The Importance Of Female Friendship & How It Can Positively Impact Your Life
The Science Behind Girl Power
So let us look into the benefits of having a female friendship, and how they can radically change the way you live your life in a positive way. Also touching on how gender mutual minds work through science.
Social change towards gender is a relatively new idea in the past 100 years, ever since some women were entitled to have the right to vote. It's been a long journey, with plenty more paths to stroll down. We've had great women running the world beforehand, but in the grand scheme of women, your every day female wasn't seen on a par to the ultimate fear that kept us ladies held back - the man. As the saying goes, don't let the man get you down! So throughout history women have been trying to uprise together, which meant they were often together throughout their activities, uniting in a special bond that men couldn't quite encapsulate in a dude and lady friendship - until many decades later, where now in the modern age it's more than acceptable to have male friends. However, I find women have a special friendship in a way that I don't think could be defined anymore than the word 'safety'. We'll cry on each others shoulders, consult each other on the simplest of tasks to verify what it means to be a woman, whether that's talking about boobs, periods, men, fashion and every known topic under the sun you've ever discussed with a woman. You've no doubt felt more comforted going to a female in your family or friendship group about an intimate raw subject, than going to a male (and if you have, then major kudos, as we should actively seek to break the social ties of certain topics to men too!) But if you're that person who actively seeks the female species in trouble and strive, there's a logical explanation for it.
A recent study suggested that women respond completely different to men when under stress, the conclusion of this study was that women are biologically motivated to protect themselves, and children, and create safety and security through companionship. Whereas men are fight or flight characters, supposedly - not all men, just the men used throughout these tests. So this study also strongly suspected that oxytocin (a hormonal release in response to threat or danger) is magnified by oestrogen in the female body, thus concluding (if true) why women are significantly better at harvesting friendship in times of distress, versus men who supposedly act with aggression and frustration. So really through that little science lesson, is one of the foundations of why I think women need to be-friend each other. We're biologically mutual, and have a better insight into coping strategies, and can sympathise and imagine what we would personally do in certain situations as they arise.
So let's go back to the fact I said that women's friendships are for safety, and how we use communication to validate our own bodies, existence and minds. Some of the best companionship I've experienced has come through group chats on Facebook, it's a safe sanctuary for female only thoughts. What comes from those group chats is a special bond that I couldn't imagine having with a dude on a direct level. I treat my group chats like a second solution to Google, if Google doesn't know the answer to my intimate query, it's straight to the female chat without fail. Where I'll have answers from fellow supporting women who genuinely look out for each other, and have all had experiences of oppression by 'the man' . So we actively solicit to make the world a better place, by showing up to each others gigs, making time to indulge in evenings to remember, sober or not sober and never argue or compete over anything. So that to me, is what I'd call ideal friendship, you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours. Why dull someone's shine, when we can shine brighter together? Thats the quote of the post, and will one day wingle its way into a tattoo on my body.
I believe that all throughout life we're seeking validation, companionship and security through female friendship, some later than others, some not at all. Our instincts are sometimes no different to our caveman (or woman) intentions, and the idea of tribalism is safety from the dangerous world, come what may. Some people (like me) preferred having male friends despite being a very girly girl as a child, I loved hanging around with boys, as there was no judgement. Ipso facto throughout high school too, even though I attended an all girls schools, I couldn't wait to see my guy-pals after school - but not because I fancied the boys (and was genuinely repulsed by the idea of dating a guy-friend), I just liked the freedom of no judgement. I eventually learnt throughout college the importance of female friendship and validation, I spent a whole 16 years of my life only seeking this discussed female validation from my mum and sister, so it was a whole new experience searching out opinions of females I wasn't related to. It blew my mind, as all my experiences with females had an underlying tone of competition. It made me reflect on high school and how if I'd made more effort with female groups throughout high school I would have probably had a close knit community of friends to talk to about female topics. I learnt about female friendship very late, and I'm frankly obsessed with the idea now. My mum always told me that if you can fill one hand with true friends then you have the best friendship group to set you up for a happy life. I did this earlier today, and can count on two hands (excluding family) of all the inspiring women I could go to throughout a crisis, have as bridesmaids for my wedding, cry, laugh and speculate until the sun rises. Nowadays I am extremely proud and fulfilled by my gal group of girl power. We all move in motion together with no woman being left behind.
Female friendship radically changed my life, and made me the feminist I am today. I will unquestionably seek out to support anyone male or female. I somewhat thrive from being an agony aunt, as I like to see positive changes and results in peoples lives, without any form of criticism or judgement. It's a selfless trait I stand by being my most admirable. I yearn to help, care and protect those who require. it. Not to say I'm a perfect person, but that trait alone I believe will revolutionise the world if we all abandoned our ego to help another.
Now you're more enlightened into my own female friendship journey, I hope you can revolutionise your own. Be that women in the bathroom in a bar who uplifts you, and points out all your admirable qualities. The women of Facebook frequently ask where those women are today, and the answer is, they're most likely doing it throughout their daily life. We all love those women, so gesture yourself in a mutual way, and it is very surprising the benefits you will make to someone's day, and outlook on themselves.
I love the quote by Ann Friedman about The Shine Theory which explains the recruitment of women by supporting them. It's a strong and empowering theory where she says "I want the strongest, happiest, smartest women in my corner, pushing me to negotiate for more money, telling me to drop men who make me feel bad about myself, and responding to my outfit selfies from a place of love and stylishness, not competition and body-snarking." Concluding that by having the happy, supportive, successful women of the world on your squad (that behold the same ideology as you) then you'll be successful, supportive and happy too.
So to summarise, support your fellow female, and be-friend that likeminded person. Support costs nothing, whether that's a liking and commenting on someone's Instagram post, or making time to vent and rebuild that persons crumbling issues. Having a support system of females will change your life, like it has mine knowing you never have to bottle up anything again. Girl power.