Gender Communication Summer 2009

A space to critically engage gender and communication topics

Blog Activity 7: Friendship June 1, 2009

Filed under: blog activity — daniellemstern @ 2:10 pm
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Chapter six spends lots of space devoted to gender-specific styles of friendship building and maintainence. Concepts such as male chumships and breadth of topics versus depth of intimacy are juxtaposed next to explanations of female friendships’ reliance on connection and fulfillment and male friendships’ need for activity and side-to-side interaction.

How do these textbook explanations compare to media representations of same-sex friendships, but more importantly, to your own lived experience? Reflect on some of your own close friendships (same-sex please) and compare them to same-sex friendships on one of your favorite TV shows. Share a summary with us, then read others’ stories and comment accordingly like we’ve been doing on the blog so far.

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63 Responses to “Blog Activity 7: Friendship”

  1. emily9988 Says:

    I feel like the most gender stereotypes that we have in our society is with friendships, whether they be same sex or opposite sex. When the scenario of a bunch of girls hanging out comes to mind, most of us think of girls talking. A lot. A bunch of guys hanging out is probably seen as just relaxing at home and watching movies or playing video games, doing “guy stuff.” I feel like yes, sometimes this stereotype is true, but the media has made us see it as the only way. Not everyone is the same and even though we don’t realize it, the media is shaping our opinion.

    The first thing I thought about upon reading this blog activity was the TV show “Friends.” The show is basically about a group of friends living in New York City and the story of their lives together. The main characters consist of 3 girls and 3 boys. A great example that pops into my mind is an episode where Ross tells Rachel about a Star Wars fantasy that he has, and Rachel tells her two best friends. When Ross found out that Rachel told her friends, his was really upset. Rachel told him that she tells her girlfriends everything, and thought that guys did the same thing, calling it “locker room talk.” Ross clarifies that “locker room talk” is more like the guys talking about girls and sexual related things, not revealing other people’s secrets. Rachel then tells Ross that he’s missing out on life by being intimate in conversation with his friends.

    I don’t think this stereotype of girls always opening up to their friends and guys having limited intimate conversation is always true. Friendships vary from person to person. Truthfully I do know people like Rachel and Ross, but I don’t think we should generalize male and female friendship sterotypes to look exactly like that.

    • Jessie Wright Says:

      I completely agree with you. I think to some aspect the stereotypes are true, but not always. When guys are talking in TV shows, they are usually at a basketball court or a sporting event. Some guys I know do talk to their guy friends about issues they are having with their girlfriends. Guys are not ALWAYS non-expressive.

      Also, I LOVE that episode of Friends. It was a really good pick for an example!

    • melaniebahr Says:

      “Friends” is actually the first show that I thought of too and as you will see it is what I refer to in my post as well! I actually do think that every male/female friendship has a little bit of Ross and Rachel to it. Whether they admit/act on it or not some feeling at one level or another do exist.

    • chloea Says:

      Excellent example! and I must say, I, too, absolutely love that show.

      I would definitely agree that those stereotypes of female friendships and male friendships are not always true. If there is something very serious that females know needs to be kept a secret, the most likely they will hold to that. As far as the guys go, I obviously don’t have personal experience, but one on one I think guys can and do have intimate conversations. I was curious about guys and the non-verbal communication differences. While we were talking about contact, he was giving me an example of how he and another friend of our converse saying that they don’t look at each other while they’re talking– sometimes one will lay on the floor and just look at the ceiling. All of this to say, they were having a deep and thoughtful conversation. So yes, that is clearly a stereotype.

    • sam1503 Says:

      I think you make a great point that not all same-sex friendships hold up to the stereotypes that are created about them. I hate to be the one to disagree, but in my personal experience these stereotypes are more true than false. My girl friends and I do have “girltalk” when we get together and we do like to gossip unfortunately. We are emotional and do share intimate details with each other that we wouldn’t share with our guy friends. Most of the male-male friendships that I know do not like to talk to their guy friends about their relationships or emotional problems. Normally, that is what they talk to me about, or another one of their girl friends. Also, most of them have met through sports of other active functions.

      I have had close girl friends who have been too gossipy to keep secrets that I have trusted them with and have felt the need to exchange my personal information with others. Neddless to say that we are not friends anymore, but I still believed that we were close enough to where I could count on her to keep my secrets.

      I am not saying that all same-sex friendships are stereotypical. I think that there are a lot of them that aren’t. But, recently I have noticed that the ones that I encounter do follow the stereotypes.

  2. Jessie Wright Says:

    I think the textbooks explanation of friendships is closely related to the ones portrayed in the media. For instance, my favorite show is Gossip Girl. Two of the male characters, who are best friends, are Nat and Chuck. Nat and Chuck have been filmed a number of times talk over a game of basketball, and hiding their real emotions from each other. Just like in the book, men like side to side interactions, and avoid opening up to other males. The two main female characters, Blair and Serena, are constantly seen sitting on the bed in one of their bedrooms discussing topics of love, gossip, and their emotions. The book talks about women liking face to face interaction, and being able to express themselves.

    Another one of my favorite TV shows is One Tree Hill. Two of the female characters, Brooke and Peyton, have been best friends for years. They kept in touch when Brooke moved to LA. At some point in each episode, they talk about their relationship, and other girls. Since Peyton was recently put to bed rest, because of her pregnancy, Brooke comes over to sit on the couch and just talk with her. My best friend Lauren and I are exactly the same. When we were younger we even called each other by Brooke or Peyton. When I moved to NYC for a short period of time, Lauren and I still talked every day. We kept in contact and visited each other often. Just like Brooke and Peyton, when I returned home, we picked right up were we left off. Lauren is my neighbor, so I am constantly at her house, usually just sitting at the table talking. The example from One Tree Hill and my personal experiences, both relate back to the book’s ideas on women to men friendships.

