Behind the mask by Alfredo Mirandé

IMG_1214Book set in Juchitán, Mexico. Reviewed on 2019/06:

You can’t just study whatever it is that you want to study. Someone should have remained that to #alfredomirande . Mirande is convinced that his #mexicannessshould be the entry code into the #muxe community. Sadly it’s isn’t! This book should have been called instead: the day my identity dies in the isthmus of #tehuantepec . I would have loved to read that one instead… I can’t completely belittle #behindthemask . If like me, you know nothing about Muxe in #oaxaca , never read anything previously, then this book could certainly become a first step. #mirande does some homework on the region’s history and the more theoretical framework. However when it comes to the actual #interviews and #fieldobservations , #mirandé never manages to gain the trust needed to conduct such a study. He speaks only Spanish and with accent from the capital, never makes any efforts to learn #zapoteco , comes to the area through some American contacts, comes with his preconceived ideas of “socialization” and interviewing which resembles that of an out-of-place American professor and ultimately fails at making any meaningful inroads into the community which should have given him valuable insights to build this book. He even recognizes that himself at different intervals throughout his book. However instead of learning the local languages, spending/living in the area for considerable periods of time, etc. Mirande prefers to look for the story anyway or anywhere he can and he even acknowledges paying them considerable amounts of money just to interview them. I can only imagine the fun the Muxe had playing this guy around. So at the end, take this book from what it is: a theoretical/historical introduction to Muxe. In the meantime, I can’t wait for an actual Muxe to write her own story with her own words, without any filter or someone else’s interpretation. #genderqueerlit #juchitan#juchitandezaragoza #juchitán#juchitándezaragoza#universityofarizonapress#thirdgender #studygonewrong#zapotec

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