Why Are American Doctors Mutilating Girls?

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  1. IntimatEvolution profile image79
    IntimatEvolutionposted 9 years ago

    Why Are American Doctors Mutilating Girls? Is one of the lead blogging articles and stories on the Daily Beast today.
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and- … =obnetwork

    If you don't want to go to the website, it talks about female circumcision. 

    The first paragraph reads, "The American Academy of Pediatrics recently put forward a proposal  on female genital mutilation. They would like that American doctors be given permission to perform a ceremonial pinprick or “nick” on girls born into communities that practice female genital mutilation."

    It further reads, "Female circumcision is a custom in many African and Asian countries whereby the genitals of a girl child are cut. There are roughly four procedures. First there is the ritual pinprick. This is what Pediatrics refers to as the “nick” option. To give you an idea of what that means, visualize a preteen girl held down by adults. Her clitoris is tweaked so that the circumcizer can hold it between her forefinger and her thumb. Then she takes a needle and pierces it using enough force for it to go into the peak of the clitoris. As soon as it bleeds, the parents and others attending the ceremony cheer, the girl is comforted and the celebrations follow."

    As many of you know, I am a forty year student studying to be a surgical technologist.  So I'm currently working and training at an American Operating room on a daily basis. 

    I'm not sure where I stand on this measure.  I had my son circumcised.  I knew at that point and time that I was causing him pain and mutilating his body at some degree.  However, it was an easy decision for me. But as one commenter wrote under this Daily Beast article,

    the devilsadvocate:

    "Anyone who participates in this mutilation does not deserve to be a doctor. No parent that has the best interests of their child in mind would force this upon their daughter."  I thought that was a little extreme. 

    So I'd like to know what the hubpage community thinks of this ancient practice.  And I'd like to read your opinions about the American doctors performing such a surgery, and so on. 

    I thought Muslims were suppose to be peaceful.  Well ripping out a clitoris, isn't such a peaceful way of showing it.  Wouldn't you agree?  Or is it the same as boy circumcision?  However, with boy circumcision they can still have orgasms.  It does not effect there anatomy and how it is suppose to work.  It just changes them cosmetically.

    1. ledefensetech profile image69
      ledefensetechposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      It's not just Muslims that do this, it's big in parts of Africa too.  But this is what happens when you consider things from a morally relative standpoint.

      It doesn't matter what a person believes, if the end result is harmful, then that practice should not be tolerated by the society at large.

      Lets look at male circumcision as opposed to female general mutilation.  Circumcision began as a practice of the Hebrew people to show their adherence to the Covenant between their Patriarchs and Yahweh.  The practice is harmless.  If anything, it's easier for a circumcised male to keep that area clean than an uncircumcised male, so there may be a slight health benefit there, but whatever.  The main point is that there is no lasting pain or disfigurement.

      Female genital mutilation, on the other hand, is a form of sexual control.  In most cases it has the effect of keeping a woman from reaching orgasm.  In cases like this, I find myself in rare agreement with the most rabid of feminists in opposition to these procedures.


      The most reprehensible part of this procedure is that it increases the risk of a child dying during birth, in some cases up to 30%. 

      I'd be careful in characterizing this as a Muslim practice.  For example these procedures are completely illegal in Lebanon any may become illegal in Kurdistan, while it is practiced in places like Egypt and Indonesia.

      I can see the point of the AMA wanting to do this in a sterile and clean environment, but the pros of that argument do not outweigh the cons.  You'll note that the supporters of this procedure call it a nick or cut, but the risks of any sort of female genital mutilation are similar no matter the type of mutilation.

      As for what we do with parents who practice this sort of thing illegally?  Simple.  Sterilization of the parents and immediate deportation in the case of foreigners or exile in the case of citizens.  The first duty of a parent is to make sure their kids grow up in a safe stable environment.

      1. Daniel Akita profile image61
        Daniel Akitaposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        No,that is rubbish.God created the clitoris for a purpose.WHhy distroying what god has made?I have a girl who I believe has been mutilated.Anytime we on the bed,she just remain as a lug of timber the bed;she does not responds to sexual advances atimes.I am even contemplating of finding a another girl.They should stop this act.

