Surgery"I've been having sex. I'm due to get married and now I don't have a hymen" - These words frequently lead to a referral for a hymen operation. History is rife with other attempts to solve social problems with surgery. These are not examples of which our society is proud of. Why then, has this become a legitimate solution when it comes to female immigrants and their descendants?
One reason could be, that professionals feel they have no other options, or perhaps they believe that surgery will actually help these women. While this is understandable, there is no evidence that surgery resolves social and cultural difficulties. Basically these operations support and uphold traditions that suppress women. Women, on the other hand, are confirmed in their belief that they are somehow worth less without an intact hymen. This is of course not what the professionals intended.
Be that as it may, if surgery actually solved these womens' problems, we could perhaps accept a certain amount of kow-towing to suppressive traditions, since the lives of individual women are more important than principles. However, the reality is that pressure and social control persist long after the last stitch has been put in place. Undergoing this operation does not guarantee blood, and there is usually no follow-up from the authorities who issue referrals and perform the surgery. This could be due to a lack of resources, it might be expressive of certain priorities, or perhaps the women simply do not come back.