manena20.blogspot.com webpage. Sunday, December 07, 2008
Elongation of labia minora – Zambia
By Manena (author of the blog where this post is hosted)
I was browsing the web today and just now found out that elongation of labia minora is classified as Genital Mutilation type IV (where have I been?). So of course after my initial shock of “oh my God! I am mutilated!!!” abated… I had a few minutes to think and I have come to a conclusion on the subject. The researchers have erred.
History and Commentary: Let me start by saying that the information contained herein will most likely upset/disconcert a lot of Zambians because we have trouble talking about our sexuality or sex in public places. Ritual/ traditional sexual matters are discussed in private among friends or at gender restricted traditional ceremonies. The reason I feel strongly to speak on this subject is that as Zambian, we sometimes have a tendency to accept western standards as the norm, shunning our own cultures without much investigation other than the fact that it seems primitive. We often forget that when anthropologists come in from other countries to “study” us, they are not highly familiar with the language for a start, and the local people are not comfortable explaining everything or have trouble translating things to English. The evidence is clear in Chisungu: A girl’s initiation ceremony among the Bemba of Zambiaby Audrey Richards. Yes there are a lot of inconsistencies and traditional teaching that has been done the same way for ages that we have no idea why it’s done that way other than– it was passed on by our forefathers that way. You could say the same for many religious practices too. Unfortunately, unlike religion, our history is not written, but passes on through fables or partially true stories, through dance and song or a village elders romantic view of the past…