  2. leeberttea profile image56
    leebertteaposted 9 years ago

    Gee, nobody complains when they do it to men!

    1. IntimatEvolution profile image79
      IntimatEvolutionposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Believe it or not, they are starting to now.

      But I know what you mean.  Nobody said to me, "Julie- you are mutilating your child, this should not be done."  But again, male circumcision doesn't not change the way the penis functions.  However, female circumcision does in a very drastic way. 

      It's a tough one. 

      I don't think I would participate in a surgery knowing the outcome from this female child.  I don't think I could do it.  However, I participated in a male circumcision yesterday.

      1. Origin profile image61
        Originposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        Yes, it does. I'm not going to get into detail, but removing the bit up there can reduce sexual pleasure.

        1. IntimatEvolution profile image79
          IntimatEvolutionposted 9 years agoin reply to this

          Yes, it does. You are right!!!!  Matter of fact, these girls can NEVER have an orgasm.  NEVER.  God, I cannot even imagine that.

          But what I think the article was really directing towards, was why are doctors willing to do that? 

          Like I mention, I don't think I could stand there in a female circumcision and allow them to do this on my watch.  But then again, I sewed up a boys little penis yesterday, after his foreskin had been sliced off.

          1. Origin profile image61
            Originposted 9 years agoin reply to this

            I was talking about the male standpoint, removing the tip up there does reduce sexual satisfaction.

            1. IntimatEvolution profile image79
              IntimatEvolutionposted 9 years agoin reply to this

              Oh yes, I see.  I actually wrote a hub on Penis Foreskin Reconstruction.  So yes, it does and according to some men, they find they have to go to extreme lengths to "get off."  Which made me feel even worse about having my own son circumcised.

          2. Shadesbreath profile image82
            Shadesbreathposted 9 years agoin reply to this

            The lack of an orgasm is the least of their worries in some cases.  For some the inner... petals... are removed and the outer stripped on the inner edges, brought together over the, uh, opening, and stitched together where they merge and grow closed, often with a TWIG or some other small object in position above the, erm, opening for urine.  And, assuming she doesn't die from infection then, or during subsequent attempts to get it right, she is left with a drip opening through which to relieve herself.  When she is married, this is "undone" so she can have pleasureless sex to make babies, then, redone when the baby is out.  Rinse and repeat until family making is over (all those joyous weeks of recovering from primitive surgery, over and over).  Then drip, drip until old age takes her.

            A fantastic life.  Who wouldn't want to be a woman in that kind of culture?  And they'll argue for it too, defend it just like other women defend their right to be subjugated by other religious practices too.

            Comparing it to male circumcision in the U.S. is like comparing a splinter in your finger to a wooden stake through the heart.

            1. IntimatEvolution profile image79
              IntimatEvolutionposted 9 years agoin reply to this

              Shades, you bring out some really great points.  Especially the splinter and wooden stake part. 

              But still, how do you feel about this?  Do you feel it is the American doctors fault?  Do you think American doctors are wrong for doing this?

              1. Shadesbreath profile image82
                Shadesbreathposted 9 years agoin reply to this

                (To Paraglider too)

                In my first post, I hit on my feelings, but I'll sum up in short:

                It is a RELIGIOUS practice, which means, there comes a point where they become entrenched in the belief system.

                If, living in a real and actual world, the ideal of stopping this insanity is not practical at this time, then trading a simple "nick" as a compromise solution rather than all the butchering that goes on now seems preferable.

                I'm not saying stop working to improve it.  But Rome wasn't built in a day, and undoing the blindness of religion is not going to happen right away either.

                1. Origin profile image61
                  Originposted 9 years agoin reply to this

                  I've always figured it was religious. I just find it strange that removing a piece of skin signifies something.

                2. Paraglider profile image87
                  Paragliderposted 9 years agoin reply to this

                  I was of the impression that already we do not have the right to abuse children? Are the religious, then, above or outside the law?

                  A few well placed court cases should sort it.

