LJWorld.com weblogs At Random
Breast Ironing: How do we stop the mutilation?
About the time I think I've heard it all in terms of the atrocities humans commit against each other, a new one comes to my attention. Most recently, it's the practice of 'breast ironing'.
Breast ironing is being performed by mother's of pre-pubescent girls to keep their breasts from developing in an attempt to make the girl less desirable to males. If their daughter become pregnant, not only will she not be able to further her education, but most likely the mother of the pre-teen or teenaged daughter will have the added responsibility of caring for the new infant.
The practice is being carried out in Cameroon, as well as other parts of Africa. What lengths these mothers go to in order to prevent the harassment and rape of their daughters!
As with most atrocities, awareness, education, offering alternatives seem to be key ways to change rituals, or antique and out dated thinking.
What are ways the United States can help in these situations? How strongly should we make 'our' belief system 'their' belief system?
Items used for breast ironing include: hammers, bananas, coconut shells, ladles, and grinding stones. The object of choice is heated over a fire and then either held against the budding breasts, or the breasts are struck with the heated object. Apparently, one in four girls is a victim of this practice.