    • Lauren Says:

      haha me and my roommate watched that show then it got real crazy, but I know what you mean about Peyton and Brooke’s friendship. The book mentioned how girls prefer face-to-face interaction with more talking rather than side-to-side interaction that consists of more activity which I think applies to Peyton and Brooke’s friendship. In high school Brooke and Peyton used to do everything together, and when Brooke left they were still able to keep their friendship because they could still talk and they did not have to rely on doing things together to keep their friendship.

      btw..what happened in the last episode? My friend said she had the baby even though she fainted or something? was that the last episode ever? lol

      • Jessie Wright Says:

        They made it seem like the end of the series…everything was basically perfect. Peyton had the baby and is fine. Brooke got Julian, made up with her mother, and called Sam. Nathan got into the NBA. It seems like it is a big happy sum up of the entire season. I’m happy though. If Peyton would have died I would have been made.

    • sam1503 Says:

      First of all PERFECT example! AND those are probably my two favorite shows of all time! I miss my monday night shows 😦

      Yes it was the last episode of OTH all together. That was the final season unfortunately.

      Most of Blaire and Serena’s friendship is based off of emotion and relationships which coincide with the textbook. I never noticed but you are right, Nat and Chuck are always shown having conversations while playing basketball or drinking, very stereotypical of a male-male friendship.

  3. kirstenpowell Says:

    When I was reading about female-female relationships and how they are centered around talking and communication, I instantly thought of my favorite show, “Desperate Housewives.” The women of the show have close friendship bonds that revolve around talking and spending time with each other. Gamble and Gamble suggest that women choose friends that they can talk freely to and confide in. I think this is definitely the case for these women. When a newcomer moves into the neighborhood and wants to join the group, the majority is often hesitant. This could be due to the fact that the women are afraid of losing the sense of trustworthiness and intimacy that their group has.

    On the other hand I have noticed that the male relationships in the show revolve around activities. The men of the show formed a band where they spent much time and camaraderie. After a fire at a club where the group was playing the men have not rekindled their group. They seem to have distanced themselves and may be in a waning period.

    I feel that the female-female relationship of “Desperate Housewives” holds true in my life but on a smaller scale. My group of friends similar to this one all go to different colleges so we rarely get to have this group talk time. We always try to keep in touch and catch up whether we go out to eat or just meet at each others apartments. I see the idea that women are good at keeping distanced relationships in my life. The text book seems to be right on target with my life as well as the images portrayed in my favorite show. I also see the images hold true in other shows as well.

    • mransone Says:

      Desperate Housewives is another very good representation of face-to-face female interaction. The women always play cards with each other and talk/gossip about whats new in their lives or whats happening in the neighborhood!

  4. Lauren Says:

    When I read the blog asking about same-sex friendships in media the first thing that came to mind was Sex and the City. Sex and the City is a show made up of four female friends whose lives basically consist of gossiping about boys and other problems they have in their life. The textbook mentioned that women tend to develop their friendships mainly through conversation and self-disclosure which is exactly what the women on Sex and the City do. Most of the scenes in the show are the four women at a club or coffee shop discussing their romantic relationships and personal subjects which goes along with what the textbook talked about how women develop relationships based on trust and loyalty which is what these four girls definitely have for each other if you have ever seen the show.

    I also think my friendships with girls relates to a lot of what the text book has said. For example, my friends and I conversations consist of a lot of talk about boys and personal issues going on in our lives. My roommates and I who are all close friends talk mostly about important things in our lives which mostly consist of problems we have with our boyfriends. I don’t think one of us has ever had a problem with our boyfriend’s that neither of us didn’t know about. Haha. The textbook also mentioned that girls value face-to-face interaction which consists of more conversations rather than side-to-side interaction which is more activity based, which I think definitely depicts me because I think that you develop stronger friendships with people through talking about interests and personal topics rather than just doing activities together, but that might just be because I am a girl therefore I am a little biased.

    I do not watch much television, but I used to love watching Sex and the City so that is what I can most relate my close friendships with. Me and my girl friends used to watch that show all the time and laugh because a lot of what they talked about (not exactly what they talked about) related to some of the topics we used to discuss…boys, friends, and just important things going on in our life. Yes, I think Sex and the City was a little over the top with representing how women are, but I also thought the show was a pretty accurate depiction of how girls are in real life. If you look passed all the gossip they did on the show, you could see that they were very close friends that stood up for each other and always gave advice to when they needed it. So I would say my close friendships with girls related pretty closely to the show Sex and the City.

    • kirstenpowell Says:

      I thought of Sex and the CIty as well, there does seem to be a lot of gossip however the important aspect of their friendship revolves for the most part around meeting each other at some form of a restaurant and talking through their own personal problems. This is a great example of female-female relationships.

      • mransone Says:

        I also thought of Sex and the City. Its another one of my favorite shows! The women gossip a lot but its all with face-to-face interaction. Kristen is right they do always meet and catch up at a restaurant! I agree great female-female representation of same sex friendships!

    • sam1503 Says:

      Sex and the City is the show I thought of as well, which you will see why in my post. I do want to point out that an important part of the show is that in the end their friendship is the most important aspect of their lives. Each episode focuses on how each woman is their for another no matter what the situation or what emotional state they are in. I think this is important to remember because, as the textbook says, women are much more perceptive of how their female friends are feeling, and what is really going on if they are trying to hide their feelings. In Sex and the City, Carrie, especially is able to pick up on problems from her friends tones, or behaviors and always knows when to be there for them.

