What about a woman makes her less man?

oppression

What about a woman makes her less man?

 

I’ve been looking for a book to fully immerse myself in. Reading is my form of escape so I was looking for a novel that would take me across the world on a wild love goose-chase with many thrills along the way. Instead, the first trace of love was not the kind I was comfortable with, hell, I almost quit reading because the two leading characters were such a challenge for me to take in.

 

'Older guy & younger girl' and before you roll your eyes or shake your head, he was a cop so no, he wasn’t rolling in dough. Max was in his forties and Gina, her early twenties. This bothered me so much and I soon became aware that if I chose to continue reading, I would be forced to get into their physique, I knew I would soon see more than ‘gross old man and even grosser young girl’.

 

Suzanne Brockmann flipped the script on me by telling 3 stories in one. You know how movies take you 3 years before the present day? I am yet to complete novel and this piece is not to give a summary of the book either. While reading, I soon stumbled on a chapter that brought me to tears.

 

One of the characters I had grown fond of, Molly, was explaining to her lover - who had traveled across the world to find her at a camp where she helps nurse Kenyan women back to health - why she was risking her life to help young Kenyan girls escape their home land. The concept of female circumcision was not foreign to me but it was only through the words of a character in a book that prompted me to truly think about, what Female Genital Mutilation (FMG) actually is.

 

FMG known less descriptively as female circumcision has been carried out in many cultures for so many years as a way of ‘purifying’ young girls before they become women. The act is often, if not always, carried out by people who are not medically trained with apparatus ranging from knives to chucks of glass nowhere near sterile.

 

(The following imagery is affecting but please stay with me.)

 

Girls as young as thirteen are mutilated because certain cultures believe female genitals are unclean and contact with an uncut woman was dangerous to a man. Yes, a vagina consisting of no foreskin is dangerous. A young girl born into any culture that practices this form of blatant misogyny will not only endure her clitoris being cut off but also something called infibulation – a process were whatever is left of the vagina is sewn together so IF it heals, the vagina is scarred shut with an opening that is perhaps a tad larger than a pinhole.

 

Just when you think you’ve heard all of life’s evils… When a young woman who has been mutilated gets married, on her wedding night, her new husband must cut or tear open the scar tissue to consummate their marriage. Natural birth is basically death. I just want to know when Jesus is coming back.

 

With the heaviest heart, I want to know why men have hated women so much for so long.

 

This so called purification ritual aka female circumcision aka female genital mutilation aka BULLSHIT is the scariest method that men, under the clout of culture, use to control a woman’s sexual activity that I’ve come across. While sex is and will forever be enjoyed by men who often feel entitled to it and therefore so often take it as they wilt, sex must be painful and almost traumatizing for women. Why?

 

Why do women not deserve to enjoy sex? Why do men not pleasure themselves using inanimate objects if sex was intended for the liking of one?

 

Why do women not deserve the copious amount of dignity and respect men swim in? Why is the fact that women birthed this entire human race not enough grounds to be protected, respected and exalted?

 

What is so wrong, so sinful, so disgusting, so intolerable about being a woman that makes the world – men – hate us so much that we must be beaten into submission, raped into modesty, cut bare then sewn back together so we don’t behave like the men enforcing these rituals do? What is it about us women that makes us so beneath men, so undeserving of being treated like people instead of things, what is it?

 

Culture and religion, a misogynist’s most valued tools, have been dexterously deployed to keep women in their place, the ‘you are nothing before a man and nothing without a man’ place. The place that forces us to go to the bathroom in pairs, the place that reminds us to be meekly flattered by the male gaze, the place where marriage is the ‘she’s worth something’ validation stamp - that’s the place the god’s of patriarchy built for us women.

 

I have finally exposed the patriarchal tumour I had growing in my brain. A tumour many of you still have. The one that makes you think slut shaming is right, ‘why is she a slut anyway?’ right? I grew up believing your body count was parallel with your self-respect, I could never wrap my head around a female who enjoyed no strings attached, casual sex. I could not understand women who weren’t modest and apologetic about their presence; the misogynist our beautiful world had sculpted didn’t understand why a woman would make herself undesirable to the man by being cocky and boastful. How harrowing is the thought that some women are stoned to death if they do not think that way?

 

I want to move away from feminism and draw closer to humanism. I want to appeal to our humanity, our common desire to belong, to be loved, to be respected, to be happy! – How does having a vagina make women less worthy of their humanity?

 

What about a woman makes her less man?

 

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