20. Need I state that all published oral testimonies of educated and illiterate women dwell on the painful aspect of the procedure and its sequels, even if some interviewees maintain that their sexual response (i.e their ability to experience orgasm) is not affected? See Thiam, Erlich, as well as Chantal Patterson, "Les mutilations sexuelles féminines: l'excision en question," Présence africaine 142 1(1987), 162-67. As Patterson states: "A ce point du débat, je tiens à mettre en valeur les points suivants:

1. L'erotisme, la sensualité ne se vivent, ne se pratiquent ni ne se conçoivent de la meme façon dans chaque civilisation.

2. S'il y a mutilation, il y a forcément un système de compensation que le corps, usine extraordinaire, met en branle."(165)

[At this stage of the debate I would like to stress the following points:

1. Different civilizations live, practice and conceptualize eroticism and sensuality differently.

2. If there is any mutilation, a system of compensation must be set in motion by the body, this extraordinary machine.]


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