The day mother told me about her circumcision, I went to bed with the sound of wailing baby girls and pictures of bleeding walls. Female circumcision was the painful pitiful horror I read about in books, this simply couldn’t happen to someone so close to me. I dreamt of being cut open, screaming for someone to save me. Reality became a series of aching bones, She was five and clueless. It wasn’t done by an unsanitary gypsy woman like I once read in a book. It was a careful operation with anesthesia, surgically removing all the rebellion that would make her arrogant and perverse, sewing it back up with docility. Her mother nodded “she would someday make a good wife.”
Grandmother was right; father licked every plate of mother’s afang soup. She knelt to greet him every morning. She bore him 3 sons and a daughter. What more was a wife for?
Mother would side with father every single time; a good wife was a nod in agreement to her husband’s every thought. Father sent me to the kitchen while my siblings watched football “Who would marry a woman addicted to watching ball, you should be in the kitchen” I cried those nights, banging the pots against the cooker. I prayed to a God I wasn’t sure was listening, I didn’t want to be different. Why did God make me a woman if he preferred men? Religion brought me more confusion than clarity in my younger days. I came to despise everyone, I came to despise religion. God said he loved us all, when he obviously he loved men more. He made them the heads in families (the smarter, more responsible ones), I was to die in submission. I was to die an accessory to men he loved.
I was sick of it all, I hated mother and she was a sheep. That was before I learnt what circumcision was, how it cut off possibilities of pleasure, of experiencing love. Sex becomes an obligation to her man; she quietly gave everything, bared her insides until she was nothing.
I made my decision to abandon feigned morality and religion when I finally got into college. I spent my nights in different beds, savoring every touch much induced by liquor, taking my fill of pleasure from each lover’s bed. Now I laugh a mock staccato laugh each time father boasts about how decent I am.