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Breast Ironing

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Is this practice right? The mother claims that it has been done for years, even done to her. What message is this sending these girls?

I think this is a horrible idea. They should be educating thier children male and female to respect others. They should teach them what rape is and why it is wrong and the problems that can arise from it.

There has to be a better solution then this!
post #2 of 26
I just read the same article. You make valid points, but you must remember this is a historical practice dating back generations. Educating a culture about their cruel practices takes time and patience. Female genital mutilation still occurs in some parts of the world and is, IMO, even more appalling than breast ironing.
post #3 of 26
Most rapists don't care how big someone's breasts are. What they do care about is feeling as if they are fully in control of another human. Some form of self defense course and awareness of rape would have more effect than putting someone through the pain of having their breasts burnt to stunt their growth only to have them possibly get raped anyway (and have to endure that pain as well). Hopefully this practice and a few others will go away with time and education about better alternatives.
post #4 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by CommonOddity042
Most rapists don't care how big someone's breasts are. What they do care about is feeling as if they are fully in control of another human. Some form of self defense course and awareness of rape would have more effect than putting someone through the pain of having their breasts burnt to stunt their growth only to have them possibly get raped anyway (and have to endure that pain as well). Hopefully this practice and a few others will go away with time and education about better alternatives.
You're 100% right. Rape is about power, not physical attractiveness.
post #5 of 26
I have never heard of this until now. How painful for those girls. I agree that rape isn't really about the sex at all. Its about te power the rapist feels over their victim.
post #6 of 26
Wow, that is sad. A lot of things go on in Africa and countries like that because of lack of education. Even in the article, the mom said she did it to her girls because her mom did it to her and she thought it was good for them.

I taught ESL to a lot of girls who came from Africa and my favorite one said she had to escape from Africa because her mother took her from her fathers village because they were going to do do a female circumcision.


I agree it will take time to change this through education because it's been going on for so long.
post #7 of 26
Somebody please enlighten me......How can they destroy breasts for generations if the babies need to be breastfed?

I don't understand..............
post #8 of 26
Well, apparently, the breasts' ability to produce milk is not always destroyed. And many poor people feed babies cow or goat milk, and while they aren't healthy, they are alive. Malnutrition is still a major problem there. I assume some women receive assistance from charities to get baby formula, although it is discouraged by the WHO and others because of contaminated water supplies.
post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Godiva
Well, apparently, the breasts' ability to produce milk is not always destroyed. And many poor people feed babies cow or goat milk, and while they aren't healthy, they are alive. Malnutrition is still a major problem there. I assume some women receive assistance from charities to get baby formula, although it is discouraged by the WHO and others because of contaminated water supplies.
Powdered formula and milk are apparently quite common in countries where a great many people have no electricity, and thus no means of refrigerating milk. I did a translation about global food supplies with one of my classes last week, and a few of the Asian/African students (young mothers, for the most part) brought up the subject of contaminated water, powdered formula, and infant mortality rates in their native countries. The European students in the class were rather shocked.
post #10 of 26
Am I being paranoid? I think there might be a chance that the powdered milk industry is encouraging this practice.
post #11 of 26
Another thing to remember about the African nations, in addition to not having refrigeration systems to keep milk cold, many of the mothers are HIV positive and encouraged not to brestfeed, jist in case their child wasn't born with the virus. Formula is a godsend!
post #12 of 26
Speaking of which (I know I am going slightly off-topic)

Why do people worry about population explosion so much when people in Africa are dying left and right?
post #13 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by shengmei
Speaking of which (I know I am going slightly off-topic)

Why do people worry about population explosion so much when people in Africa are dying left and right?
If you take a look at their birth rates they are in the 30's and 40's (per 1000), while the US (considered to be middle of the road) is 14/1000. The disease takes so long to kill that before a child born with HIV dies from AIDS, they likely have had children of thier own. HIV is the perfect virus as far as not killing off its host quickly for purposes of its own replication.
post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat
Powdered formula and milk are apparently quite common in countries where a great many people have no electricity, and thus no means of refrigerating milk. I did a translation about global food supplies with one of my classes last week, and a few of the Asian/African students (young mothers, for the most part) brought up the subject of contaminated water, powdered formula, and infant mortality rates in their native countries. The European students in the class were rather shocked.
I guess that makes sense... thanks for the clarification. I was being ADD and somehow got thinking about my friends here in the US, when we were talking about Africa... I think it was the "I was so poor" thread that did it to me. 1/10 American children is malnourished, although obviously not to the extent of African children.

I worry about population problems because on a worldwide scale, we are still using up resources faster than we can replace them. So, having a child in a country like the US (where really high consumption is the rule) is much more harmful to the world's general well-being (IMO) than in other countries, where people don't consume as much. I hope that makes sense.
post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by shengmei
Am I being paranoid? I think there might be a chance that the powdered milk industry is encouraging this practice.

