Feminist friends are those who would tell their loved ones to value self-respect and integrity over everything; those who would suggest that walking away from toxic relationships is the best decision; those who make time to comfort people despite their hectic schedules; and those who inspire and motivate others to be bold, confident, and self-sufficient. Feminist friends are those people who are considered “unconventional” by patriarchal societies. And I am one such friend.
A while back, a friend of mine told me that her marriage was irreparable and she wanted to leave. She was so hellbent on applying for a divorce. I assumed that this was what she really wanted and went out of my way to support her. A few days later, she sent me a casual text saying that the issue was resolved because her spouse had apologised to her. Then she went AOL on me for weeks but was active on social media. That’s when I realised that I had become the home breaker because I had supported her decision to quit her marriage.
A patriarchal society like ours emphasises that women should adjust, compromise, tolerate, forgive, and forget in order to uphold the family’s honour, happiness, and peace. It doesn’t matter if she is treated like a doormat and abused every single day. She must remain silent, even if it means giving up her happiness, safety, and peace. Unfortunately, many women still give in to this conditioning.
Why do we need feminist friends?
Women like me see things differently, or, as society refers to it, in an unconventional way. We have an eye to spot abuse, toxicity, inequality, stereotypes, stigma, bias, and any form of injustice. We don’t adhere to the laws of patriarchy. Patriarchy and its belief that women are subservient beings, as well as the injustices against women, awoke the fighting spirit in us. We fight against patriarchy, and we are called feminists.
We are confident, courageous, and independent women who happily live our lives on our own terms. After breaking free from the clutches of patriarchy and having experienced freedom and the amazing things that women can achieve with it, there is no going back for us. If one would approach us for comfort, suggestion, or help, we would empower those women as well. How can society expect us, who have broken the system of subordination, to not encourage other women to do the same? How can we possibly tolerate other women being enslaved to patriarchy when we know how wonderful the other side is?
We will inspire and motivate people who come to us seeking suggestions and solutions. Before evolving into this version of ourselves, we’d been blindfolded by patriarchy too. Now that we have awoken, we can identify the patterns and signs that other women can’t. We warn other women about detrimental societal conditioning. We encourage women to take the road less travelled for the better life that it offers. We have the experience and insights that would enable anyone to break free from the clutches of patriarchy. That’s what we do as feminist friends.
We are not liked by many of our friends’ parents because they see us as a bad influence on their daughters. They believe that we are “misguiding” them against the conventional template set by patriarchy. A few friends have literally ghosted me because their parents don’t approve of our friendship. Unfortunately, they don’t see the world through our lens—a feminist lens—and don’t agree with us. When every woman out there turns into a feminist, that will be the downfall of patriarchy.
We are called home-breakers, outcasts, opinionated, ambitious, self-centred, characterless, rebels, and whatnot. We are called names because we don’t adhere to the conventional template of women. We ask questions and encourage others to do so. Are we affected by it? definitely not! We are unapologetically being ourselves, and we’re proud of it. One thing assured is that we will have your back as Kat, Sutton, and Jane from The Bold Type have each others’ backs.
Suggested Reading: These Feminist Lines By ‘Friends’ Rachel, Phoebe And Monica Haven’t Aged
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