Social Construction of Third Gender in India

Vol-4 | Issue-03 | March 2019 | Published Online: 13 March 2019    PDF ( 370 KB )
Author(s)
Mushtaq Toyeba 1; Ahmad Aaliya (Dr.) 2

1Doctoral Scholar, Media Education Research Centre, University of Kashmir, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir (India)

2Senior Assistant Professor, Media Education Research Centre, University of Kashmir, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir (India)

Abstract

Since the creation of this universe, the world we live in identifies sexual orientation only in terms of femininity and masculinity. Anything outside this dichotomous orientation is either rejected or considered abnormal across various cultures. Due to this ‘exclusion’, the third gender is assigned different gender roles because of their unusual sexual identity which is constructed through these gender roles. Across cultures, sexual orientation varies in range and intensity. It reflects the penchant nature of one gender towards the same gender, other gender or both genders. Third gender people are described as people who do not fall under the gender binary category. Third gender people are omnipresent across different cultures even when though they are considered unnatural or as a stigma to the society. In India they are regarded as mistakes of nature and are given therapies to transform themselves in order to fit into society. These are the societies that give power to the heterosexual to construct the sexuality of other sexes. It is because of this construction and individual subjectivity that the third gender lacks the ‘structural support’ which the dichotomous gender possesses. A report in BBC News India (2012) estimates 2.5 million of LGBT people in India. This paper highlights their social construction in India. The main concern of third gender people is to find out the exact centre that constructs and at times even controls their sexuality. Their battle is against the whole cultural system whom they feel subjugate their identity and worsen their situation. Their life is stigmatized and stereotyped continuously because of the lack of a fixed centre. The third gender people are denied any sort of ‘space’ and ‘voice’ in mainstream society. They are at the bottom even in the hierarchal structure of gender roles. There has been a visible change in the cultural identity construction in the form of recognizing the sexual identity of the third gender.

Keywords
Third gender, construct, society, sexuality, stereotype.
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