Woman disguises as man for 30 years to raise daughter in ‘patriarchal society’

57-year-old S Petchiammal who disguised as a man for 30 years to raise her daughter. — Times Now
  • Woman reveals she pretended to be man for 30 years to raise daughter.
  • Had to raise daughter alone as husband died.
  • Villagers harassed as she started working. 

A 57-year-old woman from Tamil Nadu, India, pretended to be a man for 30 years to raise her daughter “in a patriarchal society”, Times Now reported.

S Petchiammal lost her husband just 15 days after her marriage. At the time, she was just 20 and pregnant. Months later,  Petchiammal gave birth to a girl.

To make ends meet, she had to start working but coming from a dominant patriarchal society in Katunayakkanpatti village, it was not an easy task.

As she began to work at different places like hotels, tea shops, and construction sites, people in the village began to harass her and passed sexual taunts at her.

Petchiammal then decided to rechristen herself as Muthu by chopping her hair and changing her attire to a shirt and lungi.

“We resettled at Kattunayakkanpatti over 20 years ago. Only my close relatives back home and my daughter knew that I was a woman,” Times Now quoted her as saying. 

Wherever she worked, she was called “annachi”, a traditional name for a male. 

The 57-year-old stated that she worked several types of jobs to provide a secure future for her daughter.

“Soon, Muthu became my identity, which in turn was mentioned on all my documents, including Aadhaar, Voter ID, and bank account,” she said.

Shanmugasundari, Petchiammal’s daughter, is now married. 

The 57-year-old refuses to let go of her identity as Muthu.

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