I’m sure you’re familiar with the phrase “Girl Power,” and believe it or not, there is also a great deal of power in friendships among women. It should come as no surprise that independently, women are powerful and resilient as hell, but when you get two or more women together supporting one another, the possibilities are endless.
Writer and Call Your Girlfriend co-host Ann Friedman wrote a piece on the “Shine Theory,” explaining that there is power in surrounding yourself with other accomplished and successful women.
In fact, science confirms the notion that female friendships are beneficial to our professional and personal lives. “Research shows that women, [possibly] more than men, need to maintain those connections. It increases serotonin and oxytocin, the bonding hormone,” says Alisa Ruby Bash, PsyD, LMFT. Studies conducted at both Stanford and UCLA revealed that in times of stress, women don’t just experience the drive toward fight or flight — they also release oxytocin. This hormonal surge can compel women to “tend and befriend,” a.k.a., to protect their kids (if they have them), but also to connect with other women.
Feminist Fight Club author Jessica Bennett writes not only about the importance of collaborating with other women, but also about the strength in sharing different experiences in the workplace. In doing so, we vocalize these situations that make us go “Is it just me, or was that kind of sexist?”
On a personal note, I also feel most supported about my insecurities and doubts when I turn to my girlfriends. They’re quick to remind me of my strengths and offer words of encouragement. This brings a sense of community and belonging unlike anything else I’ve ever experienced. Not to mention, it’s also a great feeling to share something and have a friend reply, “OMG me too! I thought that was just me.”
For years television shows and movies have pitted women against each other, and for what, I ask? For the attention of a man? For a good villainous character? For a “cat fight?” No thank you. Instead, let’s highlight some dope friendships among women that we can all strive for. May we continue to support one another and lift as we climb.
Molly and Issa
In my opinion, one key piece behind Insecure’s success comes from the way it authentically depicts Molly and Issa’s friendship. They argue and call each other out, they support each other’s (often destructive) decisions, but in the end, they do so out of love.
Abbi and Ilana
As comedians, actors, and feminists, Abbi and Ilana hold nothing back, which truly resonates in every project they produce. These rockstars rose up in the comedy scene through an Upright Citizens Brigade comedy troupe and found that their collaboration was dynamic. On screen, Broad City’s protagonist show us a raw, tender, and humorous friendship unlike any other.
Heben and Tracy
THESE TWO BRING ME SO MUCH JOY. It’s all laughs from start to finish on their wildly acclaimed podcast Another Round. Each week the duo interviews someone whose work they admire, whether they are well known (Janet Mock, Lin Manuel-Miranda, Issa Rae), or someone they believe we should know based on the rad work they’re doing. Their goal is to elevate voices and magnify conversations we should all be having around mental health, race, and feminism all while enjoying a cocktail. Their friendship is effortless and genuine; they are the kind of friends we all deserve.
Aminatou and Anne
Aminatou and Anne host the popular podcast Call Your Girlfriend. Each episode, these best friends dive into pop culture, politics, feminism, and menstrual cycles. They’re a great podcast to follow because it really feels like a conversation you’d have with your best friend(s).