In North American communities of open genders and sexualities we use so many ‘isms’ to describe how people choose to express their sexuality, physicality and gender[s]. I like the complexities of such a community, but I also likey the simplicity of the Albanian gender-swapping concept of Virgjinesha.
Albanian Kanun traditions follow circumscribed binary roles of the man and wife; with her life holding half the value of that of a man in the community [erm, ok?! erm, ok…nevermind].
There is -however- a loophole in this rigid gender-f*ck: Women can take a vow to become a Virgjinesha [or sworn virgin], whereby they vouch to dress, act and work as a traditional man, and in turn the community treats ‘him’ as such.
Although these societal constructs are restrictive in their variance, there’s something beautifully simple in the idea that a woman can vow she is a man and in doing so becomes such.
Take that MRS DOUBTFIRE!