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“Fighting Is Not Pretty”

Interpreting the Experience of Self-Defense in Girls' Fights

Elvira Arif

One of the issues of girls' security in urban space is defense against physical assault. Some forms of self-defense by girls and young women are marginalized by gender discourse. I examine, in this article, the example of the use of physical force as a bodily resource in girls' and young women's fights as a normalization by participants of their experience. I analyze the narratives of young women through their conception of the image of the body. My research shows that the girls' experience does not contradict their femininity, but neither does it correspond to the image of the defenseless body. Its reproduction contributes to the cementing of the concept of vulnerability in relation to girls' positioning in urban space. Inevitably, then, the girl herself in urban space remains vulnerable.