In a past column Cecil pontificated that in order of cruelest practices bestowed on women:
- Clitoredectomy (female circumcision)
- Chinese foot binding
- Victorian corsets
Now I won’t argue that any of these practices are above reproach, but I suggest throwing a top contender into the ring. How about those african tribes whose females strech their necks by inserting rings one after another between their shoulders and heads. I suggest that this may be the most destructive in that without the rings the women will die, having the weight of there heads breaking their necks and suffocating them. Most amazingly this practice is still ongoing and flourishing.
The clitoredectomy is harsh, but not chronically painful and incapacitating. The corsets were applied willingly by the somewhat mature women. The footbinding and neck streching occur to the very young who have no understanding of its reasons. So my point is that Cecils rating is disagreeable.
The facts expressed here belong to everybody, the opinions to me. The distinction is
yours to draw…