It’s Galentine’s Day, the day when I make waffles for dinner and eat them with Strong Female Drinks (not girly drinks) while watching the appropriate episodes of Parks and Recreation. It’s a day that Amy Poehler gave us to celebrate female friendship and sisterhood.
I’ve been thinking about female friendship and strong women of late. The world needs strong women. It needs strong people to begin with, but we really need strong women. We need women who aren’t afraid to be themselves.
“Female friendship has been the bedrock of women’s lives for as long as there have been women.”
-Rebecca Traister, New York Times, February 27, 2016
It’s also really important to encourage women to be friends with one another rather than competing with one another. One of the things that I love about Leslie Knope on Parks and Recreation is that she builds relationships with the strong women in her life. She seeks out female friends and encourages each of those women to become the best version of herself. She can be a bit overzealous at times, but she means well. Leslie wants to see her friends succeed; it’s one of her greatest strengths.
As women, we need to do this for one another. We need to build one another up and encourage them. Life isn’t just about romance; friendship is at least as important as romance. Friendship is there to nourish and sustain us. It reminds us that we are not alone, that each of our lives has value. One of the beauties of Ann and Leslie’s friendship on Parks and Rec is how it endures regardless of relationship status or job situation or emotional state. They love each other, and they are there for one another. They’re not afraid to call each other on their crap or to question decisions that they don’t understand. But they’re always there for one another. Yes, Leslie can be overbearing. Yes, Ann has some flaw somewhere in that
“There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.”
-Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey
Galentine’s Day isn’t really about waffles or Strong Female Drinks. It’s about friendship with women. It’s about building up your fellow women, encouraging them to be their best selves, and being there for one another. We need that. We need strong women, and we need strong friendships between women. So make some waffles, mix up a Suffragette Soda, and enjoy some female bonding…because females are strong as hell.