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3676 - The Modern Myth of Muxes

For my research as MA in Social- and Cultural Anthropology, I lived in Juchitan, Mexico for 3 months. This city in the south of Oaxaca is well know, first for the strong position of women in society and public life, and second for its way of dealing with transgender people. The male to female (MtoF) persons are called Muxe, the Female to Male (FtoM) persons are called Marimachas. There exist movies and books about the strong women and Muxes, but very little research was done about Marimachas.

As the word got out, that Juchitan is “different”, it became (and still is) sort of a research magnet in Mexico for scientist dealing with feminism, gender studies and queer theory (I include myself)

The coverage of the field was extensive, but nonetheless myths were rising in the New Media – Transgender Communities called the city “queer paradise” and feminists thought they found the “last matriachy”.

Based on my experience in town, I will show some examples of these modern myths, that can´t hold up with reality. In addition I will bring some examples, how the people represent themselves, as an emic point of view – to complete or correct the etic representation from outsiders (which I still am).

Keywords: Mexican Culture, Visual Anthropology, Transgender, Queer Theory,

Author: Binder, Wilhelm (Universität Wien, Austria / Österreich)

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