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Male Dominance And Female Subjugation? Essay

2156 words - 9 pages

"I was genitally mutilated at the age of ten. I was told by my late grandmother that they were taking me down to the river to perform a certain ceremony, and afterwards I would be given a lot of food to eat. As an innocent child, I was led like sheep to be slaughtered.Once I entered the secret bush, I was taken to a very dark room and undressed. I was blindfolded and stripped naked. Two strong women carried me to the site for the operation. I was forced to lie flat on my back by four strong women, two holding tight to each leg. Another woman sat on my chest to prevent my upper body from moving. A piece of cloth was forced in my mouth to stop me screaming. I was then shaved.When the operation began, I put up a big fight. The pain was terrible and unbearable. During this fight, I was badly cut and lost blood. All those who took part in the operation were half drunk with alcohol. Others were dancing and singing, and worst of all, had stripped naked.I was genitally mutilated with a blunt penknife.After the operations, no one was allowed to aid me to walk. The stuff they put on my wound stank and was painful. These were terrible times for me. Each time I wanted to urinate, I was forced to stand upright. The urine would spread over the wound and would cause fresh pain all over again. Sometimes I had to force myself not to urinate for fear of the terrible pain. I was not given any anesthetic in the operation to reduce my pain, nor any antibiotics to fight against infection. Afterwards, I hemorrhaged and became anemic. This was attributed to witchcraft. I suffered for a long time from acute vagina infections.--Hannah Koroma, Sierra LeoneThis is one testimony out of millions of women who have endured what is now known as Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Female circumcision has been practiced for centuries from the Red Sea to the Atlantic Coast. It is considered an element of a rite of passage, preparing young girls for womanhood and marriage. Often performed without anesthetic under casual conditions by so called practitioners with little or no knowledge of human anatomy or medicine, female circumcision can cause death or permanent health problems as well as severe pain. Despite these grave risks, its practitioners look on it as an integral part of their cultural and ethnic identity; some perceive it as a religious obligation. The most dangerous operation, infibulation or pharaonic circumcision, is customary in Sudan, Somalia, Northern Kenya, parts of Ethiopia and all long the Red Sea Coasts, as well as in West Africa in parts of Mali and adjoining areas (Org. of African Unity 1). The debate over the validity of female circumcision is relatively recent. The practice was rarely spoken of in Africa and little known in the West until the second half of the century. Opponents of female genital cutting; however, emphasize that the practice is detrimental to women's health and well-being. Some consider female circumcision a ritualized form of child abuse and...

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