the lone woman in a tight-knit group of (male) friends, usually the girlfriend or sister of one of them, who lends some semblance of normality, but can put up with a lot of crazy behavior, and even participates in it to a point. she's like Wendy to the Lost Boys in J. M. Barrie's story, Peter Pan. her role is to play along like one of the "guys," but also to play nursemaid, clean up, make sure everyone stops and eats, and often keeps things from getting too rowdy by merely being present. she attends to the things males either take for granted or don't think about, that may be necessary or desirable for things to run safely or smoothly. token females are appreciated in the group because of the skills and patience they usually possess, and tend to get along or relate better with men than women in general, possibly because of their more logical/thinking relationship processes (normally considered more typical of males) vs. feeling/sensing relationship processes that are more typical of females. token females usually only have sex with the one person they are connected to (husband or boyfriend), or sometimes not at all. their role is more of a mother/caretaker than romantic, although they can be both for the one group member.

token females often try to connect with other women who come in and out of the group from time to time, show them the ropes, etc., and may be sad or wistful when and if these other women don't last. in other words, token females would often love to have more women around in the group, but because of the differences in female vs. male relationship dynamics, it doesn't happen.

because of the loneliness in this dynamic, token females usually eventually give up and move on as well, even after many years in the group, unless some change or overall group maturity eventually adds additional women to the group dynamic.

The book "Women Who Run with the Wolves," by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, MD., was written to in part to put the phenomenon of the "token female" into an authentic historical, social, and anthropological perspective.
"Sia was ecstatic when Bree came along with Ben and the guys for the third time they all went hunting. She was so tired of being the token female."

"Sara had accepted the fact that she was the token female, since out of all her husband's friends, none of them had real steady girlfriends. She was the only one who always went along when they went up to the Lake, made sure they brought along something to put in their bellies besides beer, and made sure they all cleaned up the cabin before they left."

"Lisa could out-shoot every one of the guys in their camp, she hit the bullseye every single time and could disassemble a weapon and put it back together like a pro. She also made a mean-ass omelet and made sure they all made it to bed, even when some had passed out on the lawn she'd enlist the aid of a couple of guys to help her get them inside. She took great care of them, but eventually it got old because she was always the token female."
by susannah eanes November 19, 2007
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