Length: 13:58 (entire documentary is 75:00)
Summary: The Aggressives is a documentary "look at the lesbian women who prefer to dress and act as men and who participate in NYC's predominantly African-American lesbian drag balls." Viewers may explore issues of identity, gender, and sexuality with this group of lesbians that identify as butch/stud "aggressives," and adopt a very masculine gender. Part of this excerpt shows the daily practices to portray a masculine physique, including constantly working out to build muscle tone, grinding their teeth in order to have a strong masculine jaw line, taking hormone pills to grow facial hair and other mail traits to reduce feminine features and using duct tape, ace bandage and girdles to tape/hold down their breasts so they are less visible. As the respondents discuss their identity, this excerpt also explores what it means to be a man or woman, illustrating West and Zimmerman's concept of "doing gender." The women in the documentary are constantly fighting against societal constraints of a gendered female norm. This highly provocative excerpt can be a great discussion starter on issues of gender and sexuality, but the film more generally also examines issues of race.
Submitted By: Jasmine Jowers and Rachele Macarthy