Sunday, October 19, 2008

“Please ostracize me”

In our culture, we automatically assume that just because someone looks “butch” that they are a lesbian or different from the others. In India, there is a culture that fits right into that stereotype, with the exception that they are not at all “butch”. They are transvestites who have not had the Western style sex reassignment surgery, but who live, ostracized for the most part, as women. I will be exploring this culture, the Hijras, and attempting to understand why a person would want to live in this culture, where they have no security from the government, and are not even recognized by the government socially.

People don’t choose to be ostracized. It is not a decision that people make. The Hijras, who are ostracized, are not choosing to become a Hijra just so they can be ostracized; they are doing it because they need to, and because they are not happy the way they are as a man. One of my younger sisters is a tomboy. In American culture, being a tomboy is generally accepted. She is not a cross dresser, and she does not want to become a man. She simply likes to dress in comfortable clothes, and play sports. She is not ostracized because of this either, because it is who she is, and people can generally accept this. The Hijras are somewhat the same. They want to be who they really are: in their case, that is women, in my sister’s case, a tomboy. The difference though, is that the Hijras are ostracized for this, and they go to remarkable lengths to achieve their desires. In America we also have transvestites. They are not nearly as ostracized by the public as Hijras in India are. People can dress however they want to, that does not change their gender or make them into someone we should ostracize. What makes a difference though, is what people will do to become who they feel they really are. This is what I will be exploring during through this blog.

Works Cited:

Dutt, Nabanita
2002 Eunuchs-India's Third Gender. Electronic Document,, accessed October 19, 2008.

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