“I Have No Female Friends”

female-friendsWe’ve all heard it before. Sometimes with regret and a hint of longing, but most often with a sense of pride:

A girl or woman says, “I have no female friends”.

What usually follows is a story detailing how different or better the female friendless-woman is in comparison to others of her gender. Or how she was scorned and rejected by other “catty” women and found solace with the guys.

“I have no female friends” is a method used by women to separate themselves from other women. Whether they’ve been excluded and despised by other women, are unsure of how to relate to them, or simply believe that to be a woman means to be lesser than, the mentality has the same origin: the devaluation of women and femininity.

The most common scenario involves a woman who proudly proclaims she has no girl friends and, in fact, prefers the company of men to that of women. She may given reasons such as not being into “girly” subjects and not being prissy and emotional like other women.

girls-night-outThis sort of woman feels a sense of shame about her gender. This shame is likely caused by either or both of two sources. Past and current discrimination of women and popular notions of women as the “weaker sex” in nearly every avenue of life, or her personal experiences with the devaluation of women. This type of woman has been made to feel that if a person wants to be anyone in life they should strive to be as manly as possible. Anything associated with femininity must be shunned, anything associated with masculinity revered.

Less often, a woman claims with remorse that she has no friends of her own gender. She is usually a woman whose personality, outlook, or interests found her at odds with most women. In this situation, the same dynamic is at play, but in the opposite direction.

Women are competitive and exclusionary of other women for many reasons, but most of these reasons stem from restrictive gender roles placed on women — gender roles largely caused by ideas of women as second place to men.

Women try to live up to these ideals, and as a result become competitive and exclude other women. Women who fail to meet expectations of what it means to be a true, feminine woman –and several of those who exceed these expectations– are ignored or even ostracized by other women.

In either case, the mantra “I have no female friends” does a disservice to all women. Instead of creating an environment where women would be more likely to be friendly with each other, it encourages women to see other women as essentially different, at best, and rivals at worst. Women are placed in opposition to each other and none comes up the greater for it.

See also:

About these ads

65 thoughts on ““I Have No Female Friends”

  1. I’ve come to the conclusion that women who attribute “catty” and other negative descriptions towards other women as a reason why they don’t have female friends are…well…verbalizing a reflection of themselves. I’m not saying women are perfect; no one is, yet for a woman to dismiss all other women as friend worthy has some underlying issues going on (self reflection, 101 please). As someone who has both male and female friends, I wouldn’t trade the value of my girlfriends for anything. There is something about that sisterhood that is infallible, and no male would ever understand that.

  2. Eliss,

    “I’m not saying women are perfect; no one is, yet for a woman to dismiss all other women as friend worthy has some underlying issues going on”

    I agree that there are some issues there.

    “As someone who has both male and female friends, I wouldn’t trade the value of my girlfriends for anything.”

    Co-sign this, a million times.

    I love my guy friends, of course, but there is a unique bond I have with my girl friends that can’t be replaced.

  3. I’ve come to the conclusion that women who attribute “catty” and other negative descriptions towards other women as a reason why they don’t have female friends are…well…verbalizing a reflection of themselves

    Yes, yes, yes!

    And a thousand times yes to this entire topic!!!!

    You’re right Alee that this statement of “I don’t have female friends” is often said with beaming PRIDE by certain women, as if it’s a way to elevate themselves over others. And while I know that women of all races and ethnic groups can have trouble connecting, I pretty much only hear the loud declaration of, “I don’t have female friends,” coming only from black women.

    At this moment, I really don’t have many female friends, and I hate it. It’s more circumstantial than anything — I worked for a long-time in a male-dominated field, and I was mostly around men. But my friendship with those men didn’t fulfill my need to have female company around… now that I’m in a different state and have a different job, I want to work to get to know more women around here and get some female energy back into my life.

    As you’ve noticed as well, I do find the women who practice this, “I don’t have female friends” pattern to actually be some of the worst out there in terms of having their own personal issues… and I find it funny that many of these women are constantly having problems in their romantic relationships with men, but they never dare to say they’re giving up on the entire male gender for that reason.

  4. Bunny,

    ‘I know that women of all races and ethnic groups can have trouble connecting, I pretty much only hear the loud declaration of, “I don’t have female friends,” coming only from black women.’

    I hear it really often from black women as well, but I also hear it from other groups (white, Asian, etc) of women. I know a few (white) tomboys who use every opportunity they get to proclaim that they have no female friends because women are so annoying, gossipy, b*tchy, etc. And their guy friends cheer them like, “Right on!”

    “I find it funny that many of these women are constantly having problems in their romantic relationships with men, but they never dare to say they’re giving up on the entire male gender for that reason.”

    This.

    It reminds me of a certain other issue, which I’m sure we’re all familiar with…

  5. I pretty much only hear the loud declaration of, “I don’t have female friends,” coming only from black women.

    In my experience only White women typically make this kind of a statement, at least as far as majorities go. But I imagine all groups of women have somebody who’s got a Pariah Complex.

    With regards to the topic, I’m unsure about the reasons. However if writer Jay McInerney can be of any help, then the answer may be: “Beware the woman who doesn’t like other women; she’s probably generalizing from her own character.”

  6. Thanks Alee and Zev… I’m actually glad to know that this doesn’t seem to be a racial thing, but just a general thing for some women!

