Saturday Column: Female Friendship – Myth or Reality?

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I want to devote this column to female friendship. Women and their abilities to be friends, inspire and support.

When I was a kid, my friends were mostly guys. And when a teenager – too, and in 20+ years. In general, for a long time it was like that. I was partly disrespectful to women, considering them by default rather a little stupid than deep. Their experiences and stupid interests seemed superficial and ridiculous to me. One of the most valuable fruits of psychotherapy and working on myself, I believe that this is no longer the case for me.

Of course, history is as old as the world. And all my difficulties with women were derived from an abusive and joyless relationship with my mother. You all heard these stories a hundred thousand times, you yourself most likely live one of these stories. Everything is resolved simply: a condescending attitude towards women is a defense against the worst, from the threat of being rejected again. Indeed, for a mother who seems perfect, I was never smart enough, well, and my mother herself did not really like women. I simply repeated after her and protected myself from disappointment. It is difficult to turn everything in your head in such a way as to recognize the need for warmth and love after disgust, learn to recognize it, create it in relation to others and accept when others can give. It is sad, of course, how deeply fear can sink in the soul, transforming the joy of love into nausea.

Now I am so happy that I love being among women, that I can be friends with them and that they are friends with me.

I did not just make friends with women, I made friends with a woman in myself. I stopped judging myself for my desires, even the most “girlish” ones. I ceased to be so afraid of seeming stupid, hysterical, excessive. I began to feel affection for women in general. The view, deprived of condemnation, becomes wider, reacts more calmly to extremes, and is able to discern details. I began to empathize, to see the pains of women around and to show empathy for them. I finally felt myself part of a subset of the “woman”, I felt this “we”, where I am too. We are fragile, we need affection, sincerity, support, that we are recognized, praised. In today's society, we are still too vulnerable to the way we are evaluated from the outside, and we really need sincere support here. I want to support my women, and they support me.

For empathy came surprise. Women are amazing, they delight and inspire. When you finally stop evaluating your behavior and appearance scrupulously, as if with a ruler by the mirror, the multifaceted beauty of the people around opens up. Women are beautiful and very touching in their quest for beauty. They are skillful and full of imagination, therefore they turn the whole world into their own platform, where every day you can try yourself in a new role. Women admire their ability for direct, childish play, being perhaps the only adults on this planet. It is vital to play with your girlfriends: arrange days of self-care, refined girls, review together a tinder or a calendar with Australian firefighters, accompanying it with dirty, tough jokes. It is important to play, giving vent to aggressive sexuality and black humor. This releases a lot of creative energy and simply makes life more fulfilled. If women (like men) dare to be alive, and not correspond to the narrow scenario of expectations within the framework of distributed social and gender roles, then their unique essence and all the power of creativity are fully revealed. It is difficult to find something more inspiring than observing the disclosure of talent.

Friendship with women returned to me my sense of belonging to the family, to something wild, natural, more. Sometimes, in the face of big changes or just summing up the intermediate results, I imagine myself standing to the full height, and behind me I have all the women who live with me and inspire: friends, colleagues, protesters, changing, calming, strong, tender, dissenting, peace-bearing, different, real, living or having already lived their lives in such a way that it envelops the entire field of my existence with thin strong threads and makes it possible. Women's friendship and sisterhood give joy from a sense of self and belonging, where it is enough just to be alive, and not to meet someone’s needs of eternal youth, beauty and good mood.

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