Gendered aggression: Masculine & feminine violence

This is a guest post by Zee Zaki (Facebook) (tumblr)

So one thing I’ve been really interested in in the last several months was messing with the idea of feminine and masculine. Like, how can we take feminine or masculine traits and acknowledge the potentials and forms they have to be less normative? How do we see those bits in ourselves? How does it shape how we define our gender or how comfortable we are embracing the gender that *feels* right?

One example of this is aggression. In our culture we have blanketly categorized aggression (esp focused aggression) as masculine. So women who fight are a little masculine. I disagree. Some are, some aren’t.

This is where my conversation about being “mama bear and daddy penguin” came from. I’m bigender; I have two genders. Both are very queer forms of femininity and masculinity, and that is why it’s been hard for me to pin down what makes me “feminine” and “masculine”. It’s starting to make sense.

So the way that my masculine gender is protective is gentle–it is “I am larger than my babies and I will stand in front of them. Take me first; take me down before you get to them. I will fight if necessary but I will first stare you down as I huddle around my babies to protect them.”

The way my feminine gender is protective is fierce– it is “I will leave my babies with someone else and I will -come for you- and -destroy you- for trying to hurt them. I will beat you severely if you try to hurt me or someone¬† I love who isn’t quite as weak as my babies.”

So this brings me to masculine vs feminine violence as archetypes.

Masculine violence is greedy–it is taking power where they see fit; it is taking out inner turmoil on others; it is a savior complex–using someone else’s vulnerability to take out aggression on their aggressor, and receive validation, even if they were never asked to help.

Feminine violence is offensive defense. It is calculated and driven by pain. Women are oppressed, and when they/we fight back it is to survive, it is to take back things stolen, it is to protect those who cannot defend themselves or who are afraid to. Feminine violence is not greedy. A feminine aggressor will hand another person a sword to fight along with her. But if that person huddles in fear she will instead fight hard enough for the both of them.

Feminine violence comes from pain; masculine violence comes from entitlement and bottled anger. My masculine protectiveness is queer because it is not masculine *violence*. It is shielding, not oppression. My feminine violence is queer because it is an acknowledgement of the power that women have inside them, a power our culture tries its best to convince us that we do not have so that we don’t try to fight back against masculine violence.

I want to reclaim female aggression. I am not masculine when I fight. I am, for me, MOST feminine when I am fighting.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: