I admit, there was once a time when I was one of those girls. You know the type I’m talking about, the special snowflake girls who hate other girls. I have recognized the error of my ways in the past few years though I swear! I thoroughly ashamed of ever having hated or bad mouthed other women. In hindsight I see that I was caught up in a struggle to get out of my feminism and I thought proclaiming my differentness from those other women I would not suffer the fate of being seen as less than in a mans world.
Then I discovered feminism. I now understand that what I was doing was leaving behind other women and helping perpetuate stereotypes. I was doing this to other women who were hurting just as much as me. I was ignorant but I have seen the light and the enemy is not other women, the enemy is the patriarchy.
During that time I also met Mary, the best female friend I have ever had. Mary worked with me and we would spend a good portion of everyday just talking. We talked about everything and nothing. We talked about things we had in common and things we didn’t. We talked about men, and women, and life. We talked about trying to do better and be happier. We talked about how hard life was and slowly we started talking about how hard life was because we were women.
The feminism talks started because we were hanging out so much our cycles started to sync up. We would talk about cramps and bloating and our guy friends would get grossed out. This was highly offensive to us. They talked about their balls all day, why couldn’t we talk about our periods? So we talked about our periods and how it sucked that we weren’t supposed to talk about our periods. Then we talked about the prices of pads and tampons. Then we talked about how bad pads and tampons are for you. We still talked about other things too but the talk about women things was new to me and I enjoyed it very much.
Then Mary had to leave our job due to personal issues. We haven’t talked much since then. Life has just gotten in the way and I’m not used to having friends so making the effort to stay in touch is something I am still learning. I am not good at calling first or inviting someone out for drinks. I’m not good at texting and telling someone how I am doing or keeping a conversation going. Today I made the effort though. Today I text Mary and told her that I miss her face and that I am in need of friendship. She responded by saying she has been feeling the same and misses our talks very much. I am going to bug her about hanging out more. She has kids so it’s not easy for her to get away, but we both need it.
Missing her has also made me realize that female friendship is something I need in my life now. Since Mary left, and the other girl I worked with, Brittney, joined the Air Force, I work with only men and I am kinda miserable. It’s not their fault. They joke with me and pick on me and call me names and I do it back and sometimes it’s fun but sometimes not so much. These are guy things though and I miss the girl talk. They may talk about their feelings and hopes and dreams but they never do with me. With other girls those kinds of talks not only happen but are encouraged. Plus my guy friends just don’t understand some things. They don’t get mad about the crappy selection and price of bras.
I didn’t fully realize that this was what was bothering me about work but today it hit me pretty hard. The feeling of being alone and not having a girl around to understand and cheer me up hit me so hard I almost cried. So while I am making the effort to stay close with Mary, I am also on the look out for more girls to hang out with. I need the understanding and support. I need the encouragement and the openness. I need to feel like I am normal and guy friends just can’t always do that for me. I still like hanging out with guys but there needs to be a balance.
A lot of this post was inspired by The Lazy Feminist. There are two posts there related to girl gangs. One, How and Why a Female Friendship is the Most Important Relationship You’ll Ever Be In, and two, Girl Gangs. These posts really helped me understand what it was I was missing. I encourage you to check them out. And for all you ladies, do you have a girl gang? Got any advice on how I can find one of my own? Let me know in the comments :)