A Strange Obsession Update

Fixated on niche issues

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Yesterday I remarked on the media’s obsession with transgender people and the wedding of a gay Muslim couple. The point I was making that the amount of attention these issues – particularly those to do with transgender people – is completely disproportionate to their representation in the general population. Then in the Sunday Times today, I read this story about a Scottish midwife who says she sees 150 cases of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) a year. Yesterday, I pointed out that there are between 300,000 and 500,000 transgendered folks in the UK and about 42,000 gay Muslims. It was estimated that at least 103,000 women were living with FGM in Britain in 2011. FGM has been illegal in the UK since 1985 but there have been no successful prosecutions to date. And which of these issues gets the press coverage? Incidentally, it has always stuck me as odd that the supposed unequal pay of multimillionaire (mostly white) Hollywood actresses is a “feminist issue” but the brutal mutilation of poor (mostly non-white) women is not. Ho hum.

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