Most perpetrators are the victims’ own mothers trying to protect their child.
Breast Ironing is very painful and can cause tissue damage, deformities and psychological problems.
• • •
The process uses stones, a hammer or a spatula heated over hot coals to mutilate the breast tissue and make the adolescent look less ‘womanly’.
Belief is it discourages unwanted male attention and premarital pregnancy. In addition, culture, tradition and religion are often used to justify the practice.
Breast Ironing originated in Cameroon, where it affects as many as one in four.
An estimated 1000 girls in west African communities in the UK are victims as well.
Unlike a clitoridectomy, ultimately a method of sexual control for societal dominance of women where they are robbed of sexual pleasure; it is beleived, particularly in the UK [in cases where Mothers are Breast Ironing their children], it is peformed with good intentions to protect daughters from sexual harassment.
However, both procedures cause much suffering during the procedure and long after. And since breasts are considered sexually desirable in society, it is debated whether Breast Ironing should be given the same statutory recognition as female genital mutilation (FGM).
Laws do need to be enforced to restrict the procedure from happening. [Arguably] breasts are not a sex organ as their purpose is to feed babies and should be recognised as mutilation, not genital mutilation.
Studies show that breastfeeding releases nursing hormones that cause feelings of relaxation, feelings of love and affection – causing mother to be more affectionate with child. Hence, in society, normal breastfeeding sensations have become associated with and are quite often confused for adult sexual sensations and relations.
The function of breasts is to feed children. The sexual misconception is why Breast Feeding in public is sadly often frowned upon.
It is bad enough that women have to hide their bodies in certain cultures, let alone mutilate themselves. From the topfreedom campaign #freethenipple to cultures regulating females cover themselves in full garb all because their nipples, body, legs, hair etc. are seen as inappropriate or “sexual” [religious purposes may apply].
Just because a womens chest is viewed to be inappropriate, rendered sexually desirable; since many people see toes as sexy, should we all stop wearing thongs [flip-flops] so as to to not offend someone or worse – put ourselves in danger of being harrassed? We should not be punished for the perveted interests which society wrongly advances.
Many misconceptions need to be cleared up, so we can live in societies where individuals don’t feel the need to mutilate themselves or others. We are so lucky to live in a section of the world in which we are rarely discriminated for our bodies on such an extreme level. We even have the choice to enhance our body parts rather than hide them, so stand up for other those who can’t!