And she describes two ritual feasts observed by them and their husbands, recognizing their relationship.
These feasts, held one year apart, involved ritual presentation and slaughter of sheep as well as eating, drinking, dancing, singing, exchanges of gifts, and general merriment and validation of the commitment hey made to each other by all the people they knew. ” (167) “The classical exchange in this debate pits a realist/essentialist, who believes that lesbians have existed in most cultures and throughout history, against a normative/social constructionist, who believes that lesbians only appear where and when there is the socially constructed concept, ‘lesbian.’ What the situation in Lesotho suggests is that women can and do develop strong affectional and erotic ties with other women in a culture where there is no concept or social construction ‘lesbian’ and where there is no concept of erotic exchanges among women being ‘sexual’ at all.
No koai, no sex means that women’s way of expressing love, lust, passion, or joy in each other are neither immoral nor suspect.” (166-67) “Nthunya (a woman from Lesotho) describes how the woman she calls ‘M’alineo chose her as her (special friend) with a kiss.
Nthunya writes: “Its like when a man chooses you as his wife, except when a man chooses, its because he wants to share blankets with you.
I learned not to look for unconventionally or visible performance of sex role rejection as indicators of ‘queerness.’ Most Basotho women grow up in environments where it is impossible for them to learn about, purchase, or display symbols of gay visibility, where passionate relationships between women are as conventional as (heterosexual) marriage, and where women who love women usually perform also the roles of conventional wives and mothers.
I have had to look again at how females express themselves, how privilege and lesbianism intersect (or do not), and whether what women have together- in Lesotho or anywhere else- should be called ‘sex’ at all.
Within Lesotho, women and children are subjected to domestic servitude and children—both boys and girls—increasingly endure commercial sexual exploitation.
Basotho women and children endure these same forms of exploitation in South Africa.The man had allegedly visited the area to seek the services of commercial sex workers who prowl the area at night looking for clients when he was shot.Senior Superintendent Motlatsi Mapola of the Serious Crimes Unit confirmed the incident and told the : “A man thought to be 36 years old was shot in the chest while in the act (of having sex).The Government of Lesotho does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so.The government did not demonstrate evidence of overall increasing efforts to address human trafficking over the previous reporting period; therefore, Lesotho is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for the second consecutive year.When I left Lesotho two and a half years later, I had not found a single Mosotho who identified herself as a lesbian.