"When a girl is taken — usually by her mother — to a free circumcision event held each spring in Bandung, Indonesia, she is handed over to a small group of women who, swiftly and yet with apparent affection, cut off a small piece of her genitals."
That sentence comprises the first 45 of over a thousand words devoted to female circumcision in Sunday's NY Times. (Sorry guys, this is the last of our Blue Monday-type stories for today.) According to Lukman Hakim, a (male) chairman of an Indonesian foundation that sponsors mass circumcisions, the benefits include the "stabilization" of a female's libido and balancing "her psychology".
The article, written by Sara Corbett, also features a series of upsetting photographs by Stephanie Sinclair (a slideshow, including the newly-circumcised, teary 9-month old girl pictured above, can be found here). Asks Jezebel reader Elizabeth: "What kind of person can stand there and photograph little girls screaming while parts of their genitalia are removed? This isn't a question of religion, or yearning to understand another culture more — it's recording barbarity with an objective lens, which somehow makes it okay."