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1.4.15, 16, 17, 18 (balance of 14) Comments 

The balance of paragraph 14, which discusses laws in Australia is not analyzed sentence by sentence.

As an aside it may be of interest that Queensland Australia regulations were the basis for the first draft of NYC Health Department regulations. They were discovered on line and copied from the internet in 1996. 

Chalmers, paragraph 15


    Around this same time in New Zealand [2002] there was no dedicated legislation in respect to body art. Local government enforcement of the Public Health Act could however be applied along with consumer safety legislation and the use of guidelines on safe practice, although it was expected that review of the Health Act might see the development of regulation.

Here she has the answer to regulation, if needed: Public Health Act, consumer safety regulation and the use of guidelines is sufficient, laws and regulations already in place.

Some groups within Pacific cultures, notably some Samoa ancestors, inheritors of tatatau and the Maori of New Zealand claim ownership of their practices and designs and consider it inappropriate to copy those designs. Others who do not share this  interpretation, honor them by not copying but interpreting and adapting their visual power and resonance for outsiders. American influences in the Pacific are well documented and within the last two decades the appropriation of tattoo designs and techniques claimed by Pacific Islanders as integral to their history are widely embraced.

Chalmers enters into a contentious subject she does not know exists.

Chalmers inserts her cultural absolutism into a debate she does not know exists by assuming universal applicability for her ideas irrespective of cultural practices: to bring civilization to control and manage other peoples cultural practices. The height of arrogance today which brings us back to the Nuba man on the left and the Nuba man on the right: where we started,  This looks like a modern example of the missionary impulse, the imperial destiny to bring civilizing culture to a barbaric people in need.

20th century tattoo established an array of designs generally regarded as forming a corpus of what is called "traditional" consisting of a number of motifs copied from one artist to another satisfying the public. The tools, ink and techniques also had an influence on the look as well, such as shading and thickness of lines, which can be illustrated by considering that the needles in the first half of the 20th century were reused and likely not in "new" condition and consisted of a few easily hand-made types. Until the appearance of Unimax there were a limited number of commercially available round and flat needle styles. Unimax produced ready-to-use needles in nearly a hundred styles, types and configurations, especially introducing commercially-made "tight" needles and magnums, bug pins beginning in 1989.

Familiarity with tattoo, for example, as scholar, practitioner, or enthusiast leads many to think they can "talk" for tattoo, that is, what it should be, how it should be organized, how it should be regulated in universal terms. Chalmers suggests that the Maori in New Zealand need, and hopefully will have dedicated legislation. What arrogance.

Paragraphs 16, 17 and 18 seem written to show that policy makers in the EU and the UK can be confident they can make new regulations as they deem fit. 

Chalmers disgraces herself by accusing tattoo of FGM. This is unforgivable.

claims FGM is related to tattoo as the Tattooing of Minors Act is related.

Other related legislation included the Prohibition of Female Circumcision Act of 1985, which makes it an offense to, in any way, mutilate or disfigure the whole or any part of the labia majora, labia minora, or clitoris of another person, and the Tattooing of Minors Act 1969, which places a minimum legal age for a person being tattooed at 18 years.

Paragraph 18 is a disgraceful, outrageous provocation and smearing of T&P by directly applying the statute to T&P.

The United Nations' WHO probably owns this subject as the official interpreter and center of activities to combat the mutilation of young girls.. Chalmers has gone beyond even teh pretense of decency by explicitly relating FGM to tattooing by linking it "in kind" to legislation prohibiting Tattooing of Minors.

Suffolk County NY also included the same prohibition when they introduced their proposed Body Art regulations in 2006. Chalmers doesn’t understand the essence of the prohibition, nor did the writers of the Suffolk County proposed legislation at the time, which is: the denial of human rights to children unable to give consent because of their age, especially young girls.

I repeat my comments submitted to Suffolk County in 2006 condemning such a false link and applaud Suffolk County for removing the offense.


Suffolk County proposed regulations, 760-1402 Prohibitions f. Genitalia or genital areas

The justification for the attempted ban in Suffolk County is the same error Chalmers makes trying to tie FGM to tattooing or piercing. All UN writers agree that to be FGM it must "... fall under the definition of FGM" meaning, that to be considered FGM it must meet the criteria of FGM, not the physicality of doing something, but when as a violation of the human rights of young girls who cannot give consent. Otherwise, it would include surgery for medical emergencies and transgender operations. 

The following was written in 2006 in response to Suffolk County New York because they included FGM in their list of specific activities prohibited in tattoo shops. It was removed in the final draft of the regulations. My point is, it is indecent and offends normal sensibilities to mention FGM in the same breath as T&P.  

Suffolk County writers erred by lifting one half of a quote and ignoring the all-important dependent clause: the rest of the sentence that reads: "...and any other procedures which fall under the definition of FGM."  

This is the definition: according to WHO and all commentators:

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is the term used to refer to the removal of part, or all, of the female genitalia.

I must repeat:

Cutting off the clitoris is the mildest form of female genital mutilation.

This is what Chalmers is accusing tattooists of doing.

In 1991, WHO recommended that the United Nations adopt the terminology "mutilation" to reinforce the idea that FGM is a violation of girls’ and women’s rights.  It is usually done on girls under 10. More than 100 million women and girls worldwide are believed to have undergone genital cutting, the U.N. health agency said.

The WHO report on Female Genital Mutilation did not imply that tattooing or piercing the genital area falls under the definition of FGM. The definition of FGM is ignored by Chalmers to allow her to horrify readers. This attack is horrible. However, this interpretation would be consistent in Chalmers' mind as shown previously with her literalist interpretation of words, for example, the Aztecs and Mayans practicing body piercing, and so here too she must think this falls within: (see below) forms of body modification.

Most Human rights organizations in the West, Africa, and Asia consider female genital cutting rituals a violation of women's human rights. Among these groups and governments, these practices are regarded as unacceptable and illegal forms of body modification and mutilation of those believed to be too young or otherwise unable to give informed consent. 

Female genital cutting (FGC) refers to amputation of any part of the female genitalia for cultural rather than medical reasons, not including genital modification of intersexuals or gender reassignment surgery.

Failing to mention that tattooing and piercing do not fall under the definition of FGM, (amputation, removal of any part of a young girl's clitoris), trivializes FGM, and creates a false and vile accusation.

This alone is so offensive in conception it is a singularly good reason to censure this article.