Skip to main content

When Female Genital Mutilation Becomes More Than An Abstract Concept.(Blog Reader Cries Out).







It seems my head has been buried under sand for a while. When I hear of female circumcision or female genital mutilation (FGM) I always imagined it was some archaic practice that stopped in the 80s or early 90s. I never imagined that it's still practised in several parts of our Nigeria, this is despite the few laws abolishing the practice in some states. 

In recent times when I've heard about FGM its usually from the angle of a woman complaining about sexual disastisfaction or an inability to orgasm, or a man complaining of his wife's unresponsiveness in bed. I've been so oblivious and failed to see that it's much more far reaching than that. I was shellshocked when I heard that some families actually flee Nigeria just to protect their daughters from FGM. Yes, they FLEE. Because when it's an age old tradition in some families you cannot say "thanks, but no thanks". The girls legs must be held far apart and her most delicate bit scraped off, cut or chopped by a razor blade or a knife. Imagine the utter savagery! 

Don't get me wrong, FGM is no novel concept. I first heard about it over twenty years ago. But honestly one would think that with civilization and all the modern and technological advancements, some practices would be long left behind. 

I just got off the phone with a very frightened and confused classmate. Guys, I could have made this post about her alone but this issue is bigger than her. She has two daughters, ages 2 and 4. And you wouldn't believe that her parents-in-law are insisting that the girls be circumcised. Her husband isn't particularly keen on the practice but he says all the females in his family, including his siblings' daughters, are all circumcised, so why should his be different? My friend is torn between filing for divorce from a man she loves deeply or, like others before her, fleeing the country to saner and less savage terrain. 

I did a little research online and I would share my findings with you. Did you know that Nigeria is said to have the highest rate of female genital mutilation in the world? Also FGM has no (health) benefits. I recently watched the interview of an elderly woman in Bayelsa following the death of a young girl who died after being circumcised. (I should also add that the deceased's younger sister ran away from home shortly after her death and was missing for several days, for the fear of being circumcised. So can you really imagine that just weeks ago one daughter died after being circumcised, and then weeks later, they're gearing to perform the same beastly act on her younger sister? Wow!) 

The woman, a circumcision advocate said the benefits were that it's a taboo for a woman to be uncircumcised. Therefore a woman who hasn't been circumcised isn't seen as a complete woman and her family won't be proud to give her out in marriage. That's actually the ONLY benefit the woman could mention, but for her that was enough. She was also asked how the girls cope with the pain during and after the circumcision. In response, she said the circumcision is a thing of pride and that the girls revel in the pain. Dear Lord! So they use a razor blade to chop the clitoris off (and sometimes, the labia as well), and the only pain reliever/analgesic you have is a tablespoon of pride? I would chuckle if this isn't so darn extremely tragic. 

The consequences of FGM are shock from pain and hemorrhage, infection, acute urinary retention following such trauma, damage to the urethra or anus in the struggle of the victim during the procedure making the extent of the operation dictated in many cases by chance, chronic pelvic infection, acquired gynatresia resulting in hematocolpos, vulval adhesions, dysmenorrhea, retention cysts, and sexual difficulties with anorgasmia. Other complications are implantation dermoid cysts and keloids, and sexual dysfunction.
      Professor Modupe Onadeko, a consultant for community and family health, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, said female genital mutilation usually leads to severe pain and in some cases death. She said that the act could cause haemorrhage which might also lead to cardiac arrest, painful urination, urinary tract infections, HIV and keloid. According to her, fractured hips can also result from pressure on the hip by the adult pinning down the child during mutilation. The professor added that the long term effects of female genital mutilation include infertility due to blocked tube.

Yet the mental and psychological agony attached with FGM is deemed the most serious complication because the problem does not manifest outwardly for help to be offered. The young girl is in constant fear of the procedure and after the ritual she dreads sex because of anticipated pain and dreads childbirth because of complications caused by FGM. 

While preserving tradition can be a good thing, I fail to see the good in preserving a tradition that cannot offer a single benefit to its practitioners. Instead it promises one misfortune or the other in different forms; sexual, physical or psychological.

