by pablo vision
I was a young girl in Sudan, in Egypt, and in so very many hot, dusty, countries.
My mother traded part of me for the love of god. The thing she chose to trade was what her mother had chosen, and her mother before her. It is the thing I will trade with god — when it is my daughter's time to enter womanhood. It is a trade I will make because god is great. It is a trade I make, because (and I will not say these things, and I will have no way of knowing these things) somewhere in our dark, ignorant past, we traded myth for reason, indoctrination for thought, and madness for sense. It is a bargain, I fear, struck between man, and his man-made god. And this god: a man too. This god is all-powerful; he made us perfect in his image.
Except, that he did not.
I was a young girl who could know so little of when my mother was trading with god, that arms that had held me so lovingly, so tenderly, so comforting, could hold me so tightly, so cruelly, and so powerfully. (No way could I ever have known, or guessed, or feared, that the person I trusted most in the world would ever want to cause me such pain.) I was a young girl who could not know that the first sight of blood, would herald so much more blood; terrible blood. I knew not, that the trade with god, or my future husband - a man I knew not - would involve the removal of parts of me that were a very essential part of the young woman that I was becoming. I did not know the names of these parts of me, that god had given me, that were to be cut away, and cut out, crudely, and painfully, with savage blade, for the love of god, and the benefit of man. I did not know the words, in my language, or yours for infibulation. And I will not call it (never, ever, because we all must respect faith and culture):
And now, with sin, or the temptation thereof, removed, I will be a perfect and untainted gift for my husband. I will not question if he is a good man or a bad man, a kind man or a terrible man. I will not judge him, because I am unworthy to pass judgment. It is not for me to question the will of god, or man. And, as a mother, I too will not want my daughter to be 'nigsa', or unclean, in your words. I will want this 'tahur', or as you might say, cleansing and purification. I will not question the wise words, of wise men; modern men, who say:
The pleasure that women derive is simply unnatural and abnormal, and leads to moral degradation.
That female circumcision is a religious duty.
I will not question that my sex is a gift, and a right, for only my husband to enjoy. I will not question, or even think of, injustice, or barbarity, or inequality. I will have no knowledge that this trade started in times before my (and I will not say misguided) religion, by primitive dirt farmers, and men afraid of the sun, and thunder, and rainbows, and storms, but mostly, women.
God is great, and man is great.
And I do not, and will not, say this: only because we have made them so.
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