                  1. IntimatEvolution profile image79
                    IntimatEvolutionposted 9 years agoin reply to this

                    So you think the two are connected?

                  2. Shadesbreath profile image82
                    Shadesbreathposted 9 years agoin reply to this

                    I agree with you, but the problem is, some of these religious fanatics don't.  If they can't get a nick from a surgeon in a sterile setting with sterile, sharp medical instruments, they will get it from a shaman in a back room with razor blade, a bottle of rubbing alcohol and a towel laundered with the rest of the whites in someone's washing machine.

                    That's my point.

                    Courts and laws operate with blindness to reality.  Religion is not stopped by laws.  In fact, laws "in defiance of god" usually make things worse.

          3. Marisa Wright profile image96
            Marisa Wrightposted 9 years agoin reply to this

            The doctors aren't willing to do that.  They're proposing to do a "ritual nick" - piercing the clitoris, similar to the wound that would happen if you were going to wear a piercing.

            The idea is that if a doctor isn't willing to do it, the parents will get it done some other way - probably by someone unqualified, who will make a far more drastic cut.

            By providing the service, the doctors allow parents to make a show of fulfilling their religious obligation, while minimising the damage and risk of infection.

            1. IntimatEvolution profile image79
              IntimatEvolutionposted 9 years agoin reply to this

              And what of this prick?  What damage does it cause, do you know?  I don't.  I have never had the chance to do a surgery like this.  I probably never will.  I live in Missouri 99% Christian, 1% everything else.  So......., it is likely I will never have to make a choice to participate in a female circumcision procedure.  Therefore- I don't have a clue what the prick will do. 

              Does anybody know?

      2. leeberttea profile image56
        leebertteaposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        Unfortunately we are at the mercy of our parents, their beliefs and their customs. Is it right for some in society to impose their views on what is right for your child or mine? I am not advocating female genital mutilation or circumcision, but I feel the greater evil is society's interference in family beliefs and customs. The best we can do is educate the public and hopefully change attitudes as you are trying to do here.

        1. IntimatEvolution profile image79
          IntimatEvolutionposted 9 years agoin reply to this

          See, this is where I'm at too.  But did you get the chance to read the quote I mentioned from some commenter named "devilsadovate."  They seem to totally blame the doctors. 

          I'd rather have a doctor, especially an AMERICAN doctor, perform the surgery on me if it had to be done.  I don't think our doctors should be scorned for performing this religious, and highly dangerous surgery.  The Clitoris, urethra, and vagina are all right there.  It is the greatest access points of disease and infections.  So, I'd most definitely would want a sterile environment that an American hospital and surgeons provide.

          But I'm with you on this.

      3. Origin profile image61
        Originposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        It's because it's so 'normal' at least in the USA. Imagine if males were traditionally natural and were not cut when their babies, and then some doctor(s), faith, or organization comes out of nowhere and starts doing this to male babies. People would go... "Ewwwww.. a giant purple head!!!" because it wouldn't be normal to see.. But it's so normal in western society to see that, that being natural is considered disgusting to some people.

        1. IntimatEvolution profile image79
          IntimatEvolutionposted 9 years agoin reply to this

          Yeah, I guess your right. 

          I find it really quite amazing, that in surgery men over 60 generally are not circumcised.  It is a toss up between the age of 40 to 50.  But anyone under 40, is generally cut. 

          How did this trend to cut our children's genitals begin in the first place.  It cannot only be because of religion.  Those men over 60 here in Missouri are 98% Christian men, so it is not entirely a religious thing. 

          So why are we mutilating are children's genitals anyways?

          1. Rafini profile image84
            Rafiniposted 9 years agoin reply to this

            Male circumcision is a personal choice by the parents when the boy is a baby/child, and it's a known fact that circumcision is beneficial in the areas of cleanliness, personal hygiene, and I would think it would cause less infections transferred from men to women. (infections due to uncleanliness)

            1. Origin profile image61
              Originposted 9 years agoin reply to this

              That's only true if the male doesn't wash, which if he doesn't wash that, then it makes you wonder what else he doesn't wash.

