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Breast Ironing, a Painful Practice for Cameroon's Girls

World  (tags: World, Cameroon, girls, sexuality, pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, breast ironing, mutilative practices, deformities, pain, petition )

- 2865 days ago -
Breast ironing affects as many as one in four girls. Some mothers massage hot grinding-stones into their daughters' chests, while others pound the tissue with heated plantain peels. Sometimes, women rub kerosene.

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Marta Away (55)
Thursday August 12, 2010, 12:40 pm

PLEASE, sign the related petiton:


Molly Lemen (52)
Friday August 13, 2010, 12:48 am
education is what changes old practices such as these.

Past Member (0)
Friday August 13, 2010, 5:43 am
Signed * Stop this >

Past Member (0)
Friday August 13, 2010, 5:50 am
just forwarded to friends list* Hoping to stop this ~

Mike M (40)
Friday August 13, 2010, 6:06 am
Noted signed

Past Member (0)
Friday August 13, 2010, 6:44 am
Noted and signed. So sad....and unnecessary.

Past Member (0)
Friday August 13, 2010, 7:29 am
Borg, You signed on August 10, 2010.
Your signature has been delivered to:
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon
Thanks for the FWD Tippers

Naoko i (264)
Friday August 13, 2010, 8:32 am
Thanks for posting. Gladly signed and noted. This needs to be on the front page.

Ivy S (2169)
Friday August 13, 2010, 9:05 am
How disgusting it must be for the poor girls. Hope this unhealthy practice must come to an end. This is sad really sad! Thanks Marta for the info. Noted!

Patricia C (96)
Friday August 13, 2010, 10:56 am
Signed and commented, thank you Marta. What a sad thing for these little girls, and must make them feel ashamed of their bodies as well.

Andrea Dorazio (56)
Friday August 13, 2010, 11:38 am
How awful.

A P (14)
Friday August 13, 2010, 11:52 am
OMG! This is horrible!

Brenda Hamilton (0)
Friday August 13, 2010, 11:59 am
How do we stop this way of thinking??? Such a sad way for these people to live....

AA S (136)
Friday August 13, 2010, 12:22 pm
I had to skip parts of that - ow, ow, ow! What a shame consensual sex is so devalued that women and girls are forced to assume that sex will just "happen" if men start looking. It sounds like consensual encounters are in the minority in the Congo. What a tragedy. Thanks

Gudrun D (447)
Friday August 13, 2010, 12:29 pm
Signed petition #4,803... this is deplorable. Thanks for the forward Peter & thank you Marta.

ParsifalAWAY S (99)
Friday August 13, 2010, 12:40 pm
Thank you Tippers: No comment.
And this ME!!!

Noted, forwarded

Marilyn K (50)
Friday August 13, 2010, 12:50 pm
This is a wierd cultural ritual that somehow has to be stopped. We have a United Nations, why do they not have associated groups looking into rituals that are being done in all third world countries and speak out for the sake of the children born into that archaic culture.

Joan Edwards (9)
Friday August 13, 2010, 12:59 pm
Why don't they cut off mens' ball instead? Why is it always the woman that gets mutilated because men can't keep it in their pants? Sounds like another blame game to me. It's part of the Denial pattern.

Cherry M (136)
Friday August 13, 2010, 1:01 pm
This horrible practice doesn't make sense for a hundred reasons but the one that instantly struck me was if they are hungry, in doing this breast ironing they are taking away food from their unborn babies. I doubt if any of these poor, tortured children would ever be able to breast feed after the hot stones! This is disgusting and sad and I could weep for those little girls.

. (0)
Friday August 13, 2010, 1:05 pm
The Abuse of Girls never ends....This is ABUSE! And Should not be Tolerated in Any Country!!!!!!!!

Kathlene Lentz (30)
Friday August 13, 2010, 1:10 pm
Ignorance and the practice of cruelty in the name of "love" or "purity" go hand in hand. While i can understand why a parent would want to protect their young daughter from rape or early sex, it is much more difficult to understand how they could condone this type of behavior. Education is the key, and will be the answer. Not laws, not condemnation--EDUCATION.

Kate Kenner (215)
Friday August 13, 2010, 1:39 pm
Ironing?! I think abuse would be the correct term.

Jennifer M (78)
Friday August 13, 2010, 1:57 pm
That is just horrific :(

Rana Sinha (50)
Friday August 13, 2010, 2:00 pm

Catrina Velez (46)
Friday August 13, 2010, 2:03 pm
I have heretofore thought my solutions for punishing rape and sexual abuse were better than those submitted by people who screeched for the castration of men who rape innocent children. WELL, I take that all back! Instead of torturing these poor little girls to keep them flat-chested as a means to deter rape, let's torture the budding rapists! How about putting a tight rubber band around the scrotum of every one, so that their childhood is cruelly prolonged by preventing their testicles from descending?

