I've written a lot about the subject of support, particularly when it comes to women supporting other women. I am pretty passionate about it. I've always felt it was important, even when it became clear that friendships with women did not always come easily to me. I wanted them to, though. I mean I read Anne of Green Gables and desperately wanted a bosom buddy (haha, that word just sounds weird now, although I'm sure it didn't when the book was published.) I guess a "kindred spirit" would sound much better! Both are used and I didn't care what it sounded like- I wanted the friend I felt comfortable with, the friend I could be myself with. Yikes, I know I am 28 and basically still looking, but whatever. I have a great life and I am not complaining.
But basically, all the dumb drama I've dealt with, especially from girls, made me realize why I will never deal it back. It doesn't even matter if I don't like the girl. I will not feed into the competitiveness that perpetuates distance between women. The jealousy and bitterness that only thrives because of the distance. We don't know each other, but still we judge each others lives- assuming so much, without ever asking or listening. I remember receiving anonymous AIM (remember that?!) messages from people, later finding out they were girls, that told me "I should just kill myself. It would make the world a better place." No joke. I was very naive in high school and those words really stuck with me. I only hope that if I have a girl one day that she will not have to deal with life in the same way I have.
If I do have a little girl one day, I want to encourage her from the beginning. I want to show her the value of being a woman. I was asked today "How long are you going to breastfeed?" And when I said "I'm not sure but I don't plan on stopping soon", I could hear the disapproval. I know it sounds like it's not a big deal, but all I could think was that it was a missed connection. It missed the potential bond that could come from one woman encouraging another woman. The "oh" began to float and then sank, dropping to the bottom of the ocean, the depths of the sea.
For my family, I believe that gentle, natural and attachment parenting are mainly what we follow and I hope that it will raise young men that respect themselves and others and if we have someday have a girl? I hope that I can be her kindred spirit, and that she will find other girls to be that for her, as well.
What about everyone else? Have you mostly felt encouraged by other women? Do you have strong female friendships? I read books like The Red Tent and I truly feel like so many women are missing that sort of story-telling- where our lives are passed down through our woman to woman connection.