As your friends on Instagram, every brand you’ve ever shopped at, and the barrage of hearts everywhere would have reminded you — it’s Valentine’s week! A week to fall in love, think about love, celebrate love, and also for some of us #singlefolk, to pine for love. But what if the Big Love of Our Lives is not romance, but friendship?
That’s what Rhaina Cohen argues in an essay in The Atlantic controversially titled “What If Friendship, Not Marriage, Was at the Center of Life?” She speaks to people for whom their friendship is not at the periphery of their relationships, but the fulcrum of their intimacy. And most of these people happen to be women. Female friendships, and the kind of intimacy they offer, open up possibilities of a new kind of intimacy. One which is not the silver or the bronze medal to the gold prize of being a soulmate. She writes of the impossibility of our expectations of a romantic partner who is our #everything and says, “Many of those who place a friendship at the center of their life find that their most significant relationship is incomprehensible to others. But these friendships can be models for how we as a society might expand our conceptions of intimacy and care.”
When I read this article, I nodded along in fierce agreement, and then forwarded the article to all my girlfriends. I don’t know about you, but my #girlgang is instrumental in how I function on a day-to-day basis. They are my go-to for advice, wise cracks, and genuine tips on how to deal with an existential crisis. When I think of unconditional love, more often than not, I am thinking of my girlfriends, and not SRK in “Mohabbatein.” (The violins are great, though.)
Turns out there is a psychological reason behind why female friendships feel like a warm hug. A 2011 study in published Oncology Today showed that having a #sisterhood or a strong social support improved outcomes for patients diagnosed with early breast cancer! Just talk to the women in your life, or look at all the times you have felt invincible after having a heart-to-heart with your girlfriend and you’d know — female friendships can be life affirming.
So, this Valentine’s week, why not celebrate the women in your life? Have you heard of Galentine’s Day? A fictional holiday first featured in the sitcom “Parks and Recreation,” Galentine’s Day is slowly becoming popular in real-life. Celebrated on 13th February and an ode to girlfriends who make our lives better, Galentine’s Day parties (or socially-distanced gatherings) are catching on! As Megan Garber explains in an essay charting the history of this holiday, the premise of Galentine’s Day is simple. It insists “that women are awesome, and that a good way of acknowledging that might be to meet up with one’s fellow women and remind them of that fact.”
In 2021, while partying it up with our girlfriends might be out of the question (Um, pandemic, anyone?), showering them with love, in whichever way you think best, is definitely on the table. I am thinking of Zoom hangouts, maybe sending each other our favourite foods, and some wine. But mostly, just thanking the Gods above for the gift of female dosti.
After all, what is love if not a little gratitude?
Maanvi Editorial Lead
PS: This is our 10th edition! We can’t thank you enough for reading, and chatting with us. And we would love to celebrate this tiny milestone with you! Just hit that "Reply" button.
What We’ve Been Loving aka Your Favourite Reccos
1. Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay: What does it mean to be a feminist? Is there a way anyone can be a...bad feminist? If you like reality TV, rap or pink, does that make you less of a feminist? Is there a rulebook somewhere? Roxane Gay takes all the questions you've had about being a feminist, and answers them in a collection of witty, thoughtful, and sharp essays on pop culture, race, gender, and politics. Reading this feels like listening to a wise aunt give you her life tips!
2. IG accounts we love! Greta Thunberg (@gretathunberg) Whether it's her comment on the farmers’ protest, an emotional speech to the United Nations or her continuing activism, Great Thunberg is one voice we just can't afford to ignore!
3. IG accounts we love! Dr Tanaya (@dr_cuterus) In country where sex is still met with “haww!” watching Dr. Tanaya’s fun and informative reels and posts on what we should know about our bodies is making our day!
From Vitamin Stree This Week:
1. Is Your Uterus Sending You an SOS? What's Endometriosis? Painful periods are no joke. Especially if you get the “I-can’t-move-from-the-floor-I-might-just-die" variety. And sometimes, that pain is actually your uterus sending you an SOS! Say hello to endometriosis, a chronic condition mainly defined by painful periods, and a frustrating lack of know-how. Despite 25 million women in India suffering from this condition! We tell you everything you need to know!
3. Let’s Talk About Everyday Misogyny? "What does she know about this?" "You don't care about politics, you do your own work." How many times have you heard this, and wanted to scream in frustration. Let the scream be, because what you are facing, is a case of everyday misogyny. And we're sorry to tell you, it's everywhere! Even in Rihanna's world.
4. Have You Heard of the Orgasm Gap? ICYMI, “orgasm gap” is the gap in sexual satisfaction between men and women. And it’s real! We tell you everything you need to know.
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