Oct 04, 2023
Oct 04, 2023
Plenty of men, especially those who shape policy, are squeamish and prefer to turn a blind eye to such activity. It should obligatory for them to watch the film Moolaadé (2004) by the Senegalese writer-director Ousmane Sembène. Here it is not Western female NGO workers highlighting the issue, it is an African male. It is heartening to hear that only this week there was widespread support in the Kenyan Parliament when it debated a bill aimed at punishing those found practicing FGM.“They are, in fact, mere breeding-machines – but deprived artificially even of much of the pleasure of married love; for the hideous rite of Pharaonic female circumcision, tho’ it is illegal and has been condemned by leading Moslem authorities, is still practiced almost universally. This operation is performed when a girl is six or eight years old: external genital organs are removed, usually by an untrained midwife with an unsterilized razor. The girl’s legs are then strapped together for forty days, to allow the wound to heal, a small hole in the consequent scar tissue being kept open with a straw or match. When she is married a slit is made with a razor to allow intercourse. At the birth of each child, again the scar tissue is slit with a razor for the delivery, and again sewn up.
Sudanese women admit that they do not enjoy this disagreeable procedure – ‘but there it is ...it’s the custom.’ The grandmothers are most to blame for its perpetuation: it is they who naggingly insist that the daughters of their daughters (and daughters-in-law) must be circumcised.
One man was married recently and found that his bride had not been circumcised, divorced her at once and sent her home in disgrace, which – as things are – will be lifelong.”
More by : Mark T. Jones
|Eloquently and forcefully stated.|
Often, what ought to be apparent to everyone, but is not, is a simple truth concealed by culture and tradition.