Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Importance of Female Friendships

"I don't know what I would have done so many times in my life if I hadn't had my girlfriends. They have literally gotten me up out of bed, taken my clothes off, put me in the shower, dressed me, said, 'Hey, you can do this,' put my high heels on and pushed me out the door!" —Resse Witherspoon In Touch, April 2013


Birthday drinks outside of the St. Louis Arch.


With Valentine's Day coming up, I've somewhat ironically been thinking a lot about the importance of close female friendships. You see, as much as I love the romantic dates I've had with my man to celebrate, my truly favorite memories of the day are actually from the times I spent it with my closest girlfriends. 

My top three favorite V-day memories include the time I found roses outside at my dorm-room door from a girlfriend who had bought them the day before at a charity auction, cooking up a pink and red themed storm at a girlfriend's house
(menu included a rich penne pasta with vodka sauce, red wine, and frosted cookies), and last year when I gathered a group of girlfriends together for a "lingerie party" where we dressed in normal clothes but had everyone donate packages of underwear to bring to a homeless shelter. 


Me and a girlfriend at a Taylor Swift Concert during college


You see, some of the richest friendships and deepest loves I have are with my girlfriends. It's not just because of the fun times we share together, but because they have each proven time and time again that they are there to listen, to celebrate, to cry or to laugh with me whenever I need it. My girlfriends are some of my greatest supports, and I can't imagine my life without them. 

As it turns out, I'm not the only one who feels so strongly about my friends: An article from the Huffington Post cites a study on female friendships, which notes that: 

Women are "genetically hard-wired for friendship in large part due to the oxytocin released into their bloodstream, combined with the female reproductive hormones. When life becomes challenging, women seek out friendships with other women as a means of regulating stress levels. A common female stress response is to "tend and befriend."'

I don't know about all of that science-y stuff, but I do know that I fully intend to reach out to my closest girlfriends this Valentine's Day and let them know how much I love them and appreciate them each day. 



Last summer before kayaking down the Chicago river. 

Do you have any great VDay (or maybe even Galentine's Day) memories to share? Tweet me @Girls4Feminism or sound off in the comments!  

8 comments :

  1. Great post dear! I totally agree with you! :)
    Xoxo,
    Love from www.trangscorner.com {a lifestyle, fashion, beauty, and food blog}

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  2. So much fun with the girls!!
    Thestyletune.com

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  3. LOVE the lingerie party idea! I have a couple gals around the country that I miss sorely every year. I always drop a card or some warming tea in the mail to let them know I'm thinking of them on GALentines day!

    Also, total side note from the topic of this piece, I'm going to direct you to this hilarious but on point letter written by Autostraddle:

    http://www.autostraddle.com/the-gay-community-recalls-the-word-girlfriend-to-describe-platonic-friendships-323368/

    As a woman who identifies as queer and who went to a women's college, hearing women use the word girlfriend to mean close female friends is still, three+ years after leaving girlschool, very weird to me. I was surprised to find out how many middle-aged women in my yarn shop were not, in fact, dating women and often found this out through them getting very insulted that I assumed they were. After they used the word girlfriend. Which is a very important word to me and to other queer women to signify our romantic attachment to a female partner.

    It's also caused personal anxiety in the past when I've used the word girlfriend to talk about my own romantic partner and then had to explain to people that no, I really do mean the girl I sleep with at night and care very deeply and romantically for. No one every confused someone a girl refers to as her boyfriend as just a good close male friend, do they?

    And that's all I have to say about that.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your response! I truly appreciate learning how my word choice unwittingly offended/caused hurt to some. This blog is meant to be a safe space for women (and men!) of all identities, and using language or terminology that alienates anyone is the opposite of what I'm going for. I'll definitely be more conscious of how I use the term moving forward both on the site and in my personal life. Thanks again! P.S. Love the recall article. The Refund on "friend" was my favorite bit :)

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    2. Yay being conscious of language! Just to be clear though, you certainly did not offend or cause hurt to me :-) In fact, very little anyone says ever really offends me, as long as they're not being intentionally malicious. Which isn't to say you aren't going to hear from me again if I have more rants to rant ;-)

      I've never once questioned whether or not I felt comfortable expressing my opinions here. You've done a wonderful job fostering a safe online environment for discussion :-D

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  4. Really interesting, didn't know their was a scientific cause to it well! Really cute post and I agree, friendships are important :)


    Alina from The Fairytale Pretty Picture

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  5. Totally agree, friendships are everything!

    Have a fabulous Tuesday Doll! Kisses,

    BLOG | TAISLANY

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  6. I absolutely love the concept of Galentine's Day, I think it's so important to support your girlfriends in general though, not just on Valentine's Day but year round :)

    www.thesundaymode.blogspot.com.au

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