Archive for April 10th, 2007

How should media deal with eunuchs, hijras?

10 April 2007

ANIKA SHARMA writes: How many of us in the media know who eunuchs are and who are hijras? What role is the media playing in educating society about transgenders and transsexuals? And what role can it play in educating the families of eunuchs, especially young eunuchs?

Eunuchs and hijras are as much a part of the society we inhabit. They too too have a life. But how does the media view them? How much space do newspapers give them or issues related to them—and how many seconds/minutes does television turn its cameras on them?

Truth to tell, transsexuals have been stereotyped by society and turned into figures of rejection, ostracised from the mainstream life as we know it. Many of them have been made the brunt of crude jokes.

Should the media fall into the same trap? What is the media doing to educate and inform the parents of eunuchs? What is our society doing in accepting eunuchs and helping them in expressing their sexuality or sharing their sexual identity in the normal society?

Journalists, journalism students and future journalists must have a discussion and get this kicking. What are we going to do if some day we have to write on such sensitive issues? How are we going to deal with this section of society?

Photograph by the author

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