Friday, 24 February 2006

Papillon's story - an introduction

I am writing this post as an introduction to Papillon's posts which follow, by way of an explanation for those who come to the story late.

Papillon is a young French woman, of Senegalese descent who suffered Type II genital cutting at the age of four. Her posts tell of her decision to undergo reconstructive surgery, the processes she went through, and of her attempt to reconcile what had happened to her.

I can't now remember exactly how I came across Papillon, but it was through a French blog, just after she had started telling her story in February 2007. I asked if anyone was thinking of translating it into English but nobody took me up on it, so I did it myself.

I translated each post as soon as I could after Papillon published in French, so the combination of my haste with my far from perfect French has meant that the results are less than wonderful. I have decided not to go back over them because it does demonstrate clearly that they are translations and I didn't want it to sound as though it were written by an English speaker.

Papillon is a wonderful writer and I believe this shines through even this rough translation, as does her humour. She appears to have stopped blogging, the last post having been about four months ago. I hope this means that she has fully recovered from her reconstructive surgery and that she is getting on with her life.


At the bottom of each post is a link to the original in French, and to the next post in the series.

First post


  1. Great story. Thanks for translating all the posts. I wish she had not "disappeared" so abruptly and hope it all turned out okay!

  2. Can anyone help I'm trying to find out information about DR SEBASTIEN MADZOU, who also workes in France (Angers) he has been trainned by Dr Pierre Foldes to help women who have a victim of FGM....I would like to see him but I'm little bit anxious..
    thank you x

  3. Papillon did not give us her experience after the reconstruction surgery. Did it work? Was she able to get children normally?

    African women must speak about reconstruction surgery and whether it works. I have been disappointed by mine but I had it recently so I do not know what will happen after 3 months. It does not look good at all. I do not know if I will ever get any pleasure again.....I used to get pleasure but I thought they could reconstruct it to look like a vulva of a normal woman, or as close as possible.

  4. what a wonderful an african woman living in Germany and i really hope to have this clitorial restoration....where do i start?is there a doctor in Germany who does this kind of operations?...please help

    1. I don't know of any doctors in Germany who do this work but maybe you could get in touch with Dr Foldès in France? He may know.

  5. Dear A.
    thank you so so much fo answering me.I will try to get in contact with Dr Foldes.But today i read some negative comments from those who have had this operation and it scared me.Some say that the scars after are worse and the clitoris reconstruct after a while.Is this true.I wish my fellow sisters could offer us more information.I have never been at peace with my body due to FGM..

  6. I saw this blog today for the first time in my life and my day was longer. its the best feeling to have the restoration. I am 33 years and i had it since i was 10 years. I have never been at peace since then and i have so much fear to date any men. The scar is real hell and pains at times. i just have no words to thank these people. for those who have gone through restoration please tell us more. xx


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