The New York Times took some flak over the weekend when the health and science editor refused to use the term “female genital mutilation” to describe the Detroit-based doctor arrested this month for performing the barbaric procedure.
The Blaze Times reporter Celia Dugger said using the “culturally loaded” phrase would “widen the chasm” between African and Western civilizations. Since Dugger’s April 13 story, a second doctor has been arrested for performing female genital mutilation, which is frequently abbreviated to FGM.
“I began writing about this back in 1996, when I was an immigration reporter on the Metro desk covering the asylum case of Fauziya Kassindja,” Dugger wrote. “I decided in the course of reporting that case — especially after a reporting trip to Togo, her home country, and the Ivory Coast — to call it genital cutting rather than mutilation.”
Dugger’s explanation came in response to a complaint filed by a Times reader who took issue with the journalist’s April 13 story and headline, “Michigan Doctor Is Accused of Genital Cutting of 2 Girls.”