An Eight-Act Crime

2018

These are the eight scenes I remember from the crime that has left me scarred, psychologically and physically, since the age of ten.
The “cosmetic procedure” my mother made me undergo has made me hate this part of my body.
fgm, gender violence, social pressure

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At the Hands of Butchers

2019

We went with them,
And I don’t remember anything about that day,
Except for the doctor yelling at me.
She told me to take off my pants,
But I refused.
They gave me anesthesia,
And cut off a part of me.
I regained consciousness when I had become a “woman.”
Everything changed after that day.
Gender violence; sexual violence; physical violence; FGM; sex

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My Grandmother’s Influence

2019

The doctor arrived,
And I was scared.
I kept begging mama to not let them do it to me.
I had some idea of what was going to happen from friends and relatives.
But unfortunately,
my grandmother’s influence was stronger than my pleas.
Gender violence; physical violence; FGM

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Pinned me Down

2019

In my time, we didn’t go in for examinations.
We were circumcised right away.
I was in second grade.
My mother told me what was going to happen,
She told me that it would feel like a pinprick.

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Live Wire

2019

I kissed two women for the first time in my life today at a party.
Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a kiss on the mouth.
It was a peck on the cheek.
Just a normal kiss; the way you’d kiss a guy friend.
You’ll think it’s weird,
But when you know my story,
You’ll applaud me.

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Help Me, Baba!

2019

I was in the third grade,
And my sister was three years older than I am.
“We’re going to the doctor’s to make sure you’re okay,” they told us.
“Why?
Are we sick?”
No one answered.

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Let’s Find a Midwife

2019

I was a little older at the time.
I was in the seventh grade when mama took me to a gynecologist.
The doctor said, verbatim, “she doesn’t need to be circumcised.”
I understood what they were talking about,
What they wanted to do to me.
“The doctor said I don’t need it,” I told them.
“We know better than the doctor,” my aunt retorted

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Not Like Other Women

2019

I was in primary school when I was circumcised.
I already knew about it,
Because my cousins had it done to them before me.
I thought it was a good thing,
And that it would mean that I was now a woman.
I knew where they were taking me.
I knew what was going to happen.
But I didn’t know how it was going to be done.

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On the Same Day

2019

My cousins and I were circumcised on the same day.
I didn’t feel anything because I was under anesthesia.
But I remember lying on the bed with my legs spread wide.
My relatives came over to congratulate us.
I was very embarrassed.

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Undressed

2019

It started when I was in elementary school.
When I was in fourth grade,
One of our neighbours took me to the doctor.
I was very scared.
At first they couldn’t find anesthesia,
They kept searching until they did.
Thank God for that.

They performed the procedure.
I lost a lot of blood.
The doctor was concerned.
But things turned out okay, thank God.
After that, I felt embarrassed when baba even looked at me.
It made me feel naked.

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