Approval Of Female Friendships Is Yet Another Societal Tactic To Control Women

Why are female friendships so closely monitored and controlled, whereas male friendships are allowed to freely exist?

I was in 8th standard when I failed a competitive exam and heard my friend’s mother telling her not to be friends with me.

I only started distancing myself from her.

During my diploma days (10 + 3) I was more friendly with boys and I noticed the friendship with girls becoming different.

Friendship is subject to family approval

I had an idea of why that was happening, of course. Their families advised them to do so, and not every girl thinks of turning out to be rebellious so they quietly accept what is being said!

I had a fair share of friends during engineering, girls and boys. But, when I decided to have an inter-caste love marriage, I was going through the toughest phase of convincing my parents, my then-roommate asked me not to talk about it in front of her parents (who were visiting us for a day) otherwise her career will finish, as they might immediately call her back to their native place. This coming from a friend who I considered to be more than a sister made me feel so disappointed.

To some extent, movies have also shown the same! Topper Naina cannot be friends with Jhalli Aditi, that’s what her mother says to her in an acquaintance that happens at the counter of a store.

Different rules for male friendships

A few days back I was reminded of similar incidents that happened in the past. I started questioning myself, “Why does this apply to a female only? Guys are never asked to not be friends with someone or talk less to someone?”

I got a Deja Vu feeling when I was told not to be friends with a very good friend of mine as she was undergoing separation. Another was told to be neglected because they mutually decided to be childless. And after that, I stopped discussing the social statuses of my friends. Why was it assumed that they would influence me in a way that I would do the same?

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Female friendships are powerful support structures

Of late, I have realized the power of female friendships, it feels so supportive and inspiring. Yes, we do discuss our personal lives and issues, but the intention is not to influence or be influenced. It is of pure sharing, and possibly finding a probable solution to the problem. With all the rules and restrictions applied to a female to be specific, this one of getting a validation to be friends with is so unnecessary.

And none of it applies to boys by the way. They are asked to break friendships only when there is a blunder! Whereas, in a girl’s case, a slight hint about her friend turns out to be a warning.

When you raise us well and believe in us, you should ideally give us the freedom to choose our friends too!

Female friendships are meant for so much more, not just being ruined by families and other societal pressures!

Image Source: Still from the film Veere Di Wedding

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About the Author

Nilshree Damani Yelulkar

A mother, homemaker, self-published author, founder, and podcast host at Authoropod. read more...

25 Posts | 14,256 Views

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