Is drag better than being a woman?

MMW had an interesting post yesterday titled Bijli (electricity) about a woman trapped inside a man’s body. You can read the post here and watch the YouTube as well.

Fayyaz ‘Bijli’ talks about his career as a dancer and how he came to live in the USA, but what is most interesting is that Fayyaz confessed that he is lucky to be a transsexual rather than being born a woman which sheds light on the plight of lower middle class in Pakistan.

I sometimes wonder what it would be like to be a real girl. But for all I know, I might not have had the talent to dance. I might have been married somewhere, rearing children. I would have wasted my life away at some husband’s whims. I have also seen women’s lives here [in the USA]. They have very little stature here. A man chases after tens of women and leaves his own wife behind. And what if I was born as a girl? I would have been married off to some man. He would have been faithful to me for a year or two, and then taken after some other woman. Compared to the pain of this scenario, isn’t my predicament better? (Transcript of 11.00-11.48 ).

I am wondering if Fayyaz would have even noticed this plight of Pakistani women if he was not a woman trapped inside a man’s body.

 

 

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26 thoughts on “Is drag better than being a woman?

  1. Lat says:

    Well some men do realize but don’t do much to alleviate the situation and the ones who do are few.Considering Fayyaz’s view then I think he’s right,his position is better than real Pakistani women.

    Why are child rearing and keeping family considered a waste of time ? If this doesn’t help women achieve a sense of fullfilment then it is.In those days this is all women aspired to do and some were happy with it.But now things are different.There are so much more expectations from women besides rearing children and running a family.And drags do have it easier.

  2. sana says:

    I am sure other men too notice the plight and pains of women, but try to look away or turn deaf ears. I am happy being a woman as I don’t have to work for a living but just for my satisfaction, but then who knows? The tables may turn and I would have to fend for myself. Men and women equally try to sweep matters under the carpet, be it oppression of women by the men and elders in the family, or cases like bijli’s are often neglected and hidden from the public eye.
    A distant relative was like that and he was supposed to marry another cousin. But eventually the girl didn’t feel right and opted out. That boy is made fun of in the family, just because he talks like a girl and is very good at housekeeping better than any other women. People blame it on his ‘excessive’ mingling with the women and thus they say he has become woman like. Nonsense!

  3. Zuhura says:

    Dressing in drag is not the same thing as being transsexual. If he has not had a sex change, he is transgendered or a transvestite, not transsexual. I think the only reason a transgendered person would prefer to be transgendered than to be born a woman is if they live in a society in which women are treated worse than transgendered people are treated. In the United States, unless a transgendered person is very good at passing, I suspect they would be treated worse than most women are treated.

  4. wafa' says:

    Where I am , being a woman is the worst. But i would only imagine being a drag -which is a stupid move to be so in here- is bad also, still it will be a temporarily thing and you will be a man again. But as a woman you are stuck, my lady 🙂

  5. Sara says:

    I think there are men who are aware of the plight of women, and many fight for women’s rights as much as feminists do. But many look the other way, others sympathize at times, and most are unaware that gender equality exists!

  6. Metis says:

    “most are unaware that gender equality exists!”

    or should exist!

  7. Sumera says:

    I think being transgender, especially say in Pakistan, is being “genderless” – although they have feminine traits, they are viewed neither as men nor women. I suppose they associate themselves with women, its more than simply dressing in drag. Are they more aware of gender inequalities? Perhaps.

    • Sumera says:

      I just watched the clip over at MMW and I have to say I personally would view Fayaaz as a transgendered man – in that he is a woman trapped in a man’s body. He does not associate himself with the male gender, he prefers all things feminine and say’s himself that although God created him male, his nature/soul is feminine. He is a highly observant individual, and that is from where he noticed how women are treated and why he prefers being what he is.

      • Metis says:

        I was waiting for your comment! Obviously much is lost in translation and also because we didn’t see the whole interview – do you think he has had initial sex change surgeries? From what he said (things like – my body is like a woman’s [soul yes, but body?]; the fact that he had a towel wrapped around his torso; and that he said men never find out he is not a woman “during sex” [according to the producer’s translation]), it seems like in the 17 years that he was in the US by the time he was interviewed, he had ‘changed’.

