What’s women empowerment without my girl friends?

I remember when I started understanding that my girls don’t have to agree with me to be friends with me. It shook me to the core.
On a cool Saturday evening we sat and spoke for hours like we usually do, about boys, Beyoncé, food, more boys, social issues and how we would like the see the world. Then back to our ideologies of the world. As we spoke about roles in society (what a woman can and can not do), I was always vocal about my views in life. My parents taught me to speak and listen. The speaking stood out more and allowed me to be vocal when others lacked the strength but also robbed others of their chance to speak.

As I said my piece on women being supportive and the backbone of the community, my girl rebutted. She stated “Women are only supportive because that’s all they are pushed to do. Why must I constantly save the day, support and be the back bone? Women have no choice and have to assume that position more times than none. Black Women are tired. I don’t want to support. I want to stand.”

She spoke with the same focus and intensity as I did. Sharp and point by point. Every part of my insecurity felt challenged, my brain interrogated her response but my heart felt the heat of her experience.

The first thing I learnt about women empowerment isn’t unity. It was experience- different experiences that made us whole. We are a complete full circle of life. And we can not speak of one without the other. I won’t lie, it took a while for me to agree with her. Our experiences were very different. But when I stopped digging at her opposing points I began to see the connections in our pain.

I didn’t need her validation in the same way, she didn’t need mine. We both needed awareness and acknowledgment of each other’s journey.
We are still friends till this day. Closer than ever if you will. She makes me see life for what it is even when I am concerned about what only happens to me. Her voice is echo of authenticity because “girls need to stop being fake. Life isn’t an Instagram post.”

Friendship may not always look like 2 pieces of a puzzle that don’t fit. Perhaps our metric of perfection is off. Yet what I believe is that a friendship regardless of its surface if rooted in love, respect and honest communication can bloom. Women empowerment isn’t likes, shares or follows. It can be. But it starts as a flame within our circles and blows into a raging forest of #WomensMarch #MeToo #EnoughIsEnough This platform is simply a spark-a candle, in that direction. May you share the fire within you.

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