Times come and go, seasons fade into centuries, our forebears have left the scene but not without writing on the black board of time. of course we can’t completely wipe out d board because in it we find wisdom. An old African adage says “what an elder sees sitting down a young man can’t see while on a tree”. The necessity of preserving old tradition can’t be completely eroded but at what expense.
Over century past, the need to preserve traditions have led to passing on of barbaric and dangerous traditions which are empirical to the girl. Our conservativeness hassle kept us in shakes that sink deep into our flesh and we are told to endure because our forebears did but what’s the essence of growth if there is no modifications to suit present circumstances?
The girl child has over the years being subjected to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) where a part of her genitals are removed after birth or during adolescent under the false belief that it aids child birth whereas it actually reduces chances of giving birth as the lady is subject to painful menstruation and serious bleeding during birth which often times leads to death.
Statistics shows that 3 million girls are cut every year world wide but at what cost?
One can’t overlook another disturbing reason why some parents actually mutilate the genitals of their girl which is the pathetic reason that the lady would have less chances of getting pregnant at home and “embarrassing the family”, yes the honour based violence. Of course the lady can’t get pregnant because the sensitive skin in her vagina that warrants sexual pleasure has being chopped off which reduces libido and the lady left with a dysfunctional sexual life which includes no interest in sex, painful sex , little or no satisfaction. This menace seeps in even after the lady happens to grow up and marry leaving her with a marred sexual ability for life and the question one keeps asking is “is it worth the cost?”
Also the proposition that this practice is deeply rooted in sexism cannot be over emphasized. One would wander ” Why would the society be deeply engrossed in curtailing the sexual life of their girl child without a reciprocal gesture on the male?” of course it would be absurd to demand that the male genitalia be cut off but then why would such act be carried on the woman?
What is good for the ram is equally good for the ewe. The society from time immemorial has relegated the girl child to the belittling position of being just sexual objects. Virginity in lady is emphasized without a reciprocal emphasis on the make child. In fact the word “virginity” can be said to go hand in hand with the girl child. If at all anyone has a problem with ladies not being virgins on their wedding night but doesn’t have a problem with men not being virgins before their marriage then it would be OK to say that such individual ain’t having a problem with dis virginity but with the girl child.
We can’t protect traditions that are inimical to our well being, acute conservative ideology is harsh on the ever changing world. What is food for the 1700’s may be poison to the present world because of heightened knowledge. We must look at those traditions, carefully examine them, keep those which are humane and good, discard those that are barbaric. Of course the elders may see things a child can’t see but when the child grows up he should be allowed to see and evaluate things his/her way. This is true growth and development.