This Is Why Friendships Among Women Should Be Celebrated
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I'm The Girl Who Has Always Preferred Her Friendships With Women Over Men

My girls, this one is for you.

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I'm The Girl Who Has Always Preferred Her Friendships With Women Over Men

Keira Knightley once said, "Well, female friendships are f*cking extraordinary. They don't have to be sexual to be intense love affairs. A breakup with a female friend can be more traumatic than a breakup with a lover."

Louise Bernikow once said, "Female friendships are relationships in which women help each other belong to themselves."

Someone else once said, "Behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women who have her back."

Throughout my life, I've discovered every single one of these statements to be true. I'm a woman who has always felt most comfortable in the presence of other women, and those were the friendships that mattered most to me.

For some, this may come across as strange.

After all, most films targeted at young teens features the typical "mean girl" or includes a male best friend for the protagonist, but these tropes have been false representations of the life I lead. So many people in my everyday life try to tell me that girls create "too much drama" and that boys are easier to handle—that there are "b*tches" out there who intend to screw me over.

For one, I rarely encounter women who fall under the word "b*tch" and have no other substance to describe them. Maybe this is because I tend to be easy-going or my natural instinct is to separate myself from situations to put myself in others' shoes. (I've gained a reputation for being the neutral party in all of my friend groups, always being the one to see both sides of an argument.) But the label of being a "b*tch" has never been understandable to me. We throw that word around for anything and everything, and often, the woman who stands up for herself and her beliefs can fall under this category—which is an unfair statement to make.

Growing up, I was surrounded by women my entire life.

I was raised with two younger sisters (who I adore) and have an extremely close relationship with my mother. I decided to attend all-girls' private schools for the entirety of my high school career. I chose to live on an all-girls' floor freshman year of college, I'm now living in an all-girls' dorm building junior year, and I'm completely fine with that!

Honestly, I prefer it! Why?

I always work best around other women.

Whenever I get in contact with my friends from New York, I leave those conversations feeling inspired. They're out doing incredible things and meeting so many new people, and I love that! And for me, it's not a competition. If anything, I'm well aware of the fact that we lead different lives—but the courage they have pushes me to foster my own ambitions. I want and love hearing how their lives are, and instead of feeling that jealousy that everyone tells us girls that we should feel, I only feel proud. Those are my friends out changing their worlds, and I couldn't be happier!

I prefer the friendships I have with women over men.

This isn't for any explicit reason I can explain, but I've always had more intimate relationships with other women than I have with men. Ever since high school, the phrase, "Confident Women, Compassionate Leaders" was drilled into my skull, and among other women, I feel most excited to push myself forward. To be that confident and compassionate leader! Maybe it's because we're on this journey together to prove ourselves, and maybe it's a journey that we alone will understand.

Most of all, the experiences that come with being a woman are difficult for a man to relate to if he's never lived through it, and that solidarity has always made me feel safe. There are certain things that only my girls will understand, and for that, I adore them endlessly. There is no invisible fence to remind me that there are aspects of living in this world that my male friends won't get.

And we, as a society, continue to put down female friendships. For example, we celebrate Joey and Chandler's relationship as an epic bromance and often forget about how wonderful Rachel's relationships with Monica and Phoebe are. We create female characters only interested in discussing a love interest or focused on beating the other out. That needs to change.

Women were not created to tear each other down.

Women were not created to call each other "sluts" or "b*tches." That's what we were taught. Instead, we were created to uplift each other, to foster each other's ambitions, and to let ourselves grow together.

We need to be kinder to each other. We need to empower each other more. We need to recognize that every woman is powerful and exceptional in their own way, regardless of what boxes society tries to confine us within.

My girls, this one is for you.

Thank you for making my life better each day. Thank you for the late-night conversations, for the laughter only we will remember, and for the memories I cherish. I love and appreciate you ever so much. I love you for being the army that stands with me.

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