I Love Women, And You Should Too!
I had the privilege of attending a Catholic all-girls secondary school for seven years, and besides a love for science and a strong sense of discipline, the most valuable thing I walked away with was a undeniable, universal love for women.
I spent hours upon days upon months upon years, in an environment where not only were my companions female but also the majority of my teachers, the auxiliary staff and the administration! We even had a convent on the school grounds.
Being exposed to essentially only women from ages 11 – 18 has resulted in an inexplicable need to connect with the women in my life. I think the insular nature of secondary school and the fact that we were all discovering ourselves and the world at the same time led to a bond being forged that honestly I don’t think boys understand, and frankly can’t replicate. Though, in my opinion, it’s not their fault! Boys are taught that it is not acceptable to cry unless you have lost a limb, or perhaps your nan or mum, while we girls are given attention and sympathy the moment we begin to tear up. Now that is a whole other story.
Think about your closest group of girl friends, how you relate to each other and rely on each other for almost everything. Go ahead and scroll through your phone, take note of the amount of pictures you have of your nights out, the group messages you are a part of that consist of two to four of your nearest and dearest, the screen shots in your gallery of messages boys (or girls) have sent you that you have forwarded to a friend for the their opinion or a laugh, recall those moments you popped round to theirs to share a bottle of wine or because you didn’t want to be alone after a break up, or it was Valentine’s Day and you both committed to spend it together.
See what I mean?
Women are encouraged to share our experiences (‘Did you get your period this month? I think mine is late’).
To have each other’s back no matter what (‘That’s Stephen’s new bird’ ‘I already hate her’ ‘No, it’s fine you don’t have to’ ‘You sure?’ lol).
Uplift each other (‘Do you think I’m fat?’ ‘Are you kidding me? I would KILL to look like you’ ‘Shut up, you’re perfect’).
And because of this never ending sequence of love and support and commitment we become closer and closer, forming our own little society. I can honestly say that without my closest friends my life would be decidedly less fulfilling. I don’t know how it is for the lads, but I feel like my girls are reflections of who I think I am and what I’d like to be. I have to admit that I am that friend who is like the mum, and because of that my best girls are a little crazy and out there; they party hard, travel often, snog lots of boys and have an intense zest for life. If I were left to my own devices I’d be on the floor of my flat almost every Friday night reading or watching Netflix. Fortunately I have these women who encourage me to put on makeup, go out, have a few pints, talk to boys and embrace the beauty and spontaneity of life. I like to think that I play a symmetrical role in their lives, offering advice, quiet nights in after too many parties, and homemade sausage rolls while we watch movies. We provide balance and inspire all the aspects of a woman: the mum, the wild child, the introvert, the extrovert, the badass, the seductress, the academic and so much more.
Now I know that there are girls out there who say that they aren’t a ‘girls’ girl’ and this honestly makes me sad, because female friendship is rewarding and empowering. There is simply nothing like it. I don’t think male/female friendships can offer the same type of satisfaction.
Life is difficult. It’s even harder for women. From unequal pay to the physical/sexual/verbal abuse faced by many of our sisters around the world, politicians telling us what rights we do and do not have regarding our bodies, the institutional ‘boys’ club’ in many professional areas (engineering, architecture, finance, science, politics…) and the media constantly barraging us with images of what we should look like, sound like, and act like – it is absolutely imperative to lean on each other.
Go ahead and tell your girls that you love them, plan a dinner, a Skype call, or just go to their flat and dance around to music you haven’t listened to since you were 13. We are going to be bombarded with so much in the next dozen years: heartbreak, children, weddings, husbands, ex husbands, job loss, migration, funerals, infidelity, sickness, financial struggles. It is going to be difficult – there is absolutely no doubt in that – and we are going to need each other through all of it. Hold on to your girlfriends and walk through life knowing that you have not only your strength to count on, but that of others to carry you through.