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March 24, 2004 2:08 PM   Subscribe

Getting Pierced Privately in Georgia? Female? Go to Jail. In a stunning case of "And Another Thing" gone horribly wrong, the Georgia House of Representatives passed a bill today that was meant to criminalize a range of notorious mutilations, especially in cases where defendants have cited ritual tradition. The primary benefactors of this bill are female victims of such crimes under the age of 18, though the bill will extend to include women of all ages. This was all well and good, until someone apparently muttered the word "piercing." The very thought left Rep Bill Heath "slack-jawed" and so an amendment was tacked on to the existing bill. With the amendment added, the bill passed with a vote of 160-0.

The newly amended bill, if passed by the Georgia Senate, will make female genital piercing as much of a crime as the far more heinous mutilations in the original bill.
posted by grabbingsand (46 comments total)

 
Edgy subject matter, I know, but we're all adults here and I was simply stunned by this incredible instance of governmental intrusion.
posted by grabbingsand at 2:10 PM on March 24, 2004


Tough time to be just starting out as a stripper in Georgia. Otherwise, no big deal.
posted by Mayor Curley at 2:11 PM on March 24, 2004


Excuse me, Rep. Heath, do you have Prince Albert in a can?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 2:15 PM on March 24, 2004


"What? I've never seen such a thing," Heath said. "I, uh, I wouldn't approve of anyone doing it. I don't think that's an appropriate thing to be doing."

This single statement exemplifies two of the three main things wrong with our government today.
posted by rushmc at 2:15 PM on March 24, 2004


Though the writeup and linked articles imply otherwise, one would assume that the jail term is for the person performing the mutilation/piercing, rather than the person receiving it. Correct?

as an aside: benefactor vs beneficiary
posted by 4easypayments at 2:16 PM on March 24, 2004


I was simply stunned by this incredible instance of governmental intrusion.
How would the know? Seems "peeking" would be a crime too.
posted by thomcatspike at 2:17 PM on March 24, 2004


Do voluntary and and involuntary mean the same thing in Georgia?
posted by aubin at 2:25 PM on March 24, 2004


Explain to me again why the US fought to keep the south in the Union...
posted by Argyle at 2:31 PM on March 24, 2004


as a georgia native and resident, and one with a piercing (though not genital) myself, i think the following.

living in georgia but wishing to be elsewhere and being brought up in a fairly liberal almost european style by my parents, i always notice the crazy crap that seems to go on here. in the middle of the bible belt, among a very conservative population, stuff like this seems to happen all the time.

i'm most upset about the fact that our georgia lawmakers are wasting my taxes sitting around thinking up things like this and the frivolous proposition that all restaurants be required to serve sweetened ice tea (believe me, its true, but i cant seem to find any pertinent links).

that's really all i have to say
posted by sixtwenty3dc at 2:31 PM on March 24, 2004


As noble as it is to ban the practice of female genital mutilation, sometimes refered to as "female circumcision," I think this is way overboard. I'm not exactly a feminazi, but my kneejerk reaction is something to the effect of "They think they know what is best for every woman in the state? What a bunch of ignorant, patronizing, men."

However, I think most of the stupidity of this bill could be overcome by specifying that it only applies to people under 18. Put in a specific exception for male circumcision performed by a Doctor or licensed religious official. Yeah, sorry guys, I kind of think your Prince Albert can wait till you are 18.
posted by ilsa at 2:36 PM on March 24, 2004


Just to open a wonderful flamewar again: Why put in an exception for male circumcision? Female circumcision is as much a tradition in some cultures as male circumcision is in the american; And while the consequences are less extreme, the principle is the same.
posted by fvw at 2:42 PM on March 24, 2004


Georgia's sweet Tea Brewhaha

Rep. John Noel, D-Atlanta, and four co-sponsors filed a bill Tuesday that would make it a misdemeanor ``of a high and aggravated nature'' not to offer sweet tea in any Georgia restaurant that serves iced tea.

Noel acknowledged the bill was an attempt to bring a little humor to the Legislature. But he said he wouldn't mind if it became law.


