When Nimco Ali was 7, she thought her family was going on vacation. They flew from their hometown in Manchester, England, to Djibouti on the Horn of Africa.
Ali doesn’t remember the exact location. But she clearly remembers what happened there.
The young girl found herself in a dingy room, with a woman dressed in all black, standing over her. She didn’t know what was going on at the time. But she fell asleep. And when Ali woke up, she was confused.
The woman had mutilated her genitals.
Ali is British to the core: She was raised in Britain and went to British schools. But her family is from Somalia — where 98 percent of girls and women have a part of their genitals cut, mutilated or completely removed.
n some places, the practice is still thought of as a rite of passage for women. But health leaders around the world are working to end the abusive practice. Now Ali, 30, is one of several activists speaking out against the tradition. She’s also the cofounder of Daughters of Eve, a nonprofit that provides support for women living with genital mutilation and protects young girls at risk.
Even in the U.K., Ali’s experience isn’t uncommon. A study out of City University Londonestimates that from 1996 to 2010, there were about 144,000 girls in England and Wales, who were born to mothers from countries practicing genital mutilation. Many of these girls may be at risk.
That’s why the British government has launched a new health care program to help survivors. Prime Minister David Cameron has also proposed new laws that mean parents could be prosecuted if their daughters are mutilated.
Since 2010, nine Republican-controlled state Houses have passed TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) laws that intentionally seek to shut down abortion clinics by imposing heavy regulations.
In the states where TRAP laws have been passed, but few clinics remain for the millions of women who reside there.
She likes pink, will dance to Blurred Lines, occasionally fakes an orgasm … and worries that the sisterhood would not approve. America’s brightest new essayist talks about the dark side of her fierce, funny writing
Photo: Jennifer Silverberg for the Guardian
For Nick, sex with Andi was an expression of his love for her, love he expressed to her time and time again. I don’t judge Andi for sleeping with Nick. I don’t think she’s a slut for sleeping with her final two. I do think Nick asking her why she had sex with him knowing it was more meaningful to him than it was for her IS A REASONABLE QUESTION to ask of someone who’s broken your heart. This happens all the time in life! People have sex and then they break up and it sucks and it hurts and sometimes people are left with questions. Ideally, you’re given the opportunity to ask those personal questions OFF camera, but alas, Andi made that impossible. Sorry, girl.
— "No, Andi Dorfman Was Not Slutshamed On ‘After The Final Rose’,” Amelia McDonell-Parry, TheFrisky.com (via thefrisky)