READ 8 Intense Female Rites of Passage  

Joanne Phillips
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From female genital mutilation to dropping a girl in the middle of the ocean during her first menstruation, here are the 8 most intense female rites of passage practiced throughout the world. Some of these practices aren't a normal part of these cultures anymore, but some (like item 1) are actually still going on. This list isn't for the faint of heart. Some the things listed on here are pretty cringeworthy and could be hard to imagine happening. But if you're brave, take a look.

What are intense female rites of passage? If you really want to know have a gander at this list, but look on an empty stomach.

Genital Mutilation (Just One General Example)

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This particular female rite of passage has got a bad rep and a lot of people have started charities around it... with good reason. This is pretty nuts.

The Massai tribe of Kenya, as well as other groups in Africa, use female "circumcision" as their main ritual marking of a young woman's transition into womanhood.

The circumcision ceremony begins at dawn and involves the removal of all or part of the external female genitalia. The procedures are often performed with crude tools and/or knives. Nobody gets any anesthesia of any kind and it is absolutely, excruciatingly painful and may even stop the young girl from feeling any sexual sensation for the rest of her life.

Little do these tribes know of the long-term health risks that that this procedure may cause such as life-threatening infections, increased susceptibility to HIV, and (again) complete deprivation of sexual sensation.

The community only considers a girl marriage-material after this procedure is done, though, and like in any Jane Austen novel, marriage is the most important thing in the world for a woman.

Maybe the leg-spread-open screaming should be left for AFTER marriage.

Breast Ironing in Cameroon

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A lot of pubescent girls in the West African country of Cameroon are currently being subjected to the cruel act of breast ironing.

Breast ironing is massaging a child's growing breasts with an object like a stone, or a wooden flattener, hammer or spatula that has been heated over coals until the bitches "disappear". This process is usually performed by the girl's own mother.

Some of these girls are also made to wear something called a "breast band", which is essentially the equivalent of foot binding, only with bitches. They are fabric brands who are usually worn by women undergoing breast augmentation surgery.

The point of this whole thing is to mitigate the tell-tale signs that the girl is entering adolescence. Though not actually a ritualistic rite of passage, it is an act that is practiced in order to prevent young girls from becoming too obviously attractive or "woman-like" to men. It's said that it is done in hopes of preventing "unwanted male attention" and to avoid rape.

Abdomen Slicing - Tiv Tribe of Nigeria

"Chicks dig scars"... on guys.

However, there's nothing sexy about the abdomen scars on the women of the Tiv tribe of Nigeria (unless you're into that sort of thing) because it isn't a sign of individual liberty, but a subjection to tradition.

The Tiv tribe literally marks a girl at the time of her first period with four long, deep cuts into her abdomen stomach, which are supposed to represent her womanhood and actually increase her fertility.

The woman then has to wear these four marks on her stomach for the rest of her life, marking her as a "true" woman in this tribe. So much for belly shirts.
The Nootka Natives of the Vanc... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 8 Intense Female Rites of Passage
Photo: Peter Morgan/Flickr

The Nootka Natives of the Vancouver Islands

So, at the first sign of a girl's FIRST period, or during "menarche", (which is the best time to test ANY young adolescent girl's might), here's what a Nootka tribe would traditionally do:

An elder woman takes the girl out to sea, like really far, way far, out to sea... and then they leave her there to test her physical strength... completely naked (won't that attract sharks?)

So, once this girl-cramped-up-into-a-ball-moaning-on-the-floor-with-blood-pouring-out-from-her-insides-for-the-first-time miraculously makes it to shore, she can often barely stand. Everyone then cheers for her, as she has proven that she is ready to be a woman.

So everyone can pretty much stop complaining about having to adhere to Teen Vogue and having to lose 7 lbs before prom now.