If the recent events have shown us anything – there’s safety in women. This includes knowing that our problems and issues can be shared with each other and met with mostly love, compassion and empathy. Being a woman is kind of like being in a secret club – one that goes through the same hardships and bs on the daily.
That’s why, to me, my female friendships have become like a comfort blanket; it’s a space that I can be truly understood – some I’ve had for over 20 years.
Part of the reason why friendships amongst women are so different to those with men, is that society holds emotion away from them. It’s women’s ability to open up, to be vulnerable with one another, which makes female friendships in particular, so strong. This doesn’t deem male friendships to be any less important, it just means our experiences of friendship are likely to be inherently different.
Not to mention that patriarchy pits women against each other, often creating a narrative of “only a select few of you can actually access resources and prestige, and that has to be done at the cost of the others.” and “If they’re too busy fighting amongst themselves, they won’t be able to figure out that this sort of division is being sponsored by a common oppressor.” Which is why having those gal pals and sticking together as women is so essential.
On Thursday, our Project Manager, Salma, hosted an agency-wide session on the importance of female friendships. During this session, some joint feelings and thoughts came to the surface. Not only did growing up with strong women shape a lot of people’s worlds, they became a source of empowerment – essential to healing, growth and joy. Also people found their friendships were a celebration of their own uniqueness, and that new friendships are just as important as old ones.
These findings showed that even though our friendships, or what we deem are friendships, are different – from the girls in the club bathroom, to the potential-maids-of-honours, they are just as valuable as each other. And even though women’s history gets just a month’s worth of celebration, friendships can last forever. Treasure them.