I was pulled over on the side of the highway the other day, talking to my best friend on the phone. I was ashamed to admit to her that I had a flat tire and absolutely no idea how to fix it. What a horrible feminist I am. I’m thirty-six years old and I had to call my dad to help me change my tire. Of course my best friend is representing the fairer sex because if she hadn’t have been out of town, she would have helped me out. She has changed a flat tire before!
I became a feminist when I was thirty. I didn’t really understand what that word meant to me until I read my first Marianne Williamson book. That woman, my hero, had opened me up to a brand new perspective on life. She taught me how to love myself. This was a brand new concept for me, a concept I am still and always exploring.
The more I had fallen in love with myself, the more love I had to offer to the rest of the world. I became a human generator of love, creating it within myself and beaming it out into the world. For a woman to love herself, is an act of feminism. Because women exist in a world that exploits them, compares them, rapes them, and devalues them. Women are seen as less than, even by other women. We are told to paint our faces, have a thigh gap, walk on stilts, and be something pretty to look at, but not slutty because that would bring shame.
I believe that the lack of female friendship in today’s society is a huge problem. Most of the women I know usually only socialize with their boyfriend’s or husband’s wives. The squad we ran with in high-school, disbursed into new cliques made up of the wives of the men that hang out with their husbands. I’m very proud to say that I have my own female friends. But we only get together a few times a year. Some of them only leave their men behind for our annual Girls Weekend, where my bestie and I have a very strict ‘No Penis’ policy. And we reinforce it by running around the lake house completely naked. It looks like a damn pagan holiday up there with all of us wild women running around naked, wine glass in one hand and a joint in the other.
Girls Weekend is the ultimate tribute to our Devine feminine energy. We get away from the world and surround ourselves with the beauty of Northern Michigan. We light a big campfire. We get sloppy drunk. We dance naked by the lake. We share our most intimate stories of past loves, life struggles and childhood traumas. We merge our lives for a short time and bathe in the freedom of being our true selves. We take respite from being the sum of other people’s expectations and drink away the burdens we carry all the other days. We are the ‘Mom Squad,’ a name generously given to us by my fourteen year old daughter.
Girls Weekend is a tradition I hope my daughters will carry on when they are older. Beyond Girls Weekend, I am blessed to belong to a tribe of women who gather every month to celebrate the full moon. We are a sisterhood of healers. We meditate. We burn white sage and palo santo. We chant ‘Om’ and discuss the astrology of the moon. Rarely do we even mention our significant others. We are strong women who carry our own identity.
These female friendships are responsible for not only holding my head above the water, when life is pulling me under; but for pulling me out of the current that I had been treading against my entire life.
My best friend is my life line. She is my family. Our lives are familiar, as we have traveled through many of it’s hurdles together. She knows my life as a single mom, because she lives the same way. Our personalities contrast completely, but we admire and respect each other’s differences. We learn from each other. We share with each other. We talk about everything from life philosophy to raising our kids. She is the person I call when I need someone to know me.
This is something that the working woman’s generation has missed out on. Even when women were mostly domesticated, they had each other to lean on and converse with. It was common for women to gather at each other’s houses during the day to smoke cigarettes, play bridge, and watch each other’s children. They compared recipes and housekeeping tips. I’m sure they talked about things we never want to imagine our grandmother’s discussing. That feminine friendship probably saved a lot of women from the loneliness of being a housewife.
When women moved into the workforce, they lost touch with that sisterhood. They replaced friendship with water cooler gossip and weekend getaways with their husband’s poker buddies. I will admit that I had lost touch with most of my girlfriends when I was married. And that, I can promise you, will never happen again.
I hope one day, it will be uncommon for a woman to travel this world without her very own wild woman tribe. Mine is so very important to me.