Jiu Jitsu is Feminine…

When a female does it.

It’s masculine when a male does it- or any gender, when any gender participates in the sport. It’s the student and their interpretation of the techniques that dictates how the sport is perceived: man, woman or otherwise.

I bringing this up due to two pieces: first, there was an article in Jezebel about how a male newspaper columnist was bothered by watching two women compete in Judo, and said that fighting wasn’t very “womanly”. While I’m not usually a fan of Jezebel articles, mainly because I feel like they are just trying to pick a fight rather than present an opinion, there was an line in the article that I completely agree with:

“…Anything on earth that a woman is capable of doing is womanly. It is impossible for a woman to be unwomanly because a woman is a woman. Therefore anything a woman does is womanly by default. Fighting is womanly. Winning fights is womanly. Bruises are womanly. Savagery is womanly…Athleticism is womanly.”

And then there is the Always commercial, which I’ll post but I’m sure you all have watched (because you all keep an eye out for the latest commercials about pads and tampons, obviously):

The point here is that we as a society tend to interpret doing something “like a girl” as weak and ineffective, and there needs to be a massive overhaul in the impression of the term.

I think for some woman that leads to their hesitance to join jiu jitsu: they see it as a “man’s sport” because frankly, a lot of men practice jiu jitsu- there’s no use in denying it- and so may have the conscious or unspoken aversion to it because they will lose a part of themselves to adopt the masculine culture of jiu jitsu.

But it doesn’t have to be that way: you don’t “lose” your femininity, because you are a female (if that’s how you choose to identify yourself. What, I’m not here to tell you how to live your life.) Jiu jitsu can be just as feminine as it is masculine, or both, or neither, and there is nothing wrong with that. It’s one of the reasons why jiu jitsu is for everyone: there is (or can be) a grace and beauty to the sport and martial arts that is not gender specific and can be embraced by all, and made their own.

Anyway, that’s my opinion on the thing. Let me know what you guys think, agree/disagree/whatever. Otherwise, have a great day!

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1 Comment

Filed under bjj

One response to “Jiu Jitsu is Feminine…

  1. Agreed one million! There are so many ways to express ourselves both our gender expression or otherwise. I’ve definitely encountered people who have expectations of how women should act in martial arts, how they’re praised when they have seemingly rejected traits and behaviors categorized as feminine. I express myself in martial arts in ways that most would consider feminine and in ways most would consider masculine. But as you say – they are all womanly because I am a woman. I have not become less of a woman in participating in a male-dominated art or by doing behaviors people consider as just being manly.

    Killed it! Great post.

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