The Power of Female Friends
“Some people go to priests. Others to poetry. I to my friends.” — Virginia Woolf
The women in my life are incredible.
We don’t hear that enough. People love a story that highlights the negative. Mean girl culture makes the news. Competitive parenting reigns on the sports fields.
Magazine covers, red carpets and reality TV all exhibit plastic standards of beauty. We inadvertantly find ourselves in a manufactured competition with one another, held to impossible standards we can never achieve. All in some manufactured competition with one another.
“Mother Teresa didn’t walk around complaining about her thighs — she had shit to do.”
If you take away the superficial nonsense, we can have a real conversation as women sharing a common experience. In 2018, the #MeToo movement provided a moment where women could relate to one other. Our different backgrounds didn’t matter because all we had to say was, yes, I get it.
The really dirty secret exposed by #MeToo was that we had no idea the prevalence of sexual harassment and sexual abuse. We knew what we had personally experienced but we had virtually no idea that we were not alone.
When you are standing in a sea of hundreds of thousands of pink pussy hats, you know you aren’t alone. But how do we foster that connection on a daily basis? We accept each other and we share the truth. In all our glorious success and with all our flaws, we love each other.
The women whom I love and admire for their strength and grace did not get that way because shit worked out. They got that way because shit went wrong and they handled it. They handled it in a thousand different ways on a thousand different days, but they handled it.
Those women are my superheroes.
~ Elizabeth Gilbert
The women I love get shit done. They are working and going to school. They are raising children and volunteering. They are taking care of their parents and starting new businesses. They are students and they are mentors. The real women wake up each morning and build the life they want to have.
Most importantly, we revel in each other’s success. We don’t perpetrate a false narrative of female competition. As grown women, we know who we are and we don’t play stupid games.
As women, we need to remember where one of our greatest strengths lies…in our relationship with each other.