ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

A Story of Female Genital Mutilation - Biting the Stick

Updated on September 15, 2014

Biting the stick tackles the very real but difficult subject of 'Female Genital Mutilation' (FGM). A practice that has spread from the cultural societies of the Middle East, Asia and Africa across the western world including the USA and European countries such as the United Kingdom & France.

This second novel 'Biting the Stick' written by Susannah Carlton, although a fictional story, tackles the subject head on when she introduces you to the notion that FGM is taking place right under the noses of the population of the United Kingdom. It is no longer a practice that is restricted to the countries where it originated.

What is more, outside of the cultures that practice it, it is viewed in a very dim light and is in fact illegal. The thought of pinning a young girl to a bed and slicing at her genitals, with no use of anesthetics or proper medical procedures, to the western world is generally considered to be nothing less than barbaric. Even so it is a practice that is deeply embedded into the culture of the societies that practice it. Dealing with the problem then becomes very difficult, perspectives clash and the question of what is right or wrong arises. From a western world perspective it is relatively black and white and the what needs to be done to deal with the issue, when first challenged on the subject, might well appear to be quite clear.

So when a student counselor stumbles on a cutting party on the university campus where she works, the course of action required should be straightforward and obvious. But of course life is never simple or straightforward and when 'Tania', the central character, reports the discovery to her immediate supervisor, things start to get a little cloudy.

Tania is also trying to deal with her own personal problems at the same time, her life is in turmoil for many different reasons, all of which are affecting her perspectives on life.

In addition there are the political influences coming from people in authority, people with their own agendas and priorities, mostly of the selfish or personal advantage variety.

Then throw into the mix the cultural differences that exist between the perpetrators of what is seen by most of the world as an inhumane practice and acknowledging that these young girls are usually being abused by their own families and close relatives. Mothers and grandmothers who actually think they are doing the girls a favour, protecting their honour and ensuring they are viewed as being 'clean' by potential male partners for marital reasons.

Suddenly things are anything but black and white, decisions that should be made are deferred. But the nightmare images of a little girl being mutilated persist and a conscience that just won't let the issue rest, despite the possible repercussions, fights to come through.

The author, as it says on the front of the book, is in effect asking you what would you do..... Speak Out or Stay Silent?

You can find a review of Susannah's first novel here Lonely Mirrors

Biting the Stick - Video Review

Susannah Carlton's First Novel - Lonely Mirrors

The first novel by Susannah Carlton was called Lonely Mirrors and is another book that pulls no punches. A tragic wartime romance she scrutinized the failings of human beings under times of stress and social pressures. So even with World War 2 as a backdrop, a man, a father and a husband succumbs to an extra marital relationship while serving in Egypt. The consequences are far reaching and years later, even though social standards have changed beyond recognition, there is a price to pay and families that are affected when the truth finally comes out!

Susannah Carlton - Independent Author

Find out a little more about Susannah's and her first book.

Susannah has worked as a counselor dealing with domestic violence, so she is no stranger to controversial subjects. Her first book 'Lonely Mirrors' was a complex look at how family relationships are intertwined and the affects that an affair, which takes place during the second world war, has on the two families involved. Not just during the course of the war but for many years later and across the different generations of fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers.

She established herself as a skilled writer who could deal with the complexities of plots and sub-plots as she takes you from location to location and through the perspectives of the different family members. No holds barred.

With 'Biting the Stick' she takes on an even more difficult subject than adultery, this is about children, how they are being damaged and all in the name of tradition and culture.

Susannah Carlton - Author
Susannah Carlton - Author

What would you do if you discovered a cutting party had taken place in your neighborhood?

See results

Guestbook

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • BrianRS profile imageAUTHOR

      Brian Stephens 

      4 years ago from France

      @sociopath-free: It's actually a pretty good book, makes you really think where the blame lies when society is let down by people who really should know better but are only human themselves with their own problems and issues to deal with.

    • sociopath-free profile image

      sociopath-free 

      4 years ago

      Looks like an interesting read on a subject important to women.

    • BrianRS profile imageAUTHOR

      Brian Stephens 

      4 years ago from France

      @BLouw: Yes it is a serious problem that should be tackled, FGM has managed to stay below the radar to an extent, but books like this bring it into the public arena and force people to acknowledge it is going on. I agree with you as well, if leaders took a stand against it, then it probably would bring it to an abrupt halt. Thanks for commenting.

    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 

      4 years ago from France

      Really something that must be tackled. The sad thing is that if the male leaders were to say that their sons would not marry a girl who had been mutilated, the practice would go overnight.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)