  7. Z,

    “In my experience only White women typically make this kind of a statement, at least as far as majorities go.”

    “Majorities”?

    I don’t know if any group of women makes this statement more. Who you believe says it more probably depends on your own social groups and surroundings.

    We can say many of these women have issues with their own selves, but you have to wonder where these issues are coming from: what is their ultimate source? The “I Have No Female Friends” mentality is not isolated to a few women — it’s a way that many women think.

    Bunny,

    Yes, other groups of women have this mentality. But you’re right in that black women put their own special spin on it, due to the unique circumstances of the “black community”.

  8. Wha’tcha want women around for? All they gonna try to do is steal my man.

    No but I got a healthy mix of both. But female friends are more fun, shopping and all of that. Unless you got a gay friend.

    Hmm… I never heard anyone say that “I have no female friends”..

  9. Nkosazana,

    “Wha’tcha want women around for? All they gonna try to do is steal my man.”

    Ha. Well, that can be an issue with female “friends”; there’s no denying that. But I wouldn’t be hanging around my partner and my friends at the same time, anyway.

    ‘Hmm… I never heard anyone say that “I have no female friends”..’

    Interesting. I wonder if it’s an American issue though I highly doubt it because I had a chat with a Scottish friend about this not too long ago.

  10. Female friendship is something I am interested in. People might not realize it, but only a certain type of female friendship is encouraged (or tolerated).

    As for not having female friends because you’re not girly… That’s rubbish. I am not girly at all. And all of my friends are females. True, I have some male friends, but they are all either long-term boyfriends of my friends, or my husband’s friend, etc. I also have male acquaintances, but none of my good friends are males. And like I said, I am not girly, and I definitely don’t enjoy talking about “female” subjects such as fashion and male/female relationships (I might seem like I do like to talk about male/female relationships, but I like to talk about, well, the anthropology of it; I can’t really chat about it with friends).

    So, it’s not it. Tomboy girls can, and do have female friends. In fact, it’s much easier for a feminine woman to have male friends, I think, because many males want to be friends with women they’re attracted to. I’ve seen this happening a lot of times. If guys don’t perceive you as attractive, they don’t want to be your friend. (Well, not all the guys, but many of them).

    I think women who feel proud about not having female friends are sexist, plain and simple. They also assume the only form of friendship women can have is she shallow girly talk. It’s sad to know society doesn’t really promote/encourage strong, loyal female friendship.

  11. Mira,

    “People might not realize it, but only a certain type of female friendship is encouraged (or tolerated).”

    What type is that?

    “I think women who feel proud about not having female friends are sexist, plain and simple.”

    Well, yes, they are. But it adds a touch of irony and sadness that they are sexist towards their own sex.

  12. What type is that?

    The light one, where you see your friends to chat or have fun. Women are sure not encouraged to sacrifice other stuff for their female friends. At least that’s how it is in my culture.

    To be seen as too close to your female friend is seen as “suspicious”. My best friend and I were quite close when we were teenagers and everybody thought we were lesbians.

    Guys have “bros before hoes” codex, but women are encouraged to put their men (and romantic relationships) before their friends.

    Once again, it might be just my culture, though.

  13. Mira,

    ‘Guys have “bros before hoes” codex’

    I say “Chicks before…”

    ;)

    “but women are encouraged to put their men (and romantic relationships) before their friends.”

    This is true. Even if a woman has female friends, she still sees having a romantic relationship/partner as vastly more important. And several will more or less ditch their girl friends once they get into a relationship.

    Of course this all relates to how little people value women in relation to men. Even in cultures where feminism is old news, people still think men and having them are of the utmost importance.

  14. When I hear women say things like this it bothers me. I feel like they are really missing something by cutting their fellow women out.

    I also find it strange when people join themselves at the hip with the person they are dating/married to. If I dropped everything for a man that I was dating, I wouldn’t have a life or a man!

    Okay, now I will admit I have a challenge – when I hear women say “I love men, everything about them”, I think “why?”

  15. Sherry,

    I might be too strict, but I consider statements such as “I love men, everything about them” to be (slightly?) sexist, too. Well, I sure do think that it’s sexist when men say “I love women, everything about them”, because it seems like othering and patronizing. So why wouldn’t it be if women say that for men?

  16. Sherry,

    “When I hear women say things like this it bothers me. I feel like they are really missing something by cutting their fellow women out.”

    I feel that they are shooting themselves and other women in the foot.

    “I also find it strange when people join themselves at the hip with the person they are dating/married to. If I dropped everything for a man that I was dating, I wouldn’t have a life or a man!”

    Lol!

    You’re so right on that one. Although I admit I’m one of those people that’s very drawn to the “magic” of a relationship, I would never drop friends, hobbies, etc. for a guy.

    ‘Okay, now I will admit I have a challenge – when I hear women say “I love men, everything about them”, I think “why?” ‘

    I don’t think “why”, because I can figure out several reasons why they would (none of these reasons having to do with everything about men being loveable…). I like men, but I don’t love everything about them for the simple reason that there isn’t too much that can go into the “everything” about men — aren’t they all pretty different?

    But I can understand why some sane people would wonder “why”.

