Muxe


Muxe

In Zapotec cultures of Oaxaca (southern Mexico), a muxe (also spelled "muxhe") [muxeʔ] is a physically male individual who dresses and behaves in a feminine manner; they may be seen as a third gender.[1] Some marry women and have children while others choose men as sexual or romantic partners.[2] According to anthropologist Lynn Stephen, muxe "may do certain kinds of women’s work such as embroidery or decorating home altars, but others do the male work of making jewelry. Many now have white-collar jobs and are involved in politics."[3][4]

The word muxe is thought to derive from the 16th century Spanish word for "woman", mujer.[citation needed]

Contents

Muxe and gender in Zapotec culture

In contrast to Mexico's majority mestizo culture (where machismo prevails), the isthmus of Oaxaca has a predominantly Zapotec population, and it is widely reported that there is less hostility toward muxe in the region than homosexual, effeminate males and trans women face elsewhere in the strongly Catholic country. One study estimates that 6 percent of males in an Isthmus Zapotec community in the early 1970s were muxe.[5] Other Zapotec communities have similar "third gender" roles, such as the biza’ah of Teotitlán del Valle.

Muxe may be vestidas (wearing female clothes) or pintadas (wearing male clothes and make-up). It has been suggested that while the three gender system predates Spanish colonization, the phenomenon of muxe dressing as women is fairly recent, beginning in the 1950s and gaining popularity until nearly all of the younger generation of muxe today are vestidas.[6]

Within contemporary Zapotec culture, reports vary as to their social status. Muxe in village communities may not be disparaged, while in larger towns they may face some discrimination, especially from men.[7] Muxe generally belong to the poorer classes of society. Gender variance and same-sex desire in wealthier communities of the region are more likely to follow a more western taxonomy of gay, bisexual and transgender. Such individuals are also more likely to remain in "the closet".

In an article published in 1995, anthropologist Beverly Chiñas explains that in the Zapotec culture, "the idea of choosing gender or of sexual orientation is as ludicrous as suggesting that one can choose one's skin color."[8] Most people traditionally view their gender as something God has given them (whether man, woman, or muxe), and few muxe desire genital surgery.

Lynn Stephen writes: "Muxe men are not referred to as “homosexuals” but constitute a separate category based on gender attributes. People perceive them as having the physical bodies of men but different aesthetic, work, and social skills from most men. They may have some attributes of women or combine those of men and women." If they do choose men as sexual partners, neither are those men (known as mayate) necessarily considered homosexual.

Prominent muxe individuals

In 2003, 25-year-old muxe es:Amaranta Gómez Regalado from Juchitán de Zaragoza gained international prominence as a congressional candidate for the México Posible party in the Oaxaca state elections. Her broad platform included calls for the decriminalization of marijuana and abortion.[9] [10] [11][6]

References

  1. ^ Chiñas, Beverly (1995). Isthmus Zapotec attitudes toward sex and gender anomalies, pp. 293-302 in Stephen O. Murray (ed.), "Latin American Male Homosexualities" Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press.
    Chiñas (p. 294) defines muxe as “persons who appear to be predominantly male but display certain female characteristics” and fill a “third gender role between men and women, taking some of the characteristics of each.”
  2. ^ Stephen, Lynn (2002). "Latin American Perspectives," Issue 123, Vol.29 No.2, March 2002, pp. 41-59. Sexualities and Genders in Zapotec Oaxaca.PDF (98.6 KiB)
  3. ^ Ibid.
  4. ^ MIANO, M. (2002). Hombre, mujer y muxe’ en el Istmo de Tehuantepec. México: Plaza y Valdés. CONACULTA-INAH.
  5. ^ Rymph, David (1974). Cross-sex behavior in an Isthmus Zapotec village. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association, Mexico City.
  6. ^ a b Gómez Regalado, Amaranta (2005) Transcending.PDF (50.0 KiB)
  7. ^ Stephen, Lynn, op cit.
  8. ^ Chiñas, Beverly (1995). Isthmus Zapotec attitudes toward sex and gender anomalies, pp. 293-302 in Stephen O. Murray (ed.), "Latin American Male Homosexualities" Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press
  9. ^ http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2003/06/05/ls-amaranta.html (Spanish)
  10. ^ http://translate.google.com/translate?js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&sl=es&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.jornada.unam.mx%2F2003%2F06%2F05%2Fls-amaranta.html (English). Translation by Google Translate.
  11. ^ http://www.copenhagen2009.org/Conference/Keynote_Speakers/Amaranta_Gomez_Regalado.aspx

Related videos

Further reading

  • Roscoe, Will (1998). Changing Ones: Third and Fourth Genders in Native North America. New York: St. Martin’s Press.
  • Lacey, Marc "A Lifestyle Distinct: The Muxe of Mexico" The New York Times, December 7, 2008

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Muxe — En la poblacion zapoteca del Istmo de Tehuantepec, Juchitán, Oaxaca, México, se les llama muxes ( mushes ) a los varones travestidos que asumen roles femeninos en la comunidad. Los Zapotecas ocupaban un puesto especial en Mesoamérica como una de… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Muxe — Muxhe Un muxhe ou muxé est, dans la culture des zapotèques de l´État d Oaxaca, un homme qui s´habille et se conduit comme une femme. Le mot vient du mot espagnol du XVIe siècle pour femme. Une étude de 1974 estime que 6% des hommes de la… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Amaranta Gómez Regalado — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Amaranta Gómez Regalado ( ?, 1977 en Juchitán de Zaragoza, Oaxaca), muxe mexicano, candidato político, activista en prevención del VIH, investigador social, columnista y promotor de la identidad cultural… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Gender — This article is about the distinction between male and female entities and concepts. For other uses, see Gender (disambiguation). Gender is a range of characteristics used to distinguish between males and females, particularly in the cases of men …   Wikipedia

  • DVB-T — Logo DVB T (Abkürzung für engl. „Digital Video Broadcasting – Terrestrial“; also dt. „Digitales Antennenfernsehen“) bezeichnet die terrestrische (erdgebundene, per Antenne) Verbreitung digitaler Radio , Fernseh und Datensignale in der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Lesbian — This article is about the sexual orientation. For other uses, see Lesbian (disambiguation) …   Wikipedia

  • Two-Spirit — Transgender topics Identities Androgyne · Genderqueer Hijra · Third gender / Third sex Transgender · Trans man Trans woman · Trigender · Two Spirit Queer heterose …   Wikipedia

  • Androgyny — For other uses, see Androgyny (disambiguation). Androgyny is a term derived from the Greek words ανήρ, stem ανδρ (anér, andr , meaning man) and γυνή (gyné, meaning woman), referring to the combination of masculine and feminine characteristics.… …   Wikipedia

  • Non-heterosexual — Gay and lesbian families, like these in a 2007 pride parade, are unlikely to label themselves non heterosexual although researchers do so for a variety of reasons.[1] Non heterosexual is an umbrella term …   Wikipedia

  • Gay — This article is about gay as a term. For homosexuality, see Homosexuality. For other uses, see Gay (disambiguation). Part of a series on Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) people …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.