Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies


This paper will examine popular feminist and mainstream representations of female genital cutting (FGC) and female genital cosmetic surgery (FGCS) and its influence on the creation of effective cross-cultural dialogue and engagement in a deeper understanding of cultural practices. I suggest that these current depictions of FGC and FGCS highlight cultural differences and overlook similarities that exist between the two practices. I further posit that the inability to recognize similarities that exist between FGC and FGCS does not allow for an examination of power structures in regards to who has the power to define these cultural practices as they exist in current and mainstream discourse. Furthermore, this inability does not allow for fruitful engagement in cross-cultural collaboration, activism, and social justice efforts.