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

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