I decided to create a separate page chronicling the story of our collective engagement with Clitoraid because I hope that archiving a history will offer a context for the next wave of mobilization against the Raelian cult and its activities especially in Africa. This is NOT THE DEFINITIVE STORY of the challenge to Clitoraid and I welcome any contributions to create as broad and detailed a picture as possible.
While I’ve tried as best as possible to list the events chronologically, life is never as linear and tidy as we’d like it
- I first heard of Clitoraid on March 29th. I was actually in the midst of teaching my African Politics class when I glanced down at my computer and saw a tweet about it from Maneno. I showed the website to my class and we had a fabulous discussion of the problems with their approach.
- I posted a brief post about Clitoraid on my blog on Monday March 29th (http://savingafrica.wordpress.com/2010/03/29/adopt-an-african-womans-clitoris/) and tried not to think much about it.
- A week latter I still couldn’t get Clitoraid out of my mind but the more I read about them the more disturbed I became. On Monday April 5th I decided to make a quick call to Good Vibrations to confirm that they knew they had made a mistake in their decision to support Clitoraid and that they were re-thinking their approach. Camilla Lombard, their Events and Publicity manager confirmed that they had decided to downplay their knowledge that Clitoraid was a project of the Raelian cult and dismissed me and my concerns with demand for proof that Clitoraid was problematic. After the call at 10.46am I tweeted: called goodvibes who funded clitoraid. Responded to with requests for scientific evidence. No African women consulted. What to do now?
- It made sense to me to ask Good Vibrations to drop their support of Clitoraid because they are a San Francisco based company that I had long supported. The store and their philosophy of sexual pleasure as a birthright for all was a key element of my feminist awakening in college and frankly, I felt betrayed by their lack of sensitivity to African women in the clitoris adoptions. Further, it made sense to engage them because I too am based in San Francisco so even thought the larger conversation we were having was a global one, there was a major local element for me.
- I crafted an email to Camilla Lombard about why their support of Clitoraid was problematic. I decided to copy to everyone whose email address was available on their website because I knew it would be easy for Camilla, as an individual, to ignore my critique and never pass on the word within the organization..........