Sunday, 22 January 2017

"We are a medical drama, not a moral drama"

According to the Radio Times, the new series of Call the Midwife will tackle female genital mutilation (FGM). 

The RT's interview with series creator Heidi Thomas makes it clear, however, that the BBC will not take a "moral" view on it and that FGM will be dealt with "as a fascinating medical aberration, not a grim abuse". 

The RT interviewer also notes that Ms Thomas refuses, during the interview, to use the term FGM, saying that she "chooses to refer to [it] in less charged terminology" (e.g. 'female circumcision').


  1. Must remember that one for my PC dictionary. FMA - Fascinating Medical Aberration.

  2. Yes, I wonder how 'fascinated' the victims are! This is BBC Political Correctness at work: actresses become 'actors', illegal immigrants become 'undocumented persons', terrorists become 'militants' and female genital mutilation becomes 'female circumcision'. Well, men are circumcised, aren't they, so it's ok to do it to women too, isn't it? Except that male circumcision does not involve the removal of the analogous tissues or involve the same risk... Come on Germaine Greer and sisters, time for a vigorous denunciation of this muddled thinking, surely!

  3. I agree with her "mutilation' is a loaded emotional term just as "denier" is.
    To win over opponents language should be factual.
    Female circumcision is : a non beneficial risk which decreases life quality. It's abuse cos the receiver doesn't get to make their own informed decision.

    1. You say, "...'mutilation' is a loaded emotional term," Not so - 'mutilation' in this context is value-free. Consider the definition of to mutilate: 'to deprive a person of a limb or organ; cut off, destroy the use of; render imperfect (incomplete) by excision etc.'(Concise Oxford Dictionary) The objection to the term 'female circumcision' is that it is a euphemism that masks the nature of the act. I notice that you don't offer an alternative to 'mutilation' If you don't say 'mutilation', you will have to resort to a long-winded definition like 'excision of the clitoris and possibly the labia minora &/or majora,' and add that the procedure may include infibulation of the entrance to the vagina.
      To win over opponents, you might try showing them 'Effects of FGM', detailed (somewhat bizarrely) under NHS Choices.

  4. This must be the only BBC drama allowed to avoid pushing an ideological agenda.

  5. Welcome to the world of moral relativism. Perhaps will can look forward to a program featuring someone being stoned to death described as a fascinating judicial alternative. Heidi Thomas should be ashamed of herself.