Gender ‘Other’

Posted in gender equality, human rights, society by stories of an authentic self on December 27, 2009

I find it inexplicably appalling that there exists a whole community of non-people, literally, who are denied “civil personhood” and consequently civil rights, singularly out of legal non-recognition of the third gender. This amounts to a denial of the right to personal autonomy of a transsexual, as I have argued in my previous post.

This parochial entrenchment of the binary gendered order bodes awfully for the State and its people. The State cannot possibly be reneging on its promises to a whole section of its people. Add to this, social awareness and effort towards inclusion is hardly forthcoming, and will not be, in the absence of laws seeking social change. And so we find ourselves in this mess, orphaning a section of the Indian people.

Through the next few posts I propose to bring out some of the issues associated with this denial of rights to the transsexual, transvestite and eunuch community of India.


3 Responses

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  1. Anand Madanapalle said, on December 28, 2009 at 11:34 am

    There is one another aspect to this. That of the psyche of the general public. While it is one thing to create a legal framework to ensure that these people have a status in society, the bigger challenge is to dispel the notions amongst people that they are “freaks” and untouchables.

    Unless this is done concurrently with the legislations, we aren’t achieving much. As I said, opening up employment opportunities for them is one thing, but its a different challenge to ensure that there is no hostility towards them from the other employees. Further, most of these eunuchs are thrown out of home, and denied proper education. If you’re trying to ensure employment, you need to first make them employment-fit.

    And here, I will put my weight behind affirmative action.

  2. Mika said, on December 28, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    Yes, Anand. Hence the statement that social awareness and effort towards inclusion will not be forthcoming, particularly in the case of transsexuals, if we do not have laws seeking social change.

  3. sboray said, on January 29, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    An analogy can be made here.Consider homosexuals. Yes, i know every law student needs to mention “section 377′, even if he doesn’t know what exactly it states.Anyhow my point is the delhi high court judgement was a form of affirmative action, and now the public mindset is slowly changing.We are getting ready to accept homosexuals in India and you can’t deny the fact that the judgement had nothing to do with it.Similar situation with transexuals.Until and unless we have some form of legislation or judicial precedent, im afraid the public would still look at them in an obscure way like they’ve always done.

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