In today’s culture, the bonds of female friendship are taken as a given, but only a few centuries ago the idea of female friendship was completely unacknowledged, even pooh-poohed. Only men, the reasoning went, had the necessary qualities to develop and sustain such meaningful relationships. Surveying history, literature, philosophy, religion, and pop culture in her book The Social Sex: A History of Female Friendship, Stanford University historian Marilyn Yalom illuminates the story of women as friends throughout the ages: in medieval convents, in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century literary salons, in nineteenth-century romantic relations, among early twentieth-century working girls, and on today’s Internet. The Social Sex demonstrates how women ultimately co-opted the public face of friendship.
Generously supported by Daimler-Fonds