The effeminates of Medina by Everett K. Rowson

B545A47E-0B33-431E-85B9-D9209CC9B9E3Article set in Medina, Saudi Arabia. Reviewed on 2019/05:

Whenever I teach research I always tell students to listen carefully to the process. The research usually talks back to you with important words which will help you along the way. And that’s how I came across this fascinating article and the word: #mukhannathun . #everettkrowson in his article #theeffeminatesofearlymedinadefines the word as first someone #intersex and then later in the 7-8th century #mukhannath is defined more as a man who acts, dresses or sounds like a woman in society regardless of his sexual orientation. Important historical info aside, this article delves into the #hadith and other contemporary literary sources to tell us the story of prominent Mukhannathun that were left to live their lives as they wished, served as marriage brokers and more importantly thrived as #musicians and #singers and even #courtjester in both #medina and #mecca specifically during the Umayyad Caliphate. #rowson spends a considerable amount of time explaining the divergent sources and problems with translations. But for us mortal readers, the gist of it is the numerous and fascinating stories he manages to unearth when Mukhannathun defied social norms, contradicted new conservative ideas and the persecution that ensued. #tuways and #aldalal are the two names widely acclaimed as singers and entertainers. Tuways was apparently also known for his “sharp tongue” which get him in trouble several times and Al-Dalal was even known for his open homosexuality. One last important point to make is that Rowson cautions the reader into making any simplistic parallels between these stories and our modern understanding of #transgender and #gaymen . There are certainly some similarities but reducing it to our definitions will only belittle the importance and greatness of these stories. If anyone knows of any examples of Mukhannathun in fiction, I’d love to hear from you. #recommended#genderqueerlit #effeminatesofmedina#arabicmusic #umayyad #preislamic#effeminate #transvestites #مخنثون

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