  5. katelyntemple Says:

    My parents were watching the show Two And a Half Men, and I just saw a few minutes of it… One of the men on the show was meeting with a group of guys to talk, he discussed how he has anways been blamed and nagged for anything involving the other guy’s kid. He kept emphasizing that this was NOT a support group. When they showed the group of men they were all sitting around, listening to each other rant, but were surrounded by alcohol. This demonstrates what the book was talking about in regards to men not making friends based on relating to each other, but more so based on their activities. These men were not just sitting around pouring out emotion, they would most likely just call themselves drinking buddies.

    • mattymac Says:

      Your example points out the bar culture that is advocated to men. When men need to mope and express their emotions, it seems that the typical form of action is to go to a bar, get a beer, and then talk about their issues with the bartender who sometimes takes an interest, but does not care most of the time.

      Not only would one say this, in addition to the concept of “drinking buddies,” is still more activity-based than an actual emotional expression, but one could say that it is equating expressing emotion with drinking alcohol. Men cannot open up to other men unless they have a little alcohol to lower their inhibitions.

  6. ginasurrette Says:

    i agree with the text book that men and women achieve friendship differently. young girls share their dolls and young boys will fight eachother with their toys or compete in sports. young girls show their compasion in different ways that boys and this grows with you as you age. i for one enjoyed having guy friends as a young girl more so than girls because girls where to hard to please, at least the ones i hung out with. the guys i played with like to get dirty and didnt care too much about detail. that is why to day i still enjoy being with my guy friends. they appricate the big picture where as a lot of my girl friends are obsesed with having a date or spend too much time with their boyfriend.

    I would say that i personally need both, side to side interaction and face to face .

    the meida shows women friendships as gossipy but also as very supportive of each other and that is exactly how my friends and I are. we love to chat about funny topics going on in our and other peoples lives, but we also support each other emotionally.

    • kmacklin1107 Says:

      I agree with you that I too need both side-to-side and face-to-face interaction. While I like to get together and talk with my girls, I also like to engage in activities.

      I would say in some cases media shows guys as being gossipy as well, its just not portrayed as gossip. Guys talk about people just like girls do, but when they do it they are just sharing information. I think that it is amazing at how much influence the media continuously has over us on how we view particular things.

  7. mransone Says:

    I also agree that the books explanation of friendship is related to our media. The first show that came to mind that shows same sex friendships is Greek. It is one of my favorite shows and its about a big group of friends who are all apart of Greek life. In specific two sorority sisters named Casey and Ashley are best friends. They always go to Dobblers, which is a bar on campus that everyone hangs out at. They go their to talk and hangout with each other. They also get coffee on campus together. They are also roommates. This goes along with the book when it talks about how females need face-to-face interaction. Two best guy friends of the show Rusty and Calvin are in rival fraternities. When they get together they are usually studying or watching tv. This goes along with the book stating males do more activity based interactions.

    When I get together with my girl friends is is very face-to-face interactions. We will grab lunch or go shopping, while we talk and catch up. I don’t think I could live with just side-to-side interaction!

    • vrobbins Says:

      I completely agree with you. I just a conversation with my roommate this evening about one-on-one (or face-to-face) interactions. Because of the type of group my boyfriend and I hang out in, I desire one-on-one time with him just to recognize that we are good and acknowledge that we are a couple since all of our friends are single. The atmosphere is obviously different when we hang out with them as opposed to hanging out with other couples. I know that this is about a cross-sexual relationship, but it just further proves my point of a female desiring the face-to-face interactions.

      Additionally, I have found that I prefer this same face-to-face interaction the older I get. I love to hear about people’s lives, especially my friends. Whenever we both have a free moment, it is so rewarding for me to sit and talk. I could talk for hours! Females are so desirous of face-to-face time and time to be emotionally disclosing and trusting of the other person.

      • sbarmstrong Says:

        I agree as well. When I was younger, I tended to find friends by common interests such as basketball teammates, art buddies and church friends. In each of those areas, my friendships consisted of side-to-side interactions as we participated in activities together. However, as the relationships grew and as I have gotten older, my relationships have shifted to a preference of face-to-face interactions.

        Do you think male-male friendships exist without common interests? Do you think any relationship exists absent common interests?

    • catherineporter07 Says:

      Although I have never seen the show “Greek”, it seems like this show certainly is an accurate depiction of both relationships I have with other girls, and for people’s relationships in general. Even when men and women may be doing the same activity such as watching tv, most times the girls end up conversing with one another about things besides the tv show, or end up talking about other things that are going on during the commercials, whereas men are more prone to running to the fridge to grab another soda and laying out across the couch without much talk besides maybe the score to the game. While I recognize this is stereotypical, it is an accurate depiction of what we see in the Media as well as often in our own lives.

    • sam1503 Says:

      I love that you used Greek Molly! Awesome example!

  8. katelyntemple Says:

    When I think about my relationship with my 3 best friends (who also are female), we are similar to how the book described female friendships in some ways, but also have differences.

    I greatly value being able to confide in my bestfriends and trust them not to repeat what I say or do anything hurtful. As the book said females are likely to terminate friendships when trust is broken. If I no longer was able to trust my best friend, I may not end our relationship, but it definitly would change. Also, unike men, i am not friends with these people just because we share similar activities together. None of us do the same things and all have seperate interests, but are able to relate to eachother and when needed, sympathize. For me, the matters a great deal in determining the extent of a friendship.

