But, That’s Not What They Were Fighting For

The day Maitú snuck out,
to slit her ears,
to wear hangi,
I am sure she didn’t envisage
the day, when girls are stripped
      on streets.
When she, went back and
undid the deed,
I am sure, she did not see,
live video feeds,
Of legs apart on back seats,
with a voice
calling for a bottle.
There are those of us, who never had the chance
to meet grandmas,
who with their husbands names,
hidden under their teeth,
passed on violently, and loyally
at the hands of oppressors.

This what we have here,
This #Mollis era,
     This is not
What they were fighting
     for.

Throwing stones

      It’s 3:00am, and I can’t get back to sleep. My mind is preoccupied by young faces from yet another FGM Kenya documentary I put myself through yesterday.
      It is not a hidden fact, that the age for circumcision is getting younger and younger. Perhaps its in order to combat the increasing awareness of its detrimental health side effects.
      The procedure is so excruciating that it makes illegal torture practices look like childs play. It is often practiced in places so remote, that emergency health care is an impossibility. Once pregnant, if by the grace of God, both mother and child survive, post natal complications are dire. I won’t go into those details (watch the Untold Stories three part documentary on You Tube if your interested. I cried.). The whole thing makes me feel completely helpless and worthless.
      Why are we not shouting about this insanely detrimental practice? Maybe its not entertaining enough. Maybe it doesn’t come in a package with dinner and a raffle ticket.
      One of the most common replies I have gotten when I bring this up in conversation, is that the girls themselves want it to happen. Talk about sticking your head in the ground! If an eight to twelve year old girl told you that she wanted to have sex, would that make it ok for her to do so?
      Children are not responsible for their own safety. Adults are. I am more disgusted by the lack of political incentive to stop these statutory butchers than i am by the perpetrators themselves. The executors of this ceremony are uneducated and have known no different for their whole lives.

      What’s your excuse?

      When these girls become women, they are expected to bear children through an orifice that was stitched closed specifically to allow only the flow of urine.

As Kenyans, we defend our country ferociously. Woe unto the foreigner who spots a problem within our borders and speaks publicly about it.
     
      Instead of attacking the problem spotter, attack the problem. It’s about time we turn our glass house, into a safe and sturdy home.

My Face

My face has mountains

and Valleys, lush, life

giving terrain.

Seeds latent, waiting for rain.

 

You come to me, speaking

in languages that I don’t understand

until I feel them.

But those are just stories I hear.

 

First I must be silent inside.

 

We must slice, from my temple down.

On either side.

Take off my face completely.

 

My nose, you see…

May lead me, to like, to want, to anticipate and salivate

at the prospect of the pleasure of dancing.

This we don’t want.

 

My lips may form a channel of moisture that can contribute

to a miniature lake of

spent desire.

We don’t want that either.

 

The mouth; the greatest offender.

It may consent to be fed, to be watered.

Alow an intruder to climb in and till it.

Should I allow it?

That, we really don’t want.

 

I am a child, yes.

But what goes on in my mind, may blind me from morals

that should be enshrined

so cut out my mouth,

lest I feel inclined,

to speak freely,

words that are babies.

 

You see, my words,

are babies.

Either fully formed, or merely conceptual.

So cut out my mouth,

as regular childbirth is not enough of a hurdle.

Though, I’ve heard, the scar tissue may kill my first-born.

Or if I’m lucky, ensure that my colon is torn.

Cut out my mouth,

so my father can feel warm,

in the knowledge that he sired a true woman.

 

Remove my face from me

I should not see, I should not breathe.

Remove my face completely.

I should never have the chance to speak freely.

I have no value, as God made me, functionally,

responsive with flexibility.

To let mother nature have her way with my body,

would mean,

endless shame to my family.

 

So Please. Cut out my face.

 

So I can be…

Happy.