Vaginas and clitorises and lips,

cut to pieces, ripped open,

stitched up, closed up,

torn apart like dispensable junk.

Hanging bits of flesh

falling to the ground

and blood-soaked thighs trembling,

shaking in anguish.

Smell the dehumanization,

taste the mutilation:

metal, tears, blood, dirt, and sweat

between your lips,

between hers.

A vagina, treated worse than a toilet:

things shoved up there, seized out,

forced in: sharp knives, rough hands,

oiled guns, splintered brooms,

metal handles, thick rods, angry fists,

broken bottles, bruised egos,

men’s patriarchal muscle hanging

from their legs thrust in.

Females from the equator

to the prime meridian

hold back, embarrassed –

believing what we’re told:

our vagina needs to be

pink and pretty, like a petunia

and smell like one too –

no imperfections: no knicks, no bumps,

no characteristics or signs

of human flesh –

look like a doll: fake, plastic,

an inanimate object, quiet.

Grandmothers, mothers, and daughters

grandfathers, fathers, and sons

believing this is the only way to

raise a girl –

this is the only way to be clean

and beautiful.

To enjoy sex is wrong,

no “illicit” sex for vaginas.

Virginity! Virginity! Virginity!

Our vaginas need to be

soft and taste charming,

like vanilla frosting.

Watching men lick the sugar off

their foul fingers,

smiling at their crazed notion of victory,

dictating: a mangled,

unnatural vagina

is painfully beautiful.

We’re taught beauty is pain –

men need to suppress our sexuality

because it’s too strong –







pricking, piercing, incising,

scraping and cauterizing.

They can’t violate humans rights

if they don’t consider you a human.

More articles by Category: Arts and culture, Feminism, Gender-based violence, Violence against women
More articles by Tag: Activism and advocacy, Poetry, FGM



Sign up for our Newsletter

Learn more about topics like these by signing up for Women’s Media Center’s newsletter.