    None of my best friends go to the same school as me, and one actually is 8 hours away. When the book discussed women being content with maintaing relationships over a distance I was able to relate to this. Just because distance increased I still am able to share thoughts and experiences with my close friends and listen to theirs. Unlike many men, I would not consider ending a friendship just because we no longer see eachother as often.

    I am not big on watching TV, at all, but one show I do watch is Grey’s Anatomy. The friendship of Christina and Meredith is most similar to how I am with my best friend. There relationship also demonstrates the importance of having someone to talk to as the book said. The two have a lot in common, but they are competitive, even with eachother. Unlike men, they are not best friends just because they practice medicine together. The two are able to relate to one another. They frequently talk about personal topics, such as relationships, health and the future. Despite this being typical for female friendships, they are not overly emotional. In the last episode two men were hugging, and Meredith and Christina said something along the lines of ‘if we were like them we would hug, but were not..” They understand eachother and are compassionate without being the stereotypical female friends. This is how I am. I trust my friends, but am not one to sit on the phone spilling every emotion. As was stressed by the book, trust matters a lot to me, and this is evident in the relationship of Christina and meredith from Grey’s.

  9. katelyntemple Says:

    This is just a funny example I thought of… Anybody remember the movie Clueless? The relationship of Cher and Dionne reminds me more of the friendship of guys. They say they are best friends because “we both know what it is like to They were friends because this is something they shared, not because of trust like most women.

    • jenwaybright Says:

      I definitely agree with your Clueless analogy!! They shared being rich, shopping and things like that but really had no depth to their relationship! Good call Katelyn!

    • mattymac Says:

      Although the characters in Clueless can be regarded has not having very much depth in their relationships, Gamble and Gamble point out though that just because men are more activity-oriented, does not mean there is a lack of depth to the friendship.

      This is something that I realized while reading the text. The authors continuously point out that just because a friendship is different, does not mean it is better. We each have several different friendships, and they each mean something different and unique for us. I would not place them on a level of one being better than the other, just some are more intimate and closer than others.

  10. katelyntemple Says:

    Lauren mentioned something I didn’t think of in regards to my friendships. I also talk to my girl friends mainly about boys or boy problems. I think if my boyfriend knew just how much my friends know about our relationship he wouldn’t be thrilled haha. Unlike most girls, a guy wouldn’t just call his friend only to share what his girlfriend did that day that was slightly annoying.

  11. melaniebahr Says:

    Whether or not this is true for most people, the way that the media depicts male/female friendships is representative of male/female friendships in my life and in my friends. In my own personal life it seems to be that there is an attraction there that eventually gets expressed if not acted on. In my own personal experience it has been the guy expressing his feelings to me. Even if the feelings between us are mutual I usually want to try to remain friends (because I feel thats more important) but the guy wants to have a relationship. In my same-sex friendship I don’t feel that media represents our behavior accurately. The media always puts girlfriends off as being caddy, gossipy, obsessive, sometimes dumb, giddy, and annoying. I have seen this in reality, I think we all have. You know when you are out somewhere and you see the group of girls come in that is talking to loud, laughing hysterically and you just instantly become annoyed? Yeah, we all have (and if you haven’t you’re probably one of them). With my girlfriends and me we have real conversations, we relate to each other, and I guess usually we are just “chill”. Don’t get me wrong, I mean we love to have a good time, but we aren’t like that all the time.

    The show that I immediately thought of was “Friends” I know it has already been commented on, but I have a little bit of a different opinion about it. So here is this group of friends that at one point or another ends up hooking-up or being in a relationship with someone else. They spend so much time together, and do so much together that once the feelings are ignited you can’t stop them from growing. There are cases on the show where people have feelings and hold them in and there are instances where people simply act on their feelings. This is true for real word relationships as well. Choosing to act on ones feelings or hold them in is always a tough choice. I guess it comes down to how strong your feelings are for the other person and if you think you will get a good reaction from them. Normally people don’t put themselves in a situation where they expect to get rejected. They want and hope to receive a positive response from putting them selves out there.

    • jenwaybright Says:

      Good analysis of Friends! The rejection part is definitely very true and I agree completely with the holding feelings in part too.

      • McNally Says:

        Being a guy, I can’t really say i have gotten into friends as much as, well as ALL of the girls blogging have lol, however i do see how the relationship level in FRIENDs is very close to how a lot of people spread their emotions in the real world.

  12. katelyntemple Says:

    Melanie, I totally agree with how you view “Friends”! I agree with you that characters holding in feelings for another, hooking up, or dating, is representative of real world cross-sex friendships.

  13. vrobbins Says:

    I believe the text is right on target with how female-female friendships develop and continue to grow over time. Women do enjoy engaging in conversation, not just about daily activities, but also about bigger issues in life (relationships specifically) and the future.

    I was thinking about a relationship I have with a friend (female) whom I’ve only known for a few months. We met in class and over time have started to do homework together and talk on the phone more frequently. As time has passed, our conversations have gone from being focused on school to being focused on school and our own individual lives apart from school.

    I know that when I first meet someone and we hang out one-on-one for the first time, it can be awkward because you are trying to ask questions to find something in common. It never flows! As women we have the ability to talk about many different thing, but we also have to ability to talk about them deeply, not just as a shallow surface level. Along with that, we are more likely to disclose personal and intimate information that we trust won’t be repeated. When females bond, you know that there has been a lot of time put into that friendship and it’s something that is going to last, regardless of where life takes them.

    I am a huge fan of Friends. I think I even cried when the last episode aired. (Ha!) Anyways, Rachel and Monica were always very close friends. They shared a lot of moments together, good, bad, and sad. I think they closely relate to friendships I have with some of my best friends (females) because even though I don’t make sense sometimes, they understand. Watch this clip….it makes me laugh every time. Especially since I’ve had a moment like this with two of my other friends during Fall finals week. (Ha!) Enjoy! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HqdcM-fbCto

    • Jessie Wright Says:

      Friends seems to be the popular choice!

      I completely agree with you. I can relate on many levels with the three girls on friends. Ha! This is clip is so funny. I had one of these moments when my good group of girl friends when we all separated for college. Even though we did part for a while, we still are the best of friends. This related to in the book how woman are able to make friendships last, instead of terminating, because we can not hang out like most men would do.

    • cahendy Says:

      I cried when the last episode aired as well….haha just kidding. I think a funny diffrence between mens frienships with men and womens friendships with women can be summarized in how they say goodbye to eachother for an extended time. Women tend to get very emotional and cry and sometimes not make sense like int he video. Men on the other hand are even more awkward because sometimes I think they are feeling the same way but have no clue how to show it so there is an awkward hug or hand shake and a see ya later but you can tell both are going to miss eachother a lot. Do you have a best guy friend that is not a boyfriend who it is hard to say goodbye to for an extended time or is it just different with guys?

      • mattymac Says:

        I agree with male same-sex friendships when it comes to saying goodbyes for an extended period of time. I, too, have been a perpetrator and victim of the “awkward man-hug” and other awkward departures with other guys in which you know you are going to miss the other guy, but expressing that emotion is difficult because men typically suppress it.

        Although some may criticize that men should be able to express their emotions full out to one another, many men prefer this way of displaying affection. Gamble and Gamble (2003) mention how men “appear to practice ‘covert intimacy,’ an intimacy that is expressed unobtrusively and silently” (Pollack as cited on p. 154). Men seem to prefer to have their affection for their male friends to go unstated. It is something that is understood, not made known through verbalization. The only display of affection may be through the nonverbal communication of a nod, hand shake, or hug.

        Reference: Gamble, T. K., & Gamble, M. W. (2003). The Gender Communication Connection. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

      • flipmyflops06 Says:

        This is kind of related…I’m a female and often dread hellos and goodbyes because they have the tendency to be awkward. I never know when to hug or wave. I often feel I have to give hugs because most other women do. I never really thought of hellos and goodbyes as having gender stereotypes in them. This seems to relate to how women have the tendency to have smaller personal space needs than men.

      • sbarmstrong Says:

        Great connection flipmyflops. I have never thought about proxemics in relation to how men and women say hello/goodbye. The text also talks about men being homophobic in relationships. Do you think this has something to do with the awkwardness of the “man hug” or saying goodbye?

  14. scnuhoy87 Says:

    When looking at my own same-sex friendships and comparing that with the friendships in the media on my favorite television show, Burn Notice.

    First I will start with my own same-sex friendships which I have many close friends because I am a member of Sigma Pi Fraternity and they would be there for me whenever I need them. I have been able to develop many close friendships throughout the fraternity. The benefits that I have gotten from these friendships is that I know that I can call some of them at anytime and they would be there for me even in the most difficult of situations, but also with these friends I know that many of them gossip and for a girl some of them would even not be honest with me and could cause problems between us.

    This is similar to my favorite show, Burn Notice, which has the main character, Micheal, an ex-spy who has been burned (cut off from the agency) and can only rely on his mother, ex-girlfriend and his same-sex friend, Sam. Just like with how the friendship with my friends are, Sam is there for Micheal in the most dangerous and difficult situations, except there dangers are actually life threatening while ours may just be a fight. The thing that makes it a similar to my same-sex friends is that while Sam is always there for Micheal, he also used to report to the CIA on Micheal’s actions which kind of makes him a traitor to Micheal in a way, even though now in life he is a trusted friend.

    The media has successfully, at least in my opinion, identified what it is for a man to have a same-sex friendship even though this example is extreme having that it deals with spies, but in the overall message it is similar to my same-sex friendships.

    Even though I cannot fully have the understanding of vrobbins blog because I am not a woman, I do believe what she is saying about how the book is correct because it is similarly correct in its description of men to men friendships. I did not really watch friends all that much growing up but I do know that the reaction my mom and sister had to the series finale was similar to vrobbins description on the matter, and I believe that women have a better same-sex friendships than men do, but I do believe that men have a strong friendship as well and in most men to men friendships the other man will back up the counterpart in most circumstances and vise versa.

  15. chloea Says:

    I would definitely agree with how the book presents female to female relationships. We do progress in our relationships through intense conversations and just being real with each other. And when we develop those stabilized friendships, we can go through the good, the bad, and the ugly.

    One Tree Hill is a perfect example and comparison to my life. Peyton and Brook have been best friends forever and gone through it all. They’ve liked/dated the same guy, but still managed to hold onto their friendship. This is much like my relationship with my best friend. She and I have grown up together and been involved in practically all of the same groups and activities. We actually kinda needed space to appreciate each other which kinda happened with Peyton and Brook when they were having a tiff over Lucas. They had space for a while and finally realized how much they need each other. My best friend and I have liked a couple of the same guys simply because we are so similar and have been involved in the same activities and groups. Like Peyton and Brook, we have been capable of honesty and appreciate each other so much more because of what we’ve been through together.

    • emily9988 Says:

      One Tree Hill is another great example of female friendships. I’ve definitely related my friendship with my best friends to the Brooke-Peyton relationship. Great example, Chloe!

