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Omani third gender

Note Oman until the 1970ís was totally isolated by a ruler who feared change. The anthropological work was done in 1973, so isolation was still a big factor.

Omaniís understand that gender variance can not be suppressed and the person is acknowledged and reclassified and allowed to live in peace. These individuals are xanith.

 This is based on the world view that the world is imperfect people are created with dissimilar natures and are likewise imperfect. It is up to each individual to behave as correctly as possible in all different encounters in which he or she engages. That is with tact, politeness, hospitality, and morality.

To blame, sanction or criticize others who fall short of these ideals is to lose esteem.

The world contains mothers who do not love their children, children who do not honor their parents, wives who deceive their parents and men who act like women. They feel, It is not for me to judge or sanction unless the person has offended me in the particular relationship I have with them!  This is also carried over into the legal code, only those directly affected may bring complaint.

This world view is at odds with ours which seems to be based on perfection and a certain set of very artificial standards. Our culture responds with moral indignation and strong sanctions of those who do not measure up.

There are very clearly defined male and female roles in the Omani culture and very clearly defined culturally acceptable codes of behavior.

Xanith appear to identify as TS they are generally prostitutes that while not allowed to crossdress (it would dishonor women) wear pastel disbashas do their hair in a manner similar to women (parted on the side rather than the center)  use makeup and lots of perfume and affect feminine mannerisms. They are treated as women! by the woman the rules of etiquette apply in the same way.


Last modified: 12/24/13