ANT 102 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Dowry, Mother Goddess

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10/2 Sexuality and Gender
Difference between sex and gender
o As a society we are preoccupied with instilling gender awareness
Hijras
o Gender construction
What is sexuality?
Looking outside of personal attractions, identifications, etc.
o Looking outside of our core values
o Identifying social politics, values associated with religion, economics
impact changes
The Hijras: An Alternative Gender in India
Early perceptions
o Used to revered and accepted by Indian society
o Hindu festivals and practices
Respect male transgenders/cross dressers
Mother goddess cult
Now we have a binary gender system
o Enforced by Abrahamic faiths
o Colonization of India
Christian missionaries
British being there for hundreds of years
Introduced values that made gender more rigid
Muslim missionaries
o Loss of flexibility to have a third gender
Secularization, globalization, modernization
o Don’t believe in their powers anymore
Loss of economic niches since Hijras have less roles
Hijras are spiritual
o Western transgenderism
Not the same thing or related
o Only M to F Hijras
India is a communal society
o When pushed away from their families; they engage in community
living
Superstition that if they ask for money and you don’t give it you will be
cursed
No one in India feels comfortable talking about them
Target for sexual and physical violence
o A lot of them
Paris is Burning connection
o Drag families
o Protection, family setting
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