Pubescent girls in West African country of Cameroon are currently subjected to the cruel act of ironing breasts. Breast ironing is massaging a girl’s growing breasts with an object like a stone, a wooden flattener, hammer or spatula that has been heated over coals until the bitches disappear.
This ritual is usually carried out by the girl’s own mother. Some of these girls are also made to wear something called a “breast band” which is essentially the equivalent of foot binding. They are fabric brands who are usually worn by undergoing breast augmentation surgery.
The point of this whole thing is to mitigate the tell-tale signs that the girl is entering adolescence. Though not actually a ritualistic rite of passage, it is an act that is practiced in order to prevent young girls from becoming too obviously attractive or “women-like” to men. It is said that it is done in hopes of preventing “unwanted male attraction” and to avoid rape.
A mother from Cameroon says “I don’t want my daughter’s breasts to grow so I found the good stone and used to iron my daughter’s breasts for two months twice a day for two hours, I do it for her own good, she won’t get raped and she would focus on her studies”. Upon asking what would she do if they didn’t stop growing, she said “I would do it again”.
It still doesn’t hurt that much to listen other tales when the men torture women in many ways but when we hear a mother making her daughter suffer for illogical reasons we can’t seem to digest that. It is deep rooted, the torture done to women is passed as a legacy by the women in their lives whether she be her mother, sister or mother-in-law.