  17. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I like men. And I like some stuff that make them different than me (I admit, it is a part of the appeal). I like their broad shoulders and masculine jaws, and the fact they’re taller than me and have hair on the right places. And some other stuff they have.

    I think attraction to the opposite sex is, in part, about differences. But it shouldn’t be transferred to mental attributes or too generalized. What does “I like everything about men” even mean? There are no two men alike, imo. And, in my experience, they’re not that different than women anyway.

  18. Okay ladies, then it’s settled. I don’t have to examine myself!

    Maybe that is key to success with others across the board; find and celebrate the I in each individual.

  19. Mira,

    “I mean, don’t get me wrong, I like men.”

    As do I. In case anyone didn’t know that. ;)

    “I like their broad shoulders and masculine jaws, and the fact they’re taller than me”

    Yes.

    “I think attraction to the opposite sex is, in part, about differences. But it shouldn’t be transferred to mental attributes or too generalized. What does “I like everything about men” even mean? There are no two men alike, imo.’

    Exactly. If I were to list the characteristics I like about certain men, there would be few overlaps, especially personality-wise.

  20. Sherry,

    “I don’t have to examine myself!”

    Nonsense. You should always examine yourself. Life is a long journey of self-examination. :)

    “Maybe that is key to success with others across the board; find and celebrate the I in each individual.”

    Right. Everyone has something different to offer. I don’t even have to find what’s individual about a person; it’s apparent.

  21. I hesitated to post a comment, because, well, I know TONS of women, they flock to me like I’m that guy in that book that supposedly turned stone into bread. I’m fun, fun, fun, have loads of energy(hyper) and am an huge womanist and irrespective, would fight, alone if need be, for my female work colleagues, neighbours, strangers on the streets etc. Women “see” this “strength and allegiance” in me and only come when they need it. I’ve accepted my lot in life, where they’re concerned. They think I don’t have problems, as I AM exceedingly clear and realistic. This gives them the impression I can conquer all and worst of all, because many guys, even the very shy and reserve seek out my attention, it’s assumed I can get any guy and have loads of male company…………a BIG not!. I’m just very friendly and try to spread myself, ESPECIALLY my empathy, like butter, which results in me being a loner. In a nutshell, women like me for what I can do for or give them, but to be my friend, they haven’t proven to want to be around me longer than it takes for me to impart some support, then they’re off and running to others who are less intense than I am, because, my support comes with a caveat: DON’T WASTE MY TIME!.
    I love women. Think we’re ways better than men (no disrespect any males reading), PERIOD!.
    Sob story, I know, but my history has proven this. From my island home, to the USA and now Switzerland, women react only one way with me…..BUT I LOVE WOMEN, because I do understand them………muaaaaah ladies!

  22. foosrock,

    “I hesitated to post a comment”

    Never hesitate! I don’t bite, I promise. ;)

    “women like me for what I can do for or give them, but to be my friend, they haven’t proven to want to be around me longer than it takes for me to impart some support, then they’re off and running to others who are less intense than I am”

    Well, I haven’t done that yet, have I? :)

    But have you ever thought that you’re not putting in the time to cultivate these long-lasting relationships? Most people won’t like to bother people who give the impression that they’re in a hurry all the time. They might think you’re not interested in a true, enduring friendship.

  23. Clutch Magazine had someone write in saying they had no black female friends (I did a post on that one last month), and the letter writer even said she avoids sitting next to black women on public transportation.

    As for ones who have no female friends (race irrelevant):

    This sort of woman feels a sense of shame about her gender.

    I agree. And they are desperately hellbent on proving they’re one of the guys. They’re annoying. They like to brag about how much they love sports and can drink guys under the table. I wonder though—if one of these “guy’s girls” found another “guy’s girl” with similar interests, would they be friends, or is that “I don’t have female friends/I don’t like women” mindset they have too strong to overcome? It’s something to think about.

  24. Well, I don’t have black friends but there’s an obvious reason for it. I wonder, though, did this person write to complain about not having black female friends, or to be proud about it?

    I wonder though—if one of these “guy’s girls” found another “guy’s girl” with similar interests, would they be friends, or is that “I don’t have female friends/I don’t like women” mindset they have too strong to overcome? It’s something to think about.

    I don’t think so. News flash: Girl who likes beer and sports is not rare at all (at least not where I live). So, in theory, if you’re into this stuff you can easily find other females who are into it. Nobody says you have to discuss fashion with your female friends!

    But no. These women don’t have female friends, because this “booze and football” narrative is actually a tactic to get guys (and eliminating other women around). Which is pretty low, and quite “girly”. Oh, I am not saying they pretend to like sports (after all, there are so many women who like sports; hey, my mother and I are basketball fans), but they do it so they could be the only woman in all-male company.

    Being the only woman in male company gives them advantage, because boys, silly as they are * will pay special attention to her and she’ll be the center of attention. She doesn’t need to date any of them (she might not be even interested), but she will get attention!

    * I don’t think men are silly… But yes, they do tend to pay special attention to girls in their circle of friends.

    Seriously, the old alcohol & sports excuse is quite generic. It’s not original at all. That’s what all of those women list as their interests that supposedly make them unable to connect to other females.