Everyday I hear there are bills and laws being put in place to abolish female genital mutilation, yet this has done little or nothing to abolish and eliminate this barbaric practice. Worse yet, regardless of the supposed laws, the police don't get involved in matters such as this. So your fate is left in the hands of the family heads who insist on female circumcision.

I know people to flee Nigeria for a myriad of reasons but I never would have imagined that female genital mutilation topped that list. My friend says she's seriously considering this. She's willing to try everything in her power, and die trying {sic} to ensure that her daughters don't become a victim, a statistic, just another two more to the millions of young girls whose genitals are being mutilated in our dear country. 



***
Have you ever been in a circumstance similar to hers? What would you advise her to do?



Photo source; www.britishdemocraticparty.org


Comments

  1. My bestie is circumcised, it's done by some part of the igedes in Benue. That's a barbaric act and no I won't stay and see my girls go through that nonsense tradition forget love o, ill stand by my girls afterall I was the one who carried them and pushed them out. The mil or sil can come and take round 2 in place of my babies.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Can't blive they still do that sh*t.. I think one time one popular blogger said she was circumcised and doesn't enjoy sex that's why she's not eager to date..

    ReplyDelete
  3. I hate my mother for circumcising me. Dnt enjoy sex, and anytime hubby n I do it, and Dnt feel a thing, I end up hating her even more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sorry to hear about your plight. There's a lot more awareness about these issues now, so women are realising that they can say no. Back when you were born, your mother probably felt that it was only the right thing to do, or she didn't know how to say no.

      Delete
    2. Hi,

      Please dont hate your mom! Am sure when she did it,it was the best decision for her then.
      I am also circumcised and married. Yes you an enjoy sex, your husband just needs to learn your body very well,to learn what makes you thick and all...others might get satisfaction from penetration while some is just foreplay.
      God bless.
      Jackie

      Delete
  4. I know someone who was in her mid twenties when she got married. Her husband's evil mother said she must be circumcised at that age. And out of fear of divorce she agreed. To make matters worse, the guy wasn't even living in naija. The babe was here with her mother in-law. What a nightmare. After trying to bring her over to Yanky (like they claimed) for 6 to 7 years, d guy woke up one morning and called his evil mother that he wasn't interested in d freaking marriage anymore.
    The circumcision almost killed her wen she did it. And to think it was all for nothing.
    Thank God she's married today with kids.
    Don't ever allow any idiot to circumcise ur daughters pleaaassssseeeee.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. *jaw drop* ehn? You say?! He didn't marry her after?! Mo gbe!

      Delete
    2. Let me join you in that jaw drop abeg..... some people are wicked fa..... all i can say is 'madam FLEE with your girls' because the husband aint helping

      Delete
    3. Plus all those complications sef... it makes one shudder

      Delete
  5. Dear Lord. If one mil comes and tells me this rubbish that is the last they are seeing me and my baby in that family. If they attempt it behind my back I'm going to jail them. Period. I'm so vexed reading this sef.

    ReplyDelete
  6. That's what social media is for? Start talking about it. Name and shame them. What's the worst that could happen? They won't speak with her or ask her son to kick her out? Let her get a lawyer and stand her ground. Her daughters shouldn't be left alone with their father or any member of his family. That five minutes in the shower is enough time for them to be cut. If they say no one will marry them. Then tell them they'll marry Westerners. This is why one should investigate before one marries. Talk about a rude shock.

    Mallama

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Her daughters shouldn't be left alone with their father or any member of his family." I second this. There have been too many situations where one or both parents have been against this practice, but a brief, unsupervised moment left them with a genitally mutilated (please let's stop calling this "circumcision") daughter.
      Thelma, the worst part of this is the nonchalance of her husband. I don't know how to give advise in this situation, but all I can do is second Mallama - Her daughters shouldn't be left alone with their father or any member of his family.

      Delete
    2. Thelma,
      If she lives in Lagos, let her go to OPD (office of public defender) and report a case of attempted child abuse. The office is on Iyun street off Western Avenue Surulere. It's after stadium but before the fire station. One can't miss the building. Does she work? Tell her to take her kids there tomorrow and report her case. Tell her, bring out the sledgehammer and let the fly know you will use it. Should her girls be cut, then MIL will go to prison. She should leave her husband out of this. He's just playing ostrich. Men do that so well.

