In an article about an Australian couple arrested for “allegedly organising the illegal circumcision of their one-year-old baby girl in Bali,” this anecdote from Edith Cowan University’s head of medical sciences Moira Sim about patients she has treated is insightful:
She said the women she treated did not see the mutilation of their genitals as an issue because they did not remember having the procedure.
That’s a defense for male circumcision so commonly offered in the United States. Yet, in this anecdote, it’s clear how irrelevant their opinion is as a defense. The violation occurred, and we can easily assume that these women would not feel that way if they hadn’t had their genitals mutilated as children. Ex post facto defenses of non-therapeutic genital cutting offered by the victim, or an assumption that the recipient will develop a specific opinion, can never justify imposing the procedure on a minor.