  25. “Well, I haven’t done that yet, have I?”
    No you haven’t. And actually many of the newer females I meet haven’t either. It’s just, experience has made me quite an avoidant. That explains, hopefully this comment from you:
    “But have you ever thought that you’re not putting in the time to cultivate these long-lasting relationships? Most people won’t like to bother people who give the impression that they’re in a hurry all the time. They might think you’re not interested in a true, enduring friendship”.

    I’ve also noticed that women who don’t like having female friends generally have the worse relationships with men. Any thoughts on this, ladies?

  26. I think I can speak from experience on the alcohol and sports perspective since I had a career in sports before I got married. (Not as an athlete, but as a journalist.)

    Yes, I went to the bars and drank (well, not that much) and talked sports. If I met new men and said something like, “I think Team X will be great this year if they can only find some defensive tackles,” they would joke and say, “Will you marry me?”

    Funny thing though… I met three other women who were in the same career and we were SO happy when we had the chance to meet up! It was like, finally, a breath of fresh air from all those men! We loved sports and bars, but we liked shoes and makeup and hair too. :)

    And even more interesting… having men who salivated over my sports knowledge did ZERO for me in the dating world. I made tons of male buddies, but that didn’t translate into getting boyfriends. I know this is getting off-topic, but when I finally did find men who were interested in relationships with me, they were NOT sports fans and they were NOT guys that liked to go to bars!

    Anyway, if you like sports, there are other women who like sports and understand it too. And it’s really not all that special to be a woman who likes to go to bars and drink a lot these days.

  27. Well, I don’t have black friends but there’s an obvious reason for it.

    She was a black woman who had no black female friends.

    I wonder, though, did this person write to complain about not having black female friends, or to be proud about it?

    I got the vibe that she was embarrassed that she had no black female friends, and that she was afraid to reach out to black women for fear of being rejected. She mentioned being made fun of a lot by the black girls in school, and seems to still harbor a lot of insecurities from that time in her life.

  28. Oh, sorry… I assumed she was non-black. Well, this is interesting. I don’t know what to say, but since I don’t see black women (or any group) is uniform, I am sure she can find black female friends.

  29. I was wondering if anyone was going to mention the Clutch article (side note: I really go back and forth with Clutch–sometimes it’s like the Steve Harvey of Black women’s online magazines). When it comes to Black women (and perhaps other non-White women), I think the rejection of female friends, especially those of the same race, is partially spurred by an effort to be the “special Black” in a halo of White people. I’ve known girls like this, both ones who were on the “Girls are so catty” bullshit and those who were the sidekick to a gaggle of White girls. For some reason, Black people are reluctant to admit that a good number of us view White people’s approval as the end all, be all, even if we don’t necessarily want to “be” White or fit stereotypes of acting White. But that’s a rant for another day.

  30. People do that Jasmin?

    I don’t know if I’d like hanging around with white females from US or SA. Feels like they would look down on me… Especially since I “stole” one of their men lol. And not a fat and ugly one at that.

  31. (side note: I really go back and forth with Clutch–sometimes it’s like the Steve Harvey of Black women’s online magazines).

    I. cannot. stand. Clutch.

    I had high hopes for it when it came out, but it’s just really Essence written by 20-year-olds. And hey, nothing wrong with women in their 20s (I’m not THAT far out of the decade), but one thing I can’t stand is people THINKING they’re being deep when all they’re doing is navel gazing. Clutch is no more than folks doing online journal entries, except they think they’re making some grand point with their “articles.”

    Plus, I really would like to see black women move outside the same tired topics… I think I was finally through with them when one woman, in grad school no less, talked about being the “Ride or Die chick” who hid her boyfriend’s drugs in her near-campus apartment so the cops wouldn’t find them if they searched his place. Really???? Didn’t learn a darn thing from Kemba Smith, did ya now?

    Sorry… had to vent… I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who has issues with that online mag.

  32. Nkosazana,

    Yep, I knew quite a few girls (I wasn’t friends with them, obviously) who were sidekicks to White girls. They would always get really defensive (even though no one asked), about their friends too, which said to me they realized they were just accessories but didn’t want to burst the fantasy bubble.

    Bunny,

    LOL, I’m in my 20s and I don’t like it, pretty much for the same reasons you do. It’s just so stereotypical, and I don’t get why they claim to be uplifting Black women when their articles are always some version of “Why do we do [insert trifling stuff]?” I’m like (excuse my language), bitch, speak for yourself!

  33. changingmoods,

    “Clutch Magazine had someone write in saying they had no black female friends (I did a post on that one last month), and the letter writer even said she avoids sitting next to black women on public transportation.”

    I read that post. And the writer was a black female herself.

    “I wonder though—if one of these “guy’s girls” found another “guy’s girl” with similar interests, would they be friends, or is that “I don’t have female friends/I don’t like women” mindset they have too strong to overcome?’

    No, they wouldn’t. I know types like these, and they’ll just apply the same stereotypes (catty, etc) to other women like them. Because, well, they’re women. So, duh. ;)

    There is a difference between a woman who likes sports (like me, and Bunny, it seems), and a woman who just doesn’t like to be a woman (the “I have no female friends” type of woman). The former welcomes another sports-loving female, the latter does not because it means they’re not so special and different after all.

