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Critique Essay Humanities Nonfiction Theory

Hombres Mujeres: An Indigenous Third Gender

By Alfredo Mirandé, 2015

This article interrogates West and Zimmerman’s Doing Gender paradigm by examining the Muxes of Juchitán, a little known third gender in El Istmo de Tehuantepec, Oaxaca México. After presenting preliminary findings based on personal interviews with forty-two muxes and forty-eight community members, distinguishing between muxes and gays and describing the wide variation in the muxe lifestyle, the essay concludes that muxes are a third sex/gender category that is actively redoing the prevailing Western gender binary as well as traditional Mexican conceptions of gender and sexuality. They are an indigenous third sex/gender category, which is less about Western conceptions of sexuality, sexual identity, or doing transgender and more about retaining the language, cultural categories, practices, and worldviews of indigenous communities.

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