The lengthening of the labia minora – a violation of integrity

By Maduduzo Rebecca Sibanda

I remember how when I was just thirteen years old, my grandmother made me lie on my back and fondled with my private parts. She had wooden pegs in each hand that she dipped in cooking oil. I recall how confused I was, when I asked her what she was doing, she told me she was lengthening my labia minora. For starters I did not know what labia minora were, although I was scared and mystified, I could not resist being inquisitive. My grandmother insensitively said that she had to do it to me because girls with normal labia minora never got married. I remember the excruciating pain, my grandmother explained that she had to use the pegs and the cooking oil for lubrication as at thirteen my labia minora had hardened. She told me my mother should have elongated my labia minora before I turned five.

The lengthening of the labia minora is a very common practice in the African culture. It is practiced by some tribes in South Africa, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Rwanda just to name a few countries.  As explained to me by my grandmother, the reason for undergoing labia stretching is for sexual enhancement aimed at conceding satisfaction to the male partner.

Many young girls in my culture continue to have their labia minora lengthened either by older family members or by themselves at the instruction of elders. The “unlucky” few who undergo labia minora elongation after they have reached puberty, like myself, go through a gruesome experience as objects have to be used to do the stretching. The process of stretching must be done on a regular basis for an extended period of time in order to achieve lasting results. This forced elongation of labia minora is seldom documented as a form of female genital mutilation, possibly because there is not cutting or piecing of the genitals.

Although I was only thirteen years old when my labia minora were lengthened, I questioned the whole practice. I did not appreciate why my vagina had to be modified for the gratification of another person, for a man I had not even met, a man I was not certain I ever wanted to meet. In as much as the stretching of labia minora has been a cultural norm in my native country for hundreds of years, I am utterly against the practice. I as a victim of labia minora stretching can not single out a benefit for having abnormally long labia minora. I experience discomfort and pain particularly when I wear sanitary towels or tight fitting pants. I feel denied of my right to bodily integrity and the liberty to consenting to what gets done to my body. Having studied at a boarding school, throughout my high school years I avoided being seen in the nude by my fellow colleagues for the fear of being ridiculed.

While some people may argue and say that we should by all means embrace our culture and be proud of the way of life of our ancestors, the practice of lengthening  the labia minora sets a precedent to young girls for the manifestation of gender inequality and discrimination. The very fact that I went through agonizing pain for the pleasure of another, psychologically instilled a sense of oppression and subjugation. I do believe cultural practices have meaning and fulfill a purpose for those who practice them, however, culture is not static, it is in constant fluctuation, adapting and reforming.

For example, in my ethnic group, the bride price of women whose labia minora is not stretched is paid using Angus cattle (a breed of cattle that does not have horns). This is done to symbolise the groom’s disenchantment of marrying a woman whose labia minora is not elongated. This practice inflicts shame and humiliation on the bride and her family and opens up the woman for abuse and mockery by her in-laws and an entire village.

As a form of progression, society should change their behavior towards certain cultural practices that put men in a superior position to the woman. The forced elongation of the labia minora of minors is one such practice that robs young girls of their dignity and their freedom of choice and as such should be abolished.

In conclusion it is important to highlight that it is possible to give up destructive practices without giving up meaningful aspects of our culture.


52 thoughts on “The lengthening of the labia minora – a violation of integrity”

  1. Well written, factual and i relate!!!! You revive memories and stir emotions by the simplicity and honesty in your writing. This post will help us confront our past, heal and make us better parents. I love this post:)


  2. The post made me very uncomfortable as I had never really heard of labia minora lengthening. Although uncomfortable, mostly because I cannot imagine having to go through the process myself (and all the negative emotions to one’s self and sexuality that follows), it is an important message.

    Thanks for this.


  3. I was deeply moved by this piece of writing. Its the first time i am hearing about such a practice. Its sad that just because there is no cutting of the genitals the practice is not given as much attention as Femal Genital Mutilation. Thank you for sharing your story. I hope it will send a message to activists out there to do something about this. All the best.


  4. wow such a good piece of writing. I’ve never heard of this practice but I am shocked by it, I believe it should fall under genital mutilation. I was writhing the whole time through when I read it. Thank you for this piece of education.


