The Cruelty of Female Genital Mutilation & Beyond: A Poem

Rakshita Upadhyay
Published in
3 min readJun 26, 2021


Photo on Unsplash by Timothy Meinberg

When I was little

My mother took me for the candies

I was happy…

In a dingy lane, she

Showed me to an old lady

They murmured and hushed something…

I was a bit intimidated

But happy for the candies!

A seemingly happy day, it became my worst nightmare

She opened my legs, and

Cut off a lump of meat

From my pubis

I SHREIKED in pain

I forgot every good thing

I didn’t recover…

I lost my clitoris

It thought it was the worst thing that

Could ever happen to someone

But I guess there was more to come…

I wasn’t more than a robot

Everyone could take control

Rip and twist and roll

Years later, my old man found me a man his age

He came to see me…

When I was barely eight plus eight

That man looked too old to be my husband

In my family…

Everyone does everything

To be more respectable

To please society

So my parents ruined my life and visions for the future…

With pomp and show

My mother took me to the corner

And gave me a white sheet

She told me I must bleed

And submit in front of my old god

Society would praise and clap for this act

I wasn’t ready for this official rape

I begged my old god

He gave me two days to prepare…

But I think, he too, was pressurized to prove his manliness

He showed me what his previous wives had seen

I was ready to bleed

And to give the world a souvenir

It had been waiting for…

When all the forced pleasure came to an end,

I saw nothing on the sheets

The man next to me was disappointed and angry

I couldn’t figure my mistake

I was scared

I wished the rose petals on the sheets turned sanguine

I wished I had a knife to rupture and prove my sanity…

The next day, I was taken back to my parents…

Because apparently, virgins who don’t bleed are liars

My father’s pride was hurt…

How could I tell I was innocent without proof?

I was innocent and only sixteen…

I hoped I wasn’t born at all

Neither trusted my creators

Nor obeyed them, or loved the lollipops…

One night, I ran away…

Chasing the life I was deprived of…

Setting an example for my siblings I left behind…

I thought no one loved me

People hated freedom fighters like me…

It’s okay, I told myself

I have left everything behind…

Sadly, there are millions like me

Some dead, some alive, the rest aren’t born yet…

Who is to blame anyway?

The tormentors, the victims, or the people who see everything and still choose silence…

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