Understanding the intimate labour involved in seeking clitoral reconstruction after female genital cutting
This chapter centres on circumcised women’s experiences of bioprecarity in the context of seeking clitoral reconstructive surgery in Sweden. Female genital cutting (FGC), significant in marking the mature, desirable and marriageable woman in some cultures (Johansen, 2016), is today a significant phenomenon in Europe due to recent migration patterns (Van Baelen, Ortensi et al., 2016). Transcultural migration and societal changes create new perceptions of the body, self and identity. At the same time, new notions of bodily rights, what is perceived as legitimate claims and needs, and advances in biotechnology have enabled circumcised women in some European countries to have their clitoris reconstructed (Foldés, 2003). Based on original empirical data in the form of interviews with FGC-affected women, this chapter seeks to investigate how migrant women who have undergone FGC perceive their bodies and selves, how they construct and negotiate their identity within new social structures and gender norms, and how they understand clitoral reconstructive surgery after FGC, in the Swedish context.
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