Rafia Zakaria, 2023. "Weaponized Bodies: Female Genital Cutting and Immigrant Exclusion", The Cunning of Gender Violence: Geopolitics & Feminism, Lila Abu-Lughod, Rema Hammami, Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian
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This chapter analyzes the author's dramatic story of pitching an article investigating the media coverage and complex politics of a highly publicized legal case in Michigan against a physician for performing female genital cutting (FGC). The case coincided with the introduction of new national programs directed at women immigrants that involved surveillance and profiling at national airports in the name of protecting them from this particular form of gender violence, codified as female genital mutilation. This is an iconic form of GBV that links culture and religion. The chapter shows how mainstream American media normalizes the political mobilization of this form of gender violence toward anti-immigrant discourses and policies of exclusion in the United States and Europe. The unexamined good of “public health” measures like Operation Limelight at British and American airports neutralize the profiling, policing, and surveillance of Black and brown women.