The Third Sex

The society I grew up in, it has a rather aversive attitude towards the eunuchs (and transgenders).

To an extent that they are considered lesser of humans who does not get the social status of a regular man or woman; to an extent when the eunuchs live separately from their families- in ‘eunuch colonies’, don’t get proper education as they are very often abandoned by their families and what they mostly do for a living is prostitution.

The word ‘hijra’ (the Hindi/ Bengali/ Urdu word for eunuch) is derogatory in South Asian languages- something you do not use in ‘sophisticated’ company, more a slang than anything else. Sadly it is not much different in the English-speaking world either. I don’t know about the social statuses of that this less than fortunate group in the context of the more civilized Western society, but if ‘the word’ is used as a derogatory term- there is little chance of anything being different to a vast degree- after all.

While our biologist friends can give us a perfectly reasonable scientific reason of what causes a person to be a man, woman or a member of ‘the third sex’- I am more concerned with the way society treats this group. I find it funny in having to spell it out- but there is more to an individual than what ‘gender’ you can categorize him (or her or whatever) as- it’s time we became aware of it.

Just as sad it is that anyone will find it funny when a group of Indians with a disgusting sense of humour passing through a photograph of Serena and Venus Williams wearing a sari- saying the following-

‘You will die laughing at how ‘hijra’ Venus and Serena looks’.

Here is the picture:

No, I’m not laughing.

I see two American ladies wearing YOUR traditional clothing, I see two ladies belonging to a different racial group than you wearing YOUR traditional clothing- I see these two ladies are trying to embrace your culture. I see nothing funny in that, I think it is nice.

It’s time you stopped laughing too.