Representation and Identification of the Transgender Women on Pakistani Social Media
“The Muses Themselves Would Bear Witness to this Injustice”
Keywords:Transgender women, identity, representation, discourse, Pakistan
Based on a discourse analysis of gender and sexuality related discussions found on Pakistan's social networking websites, this article attempts to establish that Pakistani urbanites in fact draw on certain web-forums as springboards for reflexive discussion on gender and sexual identities. The aims of this article are, first, to analyze the role that socio-economic and discursive conditions play in the construction of gender and sexual identity of the transgender women and 'alleged' homosexuals. Second, this article investigates Pakistan's mainstream discourse's affordances of sexist and hetero-patriarchal expressions by tracing how historical experience and texts move across discursive space. Furthermore, this article suggests that the emotions of 'pity' and 'fear' attached with the transgender experience and lack of awareness regarding alternative gender and sexual subjectivities play a fundamental role in the way gender and sexual identities are interpreted in Pakistan. More specifically, intertextuality, interdiscursivity and recontextualization seem to serve as a way to bring (non)heteronormative discourses into Pakistan's epistemic order without necessarily articulating alternative discourses ostensibly.
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