Monday, August 14, 2006

"Breast Ironing"?

Maybe I don't read enough, but "breast ironing" is a form of female mutilation that I had never heard about. As if it wasn't bad enough that female circumcision still exists...there are women out there burning down their daughters breasts?

In Cameroon, an African country with "relative political and social stability, which has in turn permitted the development of agriculture, roads, and railways, as well as an extensive petroleum industry", nearly one in four girls has her breasts "ironed" in an attempt to thwart male advances. As many as "26% of Cameroonian girls at puberty undergo it".

This "procedure" is performed by the mother and done with fired flat stone, coconuts and pokers:

""My mother took a pestle, she warmed it well in the fire and then she used it to pound my breasts while I was lying down. She took the back of a coconut, warmed it in the fire and used it to iron the breasts.

"I was crying and trembling to escape but there was no way."

Another woman from Mamfe in south-west Cameroon told me she ironed her own breasts as a girl so that she would not be forced into early marriage as is the practice in her village.

"I wanted to go to school like other girls who had no breasts," Emilia said." (source)

Can someone please tell me why so many people are so scared of sexuality and the human body? How can people that claim they believe in God take something that he created (the human body and sex) and make it into a dirty thing to be ashamed of? I have never really been able to grasp that concept...

Why aren't all those abbreviated human rights groups protesting this?!

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