Clitoris Awareness Week around the world

May 14 2013, category: Clitoraid NEWS
Clitoraid’s first-ever Clitoris Awareness Week was a wonderful, resounding success!

First, it’s been widely reported by media everywhere, all around the planet. From the United States to Finland to Taiwan; from Argentina to Ghana; from Lebanon to Indonesia to Peru; from Japan to Holland, Chile, Bulgaria and more, the news spread like wildfire!
People wrote to us offering songs, artistic photos and other input, and also donated to help us complete construction of our new hospital in Burkina Faso, West Africa. It will open Oct. 8 and be used to surgically repair the clitorises of FGM victims. Some of those who wrote in even offered to volunteer their medical services there!

During Clitoris Awareness Week, women and men throughout the Americas took to the streets and beaches to share valuable info about the little-known clitoris and its deep, endless riches. As you would expect, most of the volunteers who dared to stand up for this first Clitoris Awareness Week were Raelian, because the Raelian spirituality and values freely embrace the beauty of the human body and the sexual pleasure that inherently comes with it. But most people just haven't thought about the clitoris until now. With all the publicity generated by the first Clitoris Awareness Week, we expect a big turnout of non-Raelians to join us next year!
Regardless of faith, it is Clitoraid's objective to help rid society of the sexual shame and guilt that most women around the world (genitally mutilated or not) have been made to feel as a result of their primitive, patriarchal, religious upbringing.

Below are some pictures of the festive and educational events that took place during Clitoris Awareness Week:

Cartagena, Colombia, South America

We began our Clitoris Awareness week action by sending a press release to all the media outlets in Cartagena, Colombia. We also placed numerous posters in different universities around that city. The following Sunday, we closed the event with a grand beach promotion at the most popular and cosmopolitan location on the coast, where people of many nationalities gather. With our colorful banners, posters and flyers, we began to walk down the beautiful beach. As we walked, we ran into a group of physicians, with whom we had a very gratifying conversation. We also encountered a man from Spain who has a radio station there. Upon hearing of our mission, he said he would gladly promote Clitoris Awareness Week on the Iberian peninsula! Later, another tourist from Spain approached us with her husband, who is from Belgium. They both said our action was absolutely wonderful! Ruby Pachero, Clitoraid Leader Colombia, South America

La Vega, Dominican Republic

"On Saturday May 11, our Clitoraid volunteers took part in a beautiful activity to help women become more aware of the clitoris and its importance in sexual pleasure.
We gathered in downtown La Vega where we passed about 100 flyers to women who walked by. These flyers contained all the information about this event.
This was a great experience for me, as a young woman in my 20's, for all of us. We realized that many women do not know the term "clitoris" and feel very shy speaking about this topic, but we laughed together and encouraged them to fully live their sexuality.
We also met a young man who took pictures of us and who appeared surprised that we dared to have such free conversation and had the courage to wear Tshirts that said: I LOVE MY CLITORIS !
Some men in a clothes boutique nearby and at the ice cream parlor called us over to hear what this was all about and were very supportive. We hope they are as supportive with their partner masturbating in the privacy of their home which is sometimes a challenge for men raised with macho values."
Kundaliny Dias, Clitoraid Leader, Dominican Republic

Chicago, IL

""Our event in downtown Chicago was held on Sunday, May 12, along the famous Michigan Mile. Michigan Avenue is one of the most popular venues in the Chicago Loop, with its crowded streets, fine shops and tourist destinations.

I was so pleased to be the “Vulva girl.” Marc Letourneau and Larry Abdulla served as my escorts and carried their Clitoris Awareness Posters high above the crowds of people. They were so friendly and gentle as they talked with people while carrying out the very tough task of carrying their posters for hours in the cool 50-degree Fahrenheit temperatures of the Chicago spring. But we enjoyed every minute of it, and despite the cold, we had the hottest of times.

We enjoyed watching people’s reactions as they confronted our displays. Some laughed, some looked surprised to see us there, and some said they agreed with our efforts. Others didn’t understand.
As a team, we shared a passion and delight in talking people about the clitoris, about Clitoraid, and about our worldwide efforts to help victims of Female Genital Mutilation. It was heartwarming to discover that so many people are interested in supporting our activities. Lots of people took pictures of us, both separately and with our displays. Many said they would put those photos on their Facebook pages. We thanked them for doing this and for helping us to spread our message. It was a wonderful day and I really felt this Chicago event had a positive effect on both the women and the men.
" Sonoko Tagami, Chicago Clitoraid Leader

Las Vegas, NV

”Our Clitoris Awareness Week activity on the Las Vegas Strip caught the attention of droves of passerbys. That’s a really big accomplishment because Las Vegas is a city that’s always on sexual sensory overload. ☺

Our display and vulva outfits made passing couples smile, and groups of young men jumped at the opportunity of having their picture taken with the giant vulva costumes Ouhi and I were wearing. Those photos will certainly be something to show their friends back home! In contrast, young women approached us with far more shyness (unless the alcohol they were sipping from their Eiffel Tower shaped glasses had already taken away their inhibitions).