        • Sumera says:

          I dont think he has had any surgery done.

          I say this based on what he mentioned, after stating his body and soul is like a woman’s, about not letting the men “touch him there”. So as long as they dont touch his frontal private area, he says sex is ok – from this I gathered he has all “his man bits” and that its his nature/soul that is feminine. And sex is anal sex, not vaginal intercourse since he doesnt have one.

          I paid little attention to the translated subtitles, preferred hearing it in Fayaaz’s words – it made it more “real”. I felt sympathy for him though and im not sure why exactly..

          • Sumera says:

            Also I wanted to add, since he considers his soul/nature feminine, he views his body to be womanly based on that perhaps – and thats what he is referring to when he says he has a body of a woman’s because he considers himself to be one even though physically he has male sexual organs

            • Metis says:

              I feel sorry for him, but I also feel a bit angry with his mum. I’m not a supporter of gendering and opposite gendering is even more harmful as we can see from his example. I really felt for him. The documentary made me very sad.

  8. Lat says:

    Just out of curiosity,I want to know how one can have sex without anyone not touching the frontal private area? If one can,so does that mean Fayyaz doesn’t engage in any bonding thing first? So it’s just sex with off-limit areas? I don’t quite get it sorry.I couldn’t watch the clip because my pc has problems with loading videos.

    • Metis says:

      That is what I was thinking too, Lat. Glad you made that point. I guess what Fayyaz was really saying was that he never sleeps with men. But I must admit that it is a very confusing documentary.

      • Sumera says:

        But at one point he says that he likes straight men because he is a woman – and a few references to sex which would lead me to believe he does sleep with men. There lots of clips snipped in the documentary which is a shame because I would have loved for it to be even longer!

  9. mariam says:

    Dear Metis, is it possible to delete my last comment?I dont know in which planet!! I was while reading your post,I completely misundrestood it.

    I am in wonder does Fayyaz know about transsexual people in Iran,does he know Iran has become a hot spot for sex change surgeries.many of these people are young men who want to become woman.
    Fayyaz suffer from lack of confidence,I am in wonder how he is less confident that so many Iranian men in Iran! despite tha fact he is living in US.some one should give him phone number of Dr Mir Jalali to talk to him or at least give him DVD of movie ” be like others” and see many young men with his situation choose to become woman in Iran althought they should fight with their families.
    website of film:http://www.belikeothers.com/you can see clips of film in this site.
    photo of Dr Mir Jalali :http://queermuslimrevolution.blogspot.com/2008/02/picture-dr-bahram-mir-jalali-speaks-to.html

    whenFayyaz talka bout situation of women in Islamic countries or west , he is just hiding his fear or lack of confidence,he want to justify himself.he needs help.
    mariam-Iran

    • Metis says:

      Dear Mariam, I deleted it 🙂 I didn’t know this side of Iran. That was VERY interesting bit of information. Thanks for sharing!

      I think sex change surgeries are very expensive in the US.

  10. unsettledsoul says:

    Iran is an excellent example of how horrible it can be to be a transexual, which is not the same as drag, but I’m thinking we are talking about transsexuals, no?

    The LGBTQ community is extremely disadvantaged and oppressed.

    I don’t think it is right to compare oppressions, lol, but no, I think it is far more difficult being an LGBTQ person who is “out.” Throw in the fact that being from this community automatically stigmatizes one as sinful AND going to hell, and I think we can find a good argument for how difficult it really is. But on the same note, women have to sleep with and care for their oppressors, so talk about too close for comfort! We cannot simply stay away from the people who oppress us when they are our families and husbands and sons and fathers. AND women are very good at disadvantaging other women!

    Let’s face it, it is difficult to be either. It is difficult to be anything or anyone that is not the one in power in that country.

    A woman who decides to “go drag” for a time being could turn around and say the same thing about the LGBTQ community as Fayyaz said about women.

    Both oppressions are problematic. Can we really compare and contrast about which one is better or worse?

    • Metis says:

      You made a very valid point. I understand and agree with your point. I presume he was trying to make excuses for what he wasn’t. Can’t blame him 😦

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