Aisha was only 6 years old when she went for genital mutilation in The Gambia. She told the Cosmopolitan, "Three other women were holding down my arms and legs, and another was sitting right on my chest, covering my mouth. They try to put pressure on you, so you don't cry for the next girl to hear. I can still feel the weight of her today. I can still visualize all their faces as I talk about this. I can see what each one of them looks like and the emotions that they had — so empty, like they didn't see me as a human being."
Another victim of genital mutilation detailed her experience: "Your whole body is in pain, the scream that you scream, meant I lost my voice for a couple of days. The moment your genitals are cut, a part of your soul dies."
While the girls speak of their gruesome ordeals in such language of pain, the cutters praise the practice, gloating that, "Circumcision is an important festival. It's a celebration like Christmas. It unites people. There is feasting and drinking and dancing. When you are cut that's when you can grow healthily into a woman because the bad blood is not there anymore. In the body there is good blood and bad blood. After a girl is cut the bad blood is gone."
That is not all. Agnes Kebure, a cutter told the Dailymail, "Girls are cut to ensure they remain faithful because the sexual organ is not there anymore. When you are cut you will not be a slut looking for men here and there like a prostitute. You are docile, waiting for your husband because after you are cut, sex is for having children not for anything else." In other words, only men can enjoy sex and when the issue is taken to its logical conclusion, only men can be promiscuous. That in itself exposes the whole practice for the patriarchal sham that it is. Over 200 million girls and women have paid in blood and tears to maintain men's monopoly over sexual intercourse in communities. It is an infuriating reason to warrant the butchering of vulnerable little girls and women.
In Somalia, 98 percent of females from ages 15 to 49 have been mutilated while Guinea follows with 97% and Djibouti at 93%. Communities stubbornly holding on to this practice hide behind the veil of culture but culture is made by people not the other way round.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres' words cannot be ignored, "With the dignity, health and well-being of millions of girls at stake, there is no time to waste. Together, we can and must end this harmful practice."
The time for flimsy excuses is over. Enough is enough. Stop butchering our girls!