  5. It really beats me why in (almost?) every culture on earth the female sex has been accorded the role of modifing itself physically and mentally and psychologically for the sole purpose of accomodating the male’s (imagined) pleasure and comfort.
    From china with the Lotus feet to Africa with the various types of FGM, the arab world who hides it’s women entirely from view to the west with it’s fashionably starved females; everywhere the evidence screams out loud.

    When are we, the women ever going to WAKE UP and realise that our first responsibility is to please ourselves? That in essence every human being regardless of one’s gender owes nothing to the other? Why waste this relatively short adventure called life by advocating misery, enslaving one’s self and evangelizing mass enslavement? Could it actually be that humanbeing sare pre-programmed to seek out pain and truly lack the capacity to embrace and appreciate freedom?
    Why can’t we in issues like this be more like the “lower animals” and just live naturally, appreciating the opposite sex for just what it is? I never heard of an elephant who had to lenghten it’s labia minoris to please the bull.

    It really beats me….


  6. Am sorry you feel ashamed of your elongated labia because I am one of those men who has a strong preference for women with such…For me elongated labia enhance a woman’s beauty more than anything else..I do not believe therefore that labia elongation/stretching is a form of mutilation, painful as may be. \

    So sad you describe yourself as a victim.I feel what you should advocate for is a way to make the process less painful.- not to do away with it.

    Many young men in Africa undergo circumcision without painkillers – and are very proud of it. Nelson Mandela went through it too. They would not be described as mutilated.



    1. They ARE mutilating the women, and I don’t give a rats behind what you like. The way you write this implies that you’ve seen a lot of women’s labia, which suggests you’d suck as a husband anyway. You think of women as a tool for your pleasure. We’re not. We do not give a shit what you want our labia to look like. It is mangling a very sensitive part of a woman’s body without her consent. Circumcision of any kind is also a barbaric practice. Take your third world sensibilities and your sexist beliefs and get off this site. We don’t want to hear about how much porno you’ve seen or how obsessed you are with a tiny piece of a woman’s anatomy. You are a poor example of a man-you’re really just a child. You aren’t fit to be the husband of any woman.


    2. This does not make any sense. This woman was forced to undergo a very painful procedure AGAINST HER WILL and you think she\’s mistaken to describe herself as a victim? That is ridiculous.

      I don’t know why you think your aesthetic preferences regarding a woman’s labia minora are even relevant. So what if you think long labia are attractive? That doesn’t justify the pain this woman went through. What you like, what you think is sexy, doesn’t matter in the slightest. They’re not your labia, so you don’t get a say. Understand?

      Many people find tiny labia minora to be more attractive in western culture, but luckily for me, nobody is forcing me to cut or shrink or modify my labia to fit with the current general aesthetic preference of men.

      Her labia as they are have caused her difficulty because someone else altered them. It was not her choice, and that is the part you don’t seem to even consider an issue. If my natural labia caused me difficulty, I could choose to have them altered. I would not want somebody else to make such a choice for me.

      It doesn’t matter that young men in Africa undergo painful circumcisions, for the sake of this argument. If they do so of their own free will, then that is their choice that they have made. Maduduzo did not choose to have anything done to her genitals. If they were forced to undergo this procedure, well that is simply a wrong and bad thing to do to them, just as bad as this lengthening procedure. Just because a cultural practice harms everyone equally does not make it okay, and you cannot justify continuing it on those grounds.


    3. It is not right to make a human being (note, not just WOMEN) alter themselves and/or pain themselves so that other people may find pleasure in their appearance.

      Males who have been circumcised have been described as mutilated. There is a movement to abolish this practice as well. Circumcision is usually religious and not designed to enhance the sexual pleasure of the other gender, like labia lengthening.

      Just because something is traditional does not make it acceptable. Segregation was ‘traditional’. Slavery was ‘traditional’. Did tradition make it right? No.

      You may find elongated labia minora beautiful. Fine. However, you should not condone nor expect millions of girls to undergo a painful procedure just to please cultural norms. It is sexist, it is misogyny at its worst, it violates a girl’s integrity, it robs her of control of her body, it is molestation. This goes for genital mutilation of any kind for both genders.

