We are so gratified by the impact Honor Diaries is making.
We continue to partner with some of the world’s most powerful activists. Men and women of all ages and political and religious affiliations are telling us that our documentary is impacting their thinking – and that they will take part in supporting legislation and efforts which will protect and enrich the lives of those living with the threat of honor violence.
But we still have a long way to go.
The world of women’s rights activists was left shaking its head when we read the news of a recent pop-investigation into the attitudes of Londoners toward female genital mutilation (to learn more about female genital mutilation, or FGM, click here).
Leyla Hussein, the face of the fight against FGM who founded the Daughters of Eve organization , decided to see for herself how “politically correct” the mutilation of girls’ genitalia could be if presented as a cultural practice.
Would Londoners reject any pretense for the mutilation of young girls, or would they shrink away from condemning the practice if it meant that they would come off as culturally insensitive?
Leyla decided to conduct a little experiment. Armed with a clipboard and pen and dressed in vibrant ethnic attire, Leyla invited shoppers at a London shopping center to sign a petition IN FAVOR of female genital mutilation.
She explained that the practice is conducted for “cultural reasons” and is “only mutilation”.
After 30 minutes, Leyla retreated in tears. In just half an hour, 19 people had signed on to protect FGM – and just 1 had refused.
In an interview with the Evening Standard, Leyla reiterated that “FGM is not culture, it is violence,” and said “we can’t watch children being cut, I don’t care what culture you belong to.”
Obviously, this was not a scientific study. Moreover, it is certainly the case that Londoners and good people around the world were shocked and saddened to read of the outcome of this case – and would never consciously support the life-endangering mutilation of young women and girls.
The results of Leyla’s experiment were disturbing and disappointing – we have a long way to go before we can say that the world has been properly educated about the horrific reality of FGM and all other types of honor violence.
But we are not deterred. Leyla – and her partners at Daughters of Eve – are giving British citizens a second chance. Leyla’s new petition – which has already garnered the support of famous British TV doctor Christian Jessen – will enable UK citizens to stand up for women’s and girls’ rights. The story was so scandalous, that the government itself took notice, with one minister vowing to eradicate FGM in the UK.
Our film, which will be screened next at the St. Louis International Film Festival on November 17th, is creating an important buzz in the United States, opening the eyes of many Americans who had never heard of female genital mutilation or any other honor violence crime.
Activists who care about the rights of women and girls are working around the clock to put an end to the agony of millions who suffer in silence. But awareness happens one person at a time. YOU ARE VERY IMPORTANT!
Culture is No Excuse for Abuse. Please take a moment to share this blog post on Facebook, and on Twitter to let the world know that political correctness will not provide a smoke screen for the usurpation of the rights of women and girls! We need your help.