There’s a lot of cultural capital to be had for girls in having guy friends, I think. I don’t understand how that came about, but that seems to be the case. (Guys, from what I can tell, aren’t as interested in cultivating tons of platonic female friendships in order to talk about them.) So I get why Paris James wrote her essay on why having male friends is so beneficial. It’s the cool thing to say, which has turned as usual into the cool thing to hate to hear.
I do have plenty of male friends. In a month, I’m moving into a house where I will be living with five guys. Just me and them. I frequently try to make light of the situation and joke about how I’m trying soooo hard to be “chill” and a guys’ girl, because I don’t for a second want people to think that I prefer the company of men to women. I don’t prefer either. I prefer being with my friends.
Who gives a damn what your friend has going on down in between their legs? Shut up about it. Yes, there are patterns that can present themselves, but if you look at your friends and see a gender, you’ve got a huge problem that will not serve you well. No one hears “I chose to hang out with mostly guys” as a barometer of how chill you are, how worthy of praise you are. If they honestly so privilege the male opinion that they think, “oh, guys like her, she must be cool,” they are immature and ignorant.
You aren’t impressing or enchanting people by telling them that you are low-maintenance. You are privileging what you see as “masculinity” and assuming that women aren’t capable of possessing these certain traits.
If you find women to be catty and dramatic, vicious or conniving, belittling or jealous you aren’t hanging out with the right women. I know it sounds condescending to say, but that is truly a great loss and I feel sorry that your social sphere is so anemic.
Women, like men, are shitty. Women, like men, are mean. Women, like men, are lovely. Women, like men, are thoughtless and thoughtful and generous and nurturing and hilarious and blunt and bold and fearless. I can put any adjective I want here because you’ve created a binary that doesn’t exist.
But since you’ve chosen to hate on women a bit, I will devote a bit to highlighting even more, that women are magical. They are goddesses and mothers and sisters and friends and lovers and they work hard and are intellectual. I can think of thousands of women who I have met and who I yearn to meet that can teach me more about the world than I could ever imagine. You insult them when you say that they aren’t capable of honesty, empathy, maturity, problem-solving, generosity, rationality, or being fucking “chill.” And I’m not going to let you insult them. Because, like the men you’re touting as so worthy of love, I am protective, too.
If someone is your friend, don’t make them your gay friend or you black friend or your guy friend. That’s so demeaning. Love them. Make them family. Cherish them. And ignore what’s going on between their legs.