  16. jenwaybright Says:

    So maybe it’s because I’m a greek my frienship comparison is to the sisters on the show “Greek” Ashley and Casey. They confide everything in each other and are there for each other all the time. As with my experiences with sisters, it’s not always sunshine, but I know when it comes down to it, they are there for me. With me and my little sister, who is also my best friend, we have had a few bumps in the road, but we’re each others emotional confidants. It helps being sisters too since we understand each other’s problems within the sorority too.

    I agree with how the book presents same-sex frienships with depth and breadth. I have many cross-sex frienships in my life and though I know those guys are there for me whenever, there are just some things that I can only discuss with my girls. I disagree with the lack of competitiveness of women though, I have found some girls exhibiting competition in some of my friendships especially when it comes to relationships. I could be the individuals, but I recognize them trying to “one-up” and just laugh about it.

    • mbest88 Says:

      Greek is definietly a good example of female same sex friendships. It shows how girls confide in one another. Casey and Ashley are always getting together and talking abou their problems. They understand each other really well because they are not only best friends, they are sisters. Their relationship is pretty much a straight out of the book textbook example of female same-sex friendship.

      • lckupke Says:

        Greek also shows how girls can be competitive…like with Casey and Frannie and Casey’s little. They all constantly compete for power, but then again, I don’t know if I would actually consider them to have true friendships. I think girls who always try to one-up each other are not the “norm” for female friendships. I think that most female friendships involve more of an emotional attachment and confiding about your problems.

  17. McNally Says:

    I agree with most of the other people when they say that the textbook definition of friends and the media are correct. I feel the media tries to display friendships in the way that we live now. The media has a big affect on what people think and sometimes thats not always how we truly act which gives the world a different perspective on gender stereotypes.
    In the movies you will see that the guys friendships are a lot different then girls. The movies make it seem as if the girls are so much more personal then guys. that the guys dont really care about the same things girls do. For instance when you see girls talking about a guy they will have an in depth conversation about how great a guy is, how romantic he is, his greatest characterstics and so on with a lot of details. On the other hand the media displays guys to ignore the subject or just talk about how hot the girl was, and how much they fooled around, usually ignoring the subject of how the actual girl is and a lot of times end up changing the whole subject to sports or something of that nature. And this is where i find the media to be wrong. Yea when you are with a big group of guys and they are all talking about different stuff those are the kind of things that get brought up. But from personal experience when you do have a good friend and you are talking to him one on one thats when guys get into details about the girl and talk about the pros and cons and all the same things that the stereotypical girl would talk about. I feel that guys can be just as sincere when it comes to talking to their best friends but the media doesnt like to portray this side of guys.

    • tgbaldwin32 Says:

      I agree with you completely, guys when in big groups will tend to do what the media portrays about how they will talk about a female for about two seconds. Mostly all that will be said is “Yeah man she’s cool.” or something like that then the subject will move on to something else at the time. But when a guys is talking one on one or in a very small group of friends the conversation about the “cool girl” will be more detailed and all the good and bad things about her will get mentioned as well as the risks of pursuing a potential friendship or romantic relationship with her to be. So yes in big groups guys can seem insincere but when they are with very close friends they can be just as sincere as females.

      • mmpike Says:

        I would argue that media is now trying to do a better job of portraying how much guys talk between themselves. Think of best guy friends in TV. One that stands out to me is Boy Meets World, with Corey and Sean. I can’t think of any specific examples, but I remember them having a friendship that was different then how guy friendships are usually portrayed. They talked about Tapagna and Angela ( later), about Sean’s issues with his Dad and Brother, and all sorts of other things that I think a lot girls think guys don’t ever discuss.

        Joey and Chandler?
        Turk and JD?
        Jerry and George? (maybe?)- hey they sit at a restaurant all the time and talk. That has to be different right?

  18. cahendy Says:

    I have many close friendships that did not even start until college but have grown over the last few years. Before I met some of these guys having deeper conversations with guys was something none of my friends or myself did often but sometimes in college there is nothing to do but sit around and talk. Also we all started to realize that we enjoyed having those conversations but it was not the smartest thing to do with females on a regular basis because of the risks that come with it. The benefit from being close with some of these guys are that I can talk to any of them at any time about whatever I need to and they will listen and offer advice.

    This reminds me of the Office which is by far the greatest show ever. I know its a stretch to compare because it is such an out there comedy but you can see how the male-male frienships on that show are ultimately there for each other. For example Michael and Jim are actually friends and there are ways that they are there for each other. Jim loves to mess with Michael, but when Michael is really him Jim ends up pulling through and helping him. For example when Michael liked Holly the new HR girl he wanted to just kiss her before he even knew her but Jim sat him down and in a serious way told him to wait and get to know her first, and continued to help him play it cool. Also on the flip side on the booze cruise Jim is depressed about Pam because he likes her but she is still engaged so he is outside on the boat hanging out with Michael (who is handcuffed to the rail). Michael gives him some advice about not quiting and despite the fact that he is an idiot Michael made sense and it helped Jim. They are not best friends and Jim tries to ignore Michael out of the office but in times of need they are there for each other.

    Luckily I like all of my friends and do not avoid hanging out with them, but they are in the same way always there for me when I need it no matter what is going on or how stupid I am acting.

    • mbest88 Says:

      It’s interesting how you talk about being super open with guy friends, and how this happened more from just sitting around in college. When I think of guys just sitting around I don’t normally think of them having deep conversation. It is nice to know that guys think as deep as girls do. Sometimes I think that girls think way way more into things than guys do.

