Growing up I never had many girlfriends, like friends who are girls. I had one which was my neighbour until I moved out of that area of town in primary school and then another one, who is still a friend for now almost 15 years.
But for a long period, especially as a teenager and in my early 20’s, I was convinced that I didn’t like other women. I wasn’t girly and didn’t like fashion or whatever else girls typically talk about. Because it is that simple, and women are that one dimensional, right?
Over the last couple of years I have gained many more girlfriends. I not only enjoy the company of women but I actively seek it. We have so much to share, and I don’t mean make up tips (although that is another great thing about having women as friends), I mean life experiences, how we perceive and are perceived by society, how we handle the dating world, how we deal with men, how we see and deal with our bodies, like stuff about sex, food, clothes, drag queens, Ghostbusters (now with female leads) and periods!
I am so excited to be able to talk about these things not only openly (I did that anyway before) but to people who can contribute, engage, challenge and enrich these discussions.
Now as to why I never used to like women – patriarchy! Well it is my main suspicion. I always wanted to be one of the boys, because girls were stupid. Femininity is silly. I also wanted to be attractive to men, and be admired by them, and be on their good side because that makes life easier. I was so obsessed with appealing to men that I never learned the beauty of female friendship, because as much as I would love to, men just don’t understand many of the things women experience (and vice versa).
Well now, and mostly thanks to my increasing awareness of society’s stereotypes, internalised misogyny and well feminism stuff in general, I care less about the approval of men and more about my own being as a woman in our society. I also delight in being in a mutually supportive environment with people who care and understand the things I care about. I love my angry feminist friends, the queer, vegan, femme, crazy, kinky, poly, loving, caring, creative, supportive, wonderful and amazing women in my life! (insert more labels and adjectives that fit)
And I love that we openly talk about periods, even around men, and that is totally cool and amazing. Feels like such a small thing but it is quite groundbreaking to me!