Berdache

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  • Topic: Transgender, Gender, Gender role
  • Pages : 3 (961 words )
  • Download(s) : 73
  • Published : April 28, 2013
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Berdache and present day Trans individuals,
A comparison of Valentine’s & Gutiérrez’s views on establishing gender covenants.

In comparing Warfare, homosexuality, gender status among native American Indian men in the southwest by Gutierrez and I know what I am by Valentine one is struck by the apparent differences that both authors have on multiple levels despite their agreement on gender identity as a product of society and culture. Through discrepancies in tone and evidence selection light can be shed on these aforementioned points of contestation.

Gutierrez’s main point of:
“Gender is a role not a status” (Gutierrez pg 29)
Permeates his argument in a strong tonal sense through its fatalistic and impersonal attributes. In presenting the Berdache as defeated warriors enslaved to serve the economic and sexual needs of Native American men living segregated from women(Gutierrez 27), Gutierrez’s tone acquires a causational dimension where stated evidence is deemed irrevocably responsible of the gender role of the Berdache. Notably through the usage of visual representations of Berdache men in ritualistic dances with red paint in between their thighs used as irrefutable proof of Berdache subservience through male rape when others have postulated it could have simulated female menstruation given the Berdache’s mandated feminine appearance (Gutierrez 27). While tonally evocative of the hallmarks of an anthropologist sure of his field, to take such a tone especially when Gutierrez hints at his piece being a reaction to recent revisionist works on Berdache denotes an agenda and by association a bias(Gutierrez 19)

In contrast the tone of Valentine’s argument is much more neutral if not careful in its postulations due to the conflicting conclusions from his fieldwork. Furthermore in narrating his article from a first person perspective Valentine is able to set a somewhat oddly disarming tone for the reader. Notably the story of Tamara’s back and forth...
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