Michael Masley (4)
Friday August 13, 2010, 2:18 pm

Shirley H (49)
Friday August 13, 2010, 2:34 pm
Shirley H.

Friday August 13, 2010, 2:38 pm
Another all time low for mankind! >:(

Past Member (0)
Friday August 13, 2010, 2:47 pm
Signed with sad heart, Thanks Marta for sharing.
Thanks Parsifal for forwarding.

Past Member (0)
Friday August 13, 2010, 2:57 pm
If you read the story it is the mothers that are doing this and yet all comments direct their anger toward men??????
When you are born female your "I am right and everyone else in wrong" is set to on.
And I don't want to hear any "the mothers are doing because" sh*t!"
The mothers are doing it, DEAL WITH IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mervi R (74)
Friday August 13, 2010, 3:01 pm
noted, signed

Elizabeth Feller (0)
Friday August 13, 2010, 3:04 pm
Thanks so much for bringing this grim reality into peoples vision. Breast Ironing is a horrible, demeaning act that does not stop the rape of the young girls. The only thing it accomplishes is to disable these women both physically and mentally for the rest of their lives. I have also signed the petition.

Ian N (13)
Friday August 13, 2010, 3:22 pm
OMG! This is the first time I ever heard of this! It's horrific! Maybe some charitable organization could start handing out chastity belts to the mothers in Camreoon - no matter what people think of this idea, it's certainly better than breast ironing, or even worse...female circumcision (a euphemism for genital mutilation)!

Kathy Meyer (2)
Friday August 13, 2010, 3:24 pm
I appreciate being made aware of the situation

josie batlles (44)
Friday August 13, 2010, 4:15 pm
omg how disgusting and upseting reading this..i had no idea this practice was going on...the more the world knows about it the more chance it will be stopped. Education is the answer and then the threat of punishment...because they might do it 'out of love for their daughters' but the girls do need protecting... thank you very much for sharing x

Alice B (241)
Friday August 13, 2010, 4:34 pm
As an early-childhood incest survivor [age 3; paternal 'grandfather'/Bible-Humper hypocrite] and a later rape survivor, I can imagine all to clearly the fear and the societal pressures that would bring a mother of a daughter to this horror. Btw, Ian N., your little quip suggesting handing out chastity belts as an alternative isn't remotely funny or reasonable; "chastity belts" don't prevent rape - in fact they were utilized as part of arranged marriage and in tandem with marital rape, during the European Middle Ages and earlier.

Gloria H (88)
Friday August 13, 2010, 4:41 pm
I am surprised they don't just kill baby girls like in China.I thought if breasts were in plain sight-(pre missionary enforcement with clothing), they were not considered erotic. Is this a distortion of western ideas? Men here can go top-less showing hairy backs and chests..but if a woman does that or breast feeds- she gets arrested.

Past Member (0)
Friday August 13, 2010, 4:46 pm
I would never condone a practice that tries to stop what is supposed to be natural in adolescence. It's a horrible and painful experience for the victims, with no beneficial outcome, ever.

Coretta B (17)
Friday August 13, 2010, 5:32 pm
I was sadden by this news. These days children are subjected to so much cruelty. I think rituals are created to satisfied the lust of these men. Rape is such sad choice to chose by a man when someone does'nt want them. Just Simply lust, just so sad. Why not chose a women, date and start a family like sane people do everyday. These people in Cameroon need our signatures and prayers. I think that's the only way to make a difference.

anne Barusta (0)
Friday August 13, 2010, 6:06 pm
what a horrific experience for the poor victem. Education is good, but sadly also very slow to stop this horrific ritual. Healtcare providers and educators could try to convince people to stop this torture. What organization is currenly working in Cameroon? They should be able to convince educators and healthcare professionals to spread the message.

Aletta Kraan (146)
Friday August 13, 2010, 7:08 pm
Noted , thanks !!

Matloob ul Hasan (81)
Friday August 13, 2010, 7:23 pm
Noted, thanks.

Betty T (44)
Friday August 13, 2010, 7:54 pm
Wow! What a terrible thing to do and to have done. I can't even imagine making a decision like that. It also makes me think of how lucky I am to live where I live. Crime rates and all.

Cindy B (61)
Friday August 13, 2010, 11:20 pm
MY GOD, has the world gone ape-spit mad??! No -- don't answer that.

Past Member (0)
Saturday August 14, 2010, 12:00 am
Thanks, Marta.

Saturday August 14, 2010, 2:18 am
Yes Marta. we will sign that petition.. Thanks! How desperate must those mothers be to do that to their children. The situation is so terrible. It is not just good enough to stop this barbaric practice.. SOMEHOW the men must be made to stop abusing these young girls. It is so sick and so sad! I just PRAY earnestly that hings like this will soon be just a nasty part of history of some insane thinsg that ONCE happened!

Joy Wong (103)
Saturday August 14, 2010, 3:40 am
Noted, thanks.

April Thompson (2)
Saturday August 14, 2010, 5:33 am
Horrible! I will pray for these poor girls and for it to stop!

. (0)
Saturday August 14, 2010, 5:51 am
Education is the key, but it is two-fold. The culture must be educated against the dangers and impracticality of this practice. Men in the communities must be educated to value women more and treat them as equals. But treating women is a problem that is endemic in the whole world. How can we expect it in a poorly educated community, when it doesn't happen in the developed world?

Terry B (649)
Saturday August 14, 2010, 6:38 am
Bizarre and bizarrer. Homo doofus, the crown of creation.

Ellen W (0)
Saturday August 14, 2010, 7:17 am
I'd never heard of that horrid practice before. Thank you for making us aware of it. It must be stopped. Men need to learn to control their animal instincts. The women that do this are trying to protect their daughters-they need to be educated too. The crime here is poverty and ignorance.

Past Member (0)
Saturday August 14, 2010, 7:55 am
These people should realize that, to a boy or man, breasts are not the compelling reason to have sex! The girl's own hormones are going to compel her to have sex. Pheromones are going to influence sexual drive more than breasts.
Thank you for the article.

Leslie Filer (6)
Saturday August 14, 2010, 9:06 am
This is barbaric to say the least

lorraine c (16)
Saturday August 14, 2010, 11:30 am
noted and signed. Maybe if the fathers put a hot iron to the testicles of the rapists their girls would be safer.

Mary D (64)
Saturday August 14, 2010, 4:00 pm
Noted. What a horrible things to do to a little girl.

Alexandra Rodda (180)
Sunday August 15, 2010, 1:40 am
I have given up saying that nothing will surprise me anymore. This is horrid, yet the mothers are motivated by their desire to protect their daughters.As well as that, they are trying to protect themselves from having to provide for grandchildren while the mothers of the grandchildren are still dependent children. There is another danger for these girls in that getting pregnant at such a young age, especially in developing countries, leads to very high maternal mortality.
The people of this country need a lot of education and the provision of contraceptives. Both the girls and the boys need to be educated. This is best done by people who are respected members of the communities and they need to be helped by NGOs and the UN. This problem fits in with the UN agenda of empowering girls (as that is the most cost effective way of eradicating poverty).

Eternal Gardener (745)
Sunday August 15, 2010, 4:25 am
Bloody hell, these women seriously need help for gaining true empowerment. So these boys/men really can't behave themselves.... come on! This is really bad. Signed.

Joan Estes (0)
Sunday August 15, 2010, 5:31 am
How do the leaders of the countries whose people do such stuped and evil things to women react when this subject is brought up at United Nation meetings. ( put it on tv so the whole world can watch) Does this even get talked about in meetings of the worlds "leaders". I wonder if the mothers who do this type of shitty thing to their daughters also had it done to them. Maybe the men need to have thier pricks ironed as well. How very sad as well as ignorant. But how do you get people to stop doing things like this....does public opinion matter to them? It also seems like the women would WANT to take birth control if it is available just to keep from bringing another victim into the crappy world they live in.

Bracha Katz (31)
Sunday August 15, 2010, 6:06 pm
This is just horrible! It must hurt terribly. My heart breaks for these girls. Thanks Marta, signed

Julie van Niekerk (230)
Sunday August 15, 2010, 9:40 pm
Oh my word! What next from 3rd world countries?

barbara n (10)
Monday August 16, 2010, 4:53 am
i have no words, i suppose that if i could imagine the worst of the worst my imagination would never be able to imagine such things, i just wonder how many others i'll have to see and hear about for the rest of my life.

Rianne ten Veen (79)
Monday August 16, 2010, 5:59 am
Terrible! Thanks for bringing this to our attention. I pray for healing & peace, Rianne

Jennifer M (0)
Monday August 16, 2010, 3:13 pm
Oh my God. This is one of the worst things I've ever heard of!

Past Member (0)
Wednesday August 18, 2010, 3:14 am
This is no good act, don't let them to continue doing it. Hurt peoples is criminal act especially an innocent.

alicia m (97)
Monday September 6, 2010, 11:44 pm
anotado y firmado, gracias Marta
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