Graduation Year


Date of Thesis Acceptance

Fall 12-11-2015

Major Department or Program

Rhetoric Studies


Heather Hayes


Female genital cutting (FGC) has become an incontestable 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, 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, this thesis argues that the Guardian campaign authorizes only one condemning narrative of FGC that obscures all others. Through this single narrative model, the campaign usurps the agency of the same women it seeks to liberate.

Page Count


Subject Headings

Sanjay Seth (1961- ), Female circumcision --Female genital cutting (FGC) -- Political aspects, Liberalism -- Philosophy, Intolerance -- Liberalism, Narratives -- Single Narrative, Guardian Newspapers Ltd -- “End Female Genitalia Mutilation Global Media Campaign”, Western countries -- Westernization, Whitman College -- Dissertation collection 2016 -- Rhetoric Studies

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Document Type

Public Accessible Thesis

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Rhetoric Commons



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