Berdache Essay

969 Words May 6th, 2013 4 Pages
Berdache and present day Trans individuals,
A comparison of Valentine’s & Gutiérrez’s views on establishing gender covenants.

In comparing Warfare, homosexuality, gender status among native American Indian men in the southwest by Gutierrez and I know what I am by Valentine one is struck by the apparent differences that both authors have on multiple levels despite their agreement on gender identity as a product of society and culture. Through discrepancies in tone and evidence selection light can be shed on these aforementioned points of contestation.

Gutierrez’s main point of:
“Gender is a role not a status” (Gutierrez pg 29)
Permeates his argument in a strong tonal sense through its fatalistic and impersonal attributes.
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Additionally in pursuing his overall message empowering gender queer individuals to choose their own separate gender and sexual labels (Valentine 136), Valentine’s paints a marginally critical description of detractors of that notion and their attempts to assert hegemony over a transgendered identity and movement (Valentine 132).

From the perspective of evidence usage and context both authors adroitly select their material to leverage their assessments despite some points of contention. For example in Guiterrez’s postulation that Berdache are men forced to adopt the gender role assigned to women due to nature and war, the evidence put forward is limited to accounts by outside observers such as white colonists(Gutierrez 23). While the usage of evidence from biased outsiders is understandable considering the lack of information from the tribes themselves who were at times scattered, Christianized and lacked a written tradition. The fact that no indirect account from a Berdache was conveyed or recorded shelters Gutierrez’s argument, especially when such a lack of voice is implicit in the case put forwards on their enslavement. Additional points of argument are further enhanced through the usage of strategically ordered arguments. That is unlike Valentine, mentions of a third sex or gender are limited

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