Save the Tradition. Put an end to the cutting of girls
By: Sallu Kamara (Kamuskay)
I have this personal opinion on the current crisis in the world ( Africa) on the FGM campaigns mostly led by women who are victims or see it as inhuman practice, at least to serve my conscience and on the basis I am a human being, and that I have sisters and hoping to have child or children in the near future, My position on this will focus around the debate I have seen in which few men put up that what is good for Sallu is also good for Victoria, or for the fact that few women survived it means the cutting of the clitoris is right. Again, I have read articles of few men who came with the position of informed consent to be also given to male (allow them to make decision) before their circumcision.
Again, you may ask a question, why should a man, why should a man go into issue that got to do with women and girls? , why not allow women to deal with that, As story Teller, I am a victim, Again, for the sake of the message I am about to issue, assume that the messenger is woman if you cannot focus on the message, I am a victim either through my sisters, friends or children yet unborn when it comes to health implications.
Let me make few things clear (for our brothers)
I will start by saying I have never seen a campaign led by men or boys calling for the male circumcision to be put to an end till they (children) are consented, literally, it means, I see no wrong in this and I see no reason why few men should only speak against male circumcision in their little corner but could not lead a massive campaign calling for it to be put to an end.
Secondly, for those who are Muslims, one of the seven things Muslims should believe in to be complete Muslim is the books of God ( Quran and Bible) so it is clearly stated in the bible for the circumcision of male child on his seven day, that is what the law of God says. I will ask you to check with your imams and pastors to confirm these verses in both books.
Again, health wise, I spoke with couple of doctors who told me the importance of a male circumcision, some told me about lot of complications and tendency for the male not to even enjoy sex if not circumcise, and tendency of sickness because the lid is not cut off, that is why the circumcision is mostly done in hospitals not at the bush. Hence, certain pain are acceptable, unlike men, I have never seen or heard of FGM practice done at the hospitals with expert or people train and to do so and are in the medical field, can you spot the difference now? for as long as long, group of people have not campaigned against it male circumcision openly, it simply means they are ok with it. I see no wrong in the act. Not until when I see people cry out, I will remain silence. Besides, I really enjoy seeing mine when that lid is cut off than when it was there, so I keep thanking my parents for doing me that favour whenever I look at it.
Now to the issues, I have seen many women, some victims who either were initiated or forced to be disown because they refuse to undergo the process or see it as an inhuman act, the reality is, most of those campaigning against this odd or what they see as odd( the cutting of the clitoris) are women, so gladly, it is our right as men to support or add up to their voices. Let me go little bit further by telling you few instances of victims that shared their stories of how some of them survived it and how others who gone through it regretted and will never forgive their parents for that. Having shared their stories with me to add voice to their cry.
Couple of years ago, a female friend of mine while discussing on FGM issue which at the time I was in support of told me she was not initiated ( her clitoris is not cut) when she was young, I had thought she was coming from family who don’t believe in such practice and I told her she has missed a very important thing in her life, she laughed and told me she ran away from home for three months when she heard she was going to be initiated , she never wanted to, she explained to her mum, but her mum could not listen to the cry of her beautiful daughter, her daughter ( my friend) was to be forced. A day before the initiation. She ran away from home , For months, they were searching for their 13 years old daughter who went missing because she doesn’t want to be initiated. When her family accepted not to take her to the initiation, she gladly return home and they live happily after. She told me she is very fine with it and enjoys her woman wood, she even went to say, she would not have ever forgiven her parents had they succeeded to do what they wanted to do to her.
Another victim, she is a wife of my friend here on social media, ( Facebook) when I shared a post earlier condemning the act and calling for it to be put to an end, he commented quoting his wife that his wife will never forgive her parents who forced her to be initiated .
Again, a sister who came from certain Christian background that do not believe in FGM practice, now married to handsome man with beautiful children and is in the medical field told me after reading my post on social media that she is very ok, she went on to say the issue about excessive feeling for men depends on the nature of the woman, not necessarily because you have not been initiated so you be sexual. SHE IS NOT TOO SEXUAL, despite of the fact that she didn’t go through it.
I spoke with medical doctors ( friends) and read lots of articles online on implications of FGM, I felt sad reading the articles and the advice I got from my medical friends, the few among many they told me are chronic pain, infections, cheloids formation, primary infertility, birth complications, danger to the new born and psychological consequences, I do hope you will not want your child to be in such danger when you know allowing her to live with it have no health implications. I don’t want to, that is why I am supporting my sisters.
In Gambia, finding of this survey is that all the forms of FGM/C, including type I, are responsible for a high percentage of complications, both immediate and late. In this study, 110 immediate complications and 189 late complications, out of 871 cases, were observed. In particular, immediate FGM/C complications, reported previously [11,12], appear to be significant in this study. It has to be noted that even type I FGM/C, the form of FGM/C with least anatomical extent, presented complications in 1 of every 5 girls and women who consulted. Complications in type II FGM/C were observed in 1 of every 2 girls and women examined, thus confirming the previous finding that the prevalence of health consequences are proportional to the anatomical extent of FGM/C . For type III, which was only present in a total of 65 patients, complications are also observed in 1 of every 2 girls and women. However, because of the size of the sample for type III, this figure could be 2 of every 3, i.e. corresponding to the upper limit of CI95%. It has to be stressed that these figures are purely indicative as the patients are not necessarily representative of all girls and women who have undergone the practice of FGM/C you can read full story on this link https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3195700/
Couple of months ago, I had the privilege, among many FGM campaigners and colleagues in the media to be part of day training organized by Mrs Alimatu Dimonekene on the awareness and dangers of the FGM and our role to support campaigns calling for an end in such practices, during the training session, I also learnt a lot about lot of health implications whiles others shared their stories of how sad it is. I saw the need as man and story teller to push their case, the victims have spoken, and my responsibility is to help the message reach out to many. If you are fortunate to read my piece in anyway, help me share it across, put an end to inhuman practice. It is no culture. It is no religion, it is no safe practice. Save the tradition,stop the cutting.