  19. flipmyflops06 Says:

    I’m going to be unoriginal and look at another episode of the TV show “Friends”. In this particular episode, Ross and Rachel had first kissed. Rachel goes off with the girls and starts talking about the kiss. The girls stop everything and sit together. Monica and Febe ask a lot of in depth questions about what he did with his hands and if it was romantic. When the kiss is discussed between the men, Joey simply asked, “tongue?” and Ross replied with, “yep”, and they both went back to what they were doing before the conversation was over.

    I think this episode portrays read life same-sex friendships as well. As I girl, I agree that women tend to go more in depth in their conversations than men do. I think that in my relationships with my female friends that I feel more comfortable in talking about more personal things. I also feel like I can talk more with female friends because they seem to display more interest than men might. This is kind of shown in this of episode of “Friends” because between the men the conversation is quick and to the point. For the women, they stop what they are doing and sit around each other to go into detail about the kiss.

    Also, it’s interesting that the men just described the physical aspects of the kiss and the women talked more about the mood, atmosphere, and things surrounding the kiss. The book pointed out the tendency of males to connect sex to primarily physical involvement and women to connect it to emotional connection. I just thought this was somewhat connected because though it is not sex, it is a sexual act in this instance.

    • emily9988 Says:

      Hahaha I was choosing to either write about this episode of Friends or the locker room talk episode. I love how this shows the different conversation styles between a group of men and a group of women.

      • mmpike Says:

        Haha I just posted on the same episode and didn’t even realize you had. Dang it. 😦 oh well. I guess it just proves how much it says about gender friendships

  20. tgbaldwin32 Says:

    I believe the media does a good job portraying same-sex friendships. I am not a big TV person but one show I do watch from time to time is the show “Scrubs”. The show I think does a good job portraying same sex friendships be it male-male like Turk and JD or female-female like Carla and Elliot. Turk and JD tend to play basketball and pull pranks on others, showing male chumships and breadth of topics, while Carla and Elliot have a deep connection and fulfillment through one on one communication.

    I believe the book is also correct in real life situations. I grew up with two of my three roommates and our friendship is pretty much baled on what we do together. We are all about the same age so we all played pee-wee sports together and all through high school and now we are all playing for the same athletic team in college. Without this comradeship that comes with teamwork, I believe our friendships would not be as strong as they are today.

    • melissam4 Says:

      I agree with what you say about comradeship. I work with all my close friends so we have lots of time to spend together to keep our friendship going. Our main connection is talking so we’re able to talk at work and outside of work, as well as go out and fun together. If nothing else, we talk a lot about work, but because we’ve had a lot of time to get to know each other, we’re able to talk about all sorts of stuff too. We’re typical girls, talk talk talk.

  21. mmpike Says:

    I hate to beat a dead horse, but the only TV show I watch is friends. Trying to come up with something else to talk about was basically impossible for me. So here I am again with another Friends reference.

    In season three or four, their is an episode that really portrays the difference between guys and girls. Its the scene right after Rachel and Ross kiss. The camera shows Rachel telling Monica and Phoebe,in which she gives a long explaination of what happened. Then Monica and Phoebe say hold on, they get food and wine ( I think) and proceed to ask Rachel for every detail. From their, the camera goes across the hall to the guys. Ross announces ( over a pizza) that him and Rachel Kissed. Joey repsonds with a “tongue?, Nice” and then they continue eating. That was it. No details. Thats all.

    I think this portrays the conversation aspect of the two genders completely. Rachel is telling her girlfriends everything, while Ross just gives the facts, no elaboration. It also shows how girls analyze everything and guys basically don’t really look into things.

    In general the show also shows Chandler and Joey’s most intimate interactions taking place over a game of fooseball, or watching Baywatch together. When they have meaningful conversation it is while they are doing things.

    In my own life I have friendships that work in accordance to this type and against it. I have two really close girlfriends who most of our time together is made up of talking. We do things together, but our closeness is determined by our conversation. I also have two really close girlfriends who follow a more male idea of friendship. Our best conversations are when we are doing something together, either going thrifting, or cooking, riding bikes, or running. When we experience things together is when we are closest.

  22. melissam4 Says:

    The text says it takes about three years to develop really close friends. I can connect with this statistic in that it usually takes me at least over a year to really bond with someone. We go through all of the stages of developing a friendship and for those interested in keeping up the friendship, we bond well and stay friends for quite a while.

    I think of Sex and the City when i think about me and my gal pals. Theres always been three to four us, depending on who comes and goes as far as moving away and even then we’re still friends. Right now its four of us. We go out to eat at least once a week if not more simply to talk about our lives and gossip about everything else. If something exciting happens to one of us or if we find out some juicy info we just find it totally necessary to tell each other. We keep secrets and what not among each other and its great to have a circular outlet. Like the ladies of Sex and the City, we go out to eat, we have nights out, we shop together, and we’re basically always there for each other. We definently bond through talking and I would say that is the strongest part of our relationship. If no one wants to spend any money, we’re completly content to sit around a table and talk. A Lot.

  23. catherineporter07 Says:

    I hate to be redundant, but the two shows that popped into my head when thinking about same-sex relationships among women were “friends” and “desperate housewives”. Although their are peices of each of these shows I could easily relate to certain instances that have occured in my close friendships, they still don’t seem to really depict it accurately. If anything – maybe the movie “Sisterhood of the traveling pants” would depict my close friendships- but because we are focusing on tv shows- I’ll try to pull things out of “friends” and “desperate housewives”.

    From friends, the closeness of the girls is a product of the immense amount of time the characters spend with one another. They understand eachother, know when to not say certain things and when to butt in. Likewise, my roommates and I live together, often eat together, “play together”, talk, and laugh together. Because of this closeness in proximity, the depth and breadth of our conversation is rich as well. We too understand eachothers weaknesses, flaws, quirks, and usually how and what to say to avoid a major conflict.

