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A Feminist Defense of Friendship

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A Feminist Defense of Friendship

  1. 1. A Feminist Defenseof FriendshipLisa Wade, written and delivered with my friend, Caroline Heldman, PhD
  2. 2. Why Friendship?
  3. 3. Why Friendship? People with friends are healthier.
  4. 4. Why Friendship? People with friends live longer.
  5. 5. Why Friendship? People with friends are happier.
  6. 6. “Friendship has a bigger impact on ourpsychological well-being than familyrelationships.” - Sociologist Rebecca Adams
  7. 7. “I am not aware of any other factor—notdiet, not smoking, not exercise, notstress, not genetics, not drugs, notsurgery—that has a greater impact onour… incidence of illness [and chance of]premature death...” - Dr. Dean Ornish
  8. 8. “Applying the term ‘friendship’ toanimals is not anthropomorphic.”
  9. 9. Women -- with -- Women Men -- with -- Men Women & Men -- with -- Each Other
  10. 10. Women -- with -- Women
  11. 11. Men -- with -- Women
  12. 12. “10 Drinks Men Should Never Order”
  13. 13. “[A sexual charge] added a certain zest, aspecial excitement that can’t be had in a same-sex friendship [if both are heterosexual]. Somepeople spoke of a flirtatious quality in therelationship, saying they valued it because itimparted a quality of vitality to the time theyspent together, because it generated a sparkthey enjoyed.”Rubin, Lillian. 1985. Just Friends: The Role of Friendship in ourLives. New York: Harper Perennial.
  14. 14. Women -- with -- Men
  15. 15. Men -- with -- Men
  16. 16. Justin, 15-years old“[My best friend and I] love each other… that’sit… you have this thing that is deep, so deep,it’s within you, you can’t explain it. It’s just athing that you know that person is that person…I guess in life, sometimes two people canreally, really understand each other and reallyhave a trust, respect and love for each other.”Way, Niobe. 2011. Deep Secrets: Boys’ Friendships and the Crisis ofConnection. Boston, MA: Harvard University Press.
  17. 17. Justin, 18-years old“[My friend and I] we mostly joke around. It’snot like really anything serious or whatever.Nothing like serious talking whatever ‘cause Idon’t talk to nobody about serious stuff… Idon’t talk to nobody. I don’t share my feelingsreally. Not that kind of person or whatever…It’s just something that I don’t do.”Way, Niobe. 2011. Deep Secrets: Boys’ Friendships and the Crisis ofConnection. Boston, MA: Harvard University Press.
  18. 18. Positive Examples of Friendship
  19. 19. Embracing Friendship
  20. 20. For WomenFight the urge to seekmale attention andapproval.
  21. 21. For WomenRefuse to see other women as yourcompetition.
  22. 22. For WomenCherish and cultivate friendships withwomen.
  23. 23. For WomenDecide to be friends with men.
  24. 24. For MenGive yourself permission to just be you.
  25. 25. For Men Express yourself.
  26. 26. For MenBefriend other men who “get it.”
  27. 27. For MenStruggle against dismissing women.
  28. 28. In Conclusion…
  29. 29. If they can be friends…
  30. 30. …we can be friends.
  31. 31. Questions? Lisa Wade, PhD • @lisawade • Caroline Heldman, Ampersand