(photo courtesy: "Psychology Today" magazine - "Bullying in the female world" by Ditta M. Oliker)
Feminine aggressiveness! Well, that’s a term you probably never heard before. It might upset some of you a little bit. How can one characterize aggressive the energy that we all know as maternal, receptive and tender? And how can the feminine energy manifest itself in a “bad” and aggressive way (under certain circumstances)? And so “badly” and aggressively as the masculine one? Personally I was not aware of this kind of “feminine aggressiveness” until I discovered its existence through Astrology!
Some 10 years ago I was writing an article on the six zodiacal “Pairs” (which was published in 2004 on the historical “American Astrology” magazine. You may read it here). As I was conceptualizing this specific article I realized that there is in nature a particular “feminine selfishness” that is equivalent – but not identical – to the masculine one. And there is as well a feminine kind of aggressiveness very much corresponding to the masculine one! The two are of the same intensity but of different “phases”!
To realize what I mean we have to go back to the basics. We all know that the zodiac is symmetrically composed of six masculine and six feminine signs. Aries is a masculine sign, Taurus is a feminine one, Gemini is masculine sign, Cancer is a feminine one and so on. On my “American Astrology” article I was depicting the masculine signs as “mountains” and the feminine ones as sort of gorges or “ravines”. Thus, we might say that the masculine kind of aggressiveness is a “mountain” kind of aggressiveness!
If you are travelling on a clear day in a varied landscape you can easily spot the mountains around you because they are so prominent, obvious and explicit! Similarly, we can all perceive easily and IMMEDIATELY the masculine type of aggressiveness! Just picture a person shouting loud at you or violently pushing you in front of other people. That’s masculine aggressiveness! What about the feminine aggressiveness though? What would there be its key characteristics?
I began my quest on this subject by considering the feminine aggressiveness as a “ravine” kind of aggressiveness. When you travel you don’t see the eventual ravines in your landscape. And if you are careless enough you might even fall in one before realizing that there was a ravine in front of you! This means that the feminine aggressiveness is somehow invisible to our social environments. And although it is quantitatively equal to the masculine one (they are both equally aggressive but they don’t seem so because their “phases” are disparate and their “polarities” are opposite) it is not easily perceived and evaluated as an acutely aggressive energy! In reality the feminine aggressiveness (in psychology it is called “passive aggression”) works in IMPLICIT ways and is mainly moving through hidden,behind the curtains, “feminine” paths. Thus it is not easily observable externally.
We need though to clarify something here: when we talk about the “feminine energy” we do not refer exclusively to women. Many men (even the allegedly “macho” ones) have prominent “feminine” energies in theirs charts and thus may resort to feminine aggressiveness!
It is imperative for each person and situation in the Universe to be special, unique, self-sufficient and secure, to have stamina and momentum, to impose its own interests and to dominate as much as it can the people and the situations around it. If the average Joe lacked an elementary strong “Ego” then he would be “crashed” by the multiple external pressures he is constantly receiving in his life. This process of strengthening the “Ego” of a human being, of achieving its individualization and “diversification” is supervised by the first two signs of the zodiac: by Aries (which is a “masculine” sign) and by Taurus (which is a “feminine” sign). The secret now is that the aforementioned process is handled by the signs of Aries and Taurus as a “pair” – by splitting that is the process in half and by assigning to Aries its masculine “phase” and to Taurus its feminine phase! The signs of Aries and Taurus (and all the other consecutive adjacent signs) are in reality an astrological “Pair”, a small “wholeness”, two equal but opposite and complementary “polarities”.
