"Why live like a man?" one virgin, Lule Ivanaj, asks herself rhetorically in an English-subtitled documentary that Dones (pronounced DOH-nez) made on the women for Swiss television called "Sworn Virgins." Ivanaj looks like a man in his 50s, with short hair, thick arms and a wide metal watchband on one wrist. "Because I value my freedom. I suppose I was ahead of my time."What's most shocking here is not that women would voluntarily surrender their womanhood in exchange for equality, but that any culture would force its women to make this choice.
Friday, August 17, 2007
What Some Will Do for Freedom
In Albania, women over the last 500 years have become "sworn virgins," promising a chaste life in exchange for living as a man. There is no surgical sex change, merely the right to be accepted within a culture as equal to men.