              1. Rafini profile image84
                Rafiniposted 9 years agoin reply to this

                Makes sense.  (not being a man, I'd have no idea!)

          2. Paraglider profile image87
            Paragliderposted 9 years agoin reply to this

            In Europe, except for Jews and Muslims, male circumcision is rare. It's just downright weird that the US should have chosen to become late adopters of this idiocy.

            (And @Shades - of course I know that male & female circumcision are vastly different propositions. But they are both wrong).

            1. Origin profile image61
              Originposted 9 years agoin reply to this

              I agree, they are both wrong, and shouldn't be practiced. Let them grow into adults and let them decide for themselves if they want it done.

            2. Rafini profile image84
              Rafiniposted 9 years agoin reply to this

              I didn't know this, I thought it was a worldwide standard.

              1. Origin profile image61
                Originposted 9 years agoin reply to this

                Nope, a lot of nations in the world don't practice it.

    2. DdraigX profile image64
      DdraigXposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      If I remember correctly, this is typically done when the girls are in their early teens... would you like to be circumcised at that age? The female version, from the article "There is a more sinister meaning to the word “nick” if you consider the fact that in some cases it means to cut off the peak of the clitoris."

      That's like cutting the whole tip off, your you know what on a man.

    3. kerryg profile image80
      kerrygposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I oppose male circumcision too, but seriously, there is NO comparison between the two practices and people need to stop acting like there is. It just makes it easier for supporters to claim it's not that big a deal.

      In reality, the difference between male circumcision and female genital mutilation is closer to the difference between ripping out a fingernail and cutting off the whole hand.

  3. Shadesbreath profile image82
    Shadesbreathposted 9 years ago

    The problem is that, despite how insane the more severe variations of it are (and how dangerous), it is a RELIGIOUS practice. 

    Too many of the simple-minded folk out there want to argue, "Hey, that's cruel and primitive," as if suddenly these people will write off centuries of tradition and their belief in God, and say in reply, "OH, it is?  Gosh, we didn't know. We'll stop right now.  Thanks for telling us."

    The "nick" is a reasonable solution put forth by practical, thinking doctors who recognize the need to appease religious beliefs (which they recognize are primitive, but REAL in the minds of the people).  They are trying to save these girls from the horrible mutilation and still allow all the magical stuff that happens with whatever these people think happens to "be intact."

    The "nick" is an excellent compromise, in my opinion, and far outweighs some of the things I have read that do happen, things that mutilate beyond anything a male circumcision approaches on the worst and most botched instance... things that cause pain, infection, permanent "drip" approach to bladder relief, and the need for "unzipping" and "rezipping" before and after procreation (causing the need to heal and reheal... scarring, misery.. bleh).  Go with the nick.  Religion is dangerous.  Take the compromise if you can get the religious side to do it.  Huge improvement in my opinion.

    1. Paraglider profile image87
      Paragliderposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      And yet, if a country can legislate against wearing certain forms of dress, surely it can legislate against any unnecessary (i.e. medically unnecessary) surgical intervention on anyone (male or female) below the age of consent?

      I've never quite understood why people believe their infallible God created flawed people in need of improvement by snipping bits off. It makes no sense, and should be actively discouraged.

      1. IntimatEvolution profile image79
        IntimatEvolutionposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        Wow Para, you hit it dead on.

        According to most religious faiths, we are created in god's image, so therefore why are we screwing with it in the first place. 

        Interesting side view. 

        Honestly, I had my boy circumcised because I didn't want him to be the odd man out.  But female mutilation cannot be seen by other girls in the locker room.  I don't understand it.

        I don't understand why a society of men, would not want their wife to feel the pleasure they could provide for them.  Take a look at the morons and other religious societies where sex plays a big part in fellowship.  A woman sexually pleased and happy with her man, is a woman vastly loyal to him.  Why don't the muslims want their women to be happy and devoted to them for the right reasons, instead of being devoted to them because they are scared.  More sex, great sex, equal more children.