It would not surprise me if they didn't have a lot to do with it, but also partly, I think that the Christian (and other) missionary groups are also in on it somehow. That or they are really STUPID... how could they not know how they are contributing to health issues in this way? Do they also provide the antibiotics and intensive care for the babies that are dehydrated and dying from bring sick? Or do they just turn the other way and ignore it? It's ming-boggling to me. I know that canned formula is more expensive, and that it is difficult to store once opened, but surely that would help somehow.
post #16 of 26
That is soo cruel and horrible! I feel so bad for those young girls who are subjected to that torture because an "old wives tail" says it willl reduce their odds of being raped. Well you know what- so does common sense! It's time people use some!
post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by CommonOddity042
Most rapists don't care how big someone's breasts are. What they do care about is feeling as if they are fully in control of another human. Some form of self defense course and awareness of rape would have more effect than putting someone through the pain of having their breasts burnt to stunt their growth only to have them possibly get raped anyway (and have to endure that pain as well). Hopefully this practice and a few others will go away with time and education about better alternatives.
You're absolutely right.

This just sounds like abuse to me...those poor girls.
post #18 of 26
Why is it that the focus is always on the woman, not the man???
IF only women could unite more to prevent sexual harassment from happening... Along the same vein, last year at the beach in San Diego, I noticed a middle aged man sitting on the wall just outside the ladies room, oogling the young teen girls. About an hour later, I went to rinse off & he was still there. Quite a few girls & women would eye him nervously and scurry away, either entering or leaving. So I loudly asked him, "Excuse me, sir, but do you have business here? Are you waiting for someone or what, cuz you've been here a long time & if they're still in there, it must be a medical problem & I go check with the for you..." and he stared for a minute, then shuffled off as fast as feet could shuffle. I got alot of weird stares, but then one mom said, "Thank you, I wish I had the courage to do that" and then a couple of other girls said thank you; but I just wondered, why, oh why, as a community, is it so difficult to stand up to creeps & protect our daughters???
post #19 of 26
I knew girls who were not happy with their large breasts, so they wrapped them up, basically binding them. You really couldn't tell at all. If this is such a problem, why don't they just wrap them up? I know it sounds horrible to say that, they shouldn't have to do it at all. Heck, they should be able to run around naked and not get raped, but if the society is stuck on the idea of minimizing breasts just grab some ace bandages, or their equivalent.
post #20 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by esrgirl
I knew girls who were not happy with their large breasts, so they wrapped them up, basically binding them. You really couldn't tell at all. If this is such a problem, why don't they just wrap them up?

That would be a better solution.... far less painful. But education is still the key.
post #21 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Godiva
It would not surprise me if they didn't have a lot to do with it, but also partly, I think that the Christian (and other) missionary groups are also in on it somehow. That or they are really STUPID... how could they not know how they are contributing to health issues in this way? Do they also provide the antibiotics and intensive care for the babies that are dehydrated and dying from bring sick? Or do they just turn the other way and ignore it? It's ming-boggling to me. I know that canned formula is more expensive, and that it is difficult to store once opened, but surely that would help somehow.
Why on earth would you think missionary groups are in on this?!? And how could formula companies convince people to do this?!?

I agree that it is a horrible practice, and definitely needs to be stopped, but this post just floored me!
post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beckiboo
Why on earth would you think missionary groups are in on this?!? And how could formula companies convince people to do this?!?

I agree that it is a horrible practice, and definitely needs to be stopped, but this post just floored me!
All groups, missionary or not, who provide powder formula without clean water and no health care for when the babies get sick because the mothers can't get clean water are "in" on it, unintentionally, even if they don't mean to make things not-exactly-better.

I shouldn't have worded it that way, I didn't mean to offend... I just meant that it seems to me that a lot of groups doing a lot of good with the right intentions without fully thinking out the consequences of their actions.

And if you think big companies don't bid to get contracts and/or compete to "give" their products away, well, lemme just say I've heard stories. Go watch The Constant Gardner, it's eye opening if you've never considered the possibility that drug companies, formula companies, and any other company that provides aid to Africa isn't a part of a bigger problem intentionally or not.

I hope that's a little more clear now... I was having a bad day because I just read about a missionary group that faked all their materials that they sent to the families who gave. A very devout aunt-in-law of mine found out and was devastated. I guess I am too!

Call me idealistic and altruistic, but I DO think that it is possible for a company to be ethical, I just don't see any that last. Capitalism doesn't care how ethical you are, and neither do international trade agreements.
post #23 of 26
You would think people in Third World Countries double-boil their water. I know people in Taiwan boil their water for 15 mins, and we are not even a Third World Country.
post #24 of 26
I'm not sure. Perhaps it is difficult for them for one reason or another to boil water for every meal. Maybe fires are hard to start due to climate, maybe there is just no firewood, maybe there are no stoves or microwaves.... but it seems like a good question to me.
post #25 of 26
I imagine the biggest obstacles are a total lack of electricity, or perhaps only having it a short time every day or week, and a shortage of fuel. If you live in a hot climate with no refrigeration, many of your meals will probably have to be cooked and consumed immediately, which leaves little time, especially if you have to walk for miles to haul water from a river or well, and fuel to boil all your water.
post #26 of 26
I think the origin of the problem is women with absolutely no power to manage their lives. If they are really doing this to protect their daughters from rape, my question is why is this the only thing they can come up with to prevent rapes?

Like the op said, teaching the kids respect for each other is so necessary! I hope that like female circumcision, this practice will begin to be challenged so it can someday be stopped!
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