chapter
Friendship
Pages 8

Images of friendship in Western history and literature typically have been maledominated (such as Damon and Pythias or Jonathan and David). For centuries, men’s bravery, loyalty, and heroism were celebrated as signs of the ideal form of friendship. Women were often viewed and belittled as not capable of “true” friendship-of having friendships that were a pale imitation of men’s. French philosopher Michel de Montaigne, for example, wrote in his sixteenth-century essay “Of Friendship” that women’s capacity and soul were neither adequate nor firm enough for the sacred bond of friendship. Yet he described male friendship as souls mingling and blending “with each other so completely that they efface the seam that joined them.”