Anonymous asked in Family & RelationshipsSingles & Dating · 4 weeks ago

Why do women refer to their friends as "girlfriends?" When was the last time you heard a guy call his buddies "boyfriends?"?

2 Answers

  • 4 weeks ago

    It's to do with the very different concepts our culture has of male and female sexuality and gender roles. The term "girlfriend" is ambiguous to support these differences.

    Male same-sex friendships are very different from female same-sex friendships. Males are brought up to be "masculine" and there is a cultural horror of males being affectionate or intimate with one another. Females are encouraged to be soft and kind and to be more intimate with one another. In addition society traditionally dealt with male homosexuality by forbidding it, but it dealt with female homosexuality by pretending it didn't exist.

    So if a man called his best friend his "boyfriend" (or "boy-friend") he would have been quickly censured for being less than masculine. But the term "girlfriend" entered English language as a term for platonic same-sex relationships without such censure. Straight women could be intimate and affectionate with each other and this was a sign of their femininity. Lesbian women could call their lovers their "girlfriend" and most people wouldn't even know the difference.

    The ambiguity suited lesbian women who wanted to hide the true nature of their relationships. It also suited parents because they didn't want their daughters to even hear about lesbianism in case it put ideas into their heads.

  • 4 weeks ago

    Its just common culture. You are not asking for advice, please stop wasting our advisors' time and energy. 

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