Blood of Women - I love my Vagina more4:00:00 PM
|With Jamaican Poet StaceyAnn Chin during her visit to Kenya|
Imagine your vagina sewed your menses cant go through,
Imagine your vagina sewed your baby cant pass through so it dies in your womb,
Well you can only imagine but to girls in Pokot, this is a way of life.
For them, this is something they get into willingly or unwillingly so that they do not smell for the clitoris smells they are told,
This is something they do to be desirable for marriage,
For their husbands to be 'respectable' in societies,
For their fathers to get more cows.
By invitation of Annie, a lady I met when MC'ing a poetry book launch a few weeks ago and a second invitation by my girl Nebila who I have worked closely with in the Africa Unite project, I went down to Alliance Francaise to watch Blood of Women, a film on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) yesterday afternoon. The theatre hall had a handful of people contrary to the power of what we were about to see.
Until yesterday, I had a lot of imagination and neither here or there information about FGM and fitsula,
I too used to imagine until I saw the stages of FGM;the chopping of the clitoris with a shared knife, the cutting of the labia and tieing of legs together and the stitching.
I too used to imagine until I saw a lady almost die of pain due to prolonged labor,
I too used to imagine until I heard women discuss how they had to be cut open to remove dead foetus from there wombs because their vagina were too small for the baby to come to the world,
I too used to imagine until I heard Cherono, a 28 year old lady from Pokot, speak in front of us about three operations she had to undergo after having pregnancy complications and developing Fistula,
I too used to imagine until I looked around the unpacked theatre hall and saw all women crossing their legs if only to mentally block the mutilators from getting to their treasure.
As I sat there with my legs tightly crossed like every other woman in the theatre, my mind went through all the oppressions and injustices in the world. For a second, I wanted to change my path from Mental Health and go to Pokot and knock some serious sense to all those people,
All those who still promote this malpractice,
All those who told the girls that they were marketable for marriage only if they get cut,
All those who smiled at the camera and said if they have difficulty penetrating their wives, they were confident she was faithful...they didn't care about the pain she went through during the penetration
All those who used a horn, yes a horn to get through.
All those who told the girls that being mutilated is like getting a University degree.
As I wondered how best I can help, I remembered the day we had breakfast with Jamaican Poet StaceyAnn Chin, as she described the tattoo on her back that reads 'all oppression is connected'. The oppression persons with mental health disorders face is connected to what those girls face and many others world over. I am one and I have made so much head way in Mental Health to turn around and start something else. So I decided to play a part in the movement and write this blog post for all who follow my work. By reading, by sharing, by getting to see the movie and assisting or passing it round, you are creating awareness and that what needs to be done. I believe things change as long as people keep talking about them.The Anti-FGM workers need all of support to stop this banned practice.
I will also add a line about this on my Rise up and Dance poetry piece for that everywhere I perform it, I create awareness about this banned practice.