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Today We Go Home


Illuminating and deeply human, Today We Go Home shines a light on the brave ...
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Are there similar practices to the bacha posh in your culture? Why is the practice accepted in some cultures and not in others? Is it different if the decision is that of the child rather than the parents?

Created: 08/26/19

Replies: 8

Posted Aug. 26, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2143

Are there similar practices to the bacha posh in your culture? Why is the practice accepted in some cultures and not in others? Is it different if the decision is that of the child rather than the parents?

Did the information in the story about the bacha posh of Afghanistan surprise you? Are there any similar practices in your culture where a female takes on the appearance and social expectations of a male? Why is the practice accepted in some cultures and not in others? Is it different if the decision is that of the child rather than the parents?


Posted Sep. 18, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
paulagb

Join Date: 08/16/17

Posts: 102

RE: Are there similar practices to the bacha posh in your culture? Why is the practice accepted in some cultures and not in others? Is it different if the decision is that of the child rather than the parents?

I had previously read a book, semi-autobiographical by a young woman who lived in bacha posh until she was 13. It is fascinating that a culture admits equality of the genders even while aggressively denying it. When the parents make the choice it is for their convenience. When the child makes the choice it is to satisfy a need the child has. I suspect the practice developed long ago to address some labor needs. That same need didn’t occur in other societies who have a history of not accepting the practice. Emily’s choice was made so she could try to protect and help her family. The family allowed her to learn the skills normally reserved to boys, such as shooting, but neither her family nor the culture she lived in acceted her decision to masquerade as a male. The dominant culture feared females taking on male tasks and punished those doing so. I believe males feared the competition.


Posted Sep. 18, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
TaraM

Join Date: 07/17/19

Posts: 47

RE: Are there similar practices to the bacha posh in your culture? Why is the practice accepted in some cultures and not in others? Is it different if the decision is that of the child rather than the parents?

I've also heard (even from men themselves) that the idea of a woman upstaging them in any way is really hard to deal with. So that's definitely part of it, for sure. But then again, not all men have a problem with a woman being better at something than they are; some even embrace it or encourage it.

So I wonder if it might come down to how that man was raised, and whether his parents instilled the concept of equality in them from an early age.


Posted Sep. 18, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
elise

Join Date: 04/22/11

Posts: 58

RE: Are there similar practices to the bacha posh in your culture? Why is the practice accepted in some cultures and not in others? Is it different if the decision is that of the child rather than the parents?

I had never heard of bacha posh before reading this book. I would say if the decision comes from the child then the child would be considered transgender.


Posted Sep. 19, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
renem

Join Date: 12/01/16

Posts: 281

RE: Why is the practice accepted in some cultures and not in others? Is it different if the decision is that of the child rather than the parents?

Seven questions in this one section, wow. My American culture is pretty white bread so not much Bacha posh going on here. I believe the LBGT culture in the US is totally different from the practice of Bacha posh. That practice is done for one main reason; it allows families to avoid the social stigma associated with not having any male children. For that reason it is accepted in cultures that value males more than females and not needed in cultures where females are accepted equally, or at least near equally, as males.
From what I read in a National Geographic article the origins of the practice is still unknown but it is becoming increasingly well-known. The article also mentions a book written by journalist Jenny Nordberg titled The Underground Girls of Kabul, stating that Nordberg was the first to document the practice in case anyone is interested in reading on the subject further. I don't believe the outcome of practicing Bacha posh is much different if the child chooses or the parents decide. It could be a blessing and a curse on the female child and her family.


Posted Sep. 25, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
TaraM

Join Date: 07/17/19

Posts: 47

RE: Are there similar practices to the bacha posh in your culture? Why is the practice accepted in some cultures and not in others? Is it different if the decision is that of the child rather than the parents?

renem, that book by Jenny Nordberg sounds incredible, I will have to check that out!

You make some really important points about culture differences and how that effects the practice. I had never heard of this before reading the book, so it was very eye-opening for me in many ways.


Posted Oct. 02, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianaps

Join Date: 05/29/15

Posts: 422

RE: Are there similar practices to the bacha posh in your culture? Why is the practice accepted in some cultures and not in others? Is it different if the decision is that of the child rather than the parents?

I had read about this practice in previous books so was not surprised by the practice. I grew up a tomboy and hated dresses but that was totally different than bacha posh.


Posted Oct. 03, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
taking.mytime's Gravatar
taking.mytime

Join Date: 03/29/16

Posts: 169

RE: Are there similar practices to the bacha posh in your culture? Why is the practice accepted in some cultures and not in others? Is it different if the decision is that of the child rather than the parents?

No, bacha posh does not exist in my culture, that I am aware of. America does not discriminate between little boys and little girls. Little girls are given the same rights as little boys, which makes that practice moot.

I can understand some cultures practicing this deceiving exercise though. Especially where the male population is given more benefits than the female population. I wonder though exactly what it does to the female who is disguised as a male. At the point in time that all her 'rights' are taken away and she must project as the female she is, would have to be so depressing and humiliating. And as I understand it that can happen virtually over night. What a culture shock.


Posted Oct. 03, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2143

Why is the practice accepted in some cultures and not in others? Is it different if the decision is that of the child rather than the parents?

For anyone interested in The Underground Girls of Kabul - more information at
https://www.bookbrowse.com/reviews/index.cfm/book_number/3123/the-underground-girls-of-kabul

and in our 2015 discussion of the book:
https://www.bookbrowse.com/booktalk/threads.cfm?forumid=A144A2D1-5056-A34B-62B34816ABFFB9A3


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