This Book's Got Your Back
We’ve been thinking a lot this month about #WhosGotYourBack and there’s a book that we thought you’d love. Check out Text Me When You Get Home by Kayleen Schaefer for more on the power of female friendship and how, at the end of the day, it’s your best friends who’ve got your back.
“I realized that I had in women what I always thought I got from men:
strength and reliability.”
In Text Me When You Get Home, Kayleen Schaefer explores the evolution of female friendship and the rare way in which a woman’s best friends will have her back like no one else can. Schaefer digs into the history of friendships among women and explores her own history with her friends through high school, college, and into adulthood. And of course, she defines the meaning behind the six words every woman knows so well: Text me when you get home.
“It’s a way women are saying, through our care for each other, that our friendships are not what society says they are.
We’re reclaiming them.”
Schaefer necessarily examines the evolving portrayal of women on screen. For years, women have been known as being catty, callous, and downright mean to each other. Moving between pop culture references of female friendship and interviews with her own friends and family members, Schaefer questions if girls were ever really mean girls or if television and film just made us believe we were. She celebrates how media is finally beginning to show friendships on screen that are as powerful and important as the ones we share in real life (watch Broad City, Insecure, and Big Little Lies for evidence).
“If you dig a little deeper, the stereotypes fall apart:
Not all mean girls are popular, and not all popular girls are mean.”
My favourite part? Schaefer contacts her old high school “frenemy”, Renée, and the two meet up for lunch (brave!). They talk about how silly and unnecessary their high school dramas were; they are both working on repairing any damage done in those years. Shortly after returning to her hotel, Schaefer receives a text from Renée: “‘It was great to see you! Made it back! Let me know that you did too!’ In other words, text me when you get home.”
The book is a powerful testament to the flexible nature of female friendships. Through every life stage: education, career, travel, marriage, pregnancy (or not), moving across the country and back again, it’s your friends who have your back. “They are our advocates, who no matter what, make us feel like we won’t fail. They are the people who will struggle with us and who will stay with us. They are who we text when we get home.”
“Our friends are not our second choices.”
Are you reading anything that reaffirms how important it is to have a good support system? Share your recos with us at firstname.lastname@example.org