Regarding Aries we can easily understand why it is considered the sign of “Ego”, the sign impersonating the overt aggression: it is a masculine sign ruled by the belligerent planet Mars. What about Taurus though? How can a “low key” feminine sign – ruled by the planet Venus – be so selfish and eventually belligerent? Is there indeed a feminine ego? Astrology is telling us that there is – and that it is as acute and corrosive as the masculine one! If the masculine Ego is manifested through overt aggressiveness – being occasionally a crystal clear “bully” – the female selfishness is mostly manifested through INERTIA and self-protection, through hidden and “manipulative” movements and actions! Feminine aggressiveness entails the art of invisibly acting, of not participating in those situations that are not yielding a (emotional, financial etc.) gain to the person! Under this point of view we might say that the feminine “Ego” is more readily fudging things up, while every time it faces non convenient situations it resorts to a skillful “absenting” and “withdrawal”!
Actually, the sign of Taurus is representing- in the most archetypal way – this kind of “feminine Ego” (but don’t get me wrong here, not all Tauruses are by definition femininely aggresive). The feminine “Ego” is urging the person to act “behind the curtains”, to perform his/her own “plan” – that will satisfy his/her own needs – while keeping at a minimum level the expenditure of any kind of energies (sentimental, financial etc.) especially when participating in any unprofitable to himself/herself activities.
An individual partaking to the “raw Taurean type” is usually avoiding to employ any overt acts of selfishness and aggression. If there isn’t a crucial reason s/he will religiously abstain from any action that might overtly upset the energies in his/her environment (not that much out of “goodness” but because s/he is aware that s/he will be immediately targeted by the people around him/her – and that means a lot of hostility and aversion and a huge expenditure of energies from his/her part. The feminine energy is “ever self-protecting, ever preserving itself” – meaning that it is aware of how important it is to move behind the curtains and not overtly provoke the others). Thus the “raw Taurus type of individual” is generally displaying a meek and polite appearance. But if it comes down to a situation that ultimately jeopardizes his/her own personal interests (i.e. if s/he must financially assist someone or house any distressed and needy people) then most probably this type of individual will attempt to withdraw him/herself from the “stage” without being noticed though – so that s/he ultimately protects his/her own interests and does not suffer the slightet loss or “damage”. And s/he will do this without overtly squabbling nor displaying any explicit aggressiveness or violence towards anyone. S/he will just skillfully withdraw from any perilous to his/her own interests scene…
This kind of withdrawal though, this “silent refusal” to partake i.e. in a charitable activity is a sign of strong selfishness – and therefore of aggressiveness towards the people involved in that activity. Of course the “raw Taurean type of individual” did not swear at someone, nor s/he violently pushed anybody. Indirectly, however, s/he behaved as if s/he had sworn at them or as if s/he had violently pushed them away! Actually s/he did behave aggressively towards them but without giving them any “handle” to immediately recognize how aggressively s/he behaved! That’s the “feminine aggression” in a nutshell !
The fact now that the “feminine” selfishness is of an implicit kind – of a kind that it cannot be easily perceived by the others – is not making it less “mean”… In fact, it is equally powerful and “mean” to the masculine, “raw Ariettid type” of selfishness, who under similar conditions might have started shouting loud, behaving violently etc. But in such an instance the prominently masculine individual would have totally exposed himself, disclosed his intentions and attracted a lot of hostility! How convenient would that be? Instead the prominently feminine individual would have more carefully arranged his personal interests – without overexposing himself/herself and without attracting much aversion or hostility. Only in time and just by those delving deeper into things the full extent of the incident would have been revealed and only then the participants would have realized how selfishly the “raw Taurus type of person” behaved!
Thus, if the masculine kind of egotism is manifesting itself through overt and explicit aggression the feminine kind of egotism is “manifesting” itself through hidden, “behind the curtains” and passive (passive-aggressive we might say) paths, eschewing any situation that is not in full favour of the “prominently feminine” person! That kind of person will be methodically “absenting” – even if physically present – any situation not yielding a meaningful benefit to himself/herself – no matter how critical this situation might be to other people. Therefore, selfish and aggressive people are not just the ones who are overtly behaving in an aggressive manner but those individuals too who are intentionally “absent” in any critical to their “neighbours” situation, all those who are not there when the people around them need them the most. Any individual not helping his/her fellow humans – in the name of not minimally jeopardizing his/her own personal interests – is actually selfish and aggressive...
