Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Female Genital Mutilation Story
I read this article in the Guardian today and it inspired me to write this short story.
Nina was just eight days old, the longed for daughter had at last arrived and the time had come for Nina's rite de passage into the race to which she had the good fortune to be born. This old belief system, as old as the world was very fussy about who exactly belonged and so this ceremony was performed to ensure that Nina would be recognized and accepted as part of the old Yucari race, a special race, the race of the Gods.
That the opertaion controlled her sexual pleasure and could be life threatening was overlooked and anyway this made her clean and acceptable to her husband as he would know that his wife was a Yucari.
The practice was it is true barbaric and not for the squeamish. Although it involved cutting Nina's Labia and clitoris in a special recognizable way being but eight days old meant that although it would hurt as say pulling out one's fingernails she would not remember and she would never know of the pleasures of sex that would be denied her. What you don't know you don't miss and her mother and her mother had all gone through this ceremony and so now it was Nina's turn.
All the family gathered for a huge party to watch as Nina was inducted into the Yucari race. Placed on a white pillow the tiny sleeping child had no idea what was in store as she cooed at the lady doctor who was to perform this operation.
The lady doctor was calm and matter of fact as if this was the most natural thing in the world to do, cut tiny little girls private parts away in public with no anesthetic. Her father had a swab with wine for the tiny child to suck on. This would help to ease her pain.
"Oh isn't she a sweetie" cooed the doctor as she removed the child's under clothes and parted and strapped the child's legs which were held in place by vel cro. Joking to the audience who had come for the fun.'There's a good little girl" and the tiny eigtht day old sucked her thumb in pleasure.
'This will only take a minute' reassured the doctor as she pulled on some sterile gloves in the not very sterile room in the local hostelry. The parent's house was too small to accommodate the large crowd of well wishers who were there colds and flu and all to welcome this girl child. Girls were special to the Yucari religion as they alone could ensure the continuation of the Yucari race.
The doctor started by separating the skin that was to be cut from that which was to be left. This is like putting a needle or small knife between the skin and a nail. Naturally Nina screamed in agony . Her mother closed her eyes.
The doctor continued while Nina screamed on. "There there' She cooed " Nearly over, stick the swob of wine in her mouth so she can suck it." Child continued to scream as a clamp was inserted over the skin to be removed but instead of cutting immediately the doctor very unhurried intoned the prayers that were necessary to ensure the job was done.
As she raised the sacred knife for the cut the whole room erupted in glee and rejoicing. Shouts of Yucari for ever filled the room as the child screamed on. Men and women danced and clasped each other and the doctor smiled at a job well done.
There was not a lot of blood to see as a bandage was quickly placed over the offending parts and the baby now in shock stopped screaming. The party and champagne erupted and feasting and rejoicing abounded. Nina was now a Yucari.
Her mother was in shock too and was crying as she held her tortured little girl whose face was contorted in pain but she was forced to join in the celebration. In the past many little girls bled to death or died of infection but not today, today there would be feasting and rejoicing that another girl child had be accepted into the group. It was as natural as birth. Nothing to make a song and dance about. Quite normal. Men and women who would not torture a cat in this manner felt it perfectly within the rights to cut a defenseless little girl without seeking her permission first. The power of the belief system and the purity of the race demanded they overlook the abuse of an innocent child.
However the landlord of the hostelry was not so powerless. He was horrified at what he had witnessed and phoned the police who soon put a stop to these ancient revels. The parents were convicted of child abuse and genital mutilation and the revelers fined as accomplices. Society was appalled at the cruelty to the little girl and saw that the perpetrators were duly punished.
Genital mutilation is a crime but only if you are a girl.