Monday, October 29, 2007

SnowFlower and the Secret Fan - a controversial post

So last week we discussed A Thousand Splendid Suns at bookclub. Our next book is Snowflower and the Secret Fan. Both books are about, at least in part, the suffering of women within different cultures - the first book in Afghanistan, the second in China.

Snowflower, relatively early in the book, gives a detailed and graphic account of the chinese practice of "Footbinding". Although the author gave an amazing description of how the foot should look once the process was complete, I just couldn't picture it in my mind's eye.

So I googled it. And google I almost did, when I came across a photo of an actual bound foot. That link is not for the faint of heart, let me warn you.

Anyway, to get to my controversial point, I see no difference between the act of footbinding, which was carried out in China for A THOUSAND YEARS!!!! and the american custom of circumcising baby boys. Both serve absolutely no purpose and are perpetuated in the name of 'custom'.

What say you out there in the blogiverse........

6 comments:

IrishgirlieKnits said...

That's why I love book club...or knit blogs...topics like this get discussed. I'll be curious to see what everyone has to say. From my friends who have recently had kids, I know the circumcision is a big decision/discussion.

But the footbinding seems a bit more intense and the girls are older than a circumcision with a baby, no? I'm not familiar enough with either topic though. Glad to know which book I may be reading next at least. Enjoying Suns :)

Bezzie said...

Well my little boy can still run away even though he's circumsized. Wasn't footbinding used to restrict women from going anywhere?
It's one of those "no right answer" arguments in my opinion. We could each site many studies that support our POV...and yet we know we're not going to change each other's minds, hee hee!

LilKnitter said...

I've actually been thinking about this recently. What if our little sprout is a boy? I just don't know if I could be comfortable with or justify someone cutting off part of my child, particularly if there is no medical reason.

Beverly said...

I'm not sure I see how foot binding compares to circumcision. They're apples and oranges to me.

I don't have any kids (yet), but if we are someday graced with a child who is male, then we would probably not circumcise. However, we are thinking of converting to Judaism, and if we do, then we would circumcise for religious reasons.

roxy =^o^= said...

Yikes... that's part of my heritage, all that bound foot nonsense. (I'm part CHinese)

Anonymous said...

When I first moved to America I was a naive young British girl. I worked as a nanny. I was shocked when I found out that little boys were circumcised and this was normal. Why would anyone do that? It seemed so wrong to me. I think the similarity with foot-binding is that they were/are both so ingrained in culture and society that these acts of child mutilation have become normal.