What was most interesting about the film was how they explained the people living in the same cities as the Hijras. Although they are afraid of the Hijras, dislike them, and look down upon them, they also require the Hijras. The Hijras, so they believe, have the power to curse as well as to bless. When a baby is born, or a couple married, they need the blessing of a Hijra. In a society where these women are shunned, they are also needed and depended upon for many things. This was very interesting to me because although they are shunned, go through a long and painful emasculation process and then have almost nothing left in the end except for their Hijra family, they still find work blessing babies or couples, and they are needed for something. I believe that without being needed in this way, the Hijras would be having a much harder time living in India than they do now. Being needed is essential to most people because it allows them to know that even though they may not be the ideal person of their culture, their culture would also not be the same without them. This is how the Hijras live. Without the blessings that they provide they would be forced into even more prostitution and begging than they already do. The Indian societies that they live in depend on the Hijras just as the Hijras depend on the societies.
1999 The Hijras of India: Neither Man nor Woman. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company.
Film: Antony Thomas Middle Sexes: Redefining He and She (2006).