Albania is a really strange place

"He" is a "she"

“He” is a “she”


From photographer Jill Peters:

‘Sworn Virgins’ of Albania

“A perfectly ordinary girl, perhaps with aspirations of marriage and becoming a mother is asked by her family to take a vow of celibacy and foreswear sexual relations for life. She is not being encouraged to join a convent. She is taking on the responsibility and honor of protecting her home, her family and socially becoming a man. In the solidly patriarchal and tribal areas plagued by blood feuds and honor killings of Albania’s rural mountain villages many such women who have “become” men act as the heads of their households. For sacrificing their innate natures, they are afforded considerable masculine privileges. Skirts and blouses are traded for trousers and button downs, long hair cropped to a manly stubble. They smoke, work and swagger about town with the other men. They are referred to as “he” and “uncle.” Their absolute transition is accepted, posited and taken without question by the people among whom they live. They are called Sworn Virgins of Albania, or ‘burneshas.” There are only a handful left.”


Now you know why Albania has never won the Miss Universe pageant.


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I've been an ideological free agent since 2008.
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28 Responses to Albania is a really strange place

  1. Jadzia says:

    The picture of the youngest woman (mid 20s?) was really striking. Maybe in a REALLY patriarchal society, it’s a better life.

    • OldCoastie says:

      I think anywhere that has “honor killings” automatically gets the label “REALLY patriarchal society”.

  2. Saw this yesterday and I still really don’t know what to make of it. Guess it works for them.

  3. elliesmom says:

    Because woman are capable of taking on the responsibility of protecting their families, but only if we pretend they aren’t. A game of “Make Believe” for grownups. Is the male ego really this fragile?

  4. OldCoastie says:

    I think it is very interesting.

  5. DeniseVB says:

    Could be worse, they could make their women wear burkas and throw acid in their faces when they read a book. Or be born a girl in China ?

  6. It’s fascinating how much they actually “look like” men. I’m assuming there are no chemical or surgical procedures these women have undergone. Gender as performance anyone?

  7. swanspirit says:

    Women in medieval times joined convents to escape unwanted marriages , or to have more control over their own lives , this seems to be the same sort of cultural accommodation , maybe for gay women , as well.

  8. DeniseVB says:

    Meanwhile, back in a truly strange land …..

    http://www.wsbtv.com/ap/ap/top-news/ap-sources-obama-team-to-form-agenda-group/nTzmk/

    Let the permanent campaign continue :D

    • indigogrrl1 says:

      Obama to Dems – Suck It.

    • Karma says:

      One news segment actually tried blaming Baghdad DNC Debbie for the tax exempt move. Stating she didn’t have a close relationship with Obama/OFA.

      Baghdad Debbie lost any type of credibility lying for him, as well as, the party losing how many millions of dollars over the eight years of supporting Obama? So how exactly did the Dems not know that the Chicago Machine only share the spoils with themselves?

      Anyway, after Colbert highlighted what a grifters’ paradise these things are by going tax exempt. Here’s hoping there’s tweet war about OFA paying their fair share.

  9. HELENK says:

    http://live.reuters.com/Event/Mali_Conflict

    Reuters latest on hostage situation

    • catarina says:

      Are they taking Massachusetts transplants?

      I’ll pledge to never vote for Democrats, unlike the Massholes who moved to New Hampshire and voted for Obama last November.

  10. Seems PA and I are not alone in our desire to reform that mess called the electoral college.

    http://news.yahoo.com/gop-eyes-election-laws-091622720–election.html

  11. DeniseVB says:

    Snark break via the MOTUS :

    http://www.michellesmirror.com/2013/01/bang-dumb-slowly.html

    I can’t enough of Mrs. Obama’s “new look” , and Robert Redford’s Sundance Festival too !

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