Title

Single Narrative: Obscuring Difference in “The Guardian” Campaign Against Female Genital Cutting

Presenter

Allie Donahue

Abstract

Female genital cutting (FGC) has become an indisputable atrocity in Western public discourse. Many argue that popular Western advocacy against the practice tends to denigrate FGC cultures and to reduce genitally cut women to voiceless victims. In 2014, the British newspaper The Guardian joined the fight against FGC with the launch of its End Female Genital Mutilation Global Media Campaign. Drawing on postcolonial criticism and political scientist Sanjay Seth’s theory of liberalism’s intolerance of difference, I argue that The Guardian campaign authorizes only one condemning narrative of FGC that obscures all others. Through this narrative model, the campaign usurps the agency of the same women it seeks to liberate.

Faculty Sponsor

Heather Hayes

Sponsor Department/Programs

Rhetoric Studies

Tracks

Rhetorical Studies: Interventions

Location

Reid G02

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

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Apr 19th, 11:30 AM Apr 19th, 11:45 AM

Single Narrative: Obscuring Difference in “The Guardian” Campaign Against Female Genital Cutting

Reid G02

Female genital cutting (FGC) has become an indisputable atrocity in Western public discourse. Many argue that popular Western advocacy against the practice tends to denigrate FGC cultures and to reduce genitally cut women to voiceless victims. In 2014, the British newspaper The Guardian joined the fight against FGC with the launch of its End Female Genital Mutilation Global Media Campaign. Drawing on postcolonial criticism and political scientist Sanjay Seth’s theory of liberalism’s intolerance of difference, I argue that The Guardian campaign authorizes only one condemning narrative of FGC that obscures all others. Through this narrative model, the campaign usurps the agency of the same women it seeks to liberate.