Gender, Race, and Nation. Femonationalism and the Problematization of Female Circumcision and Genital Cosmetic Surgery in the Swiss Public Sphere, 1983-2015

Auteur Dina BADER
Directeur /trice Véronique Mottier
Co-directeur(s) /trice(s) Sara Johnsdotter
Résumé de la thèse

What is ‘female genital mutilation’ (FGM)? According to the World Health Organization’s definition, FGM encompasses all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons. And yet, social discourses in the Swiss public sphere define FGM in more restrictive ways, as ‘unacceptable’ practices with reference to racialised groups. In July 2012 the Swiss FGM Act came into force, prohibiting every type of so-called female circumcision as performed in African and South-East Asian countries, but excluding the regulation of female genital cosmetic surgery like labiaplasty (removal of the labia minora) and ‘cosmetic’ clitoridectomy (removal of the clitoral glans), performed in Swiss clinics, including on minors.

Through a textual and visual discourse analysis covering different areas of the Swiss public sphere over three decades (1983–2015), this thesis investigates the representations of Swiss national identity and its figures of otherness within the Swiss debates over what constitutes FGM. To do so, I examine the analogy between female circumcision and female genital cosmetic surgery to explore femonationalist logics which mobilise nationalist discourses in the name of women’s rights within the debates over FGM. I critically interrogate binary oppositions between female circumcision and female genital cosmetic surgery and demonstrate that these promote the claim that Swiss society is morally superior to the countries of origin of non-Western immigrants.

Statut à la fin
Délai administratif de soutenance de thèse 2018
URL http://www2.unine.ch/sfm/lang/de_CH/collaborateurs/bader_1
LinkedIn https://ch.linkedin.com/in/dina-bader-2344bb55