With Respect to Sex: Negotiating Hijra Identity in South India
With Respect to Sex is an intimate ethnography that offers a provocative account of sexual and social difference in India. The subjects of this study are hijras or the "third sex" of India—individuals who occupy a unique, liminal space between male and female, sacred and profane.
Hijras are men who sacrifice their genitalia to a goddess in return for the power to confer fertility on newlyweds and newborn children, a ritual role they are respected for, at the same time as they are stigmatized for their ambiguous sexuality. By focusing on the hijra community, Gayatri Reddy sheds new light on Indian society and the intricate negotiations of identity across various domains of everyday life. Further, by reframing hijra identity through the local economy of respect, this ethnography highlights the complex relationships among local and global, sexual and moral, economies.
This book will be regarded as the definitive work on hijras, one that will be of enormous interest to anthropologists, students of South Asian culture, and specialists in the study of gender and sexuality.
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AC/DCs Amir nayak appear Asaf Jahi ascetic asceticism asexuality asked authenticity badhai hijras baiji berupias bond celas chapter cimte constructions context cultural dance Delhi devadasis difference Dumont eunuchs explicitly female feminine fieldwork Gayatri gender goddess guru guru-cela hair hijra community hijra house hijra identity hijra sex workers hijras and kotis hijras in Hyderabad hijras living Hindi Hindu Hinduism homosexual husband Hyderabad ideal identified important India individuals Irfan Islam izzat jogins kada-catla kotis Kakar kandra hijras kinship kojjas Lashkarwala lineage Madhavi male marker married masculine mother Munira Muslim Nanda nayak nirvan operation non-hijra O’Flaherty one’s pantis performance potential practice Rajesh real hijra refer relationships religious respect ritual rupees sannyasis sari Saroja Secunderabad senior hijras sex workers sex/gender Sheharwala siva-satis social South Srilakshmi story Surekha symbolic tank tapas tawa’ifs Telugu term third sex told Trawick wear woman women zenanas