Sunday, December 4, 2011

Imagine She's White

 Imagine She's White

It was hot today. Hotter than usual. Maybe it really isn't as hot as I think; it could be that I'm just nervous. My mom told me it was going to make me a real woman. I won't want to do bad things anymore and I'll be able to find a husband and raise children like her. One day I'll be able to share this with my daughters, at least I hope that is my destiny. My grandmother will be here today. She hasn't been feeling good lately, but she told me this is so important that she'd be here no matter what.

I've been looking forward to this day for so long, I can't believe it's actually here. My house has never looked so big, and I've never felt so small. They told me it would hurt just a little, but I would be clean from all the sins of my body that would hurt me more if I didn't do it. As I walk up the stairs, I feel myself start to cry. I'm getting really scared now. My grandma is holding something sharp and I'm trying to run back down the stairs. My mom catches me and tells me I better shape up if I want to have a family someday. I can hear my dad downstairs putting groceries away like he usually does on Sunday afternoon. I scream for him, but all I can hear are cupboards opening and shutting.

My aunt walks in. She and my mom hold me down on the bed while my grandma cleans the sharp thing. It still has some orange dust on it, but I know she would never do anything to hurt me. As they spread my legs, I pretend I'm in a better place. A place I'll be in someday. I have a husband and he's showing our son how to throw a football. I'm braiding my daughter's hair while she watches cartoons.

Pain. I've scraped my knees playing outside before, but nothing like this. Nothing down there. Pain. My screams are met with a pillow in my face. Why is this taking so long? I think forward to my wedding. They said I'd have to do this again at that time, but I don't know why, yet. Pain. I try to go farther into the future and think about having my first baby. Again, they said I'd have to do this then, too, but I just don't know why. Why do I have to do this at all? Why would I do this to my daughter?

It's over. My mom ties my feet together so I can get better. I'm sure they would only do what's best for me. 

In Africa, 92 million girls have undergone female genital mutilation from ages 10 and up. What if she was white?

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