The New York Times Science section featured an article today called “The Spirit of Sisterhood is in the Air and on the Air” that shares a lot of the research people have done on female bonds among animals. For baboons, there is a biochemical component: having lady friends relieves stress.
What I don’t understand, though, is how the so-called “powerful defense system” of friendship found in the HBO show “Girls” is supposed to be the human evidence for this, as the article argues. In this past Sunday night’s episode, the girlfriends go to a women’s health clinic because one of them is scheduled for an abortion and another an STD test because, as the Science columnist described it, “her atonal lover explores his sex fantasies on her awkwardly untitillated body” and is cavalier about condom use. In what way is this a stress-relieving scenario?
Call me crazy, but I’m not convinced female friendship is supposed to be about supporting each other in poor, nihilistic choices. Elephants have been known to rescue each other’s children. I think we, as humans, can do better by our fellow women.