Blood of Women - I love my Vagina more

4:00:00 PM

With Jamaican Poet StaceyAnn Chin during her visit to Kenya

Imagine your vagina sewed until you cant pass urine, 
Imagine your vagina sewed your menses cant go through, 
Imagine your vagina sewed your baby cant pass through so it dies in your womb,
Imagine...Imagine...Imagine.
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.

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4 comments

  1. Yes yes yes yes I love it........

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  2. Hi Sitawa
    So glad you saw the film & thanks for sharing your blog. I made it to the evening screening. Not easy information to digest. Kenyatta's autobiography, "Facing Mt Kenya" has a whole chapter describing the practice. I'd recently seen "Desert Flower", (highly recommended & showing at Alliance Francaise on 12 March)but "Blood of Women" goes into much more detail.
    Last night I saw Eve Ensler's "Vagina Monologues" which was sensationaelle! Here are two excerpts:

    "VAGINA HAPPY FACT

    Here is a vagina happy fact. This is from “Woman: An Intimate Geography,” by Natalie Angier* .. The clitoris is pure in purpose. It is the only organ in the body designed purely for pleasure. The clitoris is simply a bundle of nerves: 8,000 nerve fibers, to be precise. That’s a higher concentration of nerve fibers than is found anywhere else in the male or female body, including the fingertips, lips, and tongue, and it is twice, twice, twice the number in the penis. Who needs a hand gun when you’ve got a semi-automatic?

    NOT-SO-HAPPY FACT
    This is a not-so-happy fact found in UNICEF’s 2005 Report, “Female Genital Mutilation and Cutting. A Statistical Exploration.”
    Female genital mutilation has been inflicted on approximately 130 million girls and young women. In the 28 countries where it is practiced, mostly in Africa, about three million young girls a year can expect the knife — or the razor or a glass shard — to cut their clitoris or remove it altogether. In a man it would range from amputation of most of the penis, to removal of all of the penis. Short-term results include: tetanus, hemorrhages, cuts in the urethra, bladder and vaginal walls. Long term: chronic uterine infection, increased agony and danger during child births, and early deaths."

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  3. This is a nice article Sitawa. I have travelled to those areas and seen what really culture has done to women over there. Nonetheless, what these people needs first is awareness, law would do them no goo.

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