On Rape Culture: What Bill Cosby Has to with Breast Ironing in Cameroon.

The Dear Body Project

***Trigger warning: recollection of body mutulation and rape***

When I was a little girl back home, I witnessed a practice called breast ironing. It’s a practice done to girls when they hit puberty and mothers press down their growing breast with hot (nearly burning) stones, in order to stunt the breast growth. The hope is to delay womanhood as long as we can because they know what happens when a girl shows signs of womanhood. She become vulnerable to men who feel entitled to a woman’s body simply because she exists. You might be led to say “not all men”. don’t. Understand that sexual assault is prevalent enough, and goes unpunished enough, that body mutilation is considered a valid practice. I witnessed breast ironing, held a girl’s hands while she cried, saw the burn marks.

I was young but I remember it being my earliest evidence that my body wasn’t…

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