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Tamil Nadu Woman Disguised Herself as Man for 30 Years to Raise Daughter

S Petchiammal lost her husband when she was 20 years old, and is since then raising her daughter as a man.

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Patriarchy has governed most of Indian society for as long as we know. In a system as male-oriented as this one, it is tough to imagine how single mothers or households without a man can function. The answer is that most of them cannot.

That is why, S Petchiammal decided to disguise herself as a man after the death of her husband in order to raise her daughter in a bid to avoid any obstacles that single mothers face.

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Currently 57, Petchiammal has been a widow for almost 30 years. She lost her husband only 15 days after their marriage. A native of the Katunayakkanpatti village in Tamil Nadu, she tried to get odd jobs at construction sites but faced a lot of discrimination. In order to tackle this, she changed her identity and became 'Muthu.' She got a haircut and even changed her attire to fit the role.

“We resettled at Kattunayakkanpatti over 20 years ago. Only my close relatives back home and my daughter knew that I am a woman. I did all kinds of jobs, from working as a painter, tea master, parotta master to 100-day work," she said in a statement to The Indian Express.

Her daughter is all grown up and married now, but Muthu still doesn't want to change her identity in order to ensure her daughter remains safe.

(With inputs from News18 and The Indian Express).

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Topics:  Tamil Nadu   Chennai   Patriarchy 

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