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Having friends of the opposite gender has been a problem in traditional society, but my platonic friendships have been some of the best I have had.
A woman’s relationship with a man often raises an interesting controversy: can they really just be friends? Do you know anyone who has been able to maintain healthy friendships without being influenced by their feelings or sexual desires? Here, let me draw your attention towards the beauty of platonic friendships.
Platonism is the kind of friendship/relationship in which the mental or emotional attraction is greater than the physical attraction.
Having friends of the opposite gender has been a problem with traditional communities for a long time. But let me remind you that you can be friends with anyone who shares the same vibe as you do. Many pairs of female and male stars have already broken the gender stereotypes by becoming great friends since decades , like Kajol and Shahrukh khan ; Alia bhatt and Varun Dhawan ; Leonardo Dicaprio and Kate winslet ; Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift ; Demi Lovato and Nick Jonas and so on.
For the silk to survive, the silkworm has to die. It is essential to break through gender norms in order to develop greater friendships.
Despite sociological diktats that warned that “boys and girls should be kept separate until their marriage”, my parents ensured that I attended a co-ed school and learnt to interact, converse, and inter-connect with all genders.
In small towns, it is not acceptable to have friends of the opposite gender, especially for women, and if they have, the fact needed to be kept under wraps. I was close to many boys at school, but we had to act like strangers after school hours, and had to pass by each other in public. That’s strange, isn’t it? A friend whom you can’t disclose outside school.
My early school years left me with the impression that it was normal to have friends only at school. As I went on to middle and high school, however, I was frustrated and annoyed by the fact that I had to avoid my friends knowingly. This may be what happens for romantic relationships, but friendship has no territorial boundaries, and this is why, my dear hypocritical society, you cannot split up real friends.
I began to refuse to conform, and got out of my comfort zone to start greeting boys at community functions, at private tutoring, on Facebook, and on birthdays. There were many people back then who found it aggravating, including the staff at school who weren’t used to opposite genders interacting closely.
When I was in ninth grade, the Principal of the school forced us students to give him our passwords and got into our Facebook accounts. I felt embarrassed and humiliated that my privacy had been invaded. I was questioned, I was slapped, my character was assassinated.
Our society actually does that. Breaking into your space, they call you out because you’re friends with the opposite gender, and they add the tag, “It’s for your own good”. In what world can it ever be fruitful to separate real friends, even of they are of opposite genders?
My bond with the group in school weakened over time as the staff made sure we never kept in touch during those years. School Staff had succeeded, I thought. But I became friends with a new batch of students after high school, and if people interfered, fought back against it.
These friends are still with me. Guys, I love you for being my bro-friends and bro-connections, and for supporting me through many things.
The power of friendship lies in its strength. Our society is toxic and does its best to keep opposing genders apart.
Friendships may fall apart for a variety of reasons, such as dating someone who doesn’t ‘approve’ of your buddies, parental pressure, misunderstandings, or relationship issues. You need to have trust and faith in your friend. Do not let society fuck up your bond.
The rule for platonic friends is simple.
There is a Netflix movie on such platonic friendship: The Kissing Booth. Though you can classify it as a romantic drama, I have always admired Elle Evans and Lee Flynn’s friendship.
The two set separate rules for their friendship that shaped how they bonded. They share a special bond, but it takes a toll on their other relationships, specifically with Noah and Rachel, their respective partners. The two of them work it out, and they accept that they can’t always be together. Their friendship takes priority over their personal relationships without interfering with their romantic ones.
Make sure you prioritize both – your romantic relationships and platonic friendships, and things will turn around.
Defend your friends in a crisis, and share your vulnerability with them as it will deepen and strengthen your friendship. This is even more vital in the case of opposing genders. Make sure you let your friend know that you cherish them this Friendship Day.
“Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond” ~~ Rumi
Image source: Instagram
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Bhumika is an English Majors undergraduate at the University Of Delhi and at this moment actively working with an NGO, as a content department associate that works for normalizing menstruation and promotes menstrual hygiene. She read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
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Many women have lost their lives to this darkness. It's high time we raise awareness, and make maternal mental health screening a part of the routine check ups.
Trigger Warning: This deals with severe postpartum depression, and may be triggering for survivors.
Motherhood is considered a beautiful blessing. Being able to create a new life is indeed beautiful and divine. We have seen in movies, advertisements, stories, everywhere… where motherhood is glorified and a mother is considered an epitome of tolerance and sacrifice.
But no one talks about the downside of it. No one talks about the emotional changes a woman experiences while giving birth and after it.
Calling a vaginal birth a 'normal' or 'natural' birth was probably appropriate years ago when Caesarian births were rare, in an emergency.
When I recently read a post on Facebook written by a woman who had a vaginal birth casually refer to her delivery as a natural one, it rankled.
For too long, we have internalized calling vaginal deliveries ‘normal’ or ‘natural’ deliveries as if any other way of childbirth is abnormal. What about only a vaginal birth is natural? Conversely, what about a Caesarian Section is not normal?
When we check on the health of the mother and baby post delivery, why do we enquire intrusively, what kind of delivery they had? “Was it a ‘normal’ delivery?” we ask.