The Censorship Board

2013

Why can’t we publish the story?
It doesn’t have any profanity in it.
“Doesn’t it mention extramarital sexual activity?”

FULL STORY

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.

FULL STORY

I don’t know where to start

2017

My father was the first person to touch me.
I used to tell myself that I was imagining it.
When he’d touch me with his leg from behind,
I’d tell myself he was just being playful.

FULL STORY

Sex Is Dirty

2013

My American friend told me that it got way better,
And that she started enjoying it more after she got married.
Because it felt safer.
It didn’t feel like a sin.
Yes, sex is considered dirty and wrong even in the West.
sex, marriage

FULL STORY

Gentle Pain

2016

I once wrote an article about FGM (Female Genital Mutilation),
And wasn’t sure if I should publish it.
I decided to take my friends’ opinions,
Both male and female.
I was with a friend when he was reading the article.
His reaction was cold and strange.
We talked about FGM,
And he told me that he didn’t really understand what it was.
He didn’t understand how it happens,

And how it affects women.

FULL STORY

The Habit

2017

Until I was sixteen years old, I didn’t know exactly what made boys and girls different.
I hadn’t lived a sheltered life or anything, so I don’t know why I was ignorant about this.
In what felt like an instant, I became surrounded by teenage friends whose jokes were always sexual in nature.

FULL STORY

Look Here, My Girl

2014

We were all girls like you once.
I was a young girl just like you before marrying your father.
We all went through the same things.
We’d just play sports and take a cold shower.

FULL STORY

Past Relationships

2017

My friend and I—whom my mother chose for me because he was “well-behaved”—used to frequent each other’s houses for private tutoring lessons.
He asked me one time before the lesson about masturbation—something I knew nothing about.
He insisted on doing it in front of me.
sex, sex education, sexuality, masculinity, body image

FULL STORY

I Just Couldn't

2012

There are a lot of things I don’t have a problem with.
I’m an open-minded liberal.
But I never imagined this would happen to me or anyone I know.
With a blank look on my face, I told her/him, “No, I can’t.”
And I ran out of the room.

FULL STORY

Your Husband Will Be Disgusted

2019

I was in the seventh grade,
When mama and baba told me:
“You’ve grown up and you need to be circumcised.”
I didn’t understand what was going to happen,
Or what exactly they were going to do.
All I understood was that if I didn’t remove that specific part,
It was going to grow to look like a male part.

FULL STORY