Mutilation is not a word commonly associated with love. But given that the choice in many African communities is to be cut or choose a future where your child is ostracised, unlovable and ‘unmarriable’—the question must be about how love manifests for children, when it comes to ensuring their survival.
We don’t treat people like we treat oranges because people are not things. No one can treat you like an orange. No one can take your juice aka… your power.
It is the balance of power which determines whether an action crosses the line from hurtful to abusive. When the power dynamic is out of balance and the person with the power inflicts harm on the person with less–even when it is unconscious–it reinforces their position of power and becomes abusive.
And if predatory behaviour is as ubiquitous among men as it appears and as I have experienced it to be, statistically it is likely that my son will violate someone, at some point, in his lifetime. That could be anything from ignorant boundary violation to, god forbid, rape.
Consent is not true consent where there is a power imbalance. You cannot make a free and retractable agreement about something, if that agreement is made in fear of losing your access to income, and resources–financial, emotional or otherwise.
Are you crying because you’ve discovered our present world is far shittier and more abusive than you thought? Are you crying because YOU are far shittier and more abusive than you thought? Ouch, that’s gotta hurt. So cry away but not in the company of people of colour–they know the truth already. Don’t beg them for forgiveness, after all you have albeit unwittingly, been part of a system which abused them.
Facebook is not a news feed. It is an opinion feed where subjective ignorance is lauded and verified journalism denigrated simply by creating a false equivalence. It is a he said-she said feed. And I cannot stay in a relationship with anyone or anything which undermines my ability to trust in myself. I am thrown back into gaslit trauma where there is no security, no clarity. It is the screeching of chaos and now I must make my own order.