I wake up to 47 WhatsApp notifications on my phone. Three of my closest girlfriends have been busy overnight, chatting through life problems from different time zones. The first thing I do with my day is fondly roll my eyes and catch up: one of the girls needs advice on how to deal with a promotion she’s been offered without a definite pay rise or title change. The others have leapt in with practical suggestions, a timely reminder that she needs to know her own worth at work and a string of dancing lady emojis. Sleepily, I key in my best advice and send them a photo of my dog, Bert, for a little extra support.
Little exchanges of love, pragmatism and strength like this are happening all over the world – via WhatsApp, over a glass of rosé, in office bathrooms, at brunch, in book clubs, on walks, on the phone, at Pilates, nursing a cup of tea. Women are negotiating the experience of being female with one another, one enthusiastic hug, text message, piece of advice, heart-eyes emoji, reality check or whispered confession at a time.
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