How many of you know a woman who is adamantly OPPOSED to having friendships with other women? I know a few.
Women like that baffle me. I don’t understand why these women have decidedly cast off an entire gender as being considered as a potential friend.
While we’ve all had bouts with other women that may not have gone too well, friendships with other women can be highly rewarding and inspiring. There are so many women in my life who have had such an incredible impact on me and have played an important role in my development as a women in many aspects of my personal life, emotional well-being, and career development. My mom, one of the strongest women I know, is my shining example of the strength of a woman and all that can be learned from having one by your side.
There’ an old saying: “Show me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are.” This couldn’t be any truer for me. My girl friends are my complements. There’s nothing like having a gal pal that truly understands all the idiosyncrasies of what it means to be a woman. Someone who can check you when you’re wrong or out of line. Someone you can complain to about guy trouble and who can understand from a female perspective. There’s also nothing like being able to call up one of your girls any time of the day to talk, cry, vent, laugh just because.Heck, we girls even have our version of “my bulls**** is your bulls****.” ( If you don’t know what I’m talking about click here to watch Kevin Hart and all of his hilariousness talk about his “best friend code”. )
While I love many of my close guy friends, my girl friends have a special part in my heart, not only because they get things about me that guys will never understand (such as how horrible PMS and period cramps can be), but also because at the end of the day we share in the beautiful and powerful, yet sometimes daunting experience of being a woman in present day society.
So why does every girl need a girlfriend? Though Beyoncé wants us to believe that girls run the world, let’s cut straight to the facts. America (and the larger world society) is highly patriarchal. We are systematically stigmatized and discriminated against in a variety of ways. Wage discrimination and the debate on women’s reproductive rights are just two of many issues that women have to fight to maintain on a daily basis.
Here’s what I think is the biggest reason why some women I know don’t like having “girlfriends”:
“WOMEN ARE FULL OF DRAMA”
Some woman refuse to have other women in their “inner circle” because of the belief that women are gossipy, backstabbers, full of drama, or overly critical. Oftentimes, women are characterized as enigmatic, insatiable, unstable emotional creatures. Is this a fair generalization? No. Sometimes one’s actions at a given time are actually part of a much more complex personal profile that goes beyond gender.
With reality shows galore (you all know the culprits) that appear to be centered around cattiness and fighting among women, it can be tempting to agree with the sentiment that women are full of drama. Furthermore, media capitalizes off of women-bashing or portraying women in a negative light. We’re saturated by the notion that women induce drama.
Maybe the real issue is that women are choosing the wrong women to call their friends and associate with. I know a lot of women who I think are overly gossipy, catty, or who I just don’t have a personal favoring for and guess what… They aren’t my friends. Do I say all women are (insert negative adjective here)? Nope.
Making extreme generalizations is the pathway to stereotyping and prejudice. As black women, we’ve come too far to not actively be supportive of one another. Instead of tearing each other down, imagine how powerful we can be if we rally around lifting each other up? Besides, who says men aren’t full of drama? Anyone can be anything, so concluding that a problem that is emblematic of all humans of one gender is quite flawed.
If we were to rewind back to the Women’s Movement era. we’d realize how the banding together of women around women’s issues, such as the right to vote, played an important role in changing laws and policies that negatively affected women. I believe in the power of female solidarity. There is a lot that we can achieve if we women stop promoting trivialities that can cause splintering and fragmentation within our community.
In all ladies, I love my girl friends and you should too!
Share your own experiences with women-women friendships in the COMMENTS section below.
This post originally appeared on Madame Noire. Read it here.
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