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This essay is the reaction of a non-specialist on Africanist ethnography and female genital cutting to Sierra Leonese American Scholar Dr Fuambai Ahmadu's work on these matters. It argues that some anti-FGM perceptions and rhetoric are parochial and illiberal, and calls for anthropologists to take counsel both from our discipline's methodological requirement actually to pay attention to what the people we write about say and do over extended periods of time, and to its age-old demand that we be critical of our own premises, before adopting any purportedly liberal campaign to support or challenge this or that social practice.