Racialised body modifications: framing genital mutilation, cosmetic surgery and gender assignment surgery
This article investigates the racial framing of genital modifications in political and media contexts. It suggests that a racialised understanding of genital mutilation, cosmetic surgery on the vulva and the vagina, as well as gender assignment surgery on intersexual minors, predetermines policy decisions regarding the practices. In the first part of the analysis, I discuss some of the major inconsistencies that emerge from the categorisation of these practices. The second part of the article addresses media representations of genital modifications. It asks how the incomparability of what is framed as mutilation and what is framed as cosmetic surgery is upheld. Based on the British television show Embarrassing Bodies and an episode of the German series Tatort, the article shows how the rationality and autonomy of practitioners of genital modifications are construed differently depending on their racial framing.