Whew! (although for the piercing issue, the phrase "dumb as sack of hammers" comes to mind)
posted by milovoo at 2:45 PM on March 24, 2004


"Just to open a wonderful flamewar"

Please fasten your seatbelts, this thread is being hijacked.
posted by Outlawyr at 2:47 PM on March 24, 2004


I'm not surprised about the bill's passage, but the 160-0 left me a bit slack-jawed, as well.
posted by trharlan at 2:51 PM on March 24, 2004


if it's getting hijacked, LET'S ROLL!!!


heh
posted by shadow45 at 2:54 PM on March 24, 2004


But is it okay for men to pierce their genitals still? Phew!
posted by fenriq at 2:56 PM on March 24, 2004


Female circumcision is as much a tradition in some cultures as male circumcision is in the american;
And while the consequences are less extreme, the principle is the same.


Your logic is fair enough, but to be equivalent you would have to remove the entire penis, not just the foreskin.
If you wish to argue it from that standpoint, then perhaps.

If you have any doubts about which part develops into what, take a good look at one of the recent informative thread here.
posted by milovoo at 2:59 PM on March 24, 2004


I wonder if Jesus could have been legally crucified in the State of Georgia.

Further, if Christ had to die to save us, why is everyone so mad at the people who killed him?
posted by the fire you left me at 3:02 PM on March 24, 2004


got any pics to post?
posted by Postroad at 3:03 PM on March 24, 2004


So does this ban labia piercings, clitoral hood piercings or just the much more rare clitoral piercings? I understood it as a general ban on piercing anything in the general area.
posted by bargle at 3:03 PM on March 24, 2004


Somehow, I just can't care. (about the liberty to mutilate your genitals, that is). I probably should, but I can't.
posted by abcde at 3:07 PM on March 24, 2004


Don't let it be said I'm not willing to support my own thread hijack:

Milovoo: Removing the entire penis (or large parts anyway) would be equivalent to female circumcision; As I said, male circumcision while not as extreme as female circumcision is still wrong on many of the same grounds.

Also, perhaps a more relevant and less sit-in-the-corner-and-whimper inducing: A recent AskMeFi on the subject.
posted by fvw at 3:08 PM on March 24, 2004


The ban applies only to women, not men.

Ring ring... the Fourteenth Amendment is calling, is anyone home?
posted by PrinceValium at 3:08 PM on March 24, 2004


Explain to me again why the US fought to keep the south in the Union...

we needed all that cheap black labor for the industrial revolution.
posted by quonsar at 3:35 PM on March 24, 2004


i'm not sure piercings are even legislatable. i mean, seriously.

this would get overturned right away. in fact, if this passes, i can pretty much predict the ACLU suing right away and a stay will be put on this law by a judge.

the external genitals, strictly speaking, contain everything around the vagina...the labia, clit, vulva, etc. so really this outlaws everything.
posted by taumeson at 3:52 PM on March 24, 2004


is the vagina something I would need a girlfriend to know about?

(sorry!)
posted by mcsweetie at 3:53 PM on March 24, 2004


"piercing" to the list of things that may not be done to female genitals. Even adult women would not be allowed to get the procedure

Is it that difficult for the legislators to differentiate between a defenseless child being forced to undergo a mutilation and an adult choosing to pierce her body? Maybe it is the whole female thing. You know. Us dumb females being so child-like and incapable of thinking for ourselves.

An uncircumcised woman is put to shame by her husband, who calls her 'you with the clitoris'

~secretly thinks "You with the clitoris. Get over here." would be good bedroom talk~
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:20 PM on March 24, 2004


Explain to me again why the US fought to keep the south in the Union...

we needed all that cheap black labor for the industrial revolution.


I love you, quonsar!
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 4:41 PM on March 24, 2004


the frivolous proposition that all restaurants be required to serve sweetened ice tea

Actually, that's a law I could get behind.
posted by jonmc at 5:06 PM on March 24, 2004


This single statement exemplifies two of the three main things wrong with our government today.

Is the third the lying, the lust for power, or the prevalence of rich white guys?
posted by The God Complex at 5:15 PM on March 24, 2004


you, with the clitoris, go fetch me some sweetened iced tea. on the double.
posted by jonmc at 5:16 PM on March 24, 2004


If the south wants to not have an inferiority complex, it has got to stop doing things that make rational people think it is inferior.
posted by benjh at 5:38 PM on March 24, 2004


Not all types of female circumcision removes the clitoris, some just remove the foreskin of the clitoris.
This type of female circumcision can be seen as equivalent to male circumcision.