    “I got the vibe that she was embarrassed that she had no black female friends, and that she was afraid to reach out to black women for fear of being rejected. She mentioned being made fun of a lot by the black girls in school, and seems to still harbor a lot of insecurities from that time in her life.”

    So she falls into the latter group: the one that wishes they had female friends.

    I can understand where she is coming from, since I also had issues with black girls in school (well, girls in general, but since blacks pretty much only socialized with each other, most were black). But there is a problem in assuming that you’ll have problems with all black women, so you avoid them. Like Bunny mentioned above, I’ve had lots of problems with men in the past… that doesn’t stop me from being friends with men or dating them.

  34. foosrock,

    “I’ve also noticed that women who don’t like having female friends generally have the worse relationships with men. Any thoughts on this, ladies?”

    I don’t know. Most of the “I have no female friends” women I know aren’t in relationships. They have friendships with men, but they’re not romantically involved.

    Jasmin,

    ‘When it comes to Black women (and perhaps other non-White women), I think the rejection of female friends, especially those of the same race, is partially spurred by an effort to be the “special Black” in a halo of White people.’

    Yes, some do that. I knew a few of those in college.
    The others reject black women for black men.

    I too am not a fan of Clutch (or really any other “black women’s” magazine or e-zine). But a couple of my posts have been linked to from there so maybe Clutch and its readers are not so bad.

  35. So what can we do to change this? I really want to make friends with other girls, but I find it to be very difficult.

  36. Hi Betty. :)

    I guess the question is why do you find it difficult? Your answer to that question will determine how you can go about changing it.

  37. I think its because I have trouble meeting like-minded people in my age group. And I feel like I might have a negative perception of women, but I don’t want to feel this way about other women.

  38. Well, I guess you can start by trying to meet people of your age-group (or finding older or younger women to hang out with). Try to suspend your initial judgment of them, and when you eventually meet women you like, your negative perception should naturally fall away.

  39. I think its because I have trouble meeting like-minded people in my age group.

    Betty, I can relate because I feel most people my age have different interests than I do. I find that most of the friends I have tend to skew older than me. But if I do meet someone my age that I can click with, I’ll welcome that person with open arms.

  40. Betty,

    Having trouble meeting like-minded people is a problem, but it goes for both male and female friends, right?

    And I feel like I might have a negative perception of women, but I don’t want to feel this way about other women.

    I think this might be a problem. What negative perception? Women are individuals (lol), just like you are. There are no two alike, and plus, men and women are not that different at all.

  41. Most of the women I encounter in my age group 20-25 are seriously on some BS. One of my best friends is a jealous, insecure attention whore that is constantly playing the victim. She always think someone is trying to move in on her busted ass man, what do you say to that when no one could give two sh!ts about old boy and I’m just trying to hang with my homegirl and smoke a blunt? Its hard for me to trust females, I’m not the emotional type that holds on to BS and cries and whatnot. I don’t care to hear about your drama, lets smoke this blunt and play air hockey. I don’t care about your man and your mama/family issues. Fack. I roll with the punches and if something irks me, we can address it then and there and move forward. Lets not sit around and have pity parties and wallow in our depressing feelings. It seems like all the chicks I know want to talk about their sorrows and drama. I hate that. I could be friends with an upbeat kind of chick. A carefree NON-CLINGY, honestly drama-free female that can have a conversation without it leading to gossip, talking sh!t about someone they know or a celebrity or their God-forsaken self-esteem issues. Just be. Be cool. Relax, enjoy life. Share a book with your homegirl or lets grab some tea. I think I’m the last of the breed of regular, kick-back females.

  42. Hi maru-chan, you are definitely not the last. I meet women of all types, even in that age range… but of course friends often think they should discuss their life/problems with their friends. After all, what are friends for? But if you’re not comfortable with that, just let them know at the outset. I’m sure some will oblige you.

  43. I have no female friends. It is neither embarrassing to me nor am I proud of it. I don’t think women are catty, I don’t love sports and beer, I don’t have problems with my boyfriend, and I am not ashamed to be a female. I think its unfair to say unless you feel bad that you have no female friends, you are devaluing women and femininity. I just find it easier to make male friends , that does not mean I think less of women or of myself. If I say I have no female friends, I am just stating a fact or maybe even just letting you know so if you think its weird you can just walk away now. Just because I don’t have them currently does not mean I refuse to make them. Some people ARE just different, it does not make me better or worse than anyone and I refuse to feel guilty about it.

  44. Hi Jayleen,

    “I think its unfair to say unless you feel bad that you have no female friends, you are devaluing women and femininity.”

    Did I say that? I really don’t think I did…

    It’s only devaluing women and femininity when you proclaim at every chance you get that you don’t have any female friends and feel proud of it.

    “Some people ARE just different”

    Everyone is different, and everyone is the same. :)

    But I wonder what being”different” has to do with not having female friends. It’s not as if all women are the same or even similar.

    “I refuse to feel guilty about it.”

    You don’t have to feel guilty. That wasn’t the purpose of this article.

  45. I don’t think all women are the same and I do make female friends occasionally but not as often as I make male friends because of my personality. I am definitely less of a girly-girl and it can be off putting to a lot of women. Most people like me but it’s hard for me to become really close friends with females because I am less bubbly or chatty than a majority (not all) of women. So the rare type of female who I would have things in common with are hard to meet. Since currently I just moved, I have no female friends.

