While having a splendid Meet The Baby lunch with Drew and Nick, she informed me that the Anti-FGM tag on TJ’s Beco baby carrier stood for Anti-Female Genital Mutilation and not what I thought it was, which was nothing because I don’t think that way. My brain is a sieve and the only information that has clung to the withered grey matter left between my ears is whatever I learned during the 90s watching Nickelodeon in the day and Showtime at night.
I was taken aback when Drew mentioned this because I had purchased the baby carrier from my friend Kristin’s yard sale, and I’m sure she did not procure it from the Sad Vagina Issue Store’s Seattle Branch. I never thought that my son’s baby wearing vessel would be linked to this type of cause. I mean, it’s fine. I’m certainly anti-female genital mutilation, too! Have you seen how childbirth mutilates your female parts? What was once a delicate flower now looks like a geoduck just ripped from its shell. The more you know!
But apropos of only part of this story: when I was 15, I had to give a speech in front of the whole school. It wasn’t that intimidating because my high school only had about 50 students total (my graduating class consisted of seven) but the purpose of it was to choose who would represent the school in another island-wide speech competition. I had selected a speech Hillary Clinton gave to the UN. It was long, liberal and full of big words–perfect for me to perform at a baptist high school that didn’t allow the females to wear pants on casual day. I knew I wasn’t going to win because the girl I was competing against was the phenomenal speech doyenne and I was but a lowly South Park loving plebe, a speck under her shoe but I powered through. I had hastily printed out the speech and as I was flipping the pages over on the podium, I realized that I didn’t take all the paper from the printer and my speech would be abrupt. Not only was it incomplete, but I had to end with the last line going something like, “And we must fight against injustice like female genital mutilation…..Thank you.”
FGM. FML. My life, full circle.