What Affect Did Waris Dirie Have on Female Suppression?

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What Impact Did Waris Dirie Have on Female Suppression? “Mama positioned me on the rock. She sat behind me and pulled my head against her chest, her legs straddling my body. I circled my arms around her thighs. She placed a piece of root from an old tree between my teeth. ‘Bite on this.’ I was frozen with fear. ‘This is going to hurt!’ I mumbled over the root,” Waris Dirie reveals in her book, Desert Flower (192). Many women and children suffer from female genital mutilation (FGM), also called female circumcision, every day. Ever since the moment she was mutilated, Dirie knew she had to help women escape the trauma she had experienced. From a young age she knew the mutilation she survived was wrong; years later, after having corrective surgery she reached out to women, helping them heal physically and emotionally, and by doing this the Desert Flower Foundation emerged. Realizing the horror of FGM was a shock to Dirie; she was willing to do anything to stop it. Dirie explained that in Somalia it is believed that there are bad things between a girl’s legs, causing her to be dirty, oversexed and even unmarriageable unless she undergoes infibulation. Infibulation is the most extreme type of FGM. The clitoris, the labia minora, and most of the labia majora are removed (Dirie and Miller 190). Dirie stated when she was about five, her mother told her the gypsy woman would come any day. In most cases, a nomadic [gypsy] woman, usually in her later years, would perform the surgery without any anesthetics or sterilized equipment. The night before her mutilation, Dirie was given extra food, as it was considered a celebration of her passage into womanhood (Dirie and Miller 191). When it was time, her mother held her down as she watched the gypsy woman hobble towards her with a broken razor blade. To clean the dried blood off the edge, she spit upon it and wiped it on her

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