Crazy as We Wanna Be Asks: Is Bondo for white women now? Caitlyn Jenner’s “initiation” into western womanhood.
A couple of weeks or so ago Reverend Kabs Kanu’s Cocorioko published a cover picture of some random, recycled internet image of a presumably African woman, her arms flailing and she is screaming in either horrific pain or terror or both. Her bottom half is cut off from sight so we don’t know what is going on – is she giving birth? No. The sensational headlines invite the spectator to conclude that she is a victim of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), allegedly the greatest crime against girls and women in Africa and beyond. While Cocorioko, a Sierra Leonean owned pro-government online newspaper, was busy publically and globally humiliating the vast majority of Sierra Leonean adult women as well as our mothers and grandmothers through this demeaning representation of Bondo society, the American upscale women’s lifestyle magazine Vanity Fair stole the show last week with a front cover outing of Caitlyn Jenner, the newly transformed white Bondo woman.
So, what do I mean by this? How can I equate Bruce Jenner’s turning into Caitlyn with Bondo women's initiation or so-called FGM in Sierra Leone? First of all, as a proud and sexually confident Bondo woman I reject the term “mutilation”. This little exercise is meant to force us to question why some of us continue to refer to ourselves as “mutilated” when it is clear that the very white women who invented that term to define us would never use this language or concept to describe their own genital modifications, whether on girls or adult women boys or adult men. But this article does more than that. I want us to consider something more insidious that is happening here. Not only have we been invited by western women (and many of us have accepted) to denigrate our vaginas as mutilated and to accuse our mothers for complicity in an African patriarchal conspiracy to deprive us of sexual pleasure and womanhood but we have allowed these same women to appropriate, that is to steal and make as their own, the very genital operations and ideologies behind them that our mothers, grandmothers, and female ancestors handed down to us.
Enter Caitlyn Jenner...
Read the full version of this article published here.