        1. Shadesbreath profile image82
          Shadesbreathposted 9 years agoin reply to this

          A woman who can't feel sexual pleasure will not desire it from another man.  That is the root of it.  The husband will enjoy sex just fine, regardless.  But the wives of that man will be less inclined to wander.  We men don't like to share our wimmins!

          1. Paraglider profile image87
            Paragliderposted 9 years agoin reply to this

            Disagree entirely. Only an idiot male would take selfish pleasure from intercourse with a woman who could feel nothing. Yes, there are some idiots out there but let's not pretend idiocy is the norm. That's just too pessimistic.

            1. kerryg profile image80
              kerrygposted 9 years agoin reply to this

              I almost wonder if that wouldn't be an angle worth pursuing to change the situation in these sorts of super-patriarchal societies - focus on the men's pleasure. I mean, a lifetime of having sex with someone who's dry as bone and unresponsive at best, and screaming in pain and having to be held down and raped at worst? o_O I guess if that's what you're raised to expect, it must be easier to stomach the forcible aspects, but unless you're sadistic or something, I can't imagine how it could possibly be enjoyable.

            2. Shadesbreath profile image82
              Shadesbreathposted 9 years agoin reply to this

              I'm not pretending it's the norm.  I'm saying, it's the most obvious, simplest (and therefor most likely) root of this practice.

              This is not a common practice, particularly not in the most extreme forms.  The small amount of people who actually do it prove it's not the norm and an isolated thing.  Cult practices are usually like that. 

              And it's hardly a stretch to reckon that, given the nature of religion as a mechanism for control, given the nature of man and the reality of really lame leaders (or as you called it "idiot male" leaders) sometimes managing to get in power (a major down side of hereditary leadership), that some pervy guy along the line had some holy lines rewritten to suit his needs and they became canon. Guys with the power to rewrite holy books and rule over societies aren't typically famous for being considerate lovers.

              I appreciate your optimism for human nature, but there are too many cults gone wrong stories for me to pretend that this isn't another example of how that works.

        2. Origin profile image61
          Originposted 9 years agoin reply to this

          If it were customary to remove a little girl's nipples at birth because it was normal in society, would you have done that?

          1. IntimatEvolution profile image79
            IntimatEvolutionposted 9 years agoin reply to this

            I guess. 

            I'm only trying to keep it real.  I'm only trying to be honest here. 
            So I don't know what I'd do in that instance.  However, there are not over 100 million girls out there in the US with their nipples cut off, now is there?

            1. Origin profile image61
              Originposted 9 years agoin reply to this

              I was just posing a question, no biggie. I've always thought it was wrong to go through with the procedure when it's done to a child, especially just to fit in, which was my point in the question. Let a child grow into adult so he can decide for himself if he wants it done or not.

              But anyhow, it's hard to change a tradition that is so regularly done, and especially if it keeps on being done for various reasons. But, like I said earlier I just never got how cutting off a chunk of skin signifies something.

              1. IntimatEvolution profile image79
                IntimatEvolutionposted 9 years agoin reply to this

                Yes, you have very valuable points indeed.

                I wonder what a doctor feels inside, when the surgeon is asked to perform such a procedure on a girl.  Especially knowing what the final outcome for that girl will be.  Again, where circumcision might lesson sensation, female circumcision takes it away entirely.  Is that fair to the child?  Is that cruel and unusual punishment?  In my eyes, and with my sex life- darn right it would be cruel and unusual punishment.  I would really like to know how a surgeon thinks and feels about this.

                Any surgeons in the room?

        3. Rafini profile image84
          Rafiniposted 9 years agoin reply to this

          Because these men want their women to be afraid of them, that's how they keep them under control.

  4. thisisoli profile image71
    thisisoliposted 9 years ago

    Circumcision desensitizes, although it is only a slight loss of sensitivity, no where near as close as what happens to women in this instance.

    I don't know if this removal would remove the ability to orgasm or not thogh, since I am not a woman.

    1. kerryg profile image80
      kerrygposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      They cut off the clitoris, which is important for sexual stimulation to the point that some women can only achieve clitoral orgasm.