We interviewed some of the spectators to get their reactions about Clitoris Awareness Week, and found that many supported our action. A Las Vegas mother and her teenaged daughter stopped by to share their thoughts. The daughter quickly vanished, embarrassed by the discussion, leaving the mother to speak with us about the importance of giving children a good sexual education. She said it’s especially important to do that in a school district where abstinence is advocated and means of protection during intercourse cannot be lawfully discussed in school.

A young girl agreed to give us her impression of the clitoris. She timidly said that the clitoris is where babies come from. No surprise here, for most high school science texts in the Western World fail to show the clitoris as part of the human anatomy. It’s not part of the reproductive system, and its sole function is to provide sexual pleasure. Rather than have to explain this, those who approve the texts are more comfortable omitting the clitoris altogether, as though it doesn’t even exist!

Naturally, we want to change that! Clitoris Awareness Week is about inviting society to make changes in how we view sex and how we speak about sex, especially when it comes to women’s sexual pleasure.

This jolly educational activity in the street gave us all, women and men alike, a great feeling of accomplishing something necessary for our society. We did it with humor and lightheartedness and we look forward to expanding our impact next year!”
Lia Steinman, Clitoraid Leader, Las Vegas, NV

Haulover Nudist Beach, Miami Beach, FL

"The Miami team had a blast at the nude beach there, finishing up Clitoris Awareness Week by building a vulva in the sand and passing out flyers to onlookers. We had a great time as a team, talking to people, laughing together and just enjoying our state of being. We were able to legally go completely without clothes, since this was an approved nude beach, and we were also without shame about our naturally exposed sexual organs. The sun was shining, the ocean was so blue, and the beach was packed with friendly and curious humans enjoying the same freedom of being. What a beautiful day!" Raquel Vergara, Florida Clitoraid Leader

Lecture "Know your Clitoris" by Dr. Morgan Las Vegas, NV - May 9

May 09 2013, category: Clitoraid NEWS
Come celebrate Clitoris Awareness Week and Masturbation Month by learning many fun ways to tease and please yourself !

Dr. Amanda Morgan, DHS, a sexuality educator and sexologist, promises a sizzling presentation, videos and frank and open discussions “between women” about female pleasure, orgasms, anatomy, self-pleasuring techniques and sex toys.

Dr. Morgan is a full-time sexuality educator at UNLV. She earned her doctorate in human sexuality from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco. Dr. Morgan regularly teaches "real life sex-ed" workshops in Las Vegas, and she loves to help enrich people's lives through the power of shared knowledge and self-discovery.

Thursday, May 9, 6-8 p.m.
Cost: $25 ($15 for students)
Workshop for women only
Erotic Heritage Museum
3275 Industrial Rd Las Vegas
(702) 369-6442

Part of the workshop proceeds will benefit Clitoraid’s Pleasure Hospital
for Clitoral Repair Surgery to FGM victims in W. Africa.

Egyptian woman Cartoonist, Doaa Eladl, publishes a controversial cartoon on FGM - She tells Clitoraid why.

March 15 2013, category: Clitoraid NEWS
Doaa Eladl is a famous Egyptian woman cartoonist who began publishing her drawings in 2007 in the Al Dostor newspaper, Rose Al Youssef Magazine and Sabah El Kheir Magazine. Now, her cartoons appear on the prominent newspaper Al Masry Al Youm. In 2009 she received the award of journalism excellence in Caricature.
Recently, Ms. Eladl has become the first cartoonist in Egypt to face the charges of blasphemy

Following the publication of a controversial cartoon that Doaa drew about Female Genital Mutilation, Clitoraid contacted the artist in Egypt for an interview and asked her the following questions about her work in general, and the FGM cartoon in particular. Note that in Egypt, the majority of women is excised and Clitoraid hopes to find a surgeon there who wishes to be trained in the Clitoral Restoration surgical technique in order to restore the dignity and a sense of pleasure of the FGM victims who seek it

1. When did you start doing socio-political cartoons?
I started drawing cartoons about 8 years ago for the in Al-Dostour Constitution newspaper.
During the first part of my career, I was drawing political cartoons against the former regime, ex-president Mubarak, and the National Democratic Party [the party in power at that time], I also published social comics in Sabah Al-Kheir (Good morning) magazine, then in "Rose Al-Youssef" magazine. Several years later, I started working for the Al-Masry Al-Youm [Egyptians Today] newspaper, a high circulation paper in Egypt.

2. What attracted you to this particular craft to voice your opinion?
The art of Caricature is seditious. A cartoonist always has something to say.
I find that my talent allows me to criticize a lot of political and social issues, and I also find that I never run out of inspiration for my caricatures whether to praise or to object to an issue.