    But if my personality were more masculine, what would be wrong with admiring those traits? If a woman says she does admire more masculine traits, I don’t think she thinks that masculinity should be revered. That is her personality, and she likes those traits better because they match her. It is also okay for a guy who is more feminine to admire traits of femininity and have only female friends.

    I don’t think she feels a “sense of shame about her gender”. If anything she probably felt a sense of shame of not being like the majority of those in her gender and came to terms with it.

    P.S. I love your blog! I read it all the time even though I rarely comment.

  46. Jayleen,

    “Most people like me but it’s hard for me to become really close friends with females because I am less bubbly or chatty than a majority (not all) of women.”

    I know there are lots of non-bubbly women around. This blog has plenty, to start. I’m very non-bubbly myself.

    “But if my personality were more masculine, what would be wrong with admiring those traits?”

    Nothing, as long as you’re not thinking that you’re/they are inherently better simply for being masculine. Personally, there are admirable traits in both “masculine” and “feminine” traits.

    “I don’t think she feels a “sense of shame about her gender”.’

    If she thinks the above, then yes she does.

    There are a lot of reasons why a woman would admire masculine traits. Many of them have to do with patriarchy and sexism. Those are the ones I’m looking at in this article.

    “If anything she probably felt a sense of shame of not being like the majority of those in her gender and came to terms with it.”

    Some do. But there are so many women who claim not to have female friends or claim that they are more masculine so they can’t find women like them… why don’t they just all become friends? Then they will have female friends. :)

    “P.S. I love your blog! I read it all the time even though I rarely comment.”

    Thank you. Comment whenever or wherever you feel like: the door is always open.

  47. “…why don’t they just all become friends?”

    My point was that it may be hard to meet other women like them because they are rare. Even if there are many , they are still the minority and hard to find.

    I think this article bothers me because I have been judged for having male friends and people assume I have some attitude towards women or have a strong need for men to like me when I absolutely do not. Why would I think less of women when I am one myself?
    In a way the article is judging the woman who has no female friends unfairly because she is not behaving how you think a woman should.

    To quote your article:

    “Women who fail to meet expectations of what it means to be a true, feminine woman….are ignored or even ostracized by other women.”

    I just think a woman should be able to have all female friends, all male friends, or no friends without getting the treatment in the quote above.

  48. Jayleen,

    “it may be hard to meet other women like them because they are rare. Even if there are many , they are still the minority and hard to find.”

    If all the women who claim to have no female friends are any indication, then no they’re not rare. Not rare at all.

    It’s easy to think you’re the only one in something you’ve been judged for. But it’s not very often the truth. Tomboys and similar women are hardly a serious minority.

    “Why would I think less of women when I am one myself?”

    Maybe you can ask the women do. :)

    “In a way the article is judging the woman who has no female friends unfairly because she is not behaving how you think a woman should.”

    …No.

    I don’t think there is a right way to be a woman. The article is simply describing a social phenomenon, like many of the articles here. The purpose is to make you think a little deeper about the topic.

    In any case you’re failing to see or simply ignoring that I mentioned two types of women who claim to have no female friends. Perhaps your the second type. Or perhaps not.

  49. Women who have no female friends (and who consider themselves “tomboys”, or having “male” interests) tend to think they are rare, for some reason. But in my experience, many women are like this. I don’t want to play with numbers, but a significant percentage of women is like this. I’d say, it’s almost half/half.

    What I’m trying to say is that having a tomboy interests is not rare or “speshul” at all, so I’m always confused how tomboys fail to find female friends.

    Heck, I’d say it’s easier for a tomboy to find a female than a male friend. Other tomboys accept you, but guys might not, because many guys ignore women they aren’t attracted to and they don’t even want to be their friends (just my experience, though).

  50. Alee,

    I didn’t ignore the second type of woman, I just think the article is saying if you have no female friends and you are not yearning for them you must not value your gender. The article does not seem like a social commentary but a psychological analysis of someone based on their circumstances. I don’t know much about tomboys (since I am not one- I have NO interest in sports and appear and act very feminine) but I do know because I am rather straight forward and more subject orientated than people orientated, it is much more easier for me to make male friends than female friends whom more likely (not always) want to discuss people, relationships, etc. I am not saying one topic is better than the other, I just tend to attract more platonic male friends. There are times in my life (including now) that I go without having female friends (within my vicinity).

    Mira,

    Again I can’t really speak on tomboys but I think women with more “male interests” think they are rare because they are. I don’t think they were born thinking they are rare, life experience has taught them that. Even if you know a lot of women with more “male” interests, its only a small percentage compared to other women you know. That is why these interests became categorized into “male” and “female” in the first place. Because the majority of men have similar traits and the majority of women have similar traits.

  51. Jayleen,

    I guess you need to know I don’t believe in male vs female traits per se. Any person can have any interest, and it’s usually possible to find those who share your interests (especially in today’s age of Internet).

    Here’s what you said about yourself: “I am definitely less of a girly-girl and it can be off putting to a lot of women. Most people like me but it’s hard for me to become really close friends with females because I am less bubbly or chatty than
    a majority (not all) of women. So the rare type of female who I would have things in common with are hard to meet. Since currently I just moved, I have no female friends”.