      I am curious as to your second point, however. Enlighten me. How would you make this process less painful?

      And why should girls be the only ones who have to do this? I find six-pack abs to be attractive, should I be pushing for all males to be put on a diet of steroids and muscle enhancers in order to increase their attractiveness to me? Would you not find that a violation of your rights as a person?


  7. thank you for this piece.the practice is truly painfully and i am of e opinion that it should be forbidden. labia minora should not be used as a way of clarifying a woman.


    1. Why not? how else should a woman be “clarified”? OK.You do have a point; to define a woman by this criterion alone is shallow. But remember from time immemorial physical attributes have always been part and parcel of what defines a “true” woman. That’s not about to change. Emphasis and preference will vary according to culture, individual taste and sexual orientation but that principle will remain unchangeable. Some hold curves to be the ideal, others insist on large breasted women to be the epitome of female sex appeal, some want them short, others want them tall,or thin or fat etc, etc. For some the most appealing partner is one with ambiguous genitalia! Whatever. When all is said and done, if we are talking about what a normal heterosexual male would prefer, even if they may not admit it openly, my bet is that, all things being equal, long labia would win any time hands down. Sorry but that is the truth.

      If you are in a heterosexual relationship my guess is that your partner will totally agree with me and he counts himself lucky to have you.


      1. Aman: It should be banned because of this:

        “. I feel denied of my right to bodily integrity and the liberty to consenting to what gets done to my body. ”

        What she is feeling is the TRUTH. She WAS denied her right to bodily integrity. She did NOT consent to have it done, and it left her in pain and ashamed of her body.

        For what? So some man like you could get his jollies? How is that right?

        And just because men are also mutilated and many don’t see it as such is no goddamned excuse. Circumcision of men IS mutilation for the same reason – violation of bodily integrity and lack of consent.

        If someone CHOOSES to have either procedure done, more power to them. But forcing it on a child is disgusting.


      2. I find that in the West, as well as Britain and Australia, long labia is considered disgusting thanks in part to pornography that normalizes child-like bodies. There is a cosmetic surgery procedure being done in these places known as labiaplasty, which removes a woman’s inner labia lips.

        This is what’s so unnerving. Painful stretching or undergoing costly and damaging surgery? Which is worse? Why can’t we just be happy with the genitals we were born with?


      3. What if it isn’t all about what YOU like? What about the woman’s comfort? Her ability to sit and walk without pain and chafing? Why must women go through this ridiculous and painful ritual – and then suffer later for the inconveniently long labia – just so some man who can’t get it up unless a woman looks like his particular fetish can get off?

        If you like it, great. Whatever works for you. Some guys think it’s disgusting. YMMV. Find a girl who’s got them naturally – and yes, they exist – and don’t subject your poor daughters to this horrible practice.


      4. Well- for one it’s being done on children as young as 5. They have absolutely no choice in the matter, it’s done by people they trust against their will for reasons that they have no say in the matter of. You’re into longer labia- that’s totally good and fine. That’s your preference, just like some people like small ones or big breasts or butts or none or extra weight or pure muscle. But to suggest that people continue a practice which forces children into incredibly painful and confusing situations because of your sexual preference? What the fuck.

        And seriously- why the fuck do the 5 year olds care what men want sexually? Don’t police children’s bodies. If grown, mature, adult women want to make the decision to have their labia stretched then that’s all good and fine, but that isn’t what happening here, and no one gives a fuck about what you masturbate to when it’s at the cost of children being mutilated.


      5. Well- for one it\’s being done on children as young as 5. They have absolutely no choice in the matter, it’s done by people they trust against their will for reasons that they have no say in the matter of. You\’re into longer labia- that’s totally good and fine. That’s your preference, just like some people like small ones or big breasts or butts or none or extra weight or pure muscle. But to suggest that people continue a practice which forces children into incredibly painful and confusing situations because of your sexual preference? What the fuck.

        And seriously- why do the 5 year olds care what men want sexually? Don’t police children’s bodies. If grown, mature, adult women want to make the decision to have their labia stretched then that’s all good and fine, but that isn’t what happening here, and no one gives a fuck about what you masturbate to when it’s at the cost of children being mutilated.


