Believe it or not, the term “Girl Friday” is actually a variation of “Man Friday,” which was originally coined from the character Friday in Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe. Crusoe is an Englishman shipwrecked on a deserted Caribbean island and when he rescues one of the natives from cannibals, he makes him his servant. Crusoe names him “Friday” after the exact day of the week he rescued him. He takes Friday under his wings and teaches him English and converts him to Christianity. In return, Friday helps him with everything.
A “Girl Friday,” is also a woman devoted to helping those she works with. What makes a “Girl Friday” now is that we are women and can do everything. (I am woman. Let me hear you roar! Yes, I just said that.) If you are a mother, a wife, a friend, a volunteer, a giver, a hard worker, a multi-tasker, a problem solver, and a jill-of-all trades, then you are a “Girl Friday.” We love to help others and love to see everyone succeed. A “Girl Friday” is not a “Damsel in Distress,” nor is she an “Action Girl,” instead her main job is to help “the Hero.” (her boss.)
Sometimes the “Girl Friday” characters will put their own dreams behind everyone else’s dreams, but I’m here to tell you it’s possible to have both. You have to learn to please others, but also learn to please and be yourself in the process. Learn that sometimes “No” or “Maybe later” can be correct responses. And always remember to follow your dreams, your love, your passion, and those around you will slowly understand.
“Girl Friday” characters are also often fantastic at multitasking. Multi-taskers can often be seen as flighty or absent-minded at times, but we’re brilliant, strong individuals who more often than not know how to think outside the box. While you may color inside the lines, we see the beauty of coloring outside the lines as well. We are the backbone to some of the most powerful people out there.
My questions to you this month are what makes you a “Girl Friday,” and who do you think can be seen as a “Girl Friday” character on your favorite TV show, your favorite movie, or in the book you can’t put down? I can think of Roz on Fraiser, Mary on Mary Tyler Moore (my mom’s favorite show so I’ve seen every episode more than once), Gwen Ives in Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand (my dad’s favorite novel), and my personal favorite, Pepper Potts in Iron Man (She’s a bit kick-ass, but always lends a hand to Mr. Stark).