I can’t even. What the fuck.
No, I mean it: What.The.Fuck.
Every morning before school, 9-year-old Terisia Techu would undergo a painful procedure. Her mother would take a burning hot pestle straight out of a fire and use it to press her breasts.
With tears in her eyes as she recalls what it was like, Terisia tells CNN that one day the pestle was so hot, it burned her, leaving a mark. Now 18, she is still traumatized.
Her mother, Grace, denies the incident. But she proudly demonstrates the method she used on her daughter for several weeks, saying the goal was to make her less desirable to boys — and stave off pregnancy.
A study found that one in four girls in Cameroon have been affected by the practice.
The U.S. State Department, in its 2010 human rights report on Cameroon, cited news reports and said breast ironing “victimized numerous girls in the country” and in some cases “resulted in burns, deformities, and psychological problems.”
There are more than 200 ethnic groups in Cameroon with different norms and customs. Breast ironing is practiced by all of them.
“To stave off pregnancy”… Just when you thought you knew everything there was to know about the ways in which the world tries to own and control female bodies, you get slapped upside the head with something new.