      Mallama

      Delete
    3. I agree with Mallama. The OPD will take it up if she acts.

      On the other hand, perhaps the husband does not have an idea of the extent she is willing to go in order to prevent her daughters from being maimed? I suggest she has a heart to heart discussion with her husband; stating gently but firmly her resolve including divorce and taking legal action against anyone involved. This may jolt the husband into taking sides with her and standing their ground against the barbaric act. If the talk does not generate desired result, she should flee, far away from them.

      Meanwhile, for the unmarried ladies in the house, this is another topic to add to the list of 'things to discuss and agree upon before marriage'.

      -F

      Delete
  7. Please advice your friend to flee. If her hubby doesn't come after her too bad. His indifference is the most annoying.

    ReplyDelete
  8. A higher authority must be involved, clergy and legal. My fear is the circumcision might still take place as she can't be with the children all the time. A good talk with her hubby to know where he truly stands and educate him on female circumcision is of great importance.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I think you should place confronting images after the jump, after having given a warning.
    The child is also a minor, I think the face should have been blocked out. My 2 cents

    ReplyDelete
  10. Ds FGM is rubbish and ignorance. I thought a bill was passed recently to stop it?

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm a guy and I witnessed female genital mutilation in the North when I was about 5. We (a bunch of boys) were just playing when a woman living in the compound, in conjunction with older women brought her daughter out (she wasn't even up to two years old) and cut something between her legs (I didn't know what it was 'cause I was too young to understand). There was a lot of bleeding and the poor baby was shrieking like mad. They then washed her up with the popular blue detergent we know from the early 90's. It took years for me to understand what I actually witnessed and the whole scene is forever ingrained in my mind and it leaves a bad taste in my mouth every time. Ironically, her brother, who was one of the boys I was playing with wasn’t circumcised.
    Over the years, I’ve come across friends, lovers and acquaintances who are victims of this barbaric act of female oppression and suppression and I have experienced second – hand, the hold it has over them and its far reaching effects not just in their bodies but their confidence and psyche. IT’S DOWNRIGHT EVIL!!!
    The poster should take her daughters’ safety and her own sanity personal. That should be non – negotiable at all cost. She should use all legal means and every media to protect them. Her husband is a shame to women’s rights, safety and freedom all over the world. I might sound harsh, but with this singular act, he’s not fit to be the father of those girls – he has failed them and their mother.
    February 6 every year is the UN’s International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation. It’s up to every compassionate person to come together and put an end to this evil all over the world. Let’s do it together.
    K. O. H.

    ReplyDelete
  12. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Turia Pitt Suffered 65% Burns But Loved Conquered All...

Amazing Story Shared by Dr. Ben Carson on Facebook, i thought it is inspiring and i decided to share;

The Australian ex-model Turia Pitt suffered burns to 65 per cent of her body, lost her fingers and thumb on her right hand and spent five months in hospital after she was trapped by a grassfire in a 100 kilometre ultra-marathon in the Kimberley. Her boyfriend decided to quit his job to care for her recovery. 
Days ago, in an interview for CNN they asked him:
"Did you at any moment think about leaving her and hiring someone to take care of her and moving on with your life?"

His reply touched the world:

"I married her soul, her character, and she's the only woman that will continue to fulfill my dreams."

***
This made me very reflective. I just wonder; if the person you love today encounters an incident or accident that transforms who they are physically, it could be amputation, it could be paralysis, it could be severe burns that scald their flesh beyond recognition, w…

#WriteRight. VIVIAN: MY FIRST SEX EXPERIENCE WITH MY BOYFRIEND

He was my coursemate, crush, then my boyfriend.... he was super
intelligent, smart, tall, dark and handsome. Believe me he got
swag, but he didn't seem to notice me. (I'm a nerd but a sassy one
if I say so myself).  So oneday I decided to take it to another level..
After listening to a song "IF YOU LOVE SOMEBODY TELL THEM THAT YOU
LOVE THEM and watching the season film of The Secret Life of
American Teenagers. ..when Amy Jeugerns mum told her "you are only
young once". LOL that part got me.
Hope you know what i mean?

Though I'm okay with chemistry class I approached him to coach me for
the Quiz that was coming up, we found out that we had this
great chemistry between us.. hehehe both the covalent and
electrovalent bonds....

