa immoral?  Is it really mutilation?  This divisive topic gets at the polarized views of cultural relativism and ethnocentrism.

Waris Dirie’s book Desert Flower (1998) gives a powerful argument for the ethnocentric side of the debate by taking the reader on an autobiographical journey of a young girl who was welcomed into womanhood through a rite of passage that cost her sexual pleasure for the rest of her life.

Dirie is now one of the leading advocates against female genital circumcision.  Check out her website ( in addition to her book.

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