Monday, November 1, 2010

Pretending to Be a Boy in Afghanistan/NYTimes

Amusing or surprising is the New York Times's front page article (Tuesday, September 21, 2010), based partially on testimony of an Afghani member of Parliament, Azita Rafaat, about hundreds of girls, usually who do not have brothers, pretending to be boys, to increase their rights and future potential. This member of the Afghani parliament, is also raising one of her daughters as a boy. It is a decision made by parents, who will later change the biological girls' sexual identity back to being a girl, at the right adolescent or post-puberty age.

Ms. Rafaat was also raise as a boy for several years and she believes it strengthened her personality.

It is a shame to have a family of only girls in Afghanistan. Such families feel enormous pressure to have another child to have one boy at least.

Only boys can move around without supervision in large parts of afghanistan. Only boys can do a wide variety of work in Afghanistan.

So families convince their children to change their clothes and name for a decade.

In some cases a child would be a boy at work or school and a girl during part of the day and hope nobody would recognize them at work. Amazing.

This is not my utopia.