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Nura Abdi, Fadumo Korn: No More 'Pudendal Desecration'

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Abstract:

Taking my cue from a fictitious scene in E.M. Broner's A Weave of Women involving a girl's 'hymenotomy', the supposed equivalent of Jewish male circumcision, I set out to survey the reasons for the absence of circumcision for Jewish women and for the existence of circumcision for Jewish males in the works of early Talmudic scholars and later thinkers such as Samson Raphael Hirsch, founder of modern Orthodoxy. In light of these reflections, I then examine the autobiographies of two recent immigrant women from Somalia, Nura Abdi's Tränen im Sand (2003, tr. Desert Tears) and Fadumo Korn's Geboren in Großen Regen (2004, tr. Born in the Big Rains), which signal an unequivocal seizure of parity.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2009

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