Why Friendships Among Women are so Important

These young women seem to know just how beneficial friendship can be.

Creating friendships among women is of vital importance to our well-being and survival. As women and human beings of the Eighteenth Century we are witnesses to a rise in independence and authority of individuals. Friendships allow men (and now women ) the opportunity to partake in relationships based on choice instead of kinship. [21] As women we face subordination in many aspects of our lives, but by making friends we assert our autonomy over who we choose to spend time with. We see how men have moved away from their kinship ties and towards more friendships, and what do they achieve in doing so--greater power! [22] Ladies, we can make that a reality for ourselves as well. The public sphere holds great potential for power; we can create a body politic. [23]

Some of us are single women, but many others are married. Remove your blinders ladies, the reality is that our social inferiority places wives in poor situations. Friendship may not be able to correct the problems in your marriage, but we can promise you another place to turn in times of hardship. Just as sisters [24] would, friends will be there for you. We will offer advice, a shoulder to cry on, or simply an ear to listen. Remember, because we choose our friends we remain dedicated to them. And friends are "one soul in two bodies" as that misogynist Aristotle once said.

Friendship among women is more than political though. These new relationships are places where you can find companionship. These networks of female friends will support us all intellectually, spiritually, and socially. [25] We can promote our own excellence, and our own space for culture. We will have our own little corner of the world, where the things we think and feel matter.


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