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Pakistan Creates a Third Gender

ekthorp's picture

 I was stumbling through the internet and I found this video:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-13192077

This video basically talks about the third category of gender in Pakistan. While some Pakistani transexuals have been more accepted in the community, even working for the government, many are still excluded from society. The government recently installed a new gender category in the country, so transsexuals can have their own category.

I was actually a little perturbed by how positively creating a new category was treated. I do think it is important to have labels and categories, especially when they give an individual or a group strength. However, I feel like the reaction to this was that creating a new category solves all conflict. Many transgendered people want to be included into the Female-Male binary. They want to be fully recognized as a man or a woman. Creating a new category also leads people to believe that categories are structured and solid. They’re not; they are fluid. 

An element of this movie also talks about some of the government jobs that some Transgender women have received. The video focuses on women who go to collect taxes in affluent neighborhoods. These women embarrass the rich citizens until they hand over the taxes. While many of the women were thrilled about their jobs, I thought it seemed a little humiliating to the women. However, it is ver hard for transgendered women to find jobs in Pakistan, and a government job is better the begging many resort to.

However, I do think the way the country has embraced the “problem” of transgenderism and transsexualism is extremely positive. I’m ecstatic a country that is very near to very strict anti-queer laws is giving legitimacy to transsexualism. 

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