Just started my Sunday drinking my light French press coffee, checking my emails and browsing around when an astonishing article by Alice Evans came up. The article says the obvious in a very direct way, which sometimes can be very painful: the women's friendship was never encouraged, and frequently seemed like gossip.
If we think about higher education, women had to wait until the beginning of the 19th century to really be able to be part of most universities, which is the main source of new relationships in early adult life. Just as reference, the University of Cambridge was founded in 1209. Women's networking was reduced to close family and neighbors, and even this very limited interaction was competing with relentless housework.
As well pointed by Evans, sixty percent of women's prime-age years were spent either pregnant or nursing. This undercut women’s ability to pursue skilled trades, gain economic autonomy, and expand their social networks. Our species, Homo sapiens, has been around for 300,000 years, however the ability to control female reproduction is about 60 years old, cultural and economical liberation for women is still in progress. We are among the first generations of life on earth that can choose not to reproduce, and we can talk about it with our college's girlfriends.
I'm extremely happy to see human society evolving, and to see my girlfriends achieving amazing things, but nevertheless it is always good to remember that our status today was not always granted.
Time to brew another cup of coffee.