Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Friday, July 07, 2006

It Takes A Village

We Can Learn *SO MUCH* From These Simple Cultures...

Usually, you need a convention of Comparative Literature & Cultural Anthropology professors to reach this level of concentrated ignorance.

'Breast ironing' to stunt girls' growth widespread
1 in 4 girls in Cameroon suffer this abuse to protect against rape

YAOUNDE, Cameroon (Reuters) -- Worried that her daughters' budding breasts would expose them to the risk of sexual harassment and even rape, their mother Philomene Moungang started 'ironing' the girls' bosoms with a heated stone.

"I did it to my two girls when they were eight years old. I would take the grinding stone, heat it in the fire and press it hard on the breasts," Moungang said.

"They cried and said it was painful. But I explained that it was for their own good."

"Breast ironing" -- the use of hard or heated objects or other substances to try to stunt breast growth in girls -- is a traditional practice in West Africa, experts say.

I'd be shocked and appalled, but this is Africa, after all. A land where visiting medical workers explained to the locals how to use condoms to reduce pregnancies. By way of example, the workers unrolled condoms onto broomhandles to explain the function. When pregnancy rates stayed the same, their investigation revealed each hut had a broom tucked in a corner, wearing a condom.

Other fun Africa essays here and here.