Female Genital Mutilation in Nigeria: How it Affects Men

It started when she was a child.

She had always known she was different because her vagina never looked the same with her friends the night they bathed together.

Fast forward to her wedding dayshe was depressed right from the morning till the end of the occasion because she knew it’s likely going to go down tonight and it might not end till morning (depending on her hubby’s libido).

The wedding finally ended with joy from her parents but with mixed feelings in her heart. She waved to her parents as her husband drove her to their new home.

They got home and she headed to the kitchen to cook light dinner for both of them. “You know you’ve not allowed me to touch you ever since we have been dating. I don’t expect you to be cooking now. I expect you to even be the one to drag me to the bedroom and show me what I’ve been missing” – her husband said.

So she sluggishly left what she was doing and dragged herself to the bedroom. Her husband joined her a few minutes later after he had showered.

Honey, won’t you pull off your gown? ” – he said with a smile on his face. She stood up and said, “mmm, baby, it’s not the usual thing o while pulling down her zipper”. “Usual what?” her hubby asked. She kept quiet and continued to undress.

A few minutes later, she was in her birthday suit, stack naked the way God created her. Her husband smiled “wow, you’re really a beautiful woman, come lay on the bed”, he said.

That night, he took his time to make his wife be in the mood but he noticed blood a few minutes after penetration.

He then looked at her; he saw her crying silently so he stopped.

They tried everything possible to stop the bleeding but when they realized it was more than what they could handle, they rushed to the hospital.

On getting there, after being admitted for 2 days, her doctor said she had pains because it was her first time. However, he noticed while doing his diagnosis that her labia minora and clitoris has been cut off. Her doctor asked if both of them have heard of FGM – Female Genital Mutilation and they both look confused.

The doctor explained to them what it’s all about and although their marriage was barely 3 days old, Yemi and Ade wished it was all a dream.

The major reason Female Genital Mutilation is practised in Nigeria right from the time of our forefathers till now is because many Nigerians believe the girl child is naturally promiscuous and therefore need to be tamed and the only way to do this is to mutilate her (genitalia).

However, this is not true. In fact, it’s the opposite according to the little research carried out by Nigeriainfo FM.

Asides the earlier belief, some school of thought also believe that FGM was circumcision for girls (since the boy child was circumcised, the girl child also need to be circumcised), a recommended process for girls who want to enjoy sex at adulthood.

These people are ignorant of the fact that girls don’t have foreskins that needed to be cut off like the boys.

I myself never believed Female Genital Mutilation existed in Nigeria until I came face to face with it 2 years at my former place of work.

A woman entered my office then and requested to see the doctor. I pointed to the office he was in and in about 3 minutes I heard the doctor screaming on top of his voice.

Trying to know what happened when I got to his office; the doctor said the woman requested that he do a circumcision on her granddaughter. This woman continued to beg the doctor even on his loud voice and I also became angry.

It was until nurses and other health workers gathered and threaten to call the police she ran.

I know you’re still thinking – how really does FGM affect men?

Well, you’ve seen a little in Yemi and Ade’s story but I’m still going to share more.

Effect of Female Genital Mutilation in Marriage

1. License to Cheat

Using Yemi and Ade as a case study, it is obvious Yemi will not be faithful to his wife.

Yeah, because the dream of every man is to get married and have a mind-blowing sex life but this cannot happen to Yemi.

Any time he tries to get close to his wife Ade she cringes and when she finally allows him, she just lies and allows him to do his thing.

Yemi feels this (pain his wife is going through) and because of this, he has to satisfy his sexual urges outside; putting his wife at the danger of bringing another woman home (when she finally becomes pregnant).

Yemi doesn’t want this but there’s nothing he can do. His wife is not sensitive to his demands.

2. Draining Medical Cost

Well, we all know how much it costs getting quality medical care here in Nigeria. It can be very exhausting.

Yomi and Ade visiting the hospital on the first day of their marriage was not pleasant – to me. This was too early. I don’t know if you disagree with me on this but this is the way I feel.

Aside from the fact that it was her first time that caused the bleeding, the money spent at the hospital during that period could have been used for something more needing like buying things needed in the house for at least 3 months of their marriage (my opinion).

Couples should not spend hospital bills on mistakes their parent made. Even if they are to spend, they are to spend on natural occurrences like pregnancy and malaria or the mistake they themselves make.

3. Kills The Nigerian Dream About Marriage

Many youths in Nigeria today have the perfect dream of how their marriage will look like thanks to BellaNaija weddings and others.

So FGM just kills the dream about that.

Looking at the life of Yemi and Ade, they were supposed to be enjoying their marriage right after their wedding but apparently, his wife had been battling depression since childhood.

Imagine entering your marriage with a long time depression. Ade will need to seek professional help and I think her husband will need to join her too so that they can move past all this.

If it were you what will you have done?

Will you have told your husband this happened to you or keep it to yourself the way Ade did till her wedding night? And if you’re the man, will you end the marriage because Ade didn’t tell you the whole truth about her life?

This is a question we all have to answer.

Conclusion

Many things done in Africa today are done out of ignorance. We don’t look at the long term effects of things. I mean who will have believed that FGM affects men also.

We don’t give our children the right to own their bodies.

We can stop FGM in Nigeria today if we imagine our children can be Yemi or Ade.

Image Credit to: Ezekixl Akinnewu

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