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Hijras Case

Essay by   •  February 18, 2013  •  Essay  •  321 Words (2 Pages)  •  716 Views

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This article discusses India's view on the third or alternative sex, also known as Hijras. Hijras classify themselves as men who wear female clothing, feminine gestures and identify within a larger group of sexual and gender configurations.

This article gives you a different perspective of how people view genders other than male and female. In India, gender is based on practice rather than anatomy, which is so different from our society. Everything we do/go through is based on physical attributes. Hijras have been able to survive throughout their long history in India. They have adapted to new situations to maintain their visibility in Indian society.

One way they did this was entering into politics. It's a very creative way of re-crafting themselves to the change of historical and political circumstances. I think it is so interesting to hear how successful some hijras have been in politics; this is another thing that is so different from our society. Many politicians keep to themselves their sexuality because it could negatively affect them and their supporters. It seems that hijras are more widely accepted in India as the third sex than in the United States; most people cannot see passed strictly male or female attributes.

This third sex has always existed in India and their presence in society is justified by worship and many Hindu myths. In our society, many people do not agree with the idea of a third sex and I would say it is just becoming more common and public today.

I think the main point of this article is to understand that you cannot simply compare or understand hijras using the constructs of homosexuality and transsexualism. Rather they are considered "third sex" with certain ritual functions. By learning about alternative gender systems cross-culturally, we can help break the typical two-sex model we are use to and advance our understanding of the variety of human gender roles and sexual identities.

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