    The way you describe yourself… I know many women who are like this, myself included. I couldn’t make small talk even if that meant I’d lose my job or be ostracized from a social circle. I just don’t know how to do it. People describe me as a complete opposite of a bubbly girl. They describe me as cold and distant (in addition to being weird). I’m not chatty at all. Etc, etc. And I’m hardly the only woman I know who is like this… There are PLENTY of women like this. It’s not rare at all. These might not be traits that are associated with women, but it doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of women like this.

    I think the thing with you might be the fact that you’ve just moved and you’re still meeting people.

  52. I think it’s a stretch to say that women who have no female friends hate themselves as women, or are dysfunctional in some way. I love being a girl, but I commonly find myself without female friends. Most of my female friends fall apart within a matter of years. Women are catty and bitchy, lets make that clear. No one is saying men aren’t, but girls can be cruel. Depending on what type a person you are, you may just be able to I think the biggest thing that makes my female friendships hard is I constantly feel a lack of honesty emanating from my female friend. I’m a big believer in being direct with your feelings, even if it hurts. But many of my female friends have been passive and accommodating nature. I ask them if a dress makes me look fat and instead of a “yes” I get an “oh idk… it looks nice.” The above example is quite benign, but that same idea of “lets just not be direct” permeates through out the entire relationship and I HATE having to constantly fight to get the real truth out the my female friends.

    Guys are obvious. Typically they are easy to read, they are simple and overall they give off a much more genuine vibe. Now I have had guy friends that were catty and bitchy and gossiped like a mother. And I’ve had to discontinue my friendships with them like I have many a female friend. I’ve also had girlfriends who are more like me, simple and direct, and they will be my friends for a long while.

    I will say that I think many girls are stupid and self-limiting, and it’s embarrassing to me as a woman. Women are strong and powerful beings, and this image is NOT rooted in ideas of masculinity. If you think that, you may be guilty of the same offense the author stated about. Conversely, I find most human behavior embarrassing too, so idk. You can’t say the stereotypes about women are not rooted in truth and you shouldn’t blame women with many male friends. “I have no female friends” is a statement of fact from most women, not a commit on the female gender.

  53. “bobthegirl,”

    “I think it’s a stretch to say that women who have no female friends hate themselves as women, or are dysfunctional in some way.”

    And when someone says either of those, let me know. :)

    “Most of my female friends fall apart within a matter of years. Women are catty and bitchy, lets make that clear…I will say that I think many girls are stupid and self-limiting, and it’s embarrassing to me as a woman.”

    “I think the biggest thing that makes my female friendships hard is I constantly feel a lack of honesty emanating from my female friend. I’m a big believer in being direct with your feelings, even if it hurts.”

    Well, I’m one of the most direct people you’ll ever meet. Glad to make your acquaintance.

    Here’s some directness for you:

    Maybe women are catty and bitchy to you because you’re catty and bitchy? I’m sure you’re thinking that many women are stupid is not lost on women. Never underestimate the things you can say without ever opening your mouth.

    “Women are strong and powerful beings”

    Which women would those be? The catty, bitchy, stupid, or self-limiting ones?

    “You can’t say the stereotypes about women are not rooted in truth”

    Because you can say that they are?

    ‘ “I have no female friends” is a statement of fact from most women, not a commit on the female gender.’

    In cases like yours, it clearly is. Thank you for providing a clear illustration of the article for anyone who was in doubt. :)

  54. Let’s be honest: I am a 25 yr. old, straight, white, Wiccan woman who has no female friends. This is NOT because I view other women as being weaker, or secondary to men, or feel shame about my gender. I am female, and enjoy my gender…if I think about it. I know a lot of strong women, both physically and mentally. Due to my religious beliefs, I view men and women as being two halves of the same whole. You cannot have the Goddess without the God :)

    What I do dislike is how so many women seem to be irrational and overly emotional. I dislike drama in my life, so people who have a lot of it, (aka many females) tend to NOT be who I want to spend my free time with. I work as the Buying Manager in a gaming/hobby store. I love board and card games. I collect and paint miniatures. I play D&D, Pathfinder, Lord of the Rings RPG and Eclipse Phase. I am, as I’m sure you can tell, a bit of a nerd. There is a reason that the “gamer-chick” stereotype usually equals “a rare, hardly ever seen beast, possibly extinct”.

    Most women (correct me if I’m wrong!) enjoy buying jewelry or shoes or clothes. They take large amounts of time doing their hair, nails and makeup. They hardly ever want sex, and when they are upset about something it is a complete uphill battle to get them to talk about it. They are also (in my personal experience) VERY afraid of women like myself who are one-of-the guys, and will try to break “their man” aka MY FRIEND away, simply based on the fact that I have the same plumbing as them.

    In other words, I would have female friends, not if they stopped acting female, but if they simply acted more rational.

  55. Anastasia,

    I think you should re-read the paragraph beginning “‘I have no female friends’ is a method” and the paragraph immediately following. They have your name written all over them.

    “This is NOT because I view other women as being weaker, or secondary to men, or feel shame about my gender.”

    You just might, actually. (Re-)read the words you use and how you describe women:

    “What I do dislike is how so many women seem to be irrational and overly emotional. I dislike drama in my life, so people who have a lot of it, (aka many females) tend to NOT be who I want to spend my free time with.

