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The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

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Column | Caitlin Clark adapts to life in the WNBA
Column | Caitlin Clark adapts to life in the WNBA
By James Carter, Staff Writer • 1:28 am
Opinion | NHL needs to bring specialty jerseys back
By Jameson Keebler, Senior Staff Columnist • June 19, 2024
Opinion | Hold your elected officials morally responsible
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • June 18, 2024

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Column | Caitlin Clark adapts to life in the WNBA
Column | Caitlin Clark adapts to life in the WNBA
By James Carter, Staff Writer • 1:28 am
Opinion | NHL needs to bring specialty jerseys back
By Jameson Keebler, Senior Staff Columnist • June 19, 2024
Opinion | Hold your elected officials morally responsible
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • June 18, 2024

Opinion | Girl best friends are a green flag

Opinion+%7C+Girl+best+friends+are+a+green+flag
Izzy Poth | Staff Illustrator

Even after making significant strides in eliminating gender norms and creating a more inclusive society, many people cling to heteronormative notions about friendships. In trendy online discourse about what constitutes a “red flag” in a man, many women note that their biggest deal breaker is a man who has a female best friend. 

In many straight relationships, it is common to establish a rule that neither partner should have close friends of the opposite sex in order to remain respectful of the relationship. While insecurities and jealousy are bound to arise within relationships, it is essential to not control the types of friendships our partners engage in. This behavior limits our capacity to build connections and reinforces harmful stereotypes about gender and sexuality. 

Many people believe that men and women can’t ever be just friends. This narrative reinforces harmful ideas about sexuality by implying that men and women will only experience attraction to each other, and are incapable of maintaining a platonic relationship. While there is obviously potential for romantic feelings to arise within friendships, this is not exclusive to friendships between men and women. If someone is incapable of controlling their feelings and is willing to cross boundaries in their relationship, that is indicative of an individual issue with fidelity, not a problem with opposite-sex friendships as a whole. 

Additionally, being friends with all different kinds of people allows for personal growth. It gives individuals the ability to further understand other perspectives and life experiences. A friendship with someone of a different gender identity can give valuable insight into how they experience the world. This allows for greater respect and understanding of those who are different from you. Compassion for these differences can create a healthy dynamic and room for deeper awareness of different identities. Gaining this insight is essential to having successful romantic relationships, and platonic friendships with those who identify with the gender or genders you’re attracted to can enhance the way you approach and understand your romantic partner.

Another problematic implication we see with these distinctions is the erasure of identities outside of the gender binary. Defining friendships simply by gender ignores the complexities of the human experience and reduces individuals to one sole facet of their identity. Although we have progressed in embracing a less rigid perception of gender, continuing to set strict limitations on friendships leaves out those who don’t identify as cisgender or heterosexual. Pushing these standards causes ignorance of these identities and centers the conversation on heterosexual and cisgender couples. It is essential to remember that relationships and individual people are complex, and we should not define them simply by any one aspect. Doing so downplays the intricacies of human connection and is not representative of the shared interests, values and love that goes into genuine friendship. 

Friendships are friendships regardless of gender. We should encourage healthy platonic relationships between all different types of people. By fostering and supporting friendships across all genders and identities, we create a more inclusive space and challenge the harmful stereotypes and rigid expectations that are placed on us. 

Delaney Rauscher Adams has a guy best friend. Reach out to her at [email protected].

 

About the Contributor
Delaney Rauscher Adams, Staff Columnist
Delaney Rauscher Adams is a junior majoring in Public and Professional Writing, who is also pursuing a certificate in Digital Media, and minoring Law, Criminal Justice, and Society. She is from Delaware County, PA, and primarily enjoys writing about social justice and pop culture. Reach out to her at .