Female Genital Mutilation: Main Concepts Analysis

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As we walked home from the river, carrying water on our backs and small piles of firewood on our heads, I laughed at the jokes the girls were making. Teasing Joanna for saying no to our traditions had become the norm, saying no to the cultural practice of circumcision and opting for education instead had made her the laughing stock.

Joanna’s parents were a bit liberal so her stand against circumcision was met with little to no resistance from her folks. The villagers on the other hand did not relent in continuously ridiculing her, though rebellion was not new it was very are in our village, she became the talk of the village, and households would use Joanna’s name to warn and callout rude and unruly girls. It went something like “Cheru are you going to behave or do you want to be like Joanna who has been corrupted by the western culture?” regardless of the mistake.

“It was about time” I thought to myself, It was time for me to be a beautiful woman too….It was about time men started looking at me the way they looked at the older circumcised girls, I deserved respect and admiration from our village boys, I wanted them to call me as I passed by, like they did my older sisters who had already gone through the rite of passage. Plus it would increase my chances of getting married, since two of my sisters got married almost immediately after their initiation into womanhood and the other two were hot cakes with men coming to see my parents almost weekly. The thought of men asking for my hand in marriage genuinely excited me.

I was brought back to reality by Joanna’s defensive voice ‘You’ll tell me how painful it is when you get back, I choose education, I choose to leave this village someday, I want to marry in a faraway land, some place where women are not domesticated and used like donkeys” We all burst out laughing , it was hilarious . “You will see, when all of you are miserable in your marriages, with 4 noisy kids at the age of twenty, I will be in the university in a faraway land” 

She said tears welling up her beautiful eyes and we all laughed even harder, “University or Abroad you’ll still be a ‘kehe’ (an uncircumcised woman) no man will ever want an uncircumcised thing for a wife” interjected Tunde who was the eldest in our age group an her word was almost always gospel. At this Jonna took off crying leaving the rest of us laughing to tears. I felt bad for her, but it was her fault for always daydreaming of a life beyond the village, who told her to believe the stories told by the missionary who visited when we were younger.

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I don’t remember much of went on during the week, I was too excited for the seclusion period to start and finally day came. I had not slept by the time my mother and aunt were walking into the hut I was ready to go. The walk to the kapsenge hut that we would be staying in was long and quite. I did not understand why my mum and aunt kept telling me to be strong and to ensure I uphold the pride of my lineage of women by finishing the entire process, because I was game I wanted this, I was going to finish the process, I was going to be the best. I had been brought up to aspire to marriage and a home, be it being the 1st or 4th wife a home was just my ultimate goal.

The thing is prior to this day, no one tells you what goes on in the hut, all we know is that you go in, you are well fed and taught the secrets of womanhood that should never be repeated outside the hut. After a month you come out a woman, a beautiful, well respected, marriageable woman never to speak of what happened to you.

So the women started chanting traditional encouragement songs, the questions started swirling in my head, why were we sited stark naked legs spread? Why were we being handed sticks to bite on? Why were the aunties sited behind us fully dressed? Why is my mother fidgeting in the corner? Why was there tension in the room? Before I could comprehend what was going on, two very old ladies walked in, they looked sombre, and as soon as they walked in the singing stopped .

Drawing out a knife the oldest of the two looked towards the sky chanting prayers and throwing the knife up as if stabbing the air above, as the other lady struggled to make weird dances as she circled the group throwing some ash like dust on our heads. This is when fear struck like lightening, I wanted to run!

As if she sensed my fears, the old lady rushed towards me and fell on her knees, I couldn’t move, I frozen in fear, meanwhile my auntie was busy putting a stick in my mouth, holding my hands back and locking her legs in mine to keep them apart, I don’t remember much of what was said but what I remember was the pain. Administration of anaesthesia in our was unheard of, so I felt as the cold knife touched my skin, I felt it as she carved out my privates, as the knife deepened so did the pain, I couldn’t find my voice, but I was screaming for my life in my head…..I passed out from the pain.

I woke up to crying sounds, all I could think of and feel was burning pain, both emotional and physical, someone had just cut out parts of my beautiful body without asking for my consent, without at least informing me! Joanna was right, I wanted to run to Joanna, I wanted to tell her she was right, but I was numb with pain I couldn’t move , I didn’t think I would ever be able to walk again but I swore to tell generations to come, it was not worth it!

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Female Genital Mutilation: Main Concepts Analysis. (2022, March 17). WritingBros. Retrieved March 30, 2023, from https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/female-genital-mutilation-main-concepts-analysis/
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Female Genital Mutilation: Main Concepts Analysis. [online]. Available at: <https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/female-genital-mutilation-main-concepts-analysis/> [Accessed 30 Mar. 2023].
Female Genital Mutilation: Main Concepts Analysis [Internet]. WritingBros. 2022 Mar 17 [cited 2023 Mar 30]. Available from: https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/female-genital-mutilation-main-concepts-analysis/
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