Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Unlikely Female Friendship

Photo Credit
There really isn’t a term that serves as the female equivalent to the “bromance,” which I discussed in my first post. Perhaps that’s because women are usually assumed to have intimate female friends, so a close bond between women isn’t worth comment. That stereotype aside, it’s strange to think about how the media thinks female friendships are established.

Based on Sex and the City, it seems as though womankind’s “obsession” with attracting and retaining men is enough to sustain friendships between unlikely pairs. Although the show is generally praised for its depiction of strong female friendships, I never quite understood why Carrie’s friends were also best friends with each other, other than their mutual interest in Carrie herself. It's hard to believe that optimistic and perky Charlotte is so close with someone as dissimilar as the cynical Miranda, forget the unapologetically unromantic Samantha.

Similarly, I can’t help but marvel at the friendship of the four girls of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series. It’s odd enough to read about the opinionated rebel, the shy artist, the impulsive athlete, and the caring writer, but seeing them in the flesh on screen makes their differences even more painfully noticeable. It’s not as though radically different people can’t become friends, but as The Breakfast Club points out, it’s just not that plausible. In real life, those girls probably would’ve grown up and started hanging out with different people, whether they were soccer teammates or drawing classmates or fellow lovers of film. But then, such commonality isn’t just something to do together or someone to talk about- it’s some deeper connection based on goals, feelings, and/or values.

Call me close-minded but I’d say the media is a bit mistaken if it thinks that throwing completely differing women together in the same time and space will result in the creation of best friends forever. Appreciation? Sure. Mutual respect? Definitely. But best friends? Possible, sure, but not all that likely. That presumption undermines the complexity of women and even the pickiness which they employ to decide to whom they can speak in confidence- and with confidence. Ultimately, I tend to doubt the foundation on which TV friendship is based on, if it is simply locale or coincidence, but I would not doubt the strength of that bond if it were based on something sincere and true.


  1. My instinct was to refute this post: "Friends can be different kinds of people, opposites attract, etc." But then I looked at my own friends and realized that you're probably right. Common interests are a must.

    I could mildly contest this, but I'm too lazy

  3. :( I love sisterhood of the traveling pants...