Important Happenings of March 26th

Hello readers! I’ve successfully survived another 365 days on the planet, so it’s time again for my birthday post. Though my musical expectations were readily set by Blink-182, I found that people actually did like me when I was 23. Or at least the handful of people I interacted with on a regular basis seemed to like me.

Honestly, I'm just as shocked as you are.

Honestly, I’m just as shocked as you are.

Anyway, I’ve decided to do a look back through history and highlight noteworthy events that coincide with what my mother fondly referred to as, “…my first effing day of maternity leave. Thanks. Brat.”

Love ya, mean it!

Love ya, mean it!

 

Today in…

1027 – Pope John XIX crowns Conrad II as Holy Roman Emperor

1830 – The Book of Mormon is published in New York

1915 – The Vancouver Millionaires sweep the Ottawa Senators three-games-to-none to win the 1915 Stanley Cup Finals

1917 – WWI: The First Battle of Gaza

1945 – WWII: The Battle of Iwo Jima ends and the island is officially secured by American forces

1958 – The US Army launches Explorer 3

1979 – Anwar al-Sadat, Menachem Begin, and Jimmy Carter sign the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty in Washington, D.C.

1982 – A groundbreaking ceremony for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is held in Washington, D.C.

1990 – The 62nd Academy Awards are held in Los Angeles. Winners include Daniel Day-Lewis (Best Actor, My Left Foot), Jessica Tandy (Best Actress, Driving Miss Daisy), Denzel Washington (Best Supporting Actor, Glory), Brenda Fricker (Best Supporting Actress, My Left Foot), Oliver Stone (Best Director, Born on the Fourth of July), and Driving Miss Daisy (Best Picture)

1999 – The Melissa virus infects Microsoft word processing and email systems around the world

2005 – Doctor Who returns to television with the premiere of the episode “Rose” on BBC One

 

Also born on this day:

Malcolm III of Scotland (1031) – King of Scotland 1058-1093

Adolf Hurwitz (1859) – German mathematician

Robert Frost (1874) – American poet and playwright

Guccio Gucci (1881) – Italian fashion designer

Tennessee Williams (1911) – American playwright, author, and poet

Sandra Day O’Connor (1930) – American jurist, first female US Supreme Court Justice

Leonard Nimoy (1931) – American actor (Star Trek), singer, and director

Alan Arkin (1934) – American actor (Little Miss Sunshine, Argo), singer, and director

Nancy Pelosi (1940) – American politician, 60th Speaker of the US House of Representatives

Bob Woodward (1943) – American journalist

Diana Ross (1944) – American singer (The Supremes) and actress

Richard Tandy (1948) – English keyboard player (Electric Light Orchestra)

Steven Tyler (1948) – American singer-songwriter (Aerosmith)

Fran Sheehan (1949) – American bass player (Boston)

Martin Short (1950) – Canadian-American actor (Saturday Night Live, The Three Amigos), singer, and director

Jennifer Grey (1960) – American actress (Dirty Dancing, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off)

Kenny Chesney (1968) – American singer-songwriter and guitarist

Leslie Mann (1972) – American actress (Knocked Up, This is Forty)

T.R. Knight (1973) – American actor (Grey’s Anatomy) and fellow Academy of Holy Angels alumnus (1991)

Larry Page (1973) – American computer scientist, co-founder of Google

Jonathon Groff (1985) – American actor and singer (Glee, Frozen)

Keira Knightly (1985) – English actress (Pirates of the Caribbean, Anna Karenina)

 

Hopefully you enjoyed your very date-centric history lesson, and thank you all for the many lovely birthday wishes!

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Reader Mail – RE: Debunking the Friend Zone

Disclaimers:

  • Going by MPAA standards, this post is rated PG-13. Please be advised.
  • The following reader mail was submitted elsewhere and has been transcribed for blogging purposes.
  • I realize that my response is composed of many broad generalizations. I do this not to speak for the varied experiences of every person, but rather to respond in kind to the broad generalizations I was presented with by the reader.

Hey there,

I really loved your recent piece about ‘Debunking the Friend Zone.’ The article was well thought-out and I can never argue with the points you make. However I would like you to take a step back to try to understand the poor frustrated guys. Here are my two cents:

In the society we currently live in, it is almost always the girl who chooses a guy. Some guys say that they “pick up girls,” which could not be farther from the truth. If a girl does not like a guy, he is simply out of luck. So unless the guy is one of the select few who every girl chases after he has to put in a lot of effort to even be considered. So tell me Lindsay, if you put in a lot of effort into something in general, and it does not work out, will you not be likely to try blame everyone but yourself? The whole friend-zone concept is a sign of humans being sore losers. It mostly happens to guys because the girls have the upper hand in having the power in selecting their potential mates.

