But for those who go through puberty and beyond as young men, things quickly become much more complicated.Aside from the psychological conundrum, those who are nurtured as boys and young men though their teens and beyond can see a delay in the development of female identity and even the onset of puberty. Bacha posh really is a unique, current-day nurture versus nature experiment. How often does a journalist come upon an actual secret, which holds the promise of a journey straight into the unknown, where no one has gone before?The website is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to registrar.
And then what do you do when some of the world’s foremost experts on women, history and human rights tell you that it would be dangerous and stupid to pursue something that doesn’t exist anyway? If you are an investigative reporter, that’s when you stay.
You will also begin to wonder what else we may be missing, and if there might be more to Afghanistan than the often-told story of victims and perpetrators; of suppression and fundamentalism; of good and evil. Those questions have been on my mind for the past five years, and have become this book.
Discovering Afghanistan’s secret practice of bacha posh – where mothers disguise their daughters as sons, so they can escape segregation and reach for freedoms that their birth sex does not allow – became my life’s hardest research mission, straight into the unknown.
I had to remain inside a deeply conservative society and explore questions about religion, gender and sexuality – all forbidden topics in Afghanistan.
She must guard her behavior and appear modest at all times.
(Just for a girl to ride a bike, for instance, would be seen by many as inappropriate.) For Afghan girls, posing as a boy opens up a whole new world.
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But the battle of nature versus nurture lingers, and some bacha posh will refuse to rescind their male prerogatives in what the UN calls the world’s most dangerous country to be a woman.