This week ushered in the news that Harvey Weinstein was finally convicted of two counts in his sexual assault trial that began more than two years ago. The case began when actresses such as Ashley Judd, Rose McGowan and Ramola Garai came forward with allegations varying from sexual harassment to sexual assault. This was pivotal in starting the #MeToo movement, where women all over the internet shared their own stories of facing harassment, abuse and assault.
While the movement became increasingly misconstrued as a witch hunt over the years, there was something beautiful in seeing women supporting each other and speaking up for one another when these stories were shared.
In our society, friendships between men are celebrated as “bromances” and male-female friendships are credited as providing people with a new perspective. However, female friendships are often described as “catty,” “competitive” and filled with envy. This is reinforced by movies and television shows where female friends are often shown stabbing each other in the back, fighting with one another over male love interests, or are just plain jealous of each other.
Women need to come together to support other women. My own female friendships are completely different from the way they are portrayed in the popular narrative. Your female friends are the ones who patiently listen to your rants, your fears, your hopes and dreams with no judgement or unnecessary advice.
All my fellow women out there, consider the role of female friends in your life. Your female friends are the ones who cheer you up after a breakup, armed with wine, a pint of ice cream and your favorite romantic comedy. Your female friends are the ones who hype you up when you’re all dolled up and tell you which dress needs to go into the trash. More importantly, though, your female friends understand where you’re coming from. They might not offer the same physical protectiveness your brotherly male friends offer you, but they offer you warmth, emotional security and comfort.
Instead of looking at other women as competition, as we are often socialized to do, let’s celebrate each other. Instead of feeling insecure or envious, why not just compliment a woman you see as beautiful, confident or talented? No matter what we’ve been told, let’s remember there’s space for more than one accomplished woman. The world is hard enough as is; female friendships provide us with the sisterhood and solidarity we all need in our lives.