Being feminist BFFs sort of equates to being "good" BFFs. A lot of toxic behavior in female friendships is conditioned by a cultural history of systematically teaching women to believe certain things about themselves. Among these things is that a woman's primary value is her looks, that women are in competition with and thus under constant threat from other women, and that women are catty, manipulative and "b*tchy". Of course, some of these stereotypes can be true, but it's important to note that these are just terrible personality traits, not exclusive to women. Men, indeed, can be overly vain, ruthless in competition with other men, and are also capable of being deeply malicious. None of these characteristics are necessarily gendered.
So when women (two or even more), declare themselves both BFFs and feminists, they approach their friendship in a way that rejects shitty humanhood and embraces, for want of a better phrase, girl power. Feminist BFFs don't fall into the trap of doing what's expected of women. They don't stab each other in the back and behave like mean girls at high school. They behave like dignified young women who respect and care for one another, while consciously knowing that by doing so they're eroding the toxic notions that have been applied to women and female friendships throughout history. Here are some of the things feminist/actually nice BFFs do differently:
1. They Don't Exclude Other Women
There isn't a "you can't sit with us policy" with feminist BFFs. Feminist BFFs are not a "clique" or a "gang", they're women with things in common who enjoy hanging out together. And there's always room for more like-minded women, because feminist BFFs aren't trying to be an exclusive club, they're just trying to be chill.
2. They Don't Needlessly Compete
Feminist BFFs aren't in competition with each other. Even if they want the same things out of life, they don't get jealous when the other one achieves something great, because they know there's enough opportunity for everyone, and that everyone is on their own path.
3. They Support Each Other Professionally
Because feminist BFFs aren't in competition, they support each other professionally. Feminist BFFs know how hard it can be for women in the workplace already, so they bolster one another rather than trying to tear each other down. They adhere to the "all boats rise" philosophy of feminism.
4. They Don't Fight Over Significant Others
The most boring thing two women can do is fight over a romantic prospect. Feminist BFFs know there are plenty of fish in the sea, but only so many valuable BFFs. So they steer clear of the same partners, and don't get pouty when one is approached by a hottie at a bar and they're not. They don't try and steal each other's S.O.s, and stick to a very strict girl code when it comes to the people their friends date.
5. They Don't Judge Each Other's Happiness
If something makes one feminist BFF happy, the other feminist BFFs are happy for her too. Even if that means its a new boyfriend who takes up half her time, thereby cutting girl time in half (it happens). Feminist BFFs will step in when they think a decision is unhealthy or damaging, sure, but they're not about to sit around judging the things that make their friends the happiest.
6. They Don't Slut Shame
Feminist BFFs never, ever slut shame each other. They recognize the completely unfair standards set on women to behave or not behave a certain way in public, and support and defend their friends when people make unwelcome advances at them regardless of "how much they've had to drink" or "how short their skirt is". And if their friend is out there having safe, consensual sex that makes them feel good, that's neither here nor their either.
7. They Don't Body Shame
The only thing feminist BFFs will say about each others' bodies is that they are FABULOUS. If one friend wants to make some kind of lifestyle change, feminist BFFs will be supportive, but only with the addendum that health and self love are fiercely promoted.
8. They Stand Up For Each Other
Feminist BFFs don't throw each other to the wolves. And indeed, when the wolves come knocking at the door, these BFFs are at one another's back, ready to fight. Feminist BFFs don't ditch each other when the going gets tough, and they know that they're stronger when they stick together than apart.
Images: Getty Images; Giphy (4)