Are you a part of the human race which is currently residing all over our planet? Okay, I thought so. Are you a part of the lady gender within that human race? Probably most of you are (sorry fellas this post isn’t the most relevant to you, but feel free to read along anyway.)
How many of you lovely ladies have a circle of other lady friends? How many of you think the way I often do, that other ladies are just too complicated to befriend and boys are easier? Well let me take you on a short journey about why putting that extra effort in to befriend those other ladies matters…
First off, let’s remind ourselves that we humans are part of the primate group, so when I start talking about monkeys or apes it actually is relevant! Secondly, please understand I will be writing erring on the side of vague, so if you happen to know other details I have left out, don’t hate me! Thirdly, I hope this challenges or reinforces your beliefs on the importance of female-female relationships!
And that time to talk about those nonhuman primates is now! If you have ever studied anything about nonhuman primates, then you know many species live in male dominated societies. So how do the ladies get by? Do they just have to accept being ruled by and mating with only the male ruling the harem? Or do they have another way? And what about those societies in which males don’t rule? What’s up there?
SISTERHOOD!! Sisterhood, sisterhood!
Yes, in many species, females are subordinate and just kind of stuck with whatever their male wants. There are even species where females will “befriend” males for protection, but often times those males will become aggressive at some point or the female returns his protection with mating rights. However, there are many species where females help each other out! Orangutans, normally solitary apes, will often stick near other mothers with their young to keep safe from males who can be more than twice their size! Or Bonobos, where females rule. Why do they rule, you might ask? They are no bigger than males, no stronger, no more able to fend off attempts to mate, but they have sisterhood. Female Bonobos create “friendships” with other females and these friendships create a group dynamic which keeps them safe from potential males trying to be a little too rowdy. (Now Bonobos are extra special, their whole social structure is based off of sex, but I’ll save that fun story and its possible relate ability to humans for another time.) Without this sisterhood, female Bonobos would be just as likely as any other female in multiple male, multiple female societies to be harassed by males, and even more likely to be left out of the good eating areas.
But what about humans? What do Bonobos and aggressive male nonhuman primates have to do with an advancing human society?
Well, whether or not we like it, male aggression towards females is still prevalent world wide. Whether it be physical, emotional, sexual, or more complex things like pay in jobs, males often still hold some sort of “power” over females. And it has been shown time and time again that in societies where females support one another and befriend each other that those things are less prevalent. Personally, when I finally made some close lady friends I became more aware of the emotional abuse in my previous relationship, and if I were to ever end up in a physically abusive one I wouldn’t be able to keep it from them! Going beyond relationships, without them I don’t know how I would have made it through my depression heavy lows or anxiety filled days this semester.
I’m not putting down male-female friendships, if you have some great co-ed friends, keep them! But I think those same sex friendships have another level of intimacy that cannot be achieved in co-ed ones. For example, you wouldn’t exactly get a whole lot of advice from your guy friends about finding a good fitting bra or jeans. And if they had any advice it wouldn’t be the same as that from other ladies. Or periods, or boob soreness, or pregnancy problems, there are just some things that your co-ed peeps don’t understand (same goes for guys to gals!)
So if you are anything like I have been in the past and think putting in the effort to make other female friends really isn’t worth it, I hope a little bit of science gives you a reason to rethink that. Whether it be for power in numbers, or fulfilling that desire to talk about uncomfortable things, or laugh about sex stories, put in the effort! Find some ladies who share your interests, trust me they are out there, and befriend them! It’s worth it! Don’t be afraid to allow yourself a support system, lean on those friends, let them lean on you. It’s good for you 🙂
As a side note, if you are gender queer or transgender or any of the other non-binary genders I don’t fully understand or know about, my apologies that this is so specifically written to male/female, I totally support you in whatever your identity may be, however, it is a little difficult to speak briefly on such a large topic in full detail!
Thanks for coming along on that journey 🙂 Y’all are great
❤ that one girl