Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Pretend Boys of Afghanistan

This New York Times story offers much food for thought about gender roles and even about 'passing.' It's unclear how common the practice of dressing a girl as a boy might be, but even if it's uncommon the fact that it exists at all is remarkable, given the strict sex segregation in Afghanistan.

Or perhaps not so remarkable, after all, because this way of avoiding the system leaves the system itself intact: You still have to pretend to be a boy to be allowed to lead a boy's life. Which has more freedom and less harassment.