Female Circumcision & Body Awareness

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Body awareness is always something I love to advocate to both male and female. I always wondered if I would know how to raise a male child, especially caring and knowing how to care for his – you know – genitals or those things that make a male child. This is so because I grew up with 5 sisters and one big brother. I don’t know much about the male body care so I nervous to have a male child. But I have one as my first child, and if I do say so myself, I am doing a great job especially because I have little or no impute from the Grandmas. So naturally for my daughter, I am more understanding and connected.

So here’s the thing, God commanded Abraham to circumcise his son on the 8th day so Christians emulate that. However painful it is for the baby and mother to bear that, I understand it has to happen. What I don’t get, though, is what exactly dis the essence or who exactly is benefitting from the nipping away of the female child’s genitalia?

A friend once asked me (awkward) if the urine passage way is different from the vagina. So like I said, I love to be an advocate for body awareness but it was interesting that a 36 year mother didn’t know the difference. You see, she was circumcised as a child and I wonder, really, the extent of that effect on her feminism or womanhood.

So what makes a person want to circumcise their female child? And what really are the advantages, if any, and disadvantages of female circumcision? I watched a TV documentary/movie some time ago about how ladies later on in life either find intercourse excruciating because of circumcision or they don’t even enjoy it at all or how it imparts on their body consciousness and awareness alertness or how it just altogether makes them feel less of a complete woman. However, according to UNFPA, female circumcision has serious implications for the sexual and reproductive health. Little wonder! I imagine the exposure of the female genitalia to diseases and infections.

What then is the necessity of female genital mutilation if it exposes and takes away the natural coverings of a woman’s privacy, removing the clitoral hood and clitoral glans, removal of the inner and outer labia and closure of the vulva? In this last procedure, known as infibulation, a small hole is left for the passage of urine and menstrual fluid. Perhaps, this is why my friend didn’t know the difference?

In 2016, UNICEF estimated 200million women had undergone the procedure in 27 countries in Africa, Indonesia, Iraq Kurdistan and Yemen. It feels unbelievable that we don’t discourage this barbaric inhuman act. And to think that it’s done so crudely using razor blade.

In any case, I strongly advocate that this has to stop. There is no aesthetic or modesty in risking so much of one’s womanhood. Body consciousness and awareness is nothing to be shameful about. It has more advantage, even, than harm. So embrace your sexuality, talk about it if you need to and get the necessary education for your good and your daughter’s. Heck, for the good of womanhood generally.

 

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4 thoughts on “Female Circumcision & Body Awareness

  1. A great read and an important post. This issue is one plaguing many women in many countries. In case you haven’t seen it, there’s a wonderful film on the topic entitled Moolade by director Ousmane Sembène that is a scathing indictment of the practice and a tribute to womanhood.

  2. As an Obgyn doctor, I am still shocked at the complications of FGN i see in patients. Some may not present with it directly but be an incidental finding. I even have some friends that have parents badgering them to circumcise their daughters. In all it is we women that is still keeping this dangerous tradition going. May we not learn the hard way

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