Snipping off a Piece of Me

2019

One day,
In the middle of the first term of seventh grade,
Mama sent me over to my aunt’s.
“Go see what she wants,” she said.
When I went over to her place,
She told me to accompany her to the doctor’s.
I thought she was sick.
While we were waiting for our turn, she said,
“The doctor is going to examine you.”

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No Pleasure

2019

I’m 25 years old.
I was circumcised when I was 11.
I was in the fifth grade then.
I knew what they were going to do,
But I didn’t know anything about sex at the time,
Or how FGM would affect my ability to have sex.
Gender violence; sexual violence; physical violence; FGM; sex

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Unnecessary for Women

2019

I was circumcised when I was in sixth grade.
I was aware of everything,
And tried to talk to my mother,
But she was passive,
And didn’t care.
Even though she complained a lot about her sex life,
And how it does nothing for women.
gender violence, physical violence, fgm, sex

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Dresses

2019

They made me lie down on a bed.
Then all of the sudden,
They were taking off my clothes.
I screamed and cried.
They tried to hold me but couldn’t.
I kicked and squirmed.
I didn’t want them to do anything to me.
They brought my older sister in to calm me down.
But nothing would.

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No One’s Seeing Me Naked

2019

It was my dad who made the decision.
When my mother objected,
He threatened to get one of his doctor friends to do it behind her back.
I found that out,
Ten years after they took away a part of my body.

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The Virginity Test

2019

I didn’t bleed a lot the first day I got my period,
So there were doubts about whether or not it was actually my period.
It was the worst time of my life.
womanhood, period, gender violence, fgm, virginity testing

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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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Not Like Other Women

2019

I was in primary school when I got 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 I’m all grown up.
I knew where I was headed.
I knew what was going to happen to me.
But I didn’t know how it was going to be done.

Gender violence; sexual violence; physical violence; FGM; sex

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A Respectable Girl

2019

I had a friend in the sixth grade,
And one day she called me,
Voice brimming with pride,
And told me that she had been circumcised.
She explained what it was.
She said her parents had taken her to a doctor for the operation.
They said that circumcision was a nice thing,
And it made girls look prettier.
The girl was bragging and stuff.
Then all of the sudden,
She asked me if I’d been circumcised.
“No.”
“Why haven’t your parents done it for you?”
“I don’t know.”

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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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