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feminism and testicles: why can’t we be friends?

I was leaving a lecture last semester when someone in my class struck up a conversation with me.

‘So where’s all the girls you normally hang around?’ he asked.

I was taken aback by the casualness of the comment and how the speaker seemed to insinuate something else.

‘You mean my friends?’ I said, emphasising the last word in the sentence.

‘Yeah, those girls you’re always with.’

‘Those girls,’ I wanted to say, ‘have names you know.’ But I didn’t. Instead I steered the conversation in another direction and tried to push the person’s statements to the back of my mind.

Looking back, it’s more than likely my acquaintance didn’t mean anything by what he said. And he had a point to be made: I do have a lot of friends that are female.

Maybe this is because I’m an incessant talker and girls like to talk too. (How strange that people should open their mouths and articulate their thoughts.)

Another reason why I get on well with women is that I’ve been lucky enough to have been surrounded by them in the workforce. At the law firm where I worked last year there was only one other guy—and he was a senior solicitor. At the swim school where I worked on weekends I was the only male swim teacher. I’ve only ever had female bosses and I owe them immensely for shaping me into the person I am today.

Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my ladybros. They enquire about my feelings, offer insightful opinions on things and generally don’t brag about hunting small, fluffy animals. Which is awesome.

But having a large portion of female friends when you’re a guy is generally seen as a bit strange. It’s generally assumed that a) you’re being friendly in order to bonk them like crazy or b) you’re being friendly so you can bonk their friends like crazy.

I’m not okay with this perception. It shouldn’t be odd to develop enduring relationships with women that have nothing to do with sex just because you’re a guy. I would say that the majority of the most intelligent and beneficial conversations I’ve had have been with my female friends. I couldn’t imagine a life where these conversations were sparse—or worse, not existent.

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