Whenever someone remains silent and uninvolved is front of a critical situation, of an emergency, of an injustice commited in his/her own presence then that person is employing a “feminine aggressiveness”! Whenever i.e. a wealthy person is not assisting the needy people around him/her – for example the unemployed ones who cannot afford even their daily bread – then this wealthy person is employing a “feminine aggressiveness” towards his/her needy fellow humans and towards society in general. The feminine aggression is not easily spotted by third parties as it might employ hypocritical and “manipulative” behaviors.
How many times i.e. have you been confronted with a person who has (directly or indirectly) wronged you (or wronged somebody else), with a person who has behaved in a very selfish manner (although in a secretive manner, so that nobody notices it) and whonot only is stubbornly refusing to acknowledge his/her wrong doing but is additionally trying skillfully to put you into an aggravated position… With such a person you might lose your temper – in front of such a humongous hypocrisy – and you might start yelling and gesturing. And then you will be the one looking aggressive in the eyes of the other people! In such a way the “prominently feminine” person will have managed to doubly victimize you – while thanks to his/her own “manipulative” skills s/he will be projecting a “goody two shoes” civilized image to the people around! This kind of behaviour is immensely aggressive but in a rather feminine manner! Meaning that it might not look aggressive in the eyes of the third parties – who may ultimately target you as the aggressive person! And this would be unfair enough to drive you crazy!
To put it in the words of the clinical psychologist and “Psychology Today” author Ditta M.Oliker:
“What struck me as I was watching the film “The Help” is how it also dramatically and effectively captures the emotional and psychological violence of social aggression, including the sting and cruelty of the verbal “weapons” women use. The words now associated with female aggressive behavior include: excluding, ignoring, teasing, gossiping, secrets, backstabbing, rumor spreading and hostile body language (i.e., eye-rolling and smirking). Most damaging is turning the victim into a social “undesirable”. The behavior and associated anger is hidden, often wrapped in a package seen as somewhat harmless or just a “girl thing”. The covert nature of the aggression leaves the victim with no forum to refute the accusations and, in fact, attempts to defend oneself leads to an escalation of the aggression. What the film doesn’t show though is that the effects of social aggression can be longer lasting and more damaging than physical aggression. Since the “weapons” have a stealth nature to them, there is less possibility of anticipating the specifics of an attack and fewer actions to defend against an attack.”
Personally, I would like to stress the fact that the feminine aggression is not limited to women but it extends to the “astrologically feminine” men too. That might be again a new term to you so here is my definition of it: An “astrologically feminine” person is the one having in his/her chart as many as possible of the preconditions described below (the more such preconditions s/he has in his/her chart the more “astrologically feminine s/he is. Points 1 and 2 are more critical though):
- A predominance of feminine signs.
- A feminine houses emphasis
- Many “feminine planets” in the angles of their charts
- A feminine “supremacy” in the planetary aspects of his/her chart etc.
(Note: the term “astrologically feminine” does not coincide with the term “effeminated”. There are many “astrologically feminine” macho men out there…)
Ultimately, we are all familiar – to some extent – with the bitter “taste” of feminine aggression, as we experience it rather often in our everyday lives. It is a perticular kind of methodically structured and veiled aggression that is not easily perceived externally but still is an extremely sharp and corrosive type of aggression! Ultimately, the feminine aggression is more directly linked to the sign of Taurus (but as I said before not all Tauruses are femininely aggresive) and to the feminine signs in general (think i.e. of a Cancer or Scorpio. They are capable of tuning themselves to very femininely aggressive frequencies)! And as I have already pointed out, the “feminine aggression” is not limited just to women but it extents to all men having predominant “feminine” energies in their charts.
Copyright: Thomas D. Gazis