The life course of labia
DOI link for The life course of labia
The life course of labia book
This chapter explores Somaliland women’s experiences of female genital cutting (FGC) over the life course. It argues that FGC is not only a key life phase for Somali women but also an experience whose meaning is understood differently during different life phases. It ethnographically explores the meaning and values associated with women’s bodies when they are babies as well as during girlhood, puberty, early adulthood, motherhood, and menopause. It builds on a concept of the body as an ‘inside’ and an ‘outside,’ analysing the boundary created by women’s labia. It argues that the physical folding in and opening up of the labia mirrors the societal folding in of multiple moralities and the potential opening up of new opportunities for women in Somaliland.