Anyways, it is also “cool” for guys to sleep with multiple girls, and it is usually frowned upon vica-versa and girls are labelled as “sluts.” Which is another reason for girls to be more reserved in general. Also, guys are more likely to act on their sex drive because the act has less potential consequences for them (e.g. pregnancy). And these arguments are just a drop in the water of the whole philosophy that is behind the human mating concept.

Sorry for rambling on…Let me know what you think!

Regards,

Nick

Nick,

Interesting. While I’m glad you enjoyed the article, and your points also seem pretty well thought out, I’m going to go ahead and respectfully disagree with most of them.

First, if the way a “poor, frustrated” guy deals with rejection is to ignore my wishes and continue to harass me, I don’t really have much interest in understanding where he’s coming from, as he clearly could care less about where I’m coming from.

Your claim that women almost always choose the guys is probably accurate in your own experience; however, as I’ve actually witnessed (and experienced) guys picking up girls, and girls being on the bitter end of rejection just as often as I’ve witnessed (and experienced) what you mainly observe, I can hardly concede that the girl always, or even almost always holds the power in the decision-making process. In my experience, it’s typically held equally between both parties, which parenthetically is what consent looks like.

Now yes, unless a guy is one of the “select few” a woman is interested in, he is “out of luck” in the sense that she does not want to pursue a romantic relationship with him. He may be upset about her decision, but (as I stated very clearly in my article) because she is a human being, this is a decision she is able and entitled to make. It doesn’t matter if “he put in a lot of effort even to be considered,” if she isn’t interested, she does not owe him anything. The same would be true if the situation were reversed, as well. Just because someone is nice to you and put in a lot of time and energy to make you pay attention doesn’t mean you’re obligated to give him or her sex if he or she asks for it.

Here’s where you bring up an interesting point: if I put a lot of effort into something and it doesn’t work out, am I going to blame anything and everything else because I failed? Of course not. I would go back and analyze where I went wrong in the process because the issue is probably with me. That’s what girls do. There have been psychological studies illustrating this self-serving bias, when males don’t get something they want they tend to blame external factors, while females tend to blame themselves and other internal factors. Why? That’s how society has told us it’s okay to act.

Oh yes, society. You brought it up yourself, it’s “cool” when a guy sleeps around, but girls are “sluts” for doing the same. It’s a double standard that society has made permissible, and incidentally can explain your concept of women allegedly holding all the power in the process of “selecting their potential mates.” Society has told women that we must be more reserved because anything to do with sex is wrong and dirty, and vaginas are disgusting, and how dare we even consider sleeping with more than [insert increasingly ambivalent number deemed acceptable by society here] men, and if we get pregnant everyone will know what whores we are because even if we’re in a situation that is horrifically detrimental to bearing or raising a child, society has elected government officials who see it fitting to pass hundreds of laws and propose thousands of provisions to regulate our reproductive systems, which many of them don’t even understand (because vaginas are disgusting, remember?).

Meanwhile, societal norms tell guys that you can sleep with as many women as you want, as often as you want, and if any of those women say they’d rather not sleep with you it’s perfectly okay to throw a tantrum and call her names because she’s obviously a cold bitch and something is wrong with her, and you can go ahead and continue trying to get her to sleep with you, and while you’re at it, you should totally draw penises on every conceivable surface because that’s hella rad. Guys exercise their sex drive more often because they’re told over and over in multiple facets and outlets that there are no negative implications that are their responsibilities.

So what do I think? I think that shedding light on these inequities might put the injustice of sometimes getting shot down into perspective for you. I think that you have strong opinions that have been formed by your own life experiences, and may be very valid for those life experiences. I think that my original article hit a bit too close to home for your liking, and when mixed with your opinions, made you a tad indignant. And I really think that your indignation may have caused you to miss the underlying message of my article, which is quite simply that the Friend Zone does not exist because your penis is not the most important thing in the universe.

Most importantly, however, I think you shouldn’t question a feminist’s views on how some guys can’t handle rejection by bringing society’s double standards of sex into the fray. Particularly when said feminist has a blog and is very willing to use it.

Regards,

Lindsay

Debunking the Friend Zone

Of all the modern relationship tropes, fantasies, and myths, it’s hard for me to find any more twisted and awkward than that of the Friend Zone, mostly because I’m sick and tired of seeing my friends get harassed for exercising their basic human right of free will.

