Does Female Friendship Exist?
Yes. Definitely yes.
Of course female friendship exists, there’s no question about it. The real question is why is it ever doubted? Seriously.
My guess would be that this question comes from living in a society where most of executive positions in media are dominated by men. How else can we explain the fact that in most movies women are portrayed as snide, 2 dimensional characters that are hellbent on getting a man. Think about it. In mass media we’re perceived as utterly men obsessed. In commercials it’s all about making yourself look prettier for the man. “Get this beauty product to make your hair look awesome and beautiful…” and if only it stopped there it would be fine, but no, it goes on to “…and get the attention of every man”. In the rare cases those words are not said they’re implied by having the model walk by a bunch of men and have those men turn their heads to look at her, therefore completing the general idea that that is what’s desired – men’s attention.
In movies it’s always about getting a man to date or marry you. Female friendships are portrayed to be very superficial. It’s all about doing “girly” things, like getting your nails done and braiding each others hair, and complaining about men. But then, when a male character suddenly appears on the horizon, it’s a competition to get men’s attention in the best case scenario and a cutthroat battle to get him in the worst case.
And if we watch enough of that stuff, we kind of start to believe that this is how it works in real life, that’s just how the world works. But it shouldn’t be like that. In reality women are not even nearly as obsessed with men. Getting men’s attention, believe it or not, is not the sole purpose of our life. That’s just a stereotype perpetuated by media, and if most movies passed the Bechdel test this problem wouldn’t even exist.
In case you don’t know what the Bechdel test is here’s a short explanation from wikipedia. “Originally conceived for evaluating films, the Bechdel test is now used as an indicator of gender bias in all forms of fiction. Almost half of all contemporary films fail the test.”
The test is very simple and has only 3 rules. The work of fiction has to have:
1. at least 2 female characters
2. that talk to each other
3. about something other than men.
That seems easy, doesn’t it? But as we see from the statement in wikipedia and our general knowledge of movies, very few things in media pass this test.
But back to the problem at hand. Female friendship. Why is it even a separate category?How is it different from male friendship? There isn’t really a difference between those. Friendship unites people, it shouldn’t be separated by gender. It’s also not something that needs to be proven. It’s just something that exists and makes world a better place.
Sure, some activities we participate in as friends might differ, but not because of gender, but due to our interests. As women not only do we care about our friends enough to drop everything and rush to their place with a tub of their favourite Ben & Jerry’s and a bottle of wine when they need us, but we’re also always prepared to help out other girls. That’s why we carry those huge purses that contain like a whole galaxy inside them. It’s not like we need all of that stuff all the time. But we like to be prepared. Someone might need tissues, that’s why we have 2 or three packs. That’s also the reason we carry spare tampons or pads. Cause what if a friend needs one? And these privileges aren’t just for friends. No, we will literally give them to strangers in bathrooms. It’s a completely normal and accepted thing for all women. A person you’ve never met before might awkwardly ask you in the ladies room “Hey, i’m really sorry, but have you got a tampon?” . And you go “oh sure, no worries” and hand them over one. That’s just how it is.
We let our friends crash on our couch for days when they’re not feeling well, it’s not just men who do that. We share everything: feelings, thoughts, opinions, clothes, shoes, you name it. But most importantly, we know that no matter what, our friend’s got our back. We will defend each other until the end, no matter what. Even if afterwards we have to admit to our friends they’re being silly. But that’s a secret, so shush.
So in conclusion, to answer the question whether female friendship exists and state the obvious once again: Yes. Unequivocally yes.