Cultured

18:15 Eva Kesh 2 Comments


My friend invited me to watch her perform at an African event and it got me thinking about some aspects of our culture and how the woman self is effected by it.

My two cousins and I were walking to the shops in the highlands of Kericho where my grandfather lives. Clarissa, the eldest of the two of us, told us she heard about this thing that was being done to girls; circumcision. Florence knew about it too, I was unsure of the details of the ritual but the more they spoke about it I knew that it sounded painful and I would never want it done to me. I defiantly announced to them that I would run away and be a Chokora (street children in Nairobi that sniff glue to get high and suppress hunger), that would be a better option. They both laughed, Clarissa agreed that she would come with me and Florence told me that sometimes you don't know when it's going to happen. 'I will fight' I said. We got to the shops, bought some sweets and never spoke of it ever again.
This was the first time that I learned about FGM (Female Genital Mutilation), I was very young, under the age of five. That conversation with my two cousins stuck with me for two reasons: fear and shock. I think that we need to let go of such idiotic barbaric cultures. We created culture, not the other way round. At what point did women gather around a hut or underneath a tree, and decide for themselves, that the best way to attract a son-in-law is to chop up their daughter's vagina with a razor or knife, sew it together with thorns or needle and thread if available then bind her legs together.
What kind of idiosyncrasies -sugar coated by a name called culture- are we practicing?

The stupidity of this issue doesn't just stop at a sewed vagina, with a small hole left for the purpose of urine and menstrual cycle, it extends further; on the wedding night, the man is supposed to rip your flesh open, and like a good wife, you must endure it. I rebuke this nonsense!!! I watched a documentary whereby a newly married young Somalian girl living in Kenya wanted to surgically be opened-up but the husband refused.

In Swahili, he said "if the other men find out, they will laugh at me. I will open her myself."

These atrocities against the woman self are not only pertained to Africa, they are spreading the shores of Europe and America. Right here in London, this inhumane act takes place and guess what? The government is in no rush to act, no rush whatsoever! It's not even classed as Child Abuse. It's reported in the UK that the Somalians mostly (among other Africans) and Asian girls have it done, they are taken out of school during the summer break. Taken to their home countries, chopped up and returned to London to continue with life. Sometimes within the Somali community, older women who 'cut' girls are flown to London to come and 'cut' a group of girls.
France has a better approach to this vile practice, they take a no nonsense approach to Female Genital Mutilation. They have clinics where women can go and get help, they do regular checks on young girls to make sure they have not been 'cut'. So if you're a girl in Europe and in fear that your family will force genital mutilation on you, run to Paris/France, the U.K will not protect you unless you take the matter to the police yourself (if they know what that is). They are too busy talking about it being a cultural practice first and foremost instead of focusing on it being a wrongful and illegal practice that is against the human rights which should be addressed with the utmost seriousness.

2 comments :

  1. Yes she's very beautiful

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    1. Hey Phil, it's all thanks to you for me being able to capture this vision. :)

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