    From Desperate Housewives, these women often get together just to talk. While much of their time is spent gossiping, the things in their life that perhaps they may not want to talk about end up coming out. This show reminds me more of my group of friends from home. Countless times do we end up planning to end up in one of our basements with either a deck of cards or tons of junkfood and movie playing in the backround that we never actually watch – an excuse for conversation about what’s going on in life.

    This particular bond between same-sex girlfriends is changed quite a bit when male’s are added into the mix. The intimacy is lost, and the dynamics change- just as they do in my life they do also in these shows.

  24. sbarmstrong Says:

    I feel as though the text is fairly accurate when it comes to describing female-female relationships. I value having face-to-face interactions with my friends in hopes of knowing more about my them resulting in a greater bond.

    I chose the relationship of Rory and Lane in “Gilmore Girls” to compare to my friendship. My best friend Sarah and I have known each other since 3rd grade. Like Rory and Lane, we grew up together and enjoy spending time which each other. We do our fair share in talking about guys, but we also talk on and on about anything and everything. Also like Rory and Lane, I went off to college while Sarah pursued a job at home. Though we go weeks without seeing each other, we can still pick up right where we left off when I come home. We are not overly emotional or gossipy as some meda portrays, but down to earth girls who have a strong bond and who enjoy each other’s company.

  25. kmacklin1107 Says:

    When I think of same-sex friendships that involve females, I think of “Sex and the City”. This show is fantastic at demonstrating how a same-sex relationship of women works out. The women are constantly getting together to just talk about what is going on in their lives, and they are constantly disclosing personal information about their lives to the other women. Also it can be seen that no matter what is happening the other women know that no matter what is occuring, and no matter what time of the night it is if one of the girls needs them they will be there.

    My best friend and I go to each other for everything. Even though she goes to a college that is six hours away from me, we both know that no matter what the other one will be there if need be. We have both called each other in the middle of the night just because we needed someone to talk to. Every time both of us our in town we make sure to get together for the face-to-face interaction that the book talks about. My best friend really is my rock, and no matter what happens, we will always be there for each other.

  26. sam1503 Says:

    Like a few others, I also thought of Sex and the City right away. I think it is a perfect example of how female-female friendships are represented, other than the extreme emphasis on their sex lives. They are always getting together over lunch, or talking while shopping (especially shoe shopping) and discussing the most intimate parts of their relationships or interactions with others. They do tend to gossip, especially Samantha, but they also tell each other their secrets. I think it is important to point out however, that these secrets are not kept a lot of the time. One friend normally tells the others, or their boyfriend. I also think its important to point out that Sex and the City emphasises the different stages of life and why friendships are important through every stage. Also, their friendships don’t change throughout these different stages.

    Like I have commented above, I do see the stereotypes mentioned in the textbook apper in my friendships. My girl friends and I talk about intimate details and share personal things that are normally expressed through mountains of emotion. Our friendships are based on communication and frequent talks. Like the girls in Sex and the City, my friends and I are always going out to eat as a social gathering. We use these times to catch up and talk about things going on in our lives. Have you ever noticed that we tend to pick very public places to talk about very personal things? Ironic. Also like the girls in Sex and the City, my friends and I choose to go shopping whiloe furthering our conversations. We are also able to read each other’s emotions like Carey can do, and like the Gambles suggested.

  27. mbest88 Says:

    Personally I think that the textbook desciptions are, in general, pretty close to the way media shows same-sex friendships. I watch grey’s anatomy religiously. I’ve missed one episode and it was becuase I was out of the country. Anyways, I think grey’s anatomy has a whole bunch of great examples when it comes to same-sex friendships. The one I think is the most interesting is the friendship of Christina and Meredith. I relate a lot to Christina. Christina is definietly not touchy feely. SHe rarely shows any emotions unless she hits a breaking point. The stereotypical female friendship is normally all about talking and going out and having girl time. Don’t get me wrong, I love girl time and I love talking, but I’m really not one for sharing my feelings. Christina and I have the same exact personalilty. Meredith is a lot more open and always wants to talk about her feelings. I would call her a lot less “cold” than Christina. My friends tend to be a whole lot more open about their feelings and a whole lot more touchy feely. I think this is all a good example of how not all female same-sex relationships are the way that the textbook describes. Having friends that are a lot more open than me has caused me to become a little less cold and more open but I don’t think I will ever completely change.

  28. lckupke Says:

    When looking at the same-sex friendships of Gossip Girl and Desperate Housewives, I think the textbook’s description of friendship is more accurate. In my life and most other female’s lives, we support and encourage each other regularly. Our friendships are built on trust and maintained by our loyalty and companionship. When I think of the shows Gossip Girl and Desperate Housewives though, I think of females competing and stabbing each other in the back. In Desperate, the women are constantly trying to outdo each other and they also keep countless secrets from their female friends. The show Gossip Girl has same-sex female friendships that are competitive and have a dominance hierarchy. There are popular girls at the top and submissive girls at the bottom. No matter where they stand in the social order, they all gossip, lie, betray their girl friends, and stab each other in the back. Real life same-sex female friendships involve more loyalty and less competition for dominance; mine do at least. I think the text book gave an accurate depiction of female same-sex friendships. Ones that are deepseeded and secure are expected to last because there is a high degree of trust involved. That trust can always be broken, but I think it is less likely the longer two women have been friends. My best friends and I have been friends since middle and high school. We don’t keep crazy secrets or betray each others’ trust like in Desperate and Gossip Girl. We know everything about each other and are extremely loyal, which is why I believe our friendships are so secure.


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