Monday, December 03, 2007

On sisterhood

I was saddened to read about one woman's inability to trust other women in this article in the NY Times Style magazine. The author was cruelly betrayed by her sorority sisters 20 years ago and to this day she feels the outcast among groups of women, be they other mothers or female colleagues.

In general I haven't shared her experience. I've found support from other mothers (as well as childless women) at the office and I am lucky to be a part of a playgroup full of moms I can call on for anything. I've also found that, for the most part, the women I've connected with through blogging have been welcoming and warm.

Is my perspective so different because I never considered pledging a sorority? Because I was one of the original two members of my playgroup? I think difficulty arises when women join a social group that already has an established culture. Looking back, there are sisterhoods I considered joining but ultimately walked away from. A book club at my synagogue where I was the youngest by 10 years. A Hadassah meeting of young women (this was years ago) where I was the only one who didn't grow up rich on Chicago's North Shore.

It's a shame female friendships are so charged. We can share an intimacy that men wouldn't dream of, but too many of us live in fear that we'll be betrayed by our secrets.