  8. I know the post is old, but I am a filmmaker looking to put together a proposal to produce a documentary on this subject, which is near and dear to my heart.
    Would Ms Maduduzo Rebecca Sibanda be able to speak about the subject?


    1. I can speak about it, am Ugandan have had different experiences on the subject, from home to school. peers, In my middle school, the health teachers talked about it, but didn’t force anyone to do it, I tried doing it with my peers when i was 13yrs but i didnt last long since it involved going to the bush, i was worried my mum would one day find out that i had been gone. A few days to my wedding my mum hired a marriage counselor to talk to me abt marriage and ovc sex, the lady mentioned labia lengthening and its importance. She told my mum she charges $300 to do it, and it lasts 7days, I was very busy with the wedding so i got married without it, I recently discussed it with my husband, he told me he knows about it, but also added that its just something that might spice up the sex, its not the salt to it, if yu wanna do it go ahead am sure ill enjoy it, but make sure yu dont come to me crying about the pain,if its going to cause pain to my wife then I can do minus it.
      his words just sunk deep in my heart, i know this is stupid but i was just thinking about doing it for him just because he didn’t demand for it.
      Am totally against mutilating these young gals, people should be given a chance to decide what to do when they are of age, or even after marriage, bse different people are attracted to different things


  9. God created me beautiful and i aint changing for no man if u dont like wat u see u can go fufil your selfish sexual desires samwer els.and mind u elongation of the inner labia reduces the size of the clitoris 2 a state wer it is barely visible and thus reduces senstivity.does that sound fair to u?


    1. Correction: labia lengthening does not reduce the size of the clitoris, please do more research then make a decision. By da way, it is actually less painful than male circumcision and some men still choose to go through circumcision and to others its done to them when they are young..; male circumcision has benefits for us females as well as men. by the way, labia lengthening also has benefits for the woman too….


      1. it should nonetheless not be forced. unfortunately am sorry to the lady that had to endure such pain, may you find healing for your soul and get past this horrible ordeal…


    1. Not everyone will have a problem with a certain procedure, some may like it, like the women you show in that article, but some women like the blogger found it painful. Its just like medicine, not everything will agree with everyone and for some it may have detrimental effects, whatever they may be. I don’t agree with the practice but its a tricky subject and unlikely to reach a conclusion any time soon, so this debate is more or less pointless.


  10. I agree that our African culture can be a bit scary as an adolescent. But some of us appreciate our customs and traditions and do not despise them at all. Labia elongation has its benefits. We embrace them and our culture in general and have learned to value them. It makes us who we are and it feels good!


  11. I am from Zambia where people practice labia elongation. I was only introduced to it by my friend when i was very young and tried it a few times but decided to stop because it was painful and i didn’t thin it was even medically safe especially considering many people recommend using all sort of substances to complete the task. I questioned the hygiene of the substances, thank goodness because i only now know about all the different types of cervical cancer caused by women using substances given to them to complete this process.
    later on, while i was at university the topic came up, i was really amused that we were discussing it so publicly among men and women but fortunately we all had the maturity to discuss it well. What really struck me was the reason they gave for why it’s done. It’s really all about the satisfaction of the man. that’s the bottom line, and the women pay the price of this not only in pain and permanent body alteration but also i lessens your sexual satisfaction. By puling on the labia minora, you are PULLING IN the clitoris, hence the clitoris recedes inside somewhat. The ultimate result is that sexual stimulation of the woman is reduced. Women with a clitoris that had receded are less likely to be sexually aroused and have more difficulty reaching any sexual satisfaction.
    So like i said they whole process is to please the man, for one thing you are not easily aroused so less likely to be sexually excited and mischievous, because as per most African traditions sex is really about pleasing the man, women are just there to facilitate their sexual satisfaction. The whole thing is really scary to think that someone decided i should be denied of all the little pleasures in life even after marriage so i can be controlled. it’s absolutely ridiculous.


    1. Labia stretching should not be a forcing matter but a matter of choice with adequate education on the pros and cons with healthier, safer and better ways of doing it. just like they are doing now in zambia on male circumcision where there is a huge campaign to promote the practice to the men (male circumcision) via better surgical methods and health care.