So one thing led to another till one unusual Saturday. I invited
him to my house and he came. The guy got swag, he even came
with a packet of durex condom.
We talked for a while and and and and and and
Kai!
See how you are serious dey read this story....!
My…

...

Good morning people! 
Just checking in to sign the register. Lol. It's been a very busy week and it looks like it might be an even busier weekend. I was hoping to get some writing done when I got to the airport yesterday but I even almost missed my flight. It was hopeless trying to do any work on the plane as it was bumpy af, and this toddler behind me wouldn't stop screaming in piercing shrieks like he was being exorcised. 
I got into town pretty late and needed to keep an appointment ASAP. I'm heading out right now and it's going to be a long day, but thought I should drop this first. 
Have a splendid day. Im'ma be back soon.

One More Post...

THE ‘NEW’ SIDE CHICK: I WAS HER

A side chick is commonly known as a mistress or a woman that’s romantically involved with a man who is in a committed relationship.  However after doing some reflecting, I realize that’s not the only type of side chick.  I want to discuss “the new side chick”–a woman who decides to stay by a man’s side after he has expressed his lack of relationship intentions with her through his words or actions.  So many women have made this mistake at least once in their lifetime, and unfortunately I’ve done the same thing. I like to think of the new side chick as an appetizer.  You’re there just to satisfy the immediate appetite of the man, but as soon as that mouth-watering entrée comes out to the table, you will get pushed to the side, literally.  Why?  Because that entrée is what he really wanted; he went to the restaurant to order steak, not hot wings.  You were just a placeholder, fling, temporary commitment, or  maybe even just a “good ol time” until what he really wanted was presented to hi…

Shhhhhhh....

I'm in an amebo mood tonight. Don't ask me, I honestly don't know why. Also I'd like to share too but I'd do that anonymously in the comment section. Tonight I want to talk about secrets. It's ok, we can all be anonymous. 
Is it true that EVERYBODY has a secret? 
Is there anyone here who doesn't have a secret? I'd really like to know; You're a completely open book and there's not ONE thing about you that you wouldn't mind other people knowing about? Please raise your hands up. 
And for the rest of us, what's something about you that no one knows, or very few people know? Who's got a dark secret here, or a weird one, or a funny one even? I really don't mean to be invasive but I don't want to be the only one sharing, plus I think hearing other people's secrets is quite fun, don't you think?

Let's Be Random Together! (Open Keypad).

Hey guys, a while back blog reader F said something about creating an Open Keypad post, where you can write whatever you want in the comment section. I thought it was a fun idea!
So who is interested? Comment on anything you feel like, ask me or anyone a question, talk about how your day went, your job, your interests, tell us something about you that we don't know, share a testimony with us, rant about anything you feel like, talk about your crush/boo/spouse/relationship/marriage, challenges you're facing, ANYTHING AT ALL! 
I'll only make one request; that we stay civil. 

(F it was you who made this suggestion, right? I'm not too sure and I can't even remember the post the comment was made on). 
BTW please Ejoeccome out come out, wherever you are!

Question of The Day.

TTB readers doesn't this tweet below remind you of something?
That mail that someone sent me a few weeks back. 
But why on earth should a man sleep with his son's fiancé? But what am I saying, some men even sleep with their daughters...

Oh well, I'm throwing the question to you. What has happened in your life that you never saw coming, you never hesperred it, you never imagined could happen, you never imagined could happen to you? 
It could be good, it could be bad, it could be ugly. Do tell!
And it can be more than one. Let me tell you a few. 
-owning a blog -week long dry fast at Prayer City (I never hesperred it).  -staying in an (emotionally) abusive relationship.
The others require anonymity. LOL. Now over to you.

Adventures, Fun, Friendship & Laughter at the TTB Hangout (Lekki Conservation Center).

Nicole to Clare: mummy lets go. I want to climb that ropy thing!

Isn't Clare beautiful?!

Uyi et moi. Clowning. 

Mother & child. 


Scary af! Trish on the ramp. The chica loves the outdoors so much, she was like a kid in a candy store. She and Uyi took this walk twice! More power to them, you can't pay me to do this a second time.


Uyi & Tiwa