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3 Reasons Why Girls Need Girlfriends

by Emma Thieme Aug 22, 2014
1. We are not who we’re portrayed in the movies.

Okay, ladies. Put down the curling irons. Set Oprah on mute. Pull up your tastefully upholstered chair and grab a glass of appallingly buttery Chardonnay. Let’s save the slow-mo topless pillow fight for later. I want to talk about stereotypical female friendship.

Have you ever noticed that women rarely have meaningful conversations with each other in the movies? Even films with entirely female leading casts rarely pass the Bechdel Test. According to most major filmmakers out there, women have one singular conversational purpose. And that is to discuss the upswings and downfalls of the leading men in their lives. As the age-old saying goes: Behind every great man is a great woman gabbing with her girlfriends about how majestic he is in bed, or how awful he is at life. Or both.

I don’t know about you girls, but as much as I love to tell a good hookup story or divulge an extremely personal detail about my significant other, there are other topics of conversation on my radar. When it comes to chewin’ the ol’ fat with my fellow ladyfolk, What am I going to eat next? is right up there with Adventures in becoming my mother and Spectacular things that Amy Poehler has said and done, way before Let’s dissect his emoji usage.

Even if Hollywood can’t get this through its head, at least we can realize through our own friendships that in reality, girl-on-girl conversation does not orbit around the existence of a swinging dick.

2. We’re better together than against each other.

Another thing that really grinds my ovaries is when women are pitted against each other for the sake of a good catfight. A healthy, nourishing friendship between two women is a rare and mythical thing in our era. We’re taught to see each other as competition — competition for attention in grade school, competition for acknowledgement in the workplace, competition for a partner in the mating game. We’re too busy outrunning each other to help each other.

According to a 2014 study from the Workplace Bullying Institute, women target other women 68% of the time. Even though women are natural caregivers and can form powerful bonds between one another, we’re more often than not our own worst enemies. Present-day social and cultural rules are designed to keep women down, and to only allow a few of us to succeed. Therefore, we combat each other tooth and nail just so we can be that one girl on top.

If we all took a step back to look at how rarely women are represented in positions of power, in pretty much every country in the entire world, we might put a little more effort into mentoring and boosting up our fellow sisters, instead of trying to defeat them at every stage of the game.

3. Women can depend on women.

A good girlfriend is nearly impossible to ditch. When she’s halfway across the country, she’ll still call you every week to ask about your new job, apartment, or haircut. A good girlfriend will smoke a joint with you in the parking lot before your hip-hop yoga class. She’ll tell you when your eyebrows look good and when that horrendous red pantsuit is a public display of camel toe waiting to happen. She’ll remember your entire historical timeline and recite it back to you accordingly, like when you need an outside force to remind you that the last time you ate a microwavable Taquito, you pooped your pants at your boyfriend’s 16th birthday party.

And yes, when you break up with so-and-so she’ll be there too. She’ll remind you that the last time you broke up with a similar so-and-so, you proudly doubled your number of lifetime sexual encounters in a month. And it was awesome. She’ll let you know that the melancholy does end, and quite frankly, you’ll get over it. But contrary to popular belief, that’s not all she’ll be there for.

At the core of our being, women want to take care of each other. These little sisterhoods we come across throughout our life experiences are not ones to be taken for granted.

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