Since the Divine Lotus website went live and I shared a little of my story, the responses I have witnessed is interesting.
The mentioning of such a taboo subject has had responses from silence to patronizing and hurtful by many I know.
I recognize that one of the challenges in raising awareness about female genital cutting is getting people to talk about the female genitalia. I face this challenge purposefully knowing it is part of what is needed in order to lift the veil of secrecy, not only about our vagina’s but especially about the subject of female genital cutting.
In many cultures mentioning the female genitalia is strictly taboo. FGC/FGM and the talking thereof carries an even bigger taboo around it. This taboo is deeply entrenched and even those of us who have never heard of the subject can feel and sense how riddled with superstition this is. In my opinion – this shroud that has been placed over us permeates our responses to hearing and talking about this subject.
Most of the time when I mention female genital cutting, it is followed by silence. It is a shock to het ones head around the violent nature committed to the vagina. It is usual for people not to how to respond. When it comes to talking about our female genitalia, we begin to whisper, our eyes dart around to see who may be looking.
We whisper – lest we be heard talking out loud. We whisper because we are afraid.
I grew up never talking about my own genitalia. I knew from those around me that this was a taboo. That ‘good girls’ did not talk about our genitalia. This taboo has conditioned us to feel fear, shame, unworthy. These messages are sent to the body, held in the yoni and stored in the womb. This is one of the reasons whey so many your girls experience terrible abuse and violations and our parents never get to know. Many of the taboos expose us to experience abuse and violence in silence.
The voice of every woman who have experienced sexual abuse and fgm counts. Every voice speaks for those who remain silent. Without your voice these practices will not change. We the women are the ones who have the power to create a better world.