by Delphine Patetif, Guest Blogger 
According to the UNICEF in its most recent report released in July 2013, Female Genital Mutilation and Cutting (“FGM/C”) can end in less than a generation. This practice has existed for more than a thousand years, and is deeply entrenched with social norms and religious beliefs. The West has been concerned for many decades with this harmful practice. Already in 1996, in an explosive social context regarding women’s liberation and post-colonialism, Yael Tamir defined western societies’ exaggerated focus on clitoridectomy as their fascination for sex, as well as evidence of hypocrisy within their political debate. Tamir objected to “the way a particular kind of argument has been used in recent debates on multiculturalism.” Nussbaum, on the other hand, thinks that this focus is “not a fascination with sex but the relative tractability of FGM as a practical problem, given that it is already widely resisted and indeed illegal.” However, Tamir goes further, and aims to “emphasize continuities between local and “alien” practices.” Contrary to Tamir, I do not think there is continuity between the two types of societies, but a complementarity. Even if I obviously agree with the elements exposed by Nussbaum and Tamir to condemn clitoridectomy, a terrible act that has to be eradicated, I affirm that each society builds its own history and legends, as transmitted according to the aforementioned history. Eventually, clitoridectomy is not a phenomenon which occurs in “their” country, but also in ours. It is then crucial to take into account those ethnocentrist elements before judging the practice. I will argue in this article that the universalism of human rights, which is a concept espoused by western societies, too often ignores the particularism of the facts to the detriment of the locals who need nothing beyond requisite information and education.