one that's sticking in my head...
"if you saw what they did to me, you wouldn't like it. they cut out my clitoris and stitched it up, it was the worst thing. i don't like to have sex."
this woman and i are around the same age. she has two children. she is wanting to get out of the city because of domestic violence, and because her husband's family want to 'circumcise' her daughter. she knows exactly what that would involve.
these past weeks i've been discovering new kinds of sex, new depths of sex. i've been shedding big pieces of socialised shame, feeling how to inhabit and love my body, how to love sex. in fact i was off in a reverie when this woman knocked on the door of the drop-in. i look her in the eye and try to keep still as she talks. i feel my privilege like vertigo, the edge of a chasm between us. the privilege of being enabled to feel that my body is my own. a few weeks ago i would have had a smaller understanding of what has been stolen from her. today this change in me is raw and new and i don't know how to comprehend this difference between us, the meaning of it, what change needs to happen so that every woman, child, queer, man, person feels that their body is their own. i guess now is not the time. i have a job to do.
she and her children got out of the city. perhaps her daughter will stay safe and her body intact. perhaps she'll grow up feeling that her body is her own. perhaps the woman will feel that herself someday.
more info about female genital cutting.