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Thread: Crossing Boundaries: Albania's Sworn Virgins

  1. #11
    Senior Member Catterick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasa View Post
    Seems like degenerate behavior no matter what it's origins are and how old they are.
    Actually the birjinesha are expected to be chaste. As Coon noticed this was not always enforced.

    Besides S Slavs had the similar custom.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Catterick View Post
    Actually the birjinesha are expected to be chaste. As Coon noticed this was not always enforced.

    Besides S Slavs had the similar custom.
    I have not heard of it amongst south slavs. Which south slavs and what is the evidence?

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    Senior Member Mööv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasa View Post
    I have not heard of it amongst south slavs. Which south slavs and what is the evidence?

    In Montenegro. I don't know if there still are communities practicing it, but I remember seeing an interview with one some 10-15 years ago on TV.
    The communities in the high mountains are pretty much isolated so they remained hard-core up until lately.

    The movie "The beauty of vice" is a comedy ridiculing the backwardness of such communities in contrast to the modern world and vice-versa. It does not, however, include the she-males.
    Lieber tot als Sklave!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Haliaeetus View Post
    In Montenegro. I don't know if there still are communities practicing it, but I remember seeing an interview with one some 10-15 years ago on TV.
    Montenegro has a population of about 600,000 people with large populations of Muslims. It's slavic majority are most likely slavicized Albanians since they share other cultural and physical similarities with albanians. They are hardly representives of the remaining 30 mil south slavs.

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    Senior Member Mööv's Avatar
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    Montenegrins are the most Illyrian of the bunch. Albanians on the other hand are a bit strange when it comes to ancestry.
    But the whole region has weird patriarchal practices that are still somewhat present in the more isolated parts. For example a woman is not allowed to leave the house unescorted, and if she is home alone no man may enter, etc.
    Lieber tot als Sklave!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Haliaeetus View Post
    Montenegrins are the most Illyrian of the bunch. Albanians on the other hand are a bit strange when it comes to ancestry.
    But the whole region has weird patriarchal practices that are still somewhat present in the more isolated parts. For example a woman is not allowed to leave the house unescorted, and if she is home alone no man may enter, etc.
    Sure there might be some isolated pockets of weirdness in some remote villages, but the same could be said of certain areas of the US for example, where polygamy is practiced and other aspects of certain sects for example. Let's not paint millions of people with the same brush based on the practices of some remote backward villages.

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    Senior Member Catterick's Avatar
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    Well it might be hard to wade through stuff about sex roles in history without running into LGBT garbage, but in medieval western Europe such attitudes were present both for females who had to fight and also for religious women. If you look at the cultural context of the birjinesha then it is not degenerate.

    Nowadays it is difficult to talk about such things without saying things that can be confused with gender theory, but to ancient and Christian authors the male-female duality was not strictly fixed: there was a sliding scale including not just of hermaphroditism but social roles along which manliness could be lost or gained. In particular, autonomy - wanted or not - was something manly by definition. This attitude persisted in medieval Christianity. In the Mutacion de Fortune a widow who understands herself as inherently female, nonetheless adopts a male role after her tragedy. The birjinesha ought to be understood in similar terms. Most of them did not have gender dysphoria it was and is circumstance leading to social duty. The Latin word is "viriliter" meaning man-like.

    And then war goddesses by definition have a male role donning male garb. Its very easy to see the virgin Athena as a divine birjinesha given that the "degenerate" birjinesha were put to death if they had sex with a man. The notion of a virgin woman warrior is extremey ancient and the underlying ideas persisted into relatively recent times.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Catterick View Post
    If you look at the cultural context of the birjinesha then it is not degenerate.

    Well yes, the concept came to be out of some sort of a necessity at a certain point in time and place, as related to the cultural norms of the tribes practicing it.
    Lieber tot als Sklave!

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