For those of you who are blissfully unaware, the Friend Zone is a term coined by romantically frustrated teenagers and young adults, almost exclusively of the male variety. Essentially it’s what happens when a guy who has romantic feelings towards a woman finds out that she does not reciprocate those feelings, or is strictly platonic in her feelings.

Source: Urban Dictionary

Source: Urban Dictionary

Apparently this is one of the worst fates that can possibly befall any adolescent or post-adolescent male.

Hearing the awful words “I just want to be friends” is pure tragedy. It means a guy has wasted months – even years! – spending time with a girl or woman, only to find out she has no romantic or sexual interest in him (which of course are the only reasons for men to have women around in the first place). It means something is horribly defective with her; why else wouldn’t she accept his ardent admiration with open arms?!

What none of these drama kings seem to realize, however, is that the Friend Zone doesn’t actually exist. Or rather, it doesn’t exist in the way most guys claiming to be trapped in it seem to believe.

This is important: If you are a male who has suddenly found yourself in an inadvertent platonic relationship with a female, she has not trapped you in the Friend Zone. She is not a bitch. She is not a slut. She is not mentally unbalanced. Kindly refrain from referring to her as any of those things.

Source: Urban Dictionary

Source: Urban Dictionary

She is your friend. You’re in something that’s called a friendship, which means you enjoy each other’s company and probably spend time together, but for one reason or another she doesn’t want to sleep with you.

“But I’m such a nice guy!”

One of the most common defensive arguments from “Friend Zoned” guys is that they’re “really nice guys.” However, if the only reason you’re being nice to a woman is so you can get in her pants, you’re not actually a really nice guy. If anything, you’re a poor excuse for a human being and you’re systematically destroying the foundation any relationship with her – platonic or otherwise – could have been built on. If you’re going to be nice to a woman, consider being nice to her because she is a human being and deserves the same amount of respect as anybody else.

“It’s not fair, I’ve always been there for her!”

If you’ve helped her through a tough time or listened her vent her frustrations about her boss or a previous boyfriend, it means you’re a good friend. It does not mean she owes you anything besides a reciprocal friendship, particularly if you’ve never made any mention of ever wanting to be more than friends (no, being a really great listener doesn’t count as mentioning your feelings).

“She doesn’t know what she’s talking about!”

It’s not easy or fun to make a move on the woman you’re interested in, only to find out that she doesn’t feel the same way about you. If this happens, you should accept that she’s not interested and move on. What you absolutely should not do is ignore what she says and continue to make moves.

I understand that the phrase “I don’t want to date you” is extraordinarily ambiguous, but please understand that no means no, regardless of context. If my dog can tear herself away from whatever delicious garbage she’s managed to get ahold of because she hears “no,” but you can’t refrain from hitting on a woman because she asked you not to, you’re not giving her reasons to change her mind. You’re demonstrating that you’re not as well behaved as a terrier that tries to eat garbage.

A good friend of mine, whose recent experience with all of this was the inspiration for this post, found the whole experience unnecessary, irritating, and ultimately demeaning:

“I know this guy and he really tried for a while, but I wasn’t interested so I told him, ‘Hey, I just want to be friends,’ because I didn’t want to hurt his feelings, but he didn’t seem to get the hint because he kept trying…so I started straight up telling him, ‘NO,’ which is when I realized that men really do not understand the meaning of ‘NO.’ When you try to touch my arm and I yank it away? That is not an invitation to try it again. When you try to kiss, sweet talk, make a move, date, etc. and I shrug you off? Do not make an attempt to repeat it the next time you see me. Am I supposed to be attracted to you because you can’t respect me enough to listen to what I’m saying to you? You’re making a fool of yourself and trying to make it my fault.”

Source: Urban Dictionary

Source: Urban Dictionary

I know that not all men are guilty of this, but enough are that it’s an issue. For every man that is kind and polite and respectful to a woman, regardless of their relationship, there’s a guy who’s calling a woman names for not going out with him. And the bigger issue is that they’re getting away with it.

This is my PSA: Stop letting guys trap themselves in the Friend Zone. Start calling them out on their melodramatic bullshit, because it’s ridiculous that a guy can shame a woman into feeling bad for how she feels, and he still comes out looking like the victim.

When a guy says, “She put me in the Friend Zone!” all he’s really saying is, “I’m too immature to handle rejection, and don’t respect her enough to realize that she’s entitled to her own opinions and choices!”

Which probably has something to do with why she didn’t see him as boyfriend material in the first place.