Monday, February 28, 2011
Fafafini: Gender-Crossing in Samoan Society
The Fafafini (correctly, Fa’afafine) is a third gender specific to Samoan and the surrounding Polynesian island culture. Biologically, Fafafini are men who have been raised since early childhood to assume female gender and sexual roles within Samoan society. Said to have originated in a time when there was a lack of women to perform domestic tasks, this third gender evolved. Unlike many societies around the world where women are treated as subservient or insignificant, Samoan culture values their role rather uniquely. As Fafafini, they are considered a gender altogether separate from male and female, with distinct gender roles specific to them; different from those of either men or women. Read more . . .