3. How are you perceived as a woman criticizing men and the men in power in your country?
Their perception of me has changed through time.
At first, when I started in this profession, a majority of the readers thought I was a man! That's because the readers couldn't imagine a woman drawing a caricature, especially professional, political ones. But with time, I became popular, so now there is no problem anymore. In the end, good ideas always find their way to the public, whether the cartoonist is a man or a woman

Regarding your question about the drawings, I don't only criticize men. What I criticize are some of the habits that I think are wrong and there are many and they must be totally reconsidered!

For example, circumcision. It is just an African habit. It doesn't stem from the Muslim religion at all. The Mufti ([ormal scholar for Muslims] of the Republic Dr. Ali Gomaa decreed that female circumcision is as a crime against humanity and that it is not related to Islam. Yet, it is still being practiced in Egypt's countryside and unfortunately they do it in the name of religion!!!!

4. Is there an improvement in the freedom of women since the change of the regime?
There have been no improvement in women's freedom since the fall of the Mubarak's regime because the current system is not significantly different. On the opposite, it is the worse. They use religion only to dominate, they use it just to seek political gain.

I am a Muslim and that is my choice but the current system, the Muslim Brotherhood interpret religion in their own way and, unfortunately they are actually demonizing Islam.

Before the revolution took place, I was casually drawing about women's issues and their problems, but now I am compelled to draw these cartoons about women in order to defend my own existence, my personal freedom that are threatened under the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood.

5. Why did you choose to do a cartoon on FGM?
I think I have answered this question earlier and I would like to add that I draw cartoons not only about FGM but also other problems relating to Egyptian women like domestic violence, marrying minors, [sexual] harassment, violence against women, and even a new phenomenon in Egyptian society called "sexual mass terror" a condescending way to refer to female demonstrators. I just cannot remain silent about all of these issues.

6. What was the public's reaction?
The public's reaction was divided. Some saw a wonderful caricature on a subject that must be criticized, others saw it as sacrilegious to Muslim rule, finally some thought that I should find a more subtle way to criticize, a way that is less shocking.

7. Is there an educational program in Egypt to stop this ritual?
There were educational programs in the past [before religious regime began to rise in the 1970's]. Also, there is a law that clearly criminalizes those who practice FGM. [In the 1990's, governmental hospitals were banned from practicing FGM; in 2008, the ban included all hospitals], however there is currently no educational program.

8. How does the young Egyptian generation feel about FGM (both men and women)
The youth also has a divided reaction, some are against FGM while others defend it.

Clitoraid supports Sheriff Mirkarimi for encouraging San Francisco inmates to rise against violence

March 06 2013, category: Clitoraid NEWS
The following letter was sent to San Francisco Sheriff Mirkarimi in support of the One Billion Rising action he organized for the inmates of the San Bruno Jail on Feb 14. This story is all the more compelling that Sheriff Mirkarimi was himself accused of domestic violence by his wife, Venezuelan actress Eliana Lopez over a year ago. Since then, the couple reunited and the Sheriff's wife decided to partake in the choreographed dance that day.

Dear Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi,

My name is Karen Heaven spokesperson for Clitoraid in the US. I'm writing to you in support of your recent action inviting local choreographer Magalie Bonneau-Marcil, founder and producer of Dancing Without Borders, to engage county jail inmates (some of whom have been perpetrators of serious cases of domestic violence) in dancing to support "One Billion Rising" on February 14. What a wonderful way to encourage an end to violence against women, especially in an institution such as the one you oversee. This is what rehabilitation should look like!

I'm particularly drawn to your story because I'm the U.S. leader of an international, non-profit organization that also strives to counteract violence done to women. Specifically, we help women who suffered from the effects of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Our volunteer surgeons have offered clitoral repair surgery to dozens of such patients in the United States over the past several years. In fact, on the very day that you were leading your inmates to rise and dance against violence, Dr. Marci Bowers was operating on an FGM victim in San Mateo, Calif., just a few miles from the San Bruno jail!

Though the act of FGM hardly ever occurs within the United States, Clitoraid reaches out to women who have come here as immigrants from countries where this hideous practice still takes place. Some of these victims live in the Bay area.

To help such victims cope with the effects of this extreme trauma they experienced as little girls, Clitoraid applies humanitarian values of the Raelian philosophy advocated by spiritual leader Rael, who founded our U.S.- based charity in 2006. Indeed, our No. 1 value is femininity (not feminism). We hold the quality of femininity to be "the future of humanity."

In our eyes, you and all others involved in the One Billion Rising dance initiative at the San Bruno jail were illustrating this quality of femininity, including your wife as she danced next to you, consciously forgiving you for your act of violence committed months earlier. Forgiving, seeking forgiveness and rehabilitation are acts of femininity that all Clitoraid patients and their families must go through to heal. The same is true for those who committed the act of FGM, for each of your inmates and for everyone else on this planet.

Sincerely yours,

Karen Heaven
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