The New York Post published an article based upon a book by Jenny Nordberg, called The Underground Girls of Kabul: In Search of a Hidden Resistance in Afghanistan” Not surprisingly, women in Afghanistan, a society that is shockingly oppressive to women sometimes attempt to provide female children with a greater array of options, education and self-expression by raising them as boys. As is often the case, stories in the New York Post are generated and covered more extensively elsewhere.
The Atlantic Monthly reports in greater depth on the story of this phenomenon, which is common enough that many Afghan people know such girls.NPR did an article about the Bacha Posh of Afghanistan, the girls who elect to live as boys.
Jenny Nordberg, the author of The Underground Girls of Kabul, sees these girls as similar to women who fought in the American Civil War, and who lived as men. There are quite a few such cases, many of which involved circumventing stifling gender restrictions.
Albania has a tradition, which is fading in modern times, of women who vow to live a celibate life as men. Unlike the Bacha Posh of Afghanistan, Albanian burrnesha take official and publicly recognised vows.
It seems far simpler to simply give women and girls the right to seek an education, as well as to work in the professions they choose. It is ultimately society’s loss when half of the human race is consigned to demeaned or stunted roles. At least part of the solution involves increasing the respect and honour given motherhood, instead of demeaning it, as is often the case with some of the more misguided offshoots of western feminism.
Dan Rather did a 50 minute program on this subject.