A Few Thoughts Regarding Care Asymmetries in Female Friendship


A Few Thoughts Regarding Care Asymmetries in Female Friendship


Care is one of the fundamental principles of friendship. In female friendships or relationships, this is becoming more and more acknowledged and confirmed. Women seem to take their strength to function in the world from a reservoir of care. In this regard, female friendships and sisterhood serve as nurturing spaces for women in their journeys of aspiration, struggle, and self-discovery as well as in their travels of hope that they will make a difference and stand out.

Therefore, throughout feminist thought and activism, this space has been treasured and honoured. While recognising the enormous impact that such places have had on women's lives, including mine, this piece seeks to write about the suffering that exists inside such friendships. It is an emotional reflection on some painful memories that occasionally tend to surface in female friendships, but it makes no promise to offer a comprehensive picture of the politics inside feminist circles or female relationships.

In doing so, I hope to draw attention to a few overarching trends that appear to be present in some female friendships that I have seen. Deciphering "patterns" seems very unfeminist; this strategy favours a focus on contexts, particularities, and anything else that probably won't be "patterned."

However, this essay does not seek to draw broad generalisations or offer recommendations. This article seeks to pursue a specific goal without diminishing the importance of female friendships and companionship, which surely serve as enduring support networks for women against hierarchical structures. It aims to create a forum for discussing those elements that most accounts of female relationships appear unaware of or unconcerned with.

These characteristics belie the feminist commitments and values by perpetuating the same exploitation systems that patriarchal relations are typically criticised for. As a result, despite having a restricted purpose, this exercise bears the hope that it may warn us all as women to be careful not to take part in duplicating the institutions we have long struggled against.

·       Collective struggle versus the 'collective' that is struggling

Most women are in a race against the clock. While some of these challenges are a result of the gender roles people are expected to play, others are a result of having to defend their deviations from those roles. In other words, it might be difficult to even have wants or aspirations, let alone to go after them. The challenges that women confront in society serve as the foundation for sisterhood, both politically and interpersonal

A problem that is frequently felt very personally and emotionally becomes politicised when it is seen as a component of the larger system of gender-based discrimination. But an intriguing trend among certain female friendships is the assertion of "exclusivity." Women's narratives, or simply their descriptions of their lives and decisions, are frequently compared to "speaking liberty" and seen as a kind of disobedience

But what occurs when these stories are designed to be exclusive? — they transform into being about one's brilliant course that they have selected after 'rationally' examining interactions with the people and conditions in the world. These stories frequently fall short of being ones of sisterhood or a united front against oppressive structures. No matter how much they preach about what they accomplished, the ladies in the area don't seem to take them seriously.

These stories nonetheless represent an individual's tenacity and drive, as well as her excellence, which others who are unable to follow in her footsteps would likewise be unable to achieve. Even unintentionally, it almost denies the experiences and decisions of the other woman, who is led to assume that she did not give the matter much thought, that her style of thinking is simplistic or less advanced, and that she is limited in her investigations. As one presents one's self-image as independent and, more significantly, as having been created independently, all these emotions and a lack of self-worth are concurrently caused. They are narratives of exclusion by nature.

Because we have all been taught to repeat feminist values without incorporating them into our interpersonal interactions, none of this would ever be recognised. While thoroughly criticised in academic circles, the concept of independence is cherished in interpersonal interactions and upheld through exploitation relationships, which bears a disconcerting resemblance to the gendered division of labour in a patriarchal system.

I am independent; I am helpful; I am involved in politics, and I have always put a lot of effort into my career. These are all storylines in which everyone and everything else is downplayed, especially the emotional and caring labour required to achieve that independence. Even in female friendships, there is a care-asymmetry issue. While the expectation of care labour is justified on one side by friendship, the non-reciprocity in caring back for the other will frequently be justified because they are working hard to "make a place in the world."

The responsibility to be there for the other is relegated to occasional and piece- mess interventions. There's vacillation in indulging in a sustained emotional and physical vacuity for the other, while nearly fully performing on the same vacuity as this friend. likewise, there's a distinction made between those musketeers whose labour one would depend on (substantially womanish) and others for whom one would insure a ready presence.

Such a modality of conducting womanish gemutlich creates a virtual private and public. Care and labour of the ‘private’ go unrecognised and unacknowledged while the public constitutes the realm of possibilities and of claiming equivalency with men as independent individualities.

While this has been important talked about in the environment of domestic work, it's striking those similar asymmetries are also present in a sphere which is celebrated for being equal in recognising gests, a sphere shielded from exploitation and considered a safe space by utmost women. A friend points out that at the root of similar exploitation is the notion that notoriety’s time is less important than others.

The marginalised have frequently spoken about how this idea that “everybody has the same 24 hours” is a sham. As sexists would point out, a working-class woman doesn't have the same time at hand as an upper-class, upper-estate man. An intriguing reversal takes place in a similar womanish gemutlich wherein time is short and more important for some women than others — women who have the luxury to leave everything and singularly concentrate on their career targets are ever fully acquitted of the duty to be available while another woman is considered available, formerly and always.

Womanish musketeers whose labour goes into the product of an independent woman are frequently those who don't belong to the same space in which such an image is projected. This has two disturbing aspects. One, the food of that image also is dependent on the continued rejection of these womanish musketeers from this sphere of aspiring. Secondly, while it would feel fully okay to call a friend from five long hauls down; to anticipate her labour indeed as she has to go out of her way to do it, doesn't take important to understand the forces and precedencies that a friend coming door would be having and who thus cannot be disturbed.

This not only reinforces the virtual public-private peak but also creates a peak within the feminist movement as some women are made to believe in their natural duty towards furnishing care and others in their justified exploitation of the same.

Paradoxically, thus, similar relations frequently continue to calculate on the care and labour of another as one professes and proclaims her independent life to others. The lack of realisation, disturbingly, also seems to radiate from analogous considerations as in a patriarchal heterosexual relationship. notoriety’s time is more important than the other notoriety’s work is better than the other notoriety has duties in a relationship, while one can fully be unconscious of the need to extend the same in need.

Previous Post Next Post