As a certified feminist, the notion that men and women can’t be best fiends is absurd. In a society where division between the genders creates problems such as sexism, objectification and even violence, I cannot stress the importance of uniting men and women in all possible endeavors enough.
What we need more than anything are strong bonds between genders to break down the barriers that have divided us for so long.
While thinking of potential counter arguments to this point, the only real “problem” I can come up with would be the inherent sexual tension between friends of opposite genders but, really? Are we seriously going to belittle ourselves as sex-driven animals, unable to maintain healthy relationships devoid of tension? I certainly hope that we aren’t because that very notion is what fuels issues such as rape and sexual harassment.
If we tell ourselves that we cannot be close or best friends with people of the opposite gender because of sexual tension, that just turns us all into sex objects. And by being turned into a sex object, we are going to exploit and be exploited accordingly. Needless to say, by exploiting people for sex and reiterating the concept that you need to have it in order to “be a man” or not be “prude”, we are creating a society where young people feel this overwhelming pressure to have sex and by any means necessary.
That’s why we see problems like rape on such a large scale, especially with college-aged kids. We all grow up divided because of sex, and at a certain age, we are expected to be having it. Pair that with peer pressure and consuming alcohol at parties, and you get rape and ruined lives.
So why can we not all be friends? Why can we not throw away this ridiculous sex-craved nonsense that is creating division and violence? Why can we not live in a world where becoming close with someone of a different gender without picturing them naked is rare?
I truly believe that these relationships are vital to changing the world. And it doesn’t stop there. Whether it be uniting people of different genders, nationalities, sexual orientations or political views, what we need to make change is unity and conversations and relationships: platonic, caring, HEALTHY relationships.
Division doesn’t work. Flip through a history book and you can see over and over and over again, the core of most discourse is division and close-mindedness.
It might sound cheesy and cliche, but I think that most of the best advice is.
Why can’t we be friends?