From Female Circumcision to Breast Ironing: The Curse of Maturity for Young Girls in Africa

Recently, a fellow DR blogger posted a blog regarding the  invention of a new controversial product called the Anti-Rape Female Condom. Our lovely readers in turn responded, giving various perspectives of the object – its very existence and its efficacy in controlling rape. Of the many comments, some written in humour and others in indifference, one captured my attention:

And when exactly do we introduce our daughters to this concept…?

Beyond the political bullshit of the day, something much bigger bugs me – our Socialization.

We can change our institutions and vote for new constitutions, but until we deal with our socialization, the very core of our beliefs, our norms and ultimately our actions, we are never going to make any progress; whether  as individuals, as a country or as a continent.The law will not help us. If anything, the law protects our fundamental beliefs. It protects our right to cultural affiliations and religious association. The law is there to protect what we believe is the norm. Sadly, some of our norms leave a bitter taste in the mouth

If our norms allow men to prey upon innocent women, rape them, impregnate them,infect them with diseases and leave them for dead, the solution does not lie in inserting jagged, plastic objects in women’s vaginas, as a protective measure. That is certainly no way for a young girl to be socialized. The problem is not with the child, the problem lies with male socialization.

The same holds true for female circumcision, it is never about the young girl, it is about the male element in that society. To quote Agnes Pareyo, also known as the Vagina Worrior:

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