      It is also common to cut off the labia and sew the wound together, leaving only a small opening for urine and menstrual blood to drip through. In these cases, the hole is so small that the man has to cut his way in on their wedding night and the doctor/midwife has to cut the baby out when she gives birth for the first time. Typically, he/she then sews her up as tight as a virgin, so she has to be cut open again when they resume sex and again when the next baby comes along.

      Does that help with figuring out the orgasm question? The entire point of the operation is to make women incapable of sexual pleasure.

  5. Rafini profile image84
    Rafiniposted 9 years ago

    I do not believe there is a need for female circumcision and would not be able to sit back and allow it if I were there as a witness.

    Are you serious it's a religious practice?  Well, I guess all I can say to that is...its obviously not a Christian Religion.

    1. kerryg profile image80
      kerrygposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Sorry, it's common among the Animist, Muslim, and Christian communities in parts of Africa. Much like full body veils and honor killings in other parts of the world, it's a local custom that has been grafted onto the local religious beliefs (regardless of what the religion itself originally said) like some horrible mutant - the worst of both worlds.

      1. Don W profile image83
        Don Wposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        Forced mutilation of those under the age of consent is not good.

        But let's not pretend customs involving mutilation are the exclusive domain of "third-world" countries and the religious. Although the relative harm varies, there are forms of mutilation prevalent in "developed" societies.

        Clitoris pierce. Penis pierce. Tongue pierce. Ear pierce. Nose pierce. Nipple pierce etc. Skin scratched and ink injected into the wound (tattoo). Women's breasts sliced open and filled with silicon (breast implant). Injections of neurotoxins in the face (botox). Slicing the face and stretching back (face lift). Slicing the abdomen and folding excess skin (nip and tuck). Bleaching the skin. Burning the skin with ultraviolet radiation (tanning on sunbeds).

        Although I agree mutilation of those under the age of consent is wrong, and forced mutilation on those of any age is wrong. I don't agree with the implications that mutilation is a religious phenomenon, or exclusive to developing countries. Indeed shaving (women and men) is a painful form of unecassary self-mutilation.

        1. kerryg profile image80
          kerrygposted 9 years agoin reply to this

          Believe me, I agree, and think that the social pressures that cause Westerners to seek some of these procedures, especially certain types of plastic surgery, can be just as damaging as the social pressures leading to practices such as FGM and breast ironing. The motives are different, almost opposite in fact, but ultimately they're all about controlling people, especially women, and their bodies.

      2. Rafini profile image84
        Rafiniposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        hhmm, Christian religion in Africa speaks of tribal influence....whatever the case, it doesn't change my opinion of it.  Female Circumcision is unnecessary.   Male circumcision...too late for me to change my mind.  Whats done is done and all I can do is give out information to anyone who would ask.

  6. lxxy profile image60
    lxxyposted 9 years ago

    ...this is appalling. What would be worse? No orgasms or rings around your neck for life? How about a neat plate lip insert?

  7. lxxy profile image60
    lxxyposted 9 years ago

    You know what Don, you're absolutely correct. I was being a tad short sighted when I didn't speak of cosmetic piercings.

    And I wasn't trying to portend to believe this is not a serious issue, I decry it as much as you. It is disgusting.

  8. Joni Douglas profile image83
    Joni Douglasposted 9 years ago

    The practice of female circumcision is the choice of the girl's parents. Many believe it to be ordered in the Qur'an but it is not.  It was ordered by a Fatwas years ago and even ordered by high ranking Sheiks.  Many in mainstream Islam are divided over this.

    Parents do this to dampen the sexual appetite of the girls.  The intent is to keep their daughters virgins until they marry.  The blame for premarital sex is always put on the girls.
    Some men appreciate the practice because then the necessity to perform adequately in marital sex, drops considerably. It can stay  all about them.

    In my opinion the whole thing is abhorrent and can not be compared to circumcision of a baby boy. And a doctor's first rule is to do no harm.  Doing a small amount of harm just to appease so that further harm is not done is a cop out.


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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.
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)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)