I'm a 39 year old woman and live in the U.S. I'm asexual and celibate and a white convert to Islam. This blog is a place for me to share information of interest on asexuality, LGBTQ issues, queer Muslim topics, feminism, and other subjects I think are worthwhile.
Among those gendered “not men,” there were a variety of categories that do not fit our expectations of male and female as distinct gender categories. The mukhannaths of Medina are perhaps the most well known example from the Formative Period. The term mukhannaths refers to men who seem to have worn some items of female clothing, adorned themselves in a way reserved for women, and were assumed to lack sexual interest in women. It is reported that the Prophet allowed a mukhannath to visit with his wives in private as long as the person did not demonstrate any erotic interest in women. Thus their ambiguous gender afforded them an equally ambiguous social rank that allowed them to cross articulated boundaries of gendered social segregation with both men and women. Islamic legal scholars ruled on gender and sexuality matters in terms of a spectrum rather than a binary… Ironically, a perception of gender and sex characteristics as a spectrum that so nicely served the power of free males also allowed for the development and institutionalization of a variety of gendered categories that seems more open than perceptions typical of Muslims at present. In sum, gender and licit sexual pairings were determined by a number of factors having little to do with what we understand today to be a natural pairing between “equal and opposite sexes.