Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Albania's sworn 'virgins': Women give up sex to live as men

From the Chicago Tribune (8/22):

When the Albanian journalist and author Elvira Dones was traveling in the mountains of northern Albania, she asked for directions from someone she thought was a man walking his mule through a village, rifle on shoulder.

After the exchange, her guide whispered, "That is one of them."

Dones had just met an adherent of an ancient northern Albanian tradition in which women take an oath of lifelong virginity in exchange for the right to live as men. The process is not surgical. Rather, sworn virgins cut their hair and wear baggy men's clothes and take up manly livelihoods as shepherds or truck drivers or even political leaders. And those around them treat them as men.

Via Our Bodies, Our Blog.


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