Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Treatise: What's the Deal With the "Friend Zone?"

Talks about boy-girl stuff.
The first time I remember hearing this phrase, it was in a Ryan Reynolds comedy I saw in high school, where the main character was romantically interested in a woman who didn't reciprocate, but considered him a friend. Apparently the vernacular idiom originates from the tv series "Friends," but at any rate, I didn't see the end to the movie. I don't think I missed out very much.

The "accepted wisdom" of the day among adolescent males is that you want to avoid the dreaded "friend zone" because once a girl considers you her friend, you've lost the chance to become her boyfriend. This is based on the unquestioned assumption that men and women cannot be friends prior to becoming romantically involved. It implies that a girl/woman would rather date a stranger than someone she knows. Further, it cheapens friendships by casually disregarding them as anything worth having. The doctrine of "the friend zone" declares that boys should be primarily interested in "getting laid," or at least getting a girlfriend, which these days are essentially the same thing. If a girl is pretty, there is no redeeming value in having her as a friend. And if she won't be your girlfriend, 1) you've failed as a man, and 2) don't waste your time on her.

The fear of being frozen into "friendship" so horrifies modern chauvinists that they'll go to great pains to avoid being the kind of guy that a girl can be friends with, so as to leave her only 2 options: have nothing to do with him, or fall in love with him (not manipulative at all, of course!). The consequence is part of the reason why certain attractive women have difficulty relating to men. Nobody interacts with her normally, so she has no concept of normality. Everyone has ulterior motives, so she's either a cynic, inclined to dislike men, or vulnerable, easily taken advantage of and hurt by disingenuous sleazeballs.

Misogynists have perpetrated a culture of dysfunction. Idiot boys with no respect for women as equals use the words "friend zone" to shame others who are being too courteous to ladies without 'making a move,' and discourage them from being content without intimacy. And many boys/men who find themselves in a friendly but non-intimate relationship with a single woman tend to be restless, frustrated or resentful of the fact that they haven't been rewarded for the time they've put in.

What a shame that many relationships suffer, because young men don't want to be friends with women. What a shame that their insecurity and single-minded pursuit of sexual conquest robs women of healthy relationships with respectful gentlemen who are more concerned with her honor than with their gratification.

Isn't there another way? Oh sure there is. We can stop exposing young women to the dichotomy of "every guy who talks to you wants to sleep with you" and "you're completely alone and no one likes you." But what will that take? Logically, the young men need to figure out that girls are not there for you, let alone for 'the one thing.' That there's redeeming value in having non-sexual relationships. That they can like someone, and not have to act on that by trying to force a "boyfriend-girlfriend" relationship.

But for them to move in that direction, they have to have motive and incentive. Positive incentive, through seeing abstinence as desirable. Disincentivization, through not letting them be rewarded for promoting misogyny, chauvinism, sexism, etc. Girls must stop expecting sex to be a normal part of a casual relationship. Logically, if there's a concern that a guy's just after sex, what's the best way to rule that out as a possibility? Obviously, don't give it to him -- don't let him have sex with you! If he doesn't get what he wants, and he's a shallow fool, he'll leave right quick (in most cases). If sex is not the only thing he's living for, then he'll have integrity and stick around.

This can be expanded beyond sex to include physical affection, kissing, or announcing yourselves as a couple. Some desperate boys can/will hang on as long as they're getting something. The best way to get rid of the ones with selfish intentions is to refrain from any kind of physical romantic intimacy prior to the all-in commitment of the marriage ceremony.

Isn't it ironic how everything always comes around to the Biblical side of things, after a time?


The "friend zone" is a nonsense derogatory term used in reference to a man being friends with a woman without pursuing sexual intimacy, which is intended to shame 'deviants' and justify the chauvinist's view of women as sex objects for his pleasure. It makes men into noncommittal idiots, and women into victims, who either distrust men - to the detriment of their relationships - or trust men far too much, and go in vain from one to the next, searching for the one who won't break her heart.

There is a two-pronged approach to killing this insanity: women must stop rewarding sexists, and men must decide that women are worthy of respect, not to be treated as objectives in a game. Men must get their priorities straight, and realize that integrity of character and permanence of love are more desirable than racking up shallow sexual encounters.

Simply telling them they're wrong won't do the whole job. Evangelizing with Scripture presents a united front, where the claims of "you must treat women ____" are not the disorganized arbitrary cries of feminists, but levied against them with the full weight of the authority of Almighty God.

It is the renewal of the mind by the washing of the Word that supernaturally empowers a man to treat a woman with the dignity and honor she deserves in God's eyes.

If you leave God out of it, have fun doing the same things and expecting different results (something Einstein called insanity).

~ Rak Chazak

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