Challenges to Female Friendship

We feel it is only fair to acquaint you with some of the challenges of friendship. Much of our society does not fully accept or celebrate friendships among women as we here at the Secret Society do. And because we are women and face different status socially, our friendships cannot simply join the realm of friendships among men. [26] Therefore, some people will pass various judgments on you if you choose to forge ahead in your friendships with other women. Here's why--

There is a school of thought that believes that because we choose to be friends with women, we are somehow rejecting all men. They fear that once we understand the benefits of female friendship, we will decide not to marry [27] and create a great ruckus in society. While that may be the case for some women (and we respect them for that choice), it is not a trend among all women, and there should be no cause for alarm.

Be careful in your friendships not to appear as sapphists to the conservative people around you.

As we mentioned above, some female friendships are forms of sapphism. This does not mean that all friendships are on this level, and should not be a cause for alarm if you are not a sapphist. We here at the Secret Society support all of our sisters and their choices in relationships, whatever those choices may be. But ladies, you all should be aware-there is a current rise in arrests and prosecutions for crimes related to sapphism such as fraudulent marriages, public immorality, and even sodomy. [28] You must be careful to protect yourself from incorrect assumptions, especially since much of the correspondence and interaction of your friendships will focus on feelings of passionate love and female longing. [29] There are ways to avoid claims of sapphism within female friendship that seem to work quite well. Projecting a façade of great conservatism and classism will suggest that because you are a true gentlewoman, there cannot be any cause to believe you are a sapphist. [30] (Although we here at the Society know that some of the greatest gentlewomen are also the greatest sapphists!) In your letters to your friends avoid writing of kisses and caresses (but discussions of your friendly and loving gazes at one another will be safe communication). [31] And most of all, remember that the key to protecting our friendships is to describe them as a sisterhood. [32] This familial reference suggests a nonsexual relationship and is a great safeguard against narrow-minded opinions.

We also have a few important warnings regarding your place within the realm of friendship. Many friendships exist only among women of the same class. While we here are gentlewomen, and would never dare to suggest interactions with the ruffians of our society, we believe that as human beings we should respect all other human beings. Part of the reason for this distrust (and dare I say hatred) of the lower classes is the fear in our unstable society of sexual transgression. As we, the middle class rises closer and closer to the upper classes, there is a sense of instability. Any transgression, particularly a sexual transgression, threatens all of our places in society. [33] So pity the lower classes and donate money to help them, but do not allow them into your circle of friends or you may endanger all of our newly gained status in society.


  Untitled Document

Return to Main Page

Click Picture to go Home

Untitled Document