      One of the reasons given for men to get circumcised is that it reduces the risk of cervical cancer in women because the human papiloma virus which causes cancer is housed in the foreskin (empirical evidence exists for this)… and many men are doing it and encouraged to do it on these grounds even though it is very painful and disrupts a man’s life for some days and alters his physical body forever. Now, labia lengthening though painful depending on the methods used also increases pleasure not only for the woman but for the man too, if they can do something for us, why cant we also do some thing for them? besides we still benefit just like they benefit by increasing their hygiene through male circumcision.

      Its not about competition but mutual love….


  12. And l gasped a little as i read about how woman without the elongated labia are ‘shamed’ with cattle without horns for dowry. YHO! talk about social sanctions. shame how the world is so cruel to women.


    1. Eliza,there are a lot of things in African culture that need modification that includes marriage rituals and labia elongation. However I do not think they should be banned until some scientific research proves their harmfulness as in the case of labia and clitoral removal.


      1. I also disagree with the notion that labia elongation is done purely for male satisfaction. Many women appear to enjoy it and report that it enhances their sexual experience. Besides most of us men only become aware of it in adulthood,after some sexual experience


  13. Therefore if women are distressed by this practice they should just stop it.After all it is done on women by women. Eventually men will forget and what they are unaware of they will not miss. So stop blaming men over this. This is one of the few things women in Africa have total ownership and control over.They can change it if they really want and the men will continue lusting after the women. Guaranteed.


  14. To Aman,

    I’ve read all the replies on this blog post and your interactions. I think it’s good that you’re prepared to engage on here and put your views forward. And as a man I can appreciate some of your views and preferences although I don’t share them, Human sexuality is a complex thing and each of us come from different family circumstances and upbringings that create the foundation of our belief systems about ours and others’ sexuality. There are a million different preferences, desires, practises, fetishes, perversions and beliefs about what’s good, what’s ‘right’, what normal, what’s ‘wrong’. For many humans, it is one of the most puzzling, troubling and confusing aspects of life. And sadly for many humans (the majority being woman and girls) it involves terrible repression and acquiescence to a male ‘construct’ of the world that involves the fulfilment of male sexual desire and wilfulness as being the ‘main game’ or ‘main agenda’.

    And in many ways this is how you’ve written your replies to this post and the others on here who’ve commented on what you’ve written. It’s the “Well I don’t see anything wrong here because I like lengthened labia minora” mindset. And from the perspective of this mindset what I think you’ve missed completely in your responses is that this article by Maduduzo Rebecca Sibanda is about the fact that she was forced to have her labia minora lengthened when she was 13 years old, against her will. And this is what this entire blog posting and the replies are all about. She was forced to experience, what is in effect mutilation and bodily interference because her grandmother had bought in to the social construct that suggests she wouldn’t be as attractive (or in effect ‘saleable’) as a female without elongated labia minora.

    I know this is extremely difficult to comprehend but just work with me here for a few minutes. Imagine the world was entirely different from what it is today and men’s looks and bodily attributes were continuously talked about, discussed, considered and reflected upon by woman 24×7 in the same way females currently are, courtesy of the male world ‘construct’ (i.e. fashion parades, pornography, woman’s wearing of uncomfortable shoes & clothes, the constant need to be sexy). Imagine women were in charge of the media, the business world, our education institutions (basically everything) and woman set the tone and agenda on sexuality and what they like/dislike, accept/don’t accept. Imagine that there were all these practises around males bodies (far beyond just circumcision) started thousands of years ago that involved boys having their penises stretched so they’d be longer than normal. Imagine that woman talked openly all the time about how important a stretched penis is to them. Imagine there were websites such as (I just made this up; haven’t checked if it’s a real website) showing stretched penises and women spent hours looking at all different types, discussing on forums how they’re turned on by them, etc. Imagine that as boys our grandfathers and uncles spent all this time and effort stretching our penises as we were growing up, telling us that we’re just not going to be attractive to women if we don’t have a stretched one. Imagine many boys suffering from terrible side effects of their penises being stretched; tramatised by the pain and feeling like they’ve been violated but confused because they thought their grandfather loved them….and their dad didn’t do anything to stop it….but they’re constant having it reinforced that it’s essential, etc. Imagine a world where the entire system is around the other way and as men, our worth can be measured by certain physical attributes as being ‘the main game’ and our stretched penises being fundamentally important to us being able to keep our wives (or risk having them leave us for another man with a more attractive stretched penis).