    Most women (correct me if I’m wrong!) enjoy buying jewelry or shoes or clothes. They take large amounts of time doing their hair, nails and makeup. They hardly ever want sex, and when they are upset about something it is a complete uphill battle to get them to talk about it. They are also (in my personal experience) VERY afraid of women like myself who are one-of-the guys…

    In other words, I would have female friends, not if they stopped acting female, but if they simply acted more rational.”

    You view all of these as shortcomings of women that men do not have. You view women as a stereotype, a stereotype which you have no interested in being put under. In other words, you are ashamed of “women” — what you and other people think is “women”.

    By the way, as has been stated above, you are hardly alone if you don’t delight in make-up, and like video games. Nor are you alone in your (self-proclaimed) rationality. Women like this are everywhere. And nearly all of them think they are the rarest birds around… Now that’s a wonder.

  56. I used to have a close female friend, but I got burned. She changed and every time I saw her, she made indirect snotty comments. I finally had enough. I agree with the person who’s a gamer. I have different interests than a lot of women, also, at least the ones I know about where I live. I really don’t like shopping of any kind, I really don’t care about clothes, makeup and jewelry. I don’t drink. It seems like a lot of women around here like to go have drinks together, and that’s usually what they do when they get together, so I’d be the odd one out since I don’t drink. I don’t seem to watch the same things on TV as lot of other women. I tend to watch offbeat things. I hate romance novels like “50 Shades of Grey.” I like murder mysteries instead. Where would you to go to make female friends with the above interests or lack of some interests?

  57. Steph,

    “Where would you to go to make female friends with the above interests or lack of some interests?”

    Umm, here? :)

    I love thrillers and murder mysteries. Romance novels aren’t my thing at all. I do like clothes but I’d rather stay in and read than go out and drink.

  58. Anastasia, as you are a Wiccan I suggest that you read some of the novels of SM Stirling. Specifically his Dies the Fire series. Part of the focus of the novels is the old religion of Western Europe.

  59. I have no female friends. Though I would like to. What always happens is that it’ll be all good for a while, then out of nowhere I get the cold shoulder. This especially seems to happen when it comes to me interacting with groups of women. When this happens, I just mentally delete them for good.

    Meanwhile, I’m able to sustain friendships with guys for years and counting.

    I don’t hold any judgements in relation to gender. It’ is just a constant pattern – so I know I’m doing something wrong. I’m not clingy or anything – I always wait for the other person to talk to me/invite me, I stay out of their business, don’t get emotional, etc. So I don’t know why I seem to repel other women.

    Thank god I’m not a dude…or I’d probably never get laid.

  60. Kelly,

    I’ll be your friend! Hahaha, kidding (ok, not really). But seriously, I think the problem might be in different expectations your female friends have for your friendship, something you might not even take into account.

    It might not be related to your situation at all, but here’s what happens to me. Sometimes, I just… disappear, usually by being preoccupied with some interests or overthinking about something, etc. When I get into this mood, I don’t consider myself a good company. So I just… leave, and I often don’t contact with my friends. But I still consider them my friends, even if we haven’t spoken in months (or even years!) I suppose my friends don’t feel the same way.

    Not saying this has anything to do with your situation but maybe you’re doing something that your female friends take as a sign you’re not interested in the friendship anymore, something that male friends might not interpret in the same way.

    Another possibility is that the cold shoulder you describe is some kind of a (sub)conscious test other women in the group perform to see if you’ll fight for your spot within the group. While your male friends might not expect you to fight for your spot withing their group.

  61. Thanks Alee! I’m looking forward to exploring this place :D

    @Mira

    I haven’t thought of those. For the first one, I admit that sometimes I’m just not “on”, and can come off as kind of dismissive/abrupt. Always polite, but I might sometimes just walk by them quickly to do whatever I needed to do with just a quick “hey”. But I thought everyone did that sometimes. :s

    For the second theory, if I feel consistently snubbed, especially after a tiff or something, I mentally write them off and ignore them. To me, fighting for my place in the group would just be an affront against my own dignity. And why would they even respect anyone who’d still give them the time of day after they had cold-shouldered that person? They’d probably consider it pathetic, lol.

    These group dynamics just confuse me. I wish there was a book on female social group dynamics.

  62. Ridiculous! A woman’s level of competition with other women is probably one of the strongest factors that determines how many “friends” she has. Competitive types need competitors which is why they surround themselves on the grand stage they create via social events/organizations. Women develop a handful of deep relationships with their gender and the other relationships are more socially-based, thus limited in their depth. As for “catty” women, any woman who isn’t interested in hearing negative comments about ANYONE is just a more evolved individual who is OSTRACIZED for it. Women should want to surround themselves with women who help them grow in whatever ways they need to grow. Concentrating on one’s own personal growth rather than what Suzi-q’s personal defects (as defined by the judge/jury) should be every woman’s goal. I have never had a desire to hear negativity about anyone from a MALE or FEMALE, and combined I have a handful of female and male friends. A man or woman has to know and own their personal worth in order to reject immature and destructive behaviors.

  63. Some men love women for friends because they grew up with many sisters. I grew up with dad, granpas, unlcles and great uncles who were my role models and I always prefered men for friends. It’s a matter of preferance.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s