Maybe you’re the type of woman
who prides herself in only having guy friends, or believes that having friendships
with women is too hard, toxic, competitive or maybe just “not for you.” I’ll tell you that in my life, friendships with women have always been immensely valuable. If you're 20-plus years old and you're still arguing with or making fun of ladies you could be friends with, you're making a big mistake.
Building close connections with women is a powerful feminist
act. (Yes, I’m throwing in that “F” word. Settle down.) Communicating, laughing, and growing stronger with other women is at the core of a feminist, not just simply getting into arguments about society.
There’s a centering of wishes and concerns — and maybe the occasional borrowing of shoes along the way — when you connect with other women. It’s about providing support and building the value of each other while discovering your own self worth along the way. Who wouldn’t want that?
Keep in mind that women’s friendships involve relating to each other’s experiences — even the clichéd ones we hate to admit. Your babe friends won’t think it’s ridiculous that you’re scared to walk home alone at night, or that you’re frustrated with how many catcalls you’ve heard over the weekend, or judge you for crying at the pet shop while looking at kitties because they’re THAT cute.
Women should support each other in every element of our lives. There's a lot of frustration when you’ve been told your feelings aren’t valid, or that it didn’t quite happen like that, or that it’s “just you." The friendships you cultivate with other women will not only provide comfort, understanding and support, they’ll motivate you to be the best you.
Many of my closest friendships are with women I first found incredibly intimidating; they’re beautiful, witty, intelligent, professional and just plain cool. It’s hard not to compare yourself to someone you admire — I always felt like I came up short in comparison.
It’s OK to be a little envious; remember, there’s cute and there's jealous, then there’s Othello
. Don’t let the negative feelings keep you from building relationships with other women, or even worse, influence you in such a way that you become toxic to those people. Acknowledging and accepting the fact that you admire this individual is a big step in forming a friendship.
You’ll grow as an individual from these relationships, putting your own insecurities aside and reinforcing each other to move past them. We can learn so much from one another.
I recognize that there isn’t a place for girlfriends in every woman’s life, and I’m not saying it’s wrong to have a lot of guy friends — men can be cool, fun and generally good friends. But when I ask women why they’re not friends with other women I always seem to hear the same response, “I just don’t like women.” That’s not a good enough reason for me. Ask yourself why. Honestly, take a good look at yourself and ask, without the pre-scripted response, why you feel that way.
My challenge to you is to reach out and love the women around you, unconditionally and without fear. Be an exceptional friend and you’ll find yourself a better and stronger woman than ever.
Brenda Figueroa-Gonzalez returned to Colorado Springs after graduating from Adams State University with her Bachelors in Mass Communications and is usually roaming the Internet, and often found downtown. Follow on twitter @loveliestladyyy, chronicling random thoughts on TV shows or cute animals and her crossing into the deep underbelly of food, fashion and craft beer.