Why are female genital mutilation banned, while male genital mutilation is not?
posted by spazzm at 7:21 PM on March 24, 2004


Why are female genital mutilation banned, while male genital mutilation is not?

Because clitorectomy-and-company are important parts of larger systems of the oppression of women, and male circumcision is not.

Both are equally cultural, but one of them is part of a culture (in part) of oppressing and controlling people as semi-property, and the other is not. Unless you want to assert that Judaism, Islam, and secular American cultures are large-scale gynarchies built upon the systematic oppression of men.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:50 PM on March 24, 2004


I dunno that anyone is still reading, but the FPP gets an important detail wrong. The FPP makes it sound like someone told Heath about body piercing, and that he proposed an amendment to add it to the list of barred activities out of revulsion. But the way I read the links, he proposed the amendment anyway for some other reason, and when someone told him later that actual grownups sometimes want their genitals pierced, he was astonished and a bit condemnatory. Which also isn't the most enlightened attitude in the world, but it's a far cry from how he's portrayed in the FPP.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:54 PM on March 24, 2004


In Georgia, they don't much hold with them activist judges.

SOMEBODY GET ME THE FUCK OUT OF THE SOUTH, PLEASE. WILL WORK FOR SNOW.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 9:00 PM on March 24, 2004


And lest y'all think this is some kind of fluke, let's not forget that in South Carolina tattooing is illegal, period. This has been brought before the courts several times and has yet to be overturned.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 9:04 PM on March 24, 2004


Next on the Georgian legislative agenda - a law requiring all women to douche once a day with a mixture of sassafras and sweet ice tea, so that they will be sure to be so clean and fresh, like good Christian southern ladies.

Men, it is well known, all smell like shit whatever they do. So they will exempted from this legal requirement.
posted by troutfishing at 9:26 PM on March 24, 2004


Is the third the lying, the lust for power, or the prevalence of rich white guys?

I was thinking of the obscene influence of money, but YMMV.
posted by rushmc at 10:04 PM on March 24, 2004


"I'm not surprised about the bill's passage, but the 160-0 left me a bit slack-jawed, as well."

Not me. Can you imagine the hate mail and or protests the feminist left would have launched against any legislator who voted for genital mutilation (thats how it would have been characterized).

This type of thing illustrates the double threat of the extreme left and the religeous right... they both think we are too stupid and easily led astray to make our own choices.
posted by soulhuntre at 10:09 PM on March 24, 2004


I wonder where we northeasterners get the idea that the south remains to this day a very backward society.

Really, I have no idea where that particular image comes from.

Why are female genital mutilation banned, while male genital mutilation is not?

That will be seen in the upcoming "Prince Albert" bill in 2005.
posted by clevershark at 11:20 PM on March 24, 2004


Which of course will be stored in a can.
posted by jonmc at 6:19 AM on March 25, 2004


Why are we arguing about this? Let's just build an 80 foot razor-tipped retaining wall around Georgia's East, West & North borders and take care of Florida at the same time. Rent the whole area out as a nuclear test range or a dump site for spent fuel.

You guys overanalyze everything.
posted by RavinDave at 6:39 AM on March 25, 2004


You know, tattooing was illegal in Massachusetts until fairly recently as well. It's not *just* Southerners.

Though it may just be Southerners who get called "slack-jawed" in news articles. The Massachusetts response would, I'm sure, have been "stiff-lipped."

No pun intended.
posted by occhiblu at 8:20 AM on March 25, 2004


Oklahoma and South Carolina are currently the only states that ban tattooing IIRC.....
posted by SweetIceT at 11:39 AM on March 25, 2004


Actually, this is a good example of how insane little things get turned into law.

Step One: Propose rational piece of legislation.

Step Two: Tack on tangentially related idea that is stupid.

Step Three: Everyone votes for the rational piece of legislation.

Step Four: Feel like an idiot every time a reporter asks you "why did you vote against labia piercing" when you don't even know where the labia might be.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:10 AM on March 27, 2004


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