    What I’m asking you to imagine is something that (to most men and women) is an abomination. A horrible construct where men are reduced down to having their worth measured by these induced physical attributes that women crave.

    Aman, I’m sad and embarrassed to have to point this out. THIS IS WHAT WOMEN CURRENTLY EXPERIENCE. It’s no wonder so many are so upset. And it’s no wonder feminism exists. If you can try and put yourself into the shoes of what so many women experience and then think about what the humiliation and abomination of what Maduduzo has written about must be like for them, then you might have some understanding of why some of your attitudes are so abhorrent and eliciting the responses from the women on here.

    Time for men to realise we all need to grow up and focus on the higher attributes of human relationships. Let women and girls be the wonderful, beautiful and totally amazing beings they are, without interference from men.


  15. To Phillip Dartnell,

    I think it would be useful for this discussion to first define two issues : genital mutilation and modification. The first entails a reduction of an organs ability to perform its intended natural function to a satisfactory level and also lowers its aesthetic/cosmetic appeal, whereas modification merely attempts to enhance appearance while hopefully improving on functionality too. You seemed to have confused the two, because the illustration you give of penile stretching is clearly a case of mutilation and not modification. It is sad that Rebecca had a grandmother who was clearly a bad mentor and teacher and who turned something that for most is a positive experience associated with pleasant feelings into something that left her psychologically traumatised.

    Where I come from women seem to engage in labia enhancement for their own pleasure and not merely to please their male partners. That’s not just my view (which I accept counts for little since I am not female) but the opinion of respected feminist scholars like Ms. Sylvia Tamale, dean of the law faculty at Makerere University.

    On the question of being forced we force children to do chores and groom themselves because it builds their character. We can turn it into a pleasant experience or a nightmare depending on the approach. Rebecca’s grandmother was unfortunately a nightmare. Hopefully she was the exception rather than the rule.


    1. Having said all this and read responses above, I have come to agree that Rebecca needs to be commended for having the courage to speak out on an issue that has troubled her, even though some of us may not have always agreed with her conclusions. Someone may conclude that mathematics is a bad subject simply because they had an unpleasant teacher. It is necessary for such to speak out so that the subject is dumped if deemed useless or teaching methods for it are modified and improved. Same for cultural practices. Culture as they say is (and should be) dynamic. Let’s hope we can control the change and direct it in a positive direction.


  16. Culture should never make us feel pain or uncomfortable rather it should be our safe haven. I am totally against lengthening of the labia especially if it makes women feel like they are slaves to pleasing men


  17. Tatendabertha I wonder why people like yourself speak out so much against labia elongation, though its harm is far from being proven, yet many are reluctant to join the fight against the marketing of skin bleaching products that are causing havoc on the skins of our women – a scientifically proven fact. This bleaching is done because men supposedly prefer lighter complexions. A myth – as far as am concerned. I have a preference for the darker complexioned women(so nothing against the women who are naturally lighter)as long as they have other virtues that appeal to me as well. So before web start attacking labia lengthening let’s join the fight against the really dangerous practices-female circumcision and skin bleaching


  18. having just discovered this piece and after reading it and all the replies i must admit i am left with that sick feeling i get in my stomach when i see or hear something that completely upsets me. as a mother and a grandmother i cannot imagine ,custom or not, doing such an intrusive and painful procedure to anyone. i commend the author for her courage having endured such a “rape” and sharing her feelings. noone should have pain like that. and some of the comments lacked the compassion i feel she deserves.i hesitate to think what remarks would come if some custom involving manipulation of a man genitals, especially areas where females are always told to be careful not too hurt because it’s the worst pain that anyone could endure,was involved. noone in this century should be inflicting or enduring torture on any living ,feeling creature.


  19. I find this whole thing rather strange. Four out of five women develop these naturally enlarged labia minora and think they’re freaks! Society teaches us that we are supposed to have the vaginas of a five year old. I personally have large labia minora, the right is much larger than the left. For years I avoided female care because of it. I must say now that I’m older I love it. The labia are so sensitive and my orgasms are very intense.
    However, I do think this should be a matter of personal choice and should not be forced on a young child. Chances are this will happen naturally, and women should embrace their bodies and their sexuality.


  20. The most outspoken, zealous, and in many cases, militant oppressors of female sexual expression—are women. The first three (3) decades of my life, the years during which I should have been enjoying my youth and sexuality, I spent blaming men for the cycle of fear, shame and insecurity that I called my “Sex Life.”

    Considered from my current perspective, life’s fifth (5th) decade, I recognize the grotesque depth and breadth of the injustices I wrought upon men whose only wrongdoing consisted solely of noticing and taking interest in a woman “empowered” by feminism to project and, in so doing, make her every body-image and sexual-performance based anxiety the fault of the masculine gender. If the trend embraced by my girlfriends at any given time called for plunging necklines, I blamed men for my being discomfited with my small breasts. If my girlfriends were sporting perms because it was the “It Look,” I blamed men for my suffering at the hands of an incompetent hairdresser who very nearly burned my scalp a’ la’ General Sherman.

    Never has a man refused me sexually or voiced objection to my breasts, vulva, hips, tip of my nose, etc. For their own parts, the men with whom I’ve shared my bed and body have been an enthusiastically supportive lot, not one of whom ever made me feel self-conscious about asking to see a pair of shoes I fancied in a size 10; not one of whom assessed an outfit I’d worn to a social function and rolled his eyes and slunk away to surreptitiously giggle with his boyfriends; not one of whom took it upon himself to recommend HIS stylist or HIS dry cleaner or HIS personal shopper.

    And what of those men having the unmitigated audacity to develop appetites for sexual particulars; those brutes predisposed to preferences ranging from lingerie to pubic shaving to anal sex? I say, “God bless them!” If there are women in this world who prefer meek, passionless lovers whose imaginations and desires extend not an inch beyond vaginal coitus as undertaken from the Missionary position, they are certainly in the minority—but an unrepentantly vocal, dare I say, “self-righteous,” minority. And speaking of “inches,” the next time some militant, sexually hopeless feminist takes to pounding her sandals against the figurative pulpit or less figurative side of some innocent man’s head in a towering, self-righteous frenzy over women being made to feel “obligated” to live up to men’s expectations regarding their bodies, take a minute to remember the times you’ve bemoaned privately, or to a close friend…or two, or seven, or twenty…the “shortcomings” of some poor fellow’s endowment. Consider also in that moment that the report he made was a proud recounting of winning the favors of a girl he’d long desired; a girl whose adornments and performance were beautiful and brilliant (where women are prone to vouching their sexual escapades in lamentation and/or indifference, men are almost certain to speak proudly of theirs) and into whose arms they shall return with all haste—this he tells a group of envious friends…


  21. There is a sound justification for male circumsicion aman like reducing risk of cancer & STI contraction by approx 60%, LE on the other hand has so called “sex” benefits & tons of health risks such as cancer. You say some women that have had LE “appear” to like it, i dont knw where you come from bt where i come from if my granny,aunts&mom have been doing it then i dont have a choice bt to grow up “thinking” its an adorable practise. its a social construct Aman, its instiled in them.


    1. I have elongated labia and i like it..with no there u have it, one person who likes LE and i bet there are more girls who do..
      Please check the Benefits below and evaluate them objectively… This is empirical evidence not assumptions…
      The term ‘curtains’ is apt – when unstimulated the labia minora close together, protecting their inner mucous membrane and closing off the vaginal entrance – they guard the entrance and secrete antibacterial substances as a defense against infection.
      Visual Stimulation
      Without the visual function of long labia, the vagina would be nothing more but an entry way with no directions leading the way. They are beautiful just like the petals of a flower. How boring would a flower look with no petals?
      Additionally, swollen labia are a powerful signal of female arousal (and may also signal ovulation). This so called ‘extra’ skin is actually seen by many as representing extra sensuality, and more fun in foreplay. The color may also alter with increasing sexual arousal.
      Sexual stimulation
      The labia are rich in nerve endings, and in fact so called ‘hypertrophic’ labia have 50% more of these nerve endings*. This means their owner may get special pleasure from their nibbling, tugging, stroking or licking. They also taste extraordinary and carry the scent of a well nourished woman in bloom. They are much more fun and suckable…
      Moistening with extracellular fluid during arousal the labia minora help to lubricate sex. Many men also find that larger labia provide extra stimulation during intercourse, as they rub or wrap around him.
      On a lighter note
      In their closed peg-like form the labia minora help to direct the urine stream….


  22. i was only 9 when i was told i must do it by my aunt & that was unquestionable, i tried to but i felt dirty,cheap, confused & haunted, so i stoped. all through high school girls talked about it with excitement simply because they were told you must do it its the norm. i come from a place where u never question the elders & the men in my clan are taught about these things that a real woman must have EL, & most of them grow up to have preferences like yrs Aman.


  23. rebecca dont worry it dint get to the soul, k. i dint do it & wont do it.all through high school i lived in fear that they might force themselves on me just to verify if i was following their then i realised it is my soul that needs modification so that it suits e will of GOD, not to modify e physical to please “preferences”, to conform to selfish, insensitive & manipulative customary values.i know i’ve broken custom & cant imagine e reaction when they find out, bt im no longer 9


  24. you sir (aman) are just a progeny of social construct, just as most men that have been raised within societys where these things are practised. so are the girls that are raised to beleive that the practise is a good one and that you must never question it like i was told. at 9, even a seriel killer can be groomed, because at that age one can be easily shaped through manipulation by the time they are grown up the “i respect my cultural values talk” will be stuck on their lips & in their mind.


  25. Well I never. I am South African and this one is news. Designing ourselves for men’s pleasure and not our own. It happens today and it happens everywhere. Nobody wants to be left out. Does finding a mating partner require so much pain?


  26. Being an African woman myself, I can only defend my elders by supporting the notion of elongating the labia at an early age because that is when female genitals are still tender and mind u, its not too long ago when African girls were married at 14 or so years and this practise had to be done before then. I didnt have my labia stretched as a child but my aunt told me about it at 13 and never did a follow up. As I grew older i began to understand the subject and also with sexual experience I began to realise how much more I would enjoy if i had them stretched, my husband doesnt seem to get enough of me now ….and boy am I enjoying the attention…even climaxing more. Sorry to disgust you but I wish my granny had done me this favour a long time ago!!


  27. I’m crying because this still fucking hurts!!!!!!! I begged BEGGED on so many occasions that I didn’t want that to no heed, in fact I was told I was a “bad girl” for standing up for myself and refusing and begging and wanting explanation that never came!!!!!!!!!!! I was so young, they were “doing it for ME, for my own good”????!!!!! Its sexual violation!!!!!!!! Sexual mutilation!!! The main premise is get them young because it’s easier, no explanation, what could a child know!!!!! Its my body. MY BODY!!! MY BODY!!!!MY BODY!!!MY BODY!!! MY BODY!!! How do you not see how rape culture related that is??

    Yes they are women who like LE and good for them, they don’t have to HATE themselves for not being able to stop it and HATE how they look to themselves, HATE thinking about ever sharing themselves sexually. You can’t fathom how deeply scarring the experience is on so many levels surpassing the physical which is a jarring daily reminder!!! Full grown up, consenting women should take up the practice if they choose!!!!! NOT FUCKING VULNERABLE CHILDREN!!!!!! And realize this is not a criticism of naturally occurring large labia (or those who desire and/or have that aesthetic) you are beautiful my sister. This speaks of the victims that result of this practice!

    To the men who share their love for elongated labia as if that should and will console the victims,YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM!!!!!! This is not about how your penis responds to seeing it, WE DON’T CARE!!!! The other gentleman said oh this is not as important as other issues women face so forget addressing it. Protecting your interests much!!?? YOU TOO are the problem!!! It’s so painfully said to grow up in a culture that doesn’t value the female counterpart and in general this is the truth of most(if not all) African cultures. Women are just property and meat suits and what is really heart breaking is we not all accept it we instill it in